Whether you are looking to lose weight, gain muscle, or generally improve your diet you should consider your protein intake. But it’s not just about how many grams or servings of protein you eat. It’s also about the type of protein (ideally lean protein).
What is lean protein?
Different types of proteins vary in their protein to fat ratio. Lean protein refers to foods that are high in protein while being low in fat. Fish, dairy, and powdered peanut butter are just a few examples of lean proteins.
Lean proteins are amongst the best protein choices you can make. Keep reading to learn more about the top health benefits of lean protein.
1. Build Muscle
Consuming lean protein can help you develop strong muscles. Lean protein supports your body’s ability to recover and develop. When you consume protein it is broken down and then comes together again as proteins that your body uses to build muscle.
Regardless of your age or strength goals, maintaining lean muscle is important for your overall health. And lean protein is a great way to protect the lean muscle you have and along with exercise, it can help you build more.
2. Lose Weight
Losing weight can be a big challenge. But lean protein can help!
Lean protein has fewer calories than other types of proteins, fats, and carbs. So you can enjoy lean proteins while still sticking to your calorie budget and meeting your weight loss goals. Lean protein can also help you maintain lean muscle mass which helps you lose weight by burning more calories even when you are at rest.
3. Lower Risk for Cardiovascular Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. But changing your diet can dramatically reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Eating more lean protein has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease in adults.
Replacing proteins that are high in fat with leaner forms of protein is an easy way to boost your heart health.
4. Support Immune System
Many lean proteins contain high levels of zinc. Zinc is a mineral known for protecting the human immune system. There are dietary supplements and immune boosters with zinc, but why not get your zinc from real foods instead?
You can find healthy levels of zinc in yogurt, skinless chicken, and lean pork.
5. Provide Vitamin B
Lean proteins also have vitamin B. Vitamin B helps regulate energy levels, support brain function, and promote proper cell metabolism. It can also help promote healthy digestion and protect your bones.
Seafood, eggs, and dairy are all lean proteins with high levels of vitamin B.
6. Build and Repair
Protein in our bodies makes up the bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. It is essential to supply your body with good sources of protein if you want these structures in your body to be able to repair properly.
You may have heard about athletes with diets that are high in lean protein. Part of the reason for this special diet is that they are constantly trying to replenish what was lost during exercise. Protein helps muscles repair and recover faster than other macronutrients like carbohydrates and fats.
7. Increase Metabolism
So you already know that lean protein can help you lose weight through higher lean muscle mass and fewer calories per serving. But did you know that lean protein can also help increase your metabolism?
Metabolism is the process of creating energy from the foods you eat. When you have a high metabolism your body is working efficiently to use calories for energy. If you have a slower metabolism, your body takes more time to take the same amount of food and use it as energy.
Consuming lean proteins gives your body the vitamins and minerals needed to keep your metabolism running efficiently. This may help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. It may also be linked to better sleep habits.
8. Longer Life
Lean protein can help you live a healthier life. But it can also help you live a longer life! Research has shown that some of the longest-living people in the world eat a diet full of lean proteins.
Diets full of fish, nuts, lentils, and other protein sources are connected with a longer life free of chronic disease. Just a few changes to your diet could add years to your life!
9. Lower Blood Pressure
Sixty-eight million Americans have high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure is linked to other dangerous conditions like heart attack, strokes, and kidney disease.
Lean protein can help lower blood pressure and increase the good cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) in your system. Adding a few portions of lean protein or swapping a higher fat protein for a low-fat protein can help you avoid high blood pressure and all the risks that come along with it.
10. Reducing Cravings and Snacking
Protein keeps you feeling full for longer. So if you are someone that struggles with constantly feeling hungry, increasing your protein consumption could help.
Instead of consuming calories of carbs and fats, try lean protein. Protein breaks down more slowly in your system, therefore keeping you full. If you start your day with a healthy dose of lean protein, you may be able to avoid unnecessary snacking.
Give Lean Protein a Try
You can find excellent sources of protein in fish, skinless poultry, dairy products, beans, and lean beef. There are a number of delicious meals you can prepare with lean protein as the star.
And in addition to tasting great, lean proteins will help support your health in tons of different ways. You can build muscle, lose weight, and start feeling better by just adding a few servings of lean protein a day.
So, what are you waiting for? Give it a try!
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