Most people understand that protein is an important part of healthy diet but a classic mistake is not looking at the source or where it comes from. If the 80’s were about low fat, the past 20 years has been about eating enough protein to gain or maintain lean muscle. We always want to look at a selection based on the entire spectrum of food choices so that we don’t over use or overlook an important food group. Protein is you healing macro nutrient. Macro nutrients are the big building blocks of your nutrition approach. Anytime you are choosing a protein, look for one that comes from a whole food source. An egg is a perfect example of whole food. We don’t have to add or subtract anything to it. But equally important is the way that it was raised or fed. The animal that produces that egg should ideally be fed the food that it would naturally consume. It would also be raised in a natural habitat so that is more healthy and thus more free of disease. If you can ever buy your protein from local sources, the food is likely to be fresher and live in a climate more similar to yours. While an egg produced in a factory is cheaper, it also has less nutritional value. While eating organic can be more expensive, if you are going to buy organic then spending it on your protein (chicken, fish, eggs, and meat) is a good use of your dollar.
Some great protein choices are:
Eggs: Serve over a bed of greens, pack a hard boiled egg or make a scramble loaded with veggies.
Ground turkey: Make your own meatballs, cook ahead of time and add to roasted veggies or a broth with veggies
Quality, nitrate free turkey, beef or salmon jerky is a great source of portable protein.
Avocados: A cup of sliced avocado has 3 grams of protein. That’s half of what’s in an egg!
Hemp hulls are one of my favorite ways to sneak in protein. You can toss into a salad or throw into a smoothie. 1 Tablespoon has 6 grams of protein
Mary Brooks, M.Ed.
Integrative Nutrition Coach