Top 5 Sources of Protein

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When it comes to good nutrition, getting enough protein is often overlooked. Your body breaks protein down into amino acids that are essential for the repair of all body tissues and cells. The immune system uses amino acids to create antibodies and white blood cells. They are also required for healthy skin, nails and hair. What makes protein problematic is that some types of protein foods come packed with saturated fat. Here are five rich sources of protein that can give your body what it needs without a lot of fat and calories.

1. Turkey breast is one of the richest sources of protein there is. While most people think of chicken breast when focusing on lean proteins, turkey offers a wide variety of nutrients for very few calories. A 4-ounce serving of roasted turkey breast without the skin contains 34 grams of protein.

2. Tuna makes a great diet food. It’s low in saturated fat and contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids to help boost metabolism and nourish your body’s cells. If you pick a low-sodium variety packed in water, 4-ounces of albacore tuna boasts a healthy 32 grams of protein.

3. Pork isn’t typically thought of as a healthy food, but if you choose the tenderloin rather than a fatty cut, you get a high proportion of B vitamins and key minerals. Pork tenderloin has often been called the other white meat because a 4-ounce portion has less than 4 grams of fat, while an equal amount of chicken breast contains slightly more. For that low-fat baked portion, you’ll end up with 32 grams of protein, the same as tuna.

4. It’s no surprise that chicken breast can help you watch your waistline. What you might not know is that chicken fat is monosaturated. Most of the saturated fat is in the skin, so go for the skinless chicken breasts or remove the skin yourself before cooking. Baked chicken breast is equal to tuna and pork when it comes to protein. A 4-ounce serving will give you 32 grams.

5. If you’re a vegetarian or want to cut down on the amount of meat, poultry or fish you eat, a rich source of protein is low-fat cottage cheese. When served on a bed of lettuce with fresh fruit or stuffed inside a tomato, it makes a healthy lunch. A 1-cup serving provides 31 grams of protein.

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