Being successful at weight loss can be a daunting task; however, once armed with basic knowledge and some key information, the journey to a healthier you can be easier. "What to eat" is an important question often asked by the dieter, and one answer is high-protein foods. Foods that are high in protein often have the added benefits of being lower in fat and are a complete source of amino acids, which are imperative in building muscle, which in turn allows you to burn more fat even while in a resting state.
According to Rachel L. Batterham, M.D., from the University College London, a hormone called PYY can reduce hunger when it is released during the digestive process. The release of this PYY hormone is triggered from the consumption of high-protein foods, and studies suggest that this could be one part of the solution to solving the obesity problem.
Batterham and colleagues suggest that increasing the protein content of one's diet will help reduce hunger and will aid in weight loss. This was proved during controlled studies in which test subjects reported that a meal high in proteins satisfied the most hunger.
How Much Protein?
Before diving into a plate full of meatballs or a huge slab of steak, there are several terms used to describe various amounts of protein that need to be understood. A good source of protein is a food that contains at least 5 grams of protein per serving, and foods labeled "high in protein" are those that contain 10 grams or more of protein per serving.
The USDA Dietary Guidelines suggest that the average American consume between 10 percent and 35 percent of our daily calories from proteins. Of course, wherever possible these proteins should be lower in fat.
Foods such as skinless turkey and chicken breast, cold water fish such as salmon, halibut and haddock, as well as duck breast are all going to be very high in lean proteins. Other good sources of proteins are: low-fat cottage cheese, soybeans, cheeses, beef pork and lamb. Whole grain flours and legumes are also high protein vegetarian options. There are also a variety of vegetarian soy-based products on the market that are high in proteins, and there is a multitude of protein-based supplements, shakes and powders to help boost your protein intake.
A Well-Balanced Diet
The jury is still out on the final verdict of ultra-low carb high protein diets, but most experts agree that a well-balanced diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in fats is the best way to achieve a healthy weight. The new evidence that supports diets high in protein does not suggest that you eliminate any other food groups; it also advocates eating a well-balanced diet but choosing low-fat proteins over ones that are high in saturated fats. Of course, checking with your health care practitioner prior to commencing any new diet is always recommended.