Do you find yourself getting hungry before the next meal time? Or maybe you’re discovering that the suggested portion sizes on certain foods aren’t keeping you full? It’s time to take a look at your protein intake and explore ways to keep those options healthy! Specifically, your lean protein choices.

Lean meats are foods like chicken, fish, and turkey. We emphasize and prefer the use of these lean meats because, compared to red meats, they have less saturated fats which can raise blood pressure and make the symptoms of other heart conditions worsen. Some unsaturated fats that these lean meats have, especially in fish, are called omega-3 fatty acids. These omega 3’s can reduce the risks of getting heart disease, experiencing a stroke, and improve your total cholesterol. Omega-3’s also have some anti-inflammatory properties that can be useful in our bodies.

For those of you who enjoy red meat, it’s all about moderation and portion size! Red meat isn’t the bad guy here unless you’re indulging on large amounts and often. A serving size of red meat should be about the size of a deck of cards (~3 oz.) and it never hurts to trim as much of the fat off as you can on a fattier cut of meat. To make it even better, use healthier cooking methods such as baking or grilling.

Why should you include more lean protein into your diet? Well to start, eating protein instead of carbohydrates will make you feel fuller longer without having to eat as many calories. No more having to carry around all those snacks to make it to the next meal! When buying lean meats, look for words like “loin”, “sirloin”, or “round.” These words point to lean cuts of meat.

These lean protein options can be incorporated in almost every meal and snack! For breakfast, you can top pretty much anything like with nuts, incorporate eggs or lean protein meat instead of bacon and sausage. For lunch, you could use chicken on sandwiches, any type of fish, a fresh salad topped with almonds, eggs, and chicken, or even a bean or lentil-based soup. For dinner, mix it up and add variety by adding a fun seasoning or lemon zest to chicken or fish or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, try a bean burger!

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