How much protein do you actually need?
Most of us are getting far more protein than we need — especially when it comes to meat. The main problem is that often the extra protein is coming from meats high in saturated fats, which can add to elevated cholesterol levels of the LDL — or “bad” — cholesterol.
You need to find the balance and choose the right amount and kind of protein.
- When choosing protein, opt for low-fat options, such as lean meats, skim milk or other foods with high levels of protein. Legumes, for example, can pack about 16 grams of protein per cup and are a low-fat and inexpensive alternative to meat.
- Choose main dishes that combine meat and vegetables together, such as low-fat soups, or a stir-fry that emphasizes veggies.
- Watch portion size. Aim for 2- to 3-ounce servings.
- If you’re having an appetizer, try a plate of raw veggies instead of a cheese plate. Cheese adds protein, but also fat.