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Diet-Smart Protein

Healthy dieting requires a balanced diet of both carbohydrates and proteins. Diet-smart proteins support the body boosting metabolism, repairing body tissue and helping muscles contract. Protein also helps stave off hunger when dieting. A savvy dieter must search for the best sources of protein available to lose weight, feel full and stay healthy.

Yogurt is great source of low-fat protein. Packed with 11 grams of protein, yogurt's live and active cultures boost the body's immune system. This diet-smart protein is considered the perfect food in some cultures with its creamy texture, delicious flavors and amazing health benefits.

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Another protein-rich food which is high in flavor, but low in fat is legumes. Peas, soybeans or lentils provide the body with essential protein when coupled with other incomplete proteins not derived from animal fat. Legumes can be baked, boiled or eaten raw. This diet-smart protein is both economical and flavorful.
Whole grains provide a good source of protein, too. Like legumes, whole grains must be paired with an incomplete protein to get the essential amino acids. Oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat pasta and barley are examples of healthy whole grains. These delicious foods are very versatile in cooking, enhancing flavor and variety in a diet.

Nuts and seeds are healthy sources of good protein. Although high in fat; this source of protein provides what is often called the "best fat." Cashews, almonds, peanuts, pecans, hazelnuts and olives are monounsaturated fat foods, a necessary source of fat in your diet.

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Monounsaturated fat helps reduce bad cholesterol, lowers the risk of heart disease and provides vitamin E. Usually no more than 25 to 35 percent of your total daily calories should be monounsaturated fats. Nuts and seeds are a nutritious snack for a dieter's hunger pangs during the day.

Salmon is a healthy, low-fat source of protein high in nutrition and rich in flavor. The omega 3 fatty acids found in this pinkish-orange fish makes it an exceptionally healthy choice of protein for dieters. Salmon can be grilled or baked. Its rich buttery flavor is a favorite of fish lovers. Some people call salmon the healthiest food on earth.
Dairy foods are another beneficial protein source. Low-fat cheeses and skim milk add the necessary amino acids to a diet minus the fat. Part-skim mozzarella sticks are an easy, nutritious snack to bring along. Skim milk fruit smoothies are a popular protein drink. Smoothies are delicious and filling as a meal or snack.

Chicken and turkey are protein rich, low-fat meats. The skin of the meat should be removed to eliminate fat. Prepared in a variety of low-fat ways, these meats enhance diet recipes.

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Protein is a necessary ingredient for a healthy diet. It provides amino acids, the building blocks for our bodies. Rich sources of protein are yogurt, salmon, nuts and seeds, whole grains, low fat dairy foods and chicken or fish. Protein provides both flavor and nutrition which supports weight loss. Diet smart proteins will help the dieter lose weight and stay healthy without the loss of energy or stamina.