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How to Eat More Protein - My Top 5 Protein Sources

Now that we've established that eating more protein maybe should be a priority for you (discussed in our previous article 'Protein - Does it really matter THAT much?') it's time to start asking the question how do I eat more protein? So I've compiled a quick list of some of my favourite protein sources and why they are some of the better options vs. others.

1) Meat

The obvious one (sorry vegans) but it's without a doubt one of the easiest ways to increase your protein intake. You have many options, different flavours and easy availability. I tend to stick to leaner cuts and predominantly consume poultry to regulate overall calorie intake.

My top suggestions: Chicken Breast, 2% Fat Turkey Mince, 5% Lean Steak Mince

Something different: Heck Chicken Sausages

2) Greek Yoghurt

At just 0g Fat / 3g carb vs. 10g Protein per 100g, Greek yoghurt is a fantastic protein booster. Greek yoghurt also contains a good dose of calcium (great for bone health) as well as probiotics which can help improve gut health.

A word of warning: Make sure you're not choosing a 'Greek Style' yoghurt as these are often far higher in calories as well as sugar content. Also check the label before purchase. My go-to brand is Fage 0% Greek Yogurt.

My top suggestions: Add your desired amount of yoghurt to the bowl (for me it's around 250g), top up with a dash of your favourite protein powder for flavour and then add a generous amount of berries. Consume as a quick, easy and protein packed breakfast.

3) Protein Powder

The clue is in the name on this one. Please do not fear it just because it's powdered, I always compare it to my clients as like eating a chicken breast. Much to my disappointment as a 14 year old who had just started lifting, it doesn't have any special anabolic properties. But what it is good for is being incredibly convenient, comparatively cheap and absolutely delicious.

The number of times I've introduced my clients to protein shakes to the response of 'oh my god it tastes like a milkshake' is numerous. There's a variety of protein powders available now too. Assuming no lactose digestion issues, any whey protein should be fine. Otherwise there's plenty of great vegan options out there now, the Form Performance Protein is a fan favourite amongst my clients.

My top suggestions: Don't just stop at the protein shakes, start adding your powder to other foods - yoghurt, oats etc. for an extra protein boost.

4) Fish

Another obvious one for you but definitely not to be overlooked is fish. You've got tinned fish and fresh fish, you've got fatty fish and you've got leaner fish - there are plenty of options. I'd suggest most people under consume fatty fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel, sardines etc.) which are a great source of Omega-3s. Consumption of 2-3 times per week is a good goal to have. With the higher fat content of these types of fish you want to keep one eye on the calories, if you're trying to keep it a little leaner then you've got white fish (e.g. basa fillets, cod, haddock) but you are then sacrificing a lower Omega-3 content.

My top suggestions: Trying to save money? There's plenty of cheaper tinned fish available at supermarkets.

5) Eggs

At roughly 6-8g protein per egg, they're a pretty good protein source but the benefits go far beyond that as eggs are very nutrient dense (and taste delicious). This is another protein source where you may want to keep an eye on the fat content, with roughly a 3g:4g Fat:Protein ratio those calories can easily stack up in the pursuit of more protein. An easy way around this is just using the egg whites as the fat is all found in the yolk (as are most of the nutrients however).

My top suggestions: Use a combination of whole eggs and egg whites to boost up the protein intake without ramping up the fat too high, whilst still getting in those nutrients from the yolk. A meal including 2 whole eggs and 4 egg whites will provide you with nearly 30g protein / 10g fat for only 200kcals!

As you can see most of the suggestions (all but the vegan protein powder) are animal based products, which kind of explains why it's so much more challenging for vegetarians and vegans to get enough protein in to their diets. I will get round to writing a top 5 protein sources for vegans but it is significantly more difficult to consume sufficient protein living that lifestyle.

I hope you can follow some of my suggestions, albeit they were all relatively simple (much like many things in fitness and nutrition). Sometimes it takes the obvious to be pointed out to you or to be presented with a new way of implementing these things before you take action.

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