Weight Loss: Can a High Protein Diet Work? (cont.)
"If the DRIs give us permission to push up the protein," she asks, "what is the harm in adding some lean protein or low-fat dairy to your diet -- unless you have a condition that would limit protein?"
The Best Protein Sources
Protein is important but so are carbohydrates, fats, and total calories, says Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
"It is all about balance," says Tallmadge, author of Diet Simple. While she recommends including lean and low-fat sources of protein at every meal, she says it should be part of a calorie-controlled diet that's also rich in 'smart carbs' such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, along with healthy fats like nuts, seeds, olives, oils, fish, and avocado.
She also notes that not all protein is created equal. Be sure to look for protein sources that are nutrient-rich and lower in fat and calories, such as lean meats, beans, soy, and low-fat dairy, she says.
Here are some good sources of protein, as listed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture:
8 Ways to Pump Up the Protein
If you'd like to start including more lean protein in your daily diet, Tallmadge offers these eight simple tips:
Published January 2006.
SOURCES: Journal of Nutrition, July 2005. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2005; 82:41-8. Lancet 2004; 364:897-9. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein and Amino Acids, Institute of Medicine, September 2002. USDA Nutrient database release 18, January 2005. Donald Layman, PhD, professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Rebecca Reeves, DrPH, RD, assistant professor, Behavioral Medicine Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine; president, American Dietetic Association. Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, spokesperson, American Dietetic Association; author, Diet Simple.
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