Protein is essential for tissue repair and immunity; however, you don’t need as much as you may think. Most people only need about 6 ounces of animal protein (or vegetarian substitute) per day. Caplan notes that consuming too much protein can lead to bone loss. Here are some great lean (low fat) protein options that you can include in your diet:
- Enjoy flank steak, chicken, or turkey on sandwiches and salads, but be sure to avoid deli meats that are high in sodium nitrates; these include bologna, salami, and ham.
- Enjoy fish for lunch or dinner. Fish is high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which help improve heart and brain functions.
- Add unprocessed cheese to salads and quesadillas, or simply enjoy it with fresh or dried fruit and nuts for a sweet and savory treat.
- Spread some olive oil or canola mayo (cold pressed) and spicy mustard and/or horseradish on your sandwiches to add some healthy fats into your diet.
- For some extra zing, add sliced avocado and roasted red peppers to your sandwiches. To increase your daily dose of antioxidants, you can also add a few spinach leaves.
- For a healthy lunch with an Asian flare, you can pack eight pieces of sushi or sashimi with some edamame and miso soup.
- Beans are also a great source of protein, particularly for vegans and vegetarians. Some tasty options include beans soups, Mexican entrées, or tofu dishes. For something quick and simple, you can toss a can of beans into a fresh green salad.