Bump up the protein
You’ve heard it: if you want to trim down, you’ve got to dial up on protein. And while some recent diet trends put the emphasis on any protein – including those that are high in fat (including saturated fat) – there are certain protein foods that are leaner, and healthier for you, than others.
As a registered dietitian, I suggest it’s those lean-and-clean proteins that are the ones you really want to work into your diet if you’re trying to lose weight. Bumping up the lean protein in your diet has been linked to long-term weight loss since it keeps you full and satisfied without packing on kilojoules. In fact, a 2015 review in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests higher protein diets may help people manage their weight.
Here’s a list of the best (and healthiest!) proteins to eat for weight loss.
Canned tuna has 22 grams of protein and just under 420 kilojoules per 85 gram serving. That makes tuna 94 per cent protein, with the remaining six per cent of kilojoules coming from fat –namely heart-healthy omega-3s, which have been associated with weight loss. In addition to being one of the healthiest high-protein foods, tuna is rich in vitamins and minerals like niacin, selenium, and vitamin B12.
Canned tuna is also versatile – mix it with a little Greek yoghurt, avocado, or hummus with fresh herbs, then spoon it into a whole wheat pita or lettuce boats with plenty of fresh veggies to round out your meal with flavour and filling fibre. Look for canned tuna brands that are sustainably caught.
Chicken breast is a top entry for a protein-rich diet. It’s about 90 per-cent protein, providing 20 grams of protein and only one gram of fat per 85-gram serving.
Keep a couple of seasoning blends on hand to keep your chicken breasts from getting boring – like chilli powder and cumin for a Mexican-inspired meal, or rosemary and garlic for an Italian take.