High Protein Diet Foods – A Key Ingredient for Reducing Weight

High protein diet foods have a proven track record and can help you lose weight more efficiently. Protein is one of the basic building blocks of the human body. (Around 16 percent of your total body weight.)

It plays a major role in all of the cells and most of the fluids found in your body. In addition, many of your bodies' important chemicals, (enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and even DNA), are at least partially made up of protein. Your muscle, hair, skin, and connective tissue are also composed largely from protein molecules.

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Proteins are made up of smaller units called amino acids. Your body cannot manufacture nine amino acids, so it is important to include all them in your diet. Animal proteins such as meat, eggs, and dairy products include all the amino acids, and many plants have some of them. Although your body is good at recycling protein, it uses up protein constantly so it has to be continually replaced.

Your Protein Requirements

Your protein requirements depend on your age, size, and activity level. The standard method used by nutritionists to estimate your minimum daily protein requirement is to multiply your body weight in kilograms by .8, or weight in pounds by .37.

The number you get is the minimum number of protein grams that your body requires to function properly. Using this method for example, a person weighing 150 pounds should get 55 grams of protein per day, a 200 pound person should get 74 grams, and a 250 pound person, should get 92 grams.

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Benefits of High Protein Diet Foods in Weight Loss

Scientists now believe they know why protein rich diets, such as the Atkins diet, curb hunger pangs. High protein diet foods spark glucose production in the small intestine, which satiates hunger and makes you feel full. (satiety) Researchers concluded that the findings may help development of new treatments for eating disorders, such as bulimia and anorexia.

Researchers found that feeding rats high protein diet foods significantly increased the activity of genes involved in glucose production in the rat's small intestine. This action, led to increased glucose production, (recognized by the liver then relayed to the brain), which caused the animals to cut down their food consumption.

In simple terms, eating high protein diet foods suppresses your appetite, which helps you eat less food. Some evidence also suggest that diets higher in protein increase fat loss as compared to diets lower in protein.

High protein diet foods improve body composition, enhance weight loss, and improve glucose and insulin homeostasis. (balance) Proteins should be selected carefully however, as many high-protein foods are also high in fat. (Steak, bacon, sausage.) If you modify your diet to include more high protein diet foods, you should also include some plant protein food sources, such as soy, beans, and pulses, which they are naturally low in fat. Good sources of animal proteins are baked or broiled fish and chicken. They are low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids. Fried chicken and fish are awfully good to eat, but are high in the kinds of fat you want to avoid and are not considered good sources of high protein diet foods.

A good protein rich diet is required for optimum health as your muscles, (which constitute about 40-50 percent of the body mass), are mostly composed of it.

Amino acids supplied from dietary protein are needed for synthesis of body proteins in muscle, organs, bone and skin, and for synthesis of enzymes, certain hormones, antibodies and a host of specialized products. Certain amino acids are essential for proper functioning of the body and the brain, such as Tryptophan found in corn and turkey.

Various specific proteins, (produced as a result of gene expression), carry out all general functioning of the body. That is, the genetic pool of the human body that is composed of DNA and its associated genes give rise to specific proteins that carry out very specific functions. Deficiencies in protein of one or more of the essential amino acids can lead to reduced growth in children or loss of muscle mass in adults. In summary:

  • Higher protein diets have been associated with lower blood pressure and reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

  • The exchange of protein for carbohydrates has been shown to improve blood lipids.

  • Higher protein diets facilitate significant weight loss when compared to a lower protein diet.

  • Evidence suggests that protein exerts an increased thermic effect when compared to fats and carbohydrates.

  • High protein diet foods increase satiety when compared to lower protein diet foods.

    List of High Protein Diet Foods

    FOOD             AMOUNT          PROTEIN
    Hamburger patty  4 oz 	        28 grams
    Steak	         6 oz 	        42 grams
    Beef cuts        1 oz           7 grams per ounce
    Chicken breast	 3.5 oz 	30 grams
    Chicken thigh 	 1		10 grams 
    Drumstick        1		11 grams
    Wing		 1 		6 grams
    Chicken, cooked	 4 oz 		35 grams 
    Pork chop	average 	22 grams
    Pork loin	4 oz 		29 grams
    Ham		3 oz serving 	19 grams
    Ground pork	1 oz raw	5 grams
                    3 oz cooked 	22 grams
    Bacon	        1 slice 	3 grams
    Canadian bacon  1 slice 	5 – 6 grams
    Eggs and Dairy
    Egg		large 	        6 grams
    Milk		1 cup 	        8 grams
    Cottage cheese	1/2 cup 	15 grams
    Yogurt		1 cup 	        8-12 grams, (check labels)
    Soft cheeses (Mozzarella, Brie, Camembert) 
                                    6 grams per oz.
    Medium cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss)
                                    7 - 8 grams per oz.
    Hard cheeses (Parmesan) 
                                    10 grams per oz.
    Beans (including soy)
    Tofu (soft)	1/2 cup 	 20 grams
    Tofu (hard)	1 oz		 2.3 grams
    Soy milk	1 cup 		 6 - 10 grams
    Most beans 	1/2 cup cooked   7 - 10 grams	
    Soy beans	1/2 cup cooked 	 14 grams
    Split peas	1/2 cup cooked   8 grams
    Nuts and Seeds
    Peanut butter	2 Tablespoons     8 grams
    Almonds		1/4 cup		  8 grams
    Peanuts		1/4 cup 	  9 grams
    Cashews		1/4 cup		  5 grams
    Pecans		1/4 cup 	  2.5 grams
    Sunflower seeds	1/4 cup 	  6 grams
    Pumpkin seeds	1/4 cup 	  8 grams
    Flax seeds 	1/4 cup 	  8 grams


    Most fish fillets or steaks are about 22 grams of protein for 3 1/2 oz (100 grams) of cooked fish, or 6 grams per ounce of Tuna, 6 oz can - 40 grams of protein.

    You can also get high proteins from protein bars and shakes, and products that are 100 percent pure whey isolate.

    The National Academy of Sciences report that the only known danger from high protein diet foods, is for individuals with kidney disease. After careful study, they recommend that no more than 10 percent to 35 percent of daily calories come from protein. They also point out that increased protein could be helpful in treating obesity. There is also accumulating evidence that consuming extra protein may help prevent Osteoporosis.

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    The evidence is clear. High protein diet foods can help lower your weight and extend life expectancy. Carbohydrates are also important however, if you're used to exercising a lot. The key is to use good common sense when you're trying to lose weight. Consuming more low fat protein is a good place to start!

    Related Pages on This Site

    Eating a Balanced Diet Decreases Weight and Increases Energy

    Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan – An Ideal Way to Lose the Fat

    Healthy Low Fat Diet to Ditch the Pudge

    Low Carb Foods Diet Facts – Sorting Through the Confusion!

    Keeping Weight Off - Easy Tips to Stay Slim

    Portion Size – Pay Attention to Lose Weight

    How to Keep Slim During the Holidays


    High Protein Diet - Separating Fact from Fiction

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