Superfood Tip: Vary your protein routine for better health | CraigDailyPress.com

Superfood Tip: Vary your protein routine for better health

Craig Press staff report

Eating healthy includes eating protein from a variety of sources.

Proteins function as building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. They are also building blocks for enzymes, hormones and vitamins. All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts and seeds are considered part of the protein foods group. According to choosemyplate.gov, it’s important to vary your protein routine by choosing different protein sources throughout the week. Following are five tips.

• Choose seafood twice per week: Eat seafood in place of meat or poultry twice per week. Select a variety of seafood — include some that are higher in oils and low in mercury, such as salmon, trout or herring.
• Make meat and poultry lean or low fat: Choose lean or low-fat cuts of meat, such as round or sirloin and ground beef that is at least 92-percent lean. Trim or drain fat from meat, and remove poultry skin.
• Have an egg: One egg per day, on average, doesn't increase risk for heart disease, so make eggs part of your weekly choices. Only the egg yolk contains saturated fat, so have as many egg whites as you want.
• Eat plant protein foods more often: Try beans and peas (kidney, pinto, black or white beans; split peas; chickpeas or hummus), soy products (tofu, tempeh, vegetable burgers), nuts and seeds. They are naturally low in saturated fat and high in fiber.
Nuts and seeds : Choose unsalted nuts or seeds as a snack, on salads or in main dishes to replace meat or poultry. Nuts and seeds are a concentrated source of calories, so eat small portions to keep calories in check.

We all need protein, but most Americans eat enough, and some eat more, than they need. How much is enough? Most people, age 9 and older should eat 5 to 7 ounces of protein foods each day. For more tips and information about healthy eating, visit choosemyplate.gov.