How to Increase Protein Intake in 14 Easy Steps

    how to increase protein intake

    Martin Alvarez

    Martin Alvarez
    Nutritionist/Dietitian Professional Guide

    Updated on 11/26/2022

    Your health depends on getting enough protein in your diet.

    Due to this reason, the Daily Value (DV) for protein for an average adult is 50 grams per day.

    Some researchers, however, believe that many people should be eating much more than this amount of food every day.

    Several health benefits are associated with a high protein intake, including the ability to increase weight loss, improve muscle growth, and improve overall health.

    The following are 14 easy ways how to increase protein intake.

    1. Make Sure You Eat Protein First

    Make Sure You Eat Protein First

     

    Whenever you eat a meal, it is essential to consume the protein source first, especially before you finish the starches in the feed.

    It has been shown that protein increases the production of the gut hormone peptide YY (PYY), which is responsible for making you feel full and satisfied.

    Furthermore, eating a high-protein diet decreases the level of ghrelin, the "hunger hormone," and increases the metabolism during and after eating and sleep. In addition to that, eating protein first is one of the best ways to prevent your blood sugar levels and insulin levels from rising too high after a meal.

    During one small study, people with type 2 diabetes were served identical meals on different days of the week. Compared to when the order was reversed, the rise in blood sugar and insulin was significantly lower when You had consumed protein and vegetables before high-carbohydrate foods were eaten, as compared to when the order was reversed.

    Summary

    Eating protein first at your meals can be beneficial to feel full and to prevent your blood sugar and insulin levels from rising too high.

    2. Cheese Makes a Great Snack

    Cheese is a good Snack

     

    Healthy snacks are, without a doubt, one of the best ways to get extra protein into your diet - as long as you ensure that your snack is nutritious.

    Snacks are external protein sources, including chips, pretzels, and crackers.

    It should be noted that a 1-cup (30-gram) serving of plain tortilla chips contains 142 calories, but it only has 2 grams of protein.

    Contrary to this, a serving size of cheddar cheese, 1 ounce (28 grams), contains 7 grams of protein, nearly 30 fewer calories, and six times as much calcium. Additionally, there is no evidence that cheese raises cholesterol levels much, even among people with high cholesterol levels. Several studies have suggested that cheese may even be beneficial to the health of your heart.

    Enjoy a cheese stick between meals, or pair your favorite cheese with whole grain crackers, tomatoes, or sliced apples for a healthy snack.

    Summary

    Choose cheese for a filling snack high in protein and calcium, which may improve heart health.

    3. Replace Cereal With Eggs

    Replace Cereal With Eggs

     

    Many breakfast foods, including toast, bagels, and cereals, are low in protein.

    Although oatmeal is more protein-rich than most cereals, it still only contains about 5 grams in a typical 1-cup (240-gram) serving, although it has more protein than most cereals.

    Alternatively, You can consume three large eggs daily to provide 19 grams of high-quality protein and essential nutrients like selenium and choline.

    It has also been shown that eating eggs for breakfast can reduce appetite and keep you full for several hours, so you end up eating fewer calories later in the day than if you eat them later in the morning.

    According to an older study, eating whole eggs may also benefit the size and shape of your LDL (bad) cholesterol particles in a way that may reduce your heart disease risk.

    Summary

    When you replace cereal with eggs, you can consume more protein, feel fuller, and eat fewer calories.

    4. Add Chopped Almonds to Your Food

     Add Chopped Almonds to Your Food

     

    In addition to their many health benefits, almonds have several other benefits.

    In addition to being high in magnesium, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, they are also relatively low in digestible carbohydrates.

    There are also 6 grams of protein in a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of almonds, making them an excellent source of protein compared to most other nuts.

    Even though a serving of almonds contains around 170 calories, studies have shown that the body only absorbs about 133 because some fat isn't digested.
    Sprinkle a few tablespoons of chopped almonds on top of your yogurt, cottage cheese, salads, or oatmeal to increase your protein intake and add flavor and crunch.

    Summary

    A meal or snack containing almonds can be a great addition to the protein content of any meal or snack, as almonds contain several nutrients.

    5. Greek Yogurt is The Best

    Greek Yogurt is The Best

     

    Greek yogurt is a versatile food that is high in protein and has a wide range of uses.

    Removing whey and other liquids from the yogurt produces a more affluent and creamier yogurt with higher protein content.

    A serving of 7 ounces (240 grams) contains 17–20 grams of protein, depending on which brand you choose. Compared to traditional yogurt, this type of yogurt has about twice as much protein as conventional yogurt does.
    The study found that Greek yogurt increases the release of the gut hormones glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and PYY, which are responsible for reducing hunger and making us feel full. Also, it contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid that has been shown to promote fat loss in some studies.

    In addition to having a tangy flavor that pairs well with berries or chopped fruit, Greek yogurt also has a great texture. Also, it can be used as a substitute for sour cream in dips, sauces, and other recipes that use sour cream.

    Summary

    The protein content of Greek yogurt is twice that of traditional yogurt, which can be eaten on its own or combined with other foods.

    6. Breakfast Should Include a Protein Shake

    Breakfast Should Include a Protein Shake


    There is no doubt that many smoothies contain a lot of fruit, vegetables, or juice but very little protein.

    There are, however, times when a shake or smoothie can be an excellent option for breakfast, especially if you choose nutritious ingredients.

    Using protein powders makes it easy to create a delicious, high-protein shake. Several types of protein are available on the market, such as whey, soy, egg, and pea.

    The whey protein powder is the most studied of all the protein powders and seems to have the edge over the others when it comes to helping you feel full.

    On average, one scoop of whey protein powder (28 grams) provides about 17 grams of protein, which is a fantastic amount.

    The Following is A Basic Recipe For Whey Shakes:

    Shake made with whey protein.

    • Unsweetened almond milk, 8 ounces (225 grams)
    • Whey powder, one scoop (28 grams)
    • Fresh berries (150 grams) in one cup

    If desired, use stevia or another healthy sweetener
    Crushed ice equals 1/2 cup (70 grams)
    In a blender, combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth.

    It is possible to boost the protein content even further by adding extra protein powder or peanut butter, almond butter, flaxseeds, or chia seeds to the recipe.

    Summary

    If you have a protein shake for breakfast, you will be able to start the day on the right foot. The best type of protein to use may be whey.

    7. Every Meal Should Include a high-Protein Food

    Every Meal Should Include a high-Protein Food

     

    The amount of protein you take in each day is not the only factor to consider when it comes to your protein intake. The importance of getting enough food at each meal cannot be overstated.

    Several researchers have recommended that people consume 20–30 grams of protein at each meal.

    Studies have shown that this amount of food promotes fullness and preserves muscle mass better than smaller amounts of food eaten throughout the day.
    Protein-rich foods include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, and soy products such as tofu and tempeh, which are all high in protein.

    To make sure that you meet your needs at every meal, you can also choose from this list of delicious high-protein foods to ensure you meet them.

    Summary

    Ensure you include high-protein food at every meal to maintain muscle mass and feel complete.

    8. You Should Choose Cuts of Meat That are Leaner and Slightly Larger

    Choose leaner, slightly larger cuts of meat

     

    It is possible to significantly boost the protein content of your meal by selecting leaner cuts of meat and increasing portions in a small way.

    As a bonus, your meal may even be lower in calories than before.

    Compare the nutritional values of three ounces (85 grams) of these two steaks:

    • T-bone steak: It has a protein content of 21 grams and a calorie count of 250
    • Sirloin steak: Approximately 150 calories and 26 grams of protein per serving

    Summary

    It is easy to increase your protein intake by choosing leaner cuts of meat and slightly more significant portions of the food you eat.

    9. Make Peanut Butter a Part of Your Diet

    Make Peanut Butter a Part of Your Diet

     

    The creamy texture of peanut butter makes it a delicious, high-protein food that pairs well with various other foods and ingredients.

    Several studies have suggested that peanut butter can be associated with an array of health benefits, including a reduction in appetite, an increase in fat burning, and a decrease in blood sugar levels.
    It is also possible to enhance the natural flavor and nutritional value of firm fruits such as apples and pears by adding peanut butter, which is rich in fiber and antioxidants but low in protein.

    If you spread two tablespoons (32 grams) of peanut butter on sliced fruit, then the total protein content of the fruit will be increased by 7 grams.

    A wide range of other ingredients pairs well with peanut butter, such as oatmeal, celery, whole wheat toast, or yogurt.

    Summary

    You can increase your protein intake by adding peanut butter to your diet. As well as reducing appetite, improving heart health, and lowering blood sugar levels, it has also been shown that this herb may also help to reduce the need for medications.

    10. Consume Lean jerky

    Consume Lean jerky

     

    A great way to increase the amount of protein in your diet is with lean jerky.

    Despite this, it is essential to choose a healthy type of coffee.

    It has been reported that many types of jerky contain sugar, preservatives, and other ingredients of questionable safety. There is also a tendency for them to be made from low-quality meat.

    Grass-fed beef, bison, and other free-range animals are some animals used to make jerky and snack sticks. The higher the amount of omega-3 fats in jerky made from grass-fed animals, the better the quality of meat and the higher the amount of healthy omega-3 fats in it.

    It is estimated that lean jerkies or snack sticks contain approximately 9 grams of protein per ounce (28 grams).

    In addition to storing them for several months without refrigeration, they can also be portable, making them ideal for travel.

    Summary

    There is no doubt that lean jerkies and snack sticks are good protein sources when; you choose high-quality types from grass-fed animals whenever possible.

    11. Cottage Cheese Can be Enjoyed at Any Time

    Cottage Cheese Can be Enjoyed at Any Time

     

    In addition to being a tasty food, cottage cheese is also a very high source of protein. In a 1-cup (210-gram) serving of this product, you will find 23 grams of protein and 176 calories.

    According to a study conducted in 2015, cottage cheese is as filling and satisfying as eggs.

    It is also worth mentioning that complete fat varieties are a good source of CLA, which can promote fat loss and improve body composition.

    In one older study, women were followed for some time while eating a high protein, high dairy diet while exercising and reducing their calorie intake. There is no doubt that they lost more belly fat and gained more muscle mass as compared to women with moderate intakes of protein and dairy products.

    There is nothing better than cottage cheese on its own. This recipe can also be made with chopped nuts and seeds, cinnamon, and stevia for a quick and easy breakfast.

    A smaller amount of cottage cheese makes a great snack between meals. In addition, You can also add cottage cheese to fruit salads and smoothies to boost their protein content.

    Summary

    In addition to being a versatile and high-protein food, cottage cheese can also help improve your body composition as it makes you feel full.

    12. Eat Edamame

    Eat Edamame

     

    There is a term called edamame that refers to unripened soybeans that have been steamed.

    Vegetarians and vegans often eat soybeans because they have a high protein content compared to other legumes, so they are popular among vegetarians and vegans. Vegetarians and vegans often eat soybeans because they have a high protein content compared to other legumes, so they are also popular among vegetarians and vegans.

    There are almost 19 grams of protein and about 188 calories in a cup of edamame (155 grams).

    There is also a high concentration of an antioxidant known as kaempferol in edamame. Researchers have found that it may reduce blood sugar levels and aid in weight loss in mice.

    It is possible to purchase fresh or frozen edamame, which makes a great snack to enjoy on the go. In addition, it can also be used as an ingredient in stir-fries, salads, stews, and rice dishes.

    Summary

    Besides being a good plant protein source, edamame may offer several other health benefits.

    13. Canned Fish Is Healthy

    You Can Eat Canned Fish

     

    Adding canned fish to your diet is a fantastic way to increase the amount of protein you consume.

    It does not need to be refrigerated, so it is an excellent choice for travel. As a snack or a part of a meal, it can also be enjoyed as a healthy option.

    In a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of canned fish, there are about 19 grams of protein and only 90 calories.

    There is also no doubt that fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, and mackerel are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help fight inflammation and improve the health of your heart.

    It is possible to serve canned fish in various ways, including combining it with healthy mayonnaise, adding it to salads, eating it straight from the can, or mixing it into an omelet, croquette, or pasta dish.

    Summary

    It is a convenient source of high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids that can be derived from canned fish.

    14. Eat More Whole grains

    Eat More Whole grains

     

    It is well known that whole grains contain many essential nutrients, such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

    In addition to that, they could also help you increase your protein intake as well.

    An example of this is a 1-cup (185-gram) serving of cooked quinoa that contains 8 grams of protein, whereas a 1-cup (246-gram) serving of cooked amaranth contains over 9 grams of protein per cup (246 grams).

    White rice, for example, contains only 4 grams of protein per cooked cup (158 grams).

    Buckwheat, couscous, wild rice, millet, and teff are also examples of whole grains that are rich in protein.

    Instead of refined grains, you can substitute this type of grain in recipes such as pilafs, stir-fries, and grain salads.

    Summary

    In addition to being highly nutritious, whole grains can boost the protein content of several dishes when used in place of refined grains.

    The Bottom line

    The Bottom line

     

    The importance of getting enough protein in your diet cannot be overstated.

    Protein can have several benefits for your health, including the ability to help you lose weight, gain muscle, improve your body composition, and help you maintain a healthy metabolism.

    The above tips will give you a way how to increase protein intake as long as you follow them.

    Frequently Asked Questions