Image credit: Betty Crocker Recipes
Before giving you a list of best sources of protein you need to understand that eating complete protein is far more important than eating incomplete protein. First of all, let me differentiate between the two. Previously, in how much protein per day article, I have explained what proteins are and how they are built from two types of amino acids: essential (can’t be produced by our own body and must be taken in through food and supplements) and non-essential (can be produced in the body). Complete proteins are built from both of those. Incomplete proteins on the other hand don’t have all the essential amino acids and are therefore considered to be of lower biological value which reflects poorly on muscle building.
Most of the foods that contain complete protein structures are derived from animal sources. Therefore if you were wondering how to build muscle, eating a lot of animal proteins is the way to go, which includes: meat (chicken, turkey, beef, pork, and lamb), fish, dairy products, eggs, etc. This can be a problem for vegetarians and vegans since they don’t eat animal foods. But there are vegetarian protein sources that can be used as an adequate substitute.
Best Sources of Protein
- Poultry (Chicken, turkey).
- Fish (Fresh tuna or canned in olive oil or water, salmon, mackerel).
- Meat (Beef, veal, pork, lamb).
- Dairy (Low fat milk, whey powder, cottage cheese, low fat yogurt).
- Eggs (Egg white boiled or powder, yolk 1/day at most).
It would be best to vary sources from which you are getting your proteins. Besides ensuring intake of all crucial amino acids this is also important for getting necessary range of vitamins and minerals, which are especially present in plant foods. While rich in protein you should also select foods that are low in fat.