Are you getting enough protein?
People lose muscle mass as we age unless we engage in strength training to prevent it. We also have to make sure we’re ingesting enough protein, the building block of muscle, to maintain our strength. Without strength, we are more prone to lose balance, fall, and lose functional ability. Plus experts say that younger people typically need 0.8 grams of protein per body weight to keep what they have. But older people need 1.2g.
The best protein has all the essential amino acids and is largely animal based, like meat, fish, poultry, eggs, soy, beans and legumes. Make sure you’re getting plenty of these regularly as part of your balanced diet. Inside, you’ll find protein-packed snacks and entrees to make it a pleasure to get enough protein.
Switch to These Snacks
Nibble on these instead of candy or high-carb junk food to keep your protein intake up where it belongs.
• Peanuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds
• Cottage cheese
• Broccoli, peas, chickpeas, asparagus
• Greek yogurt
• String cheese
• Hard-boiled eggs
Make this lean and delicious recipe with ground turkey or chicken. The mix can also be shaped into 30 meatballs; bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning the meatballs once. Serves 8. From Whole Foods.
• 1 yellow onion, quartered
• 4 cloves garlic
• 1 large carrot, quartered
• 1 stalk celery, quartered
• 2 1/2 cup baby spinach
• 1 tablespoon chia seeds, soaked in 1/4 cup water for 15 minutes
• 1 1/2 pound ground lean turkey or chicken
• 1 1/4 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
• 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup no-sugar-added ketchup or barbecue sauce
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine onion and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a large skillet. Combine carrot and celery in the processor and pulse until chopped. Add spinach and pulse a few times more. Add to the skillet. Set the skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring, until vegetables release their liquid. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until liquid evaporates and vegetables begin to brown, about 8 minutes; add water 1 tablespoon at a time if needed to prevent vegetables from sticking.
- Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly.
- Add chia seeds, ground meat, quinoa, soy sauce and pepper to the bowl and mix gently with your hands. Scrape mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and form into a loaf about 4 inches wide and 10 inches long; dampen your hands if the mixture is very sticky. Spread top of loaf with ketchup (I like Primal Kitchen Keto Ketchup for this). Bake until cooked through and browned, about 40 minutes.
- Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing.
Per Serving: 170 calories (30 from fat), 3.5g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 80mg cholesterol, 360mg sodium, 13g carbohydrates, (2g dietary fiber, 3g sugar), 21g protein.
Jicama Salad with Shrimp
In Mexico, thinly-sliced jicama sprinkled with fresh lime juice and salt, makes a quick, crisp, finger-food snack, and a great inspiration for salad. Marinated with south-of-the-border flavors, jicama, cucumber and bell pepper, tossed with shrimp transforms into a colorful, nutrient-rich main dish salad. From the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
- 1 small jicama (about ¾ pound), peeled, cut in 2-inch matchsticks
- 1 small unwaxed cucumber, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, thinly sliced
- ½ medium red bell pepper, seeds removed, cut in 2-inch matchsticks
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup finely-chopped fresh cilantro or parsley leaves
- 1½ pound large or jumbo shrimp, steamed, peeled (deveined, if desired)
- 8 cups shredded leaf lettuce
- Lime wedges, for garnish
- Juice from 2 limes
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon lime peel, grated
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup canola oil
Before you begin: Wash your hands.
- Combine the jicama, cucumber, bell pepper, onion and cilantro or parsley in a medium bowl; gently mix. Add the shrimp.
- To make the dressing, combine the lime juice, honey, lime peel, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt in a small bowl; mix together. Add the oil; whisk well to blend the ingredients.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetable-shrimp mixture; toss gently to coat the ingredients.
- Cover. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours to marinate and blend the flavors.
- Arrange the salad over lettuce. Garnish with lime wedges.
Calories: 260; Calories from fat: 100; Total fat: 11g; Saturated fat: 1g; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol:170mg; Sodium: 200mg; Total carbohydrate: 16g; Dietary fiber: 5g; Sugars: 7g; Protein: 25g
Chili Bean and Bulgur Burgers
Don't let these veggie burgers fool you: They may look like fried-chicken sandwiches, but they're actually packed with plant protein, fiber and flavor. Try the simple broiler method for cooking the patties. A light coating of cooking spray makes the outside come out nice and crunchy. From the Food Network.
- 1/2 cup whole-kernel bulgur wheat
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Large pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- Kosher salt
- One 15-ounce can reduced-sodium kidney beans, rinsed
- 1/3 cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese, plus more for sprinkling, optional
- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 2 scallions, sliced
- Cooking spray
- 1 ripe avocado
- 4 Lite, whole-wheat English muffins, split
- 1 cup sprouts, such as broccoli or alfalfa
- Bring the bulgur and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Strain, and let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and cayenne, and whisk until the oil is yellow and the spices are fragrant, about 45 seconds. Let the chili oil cool to room temperature.
- Whisk together the sour cream, lime zest and juice, a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Position an oven rack at the top of the oven, and preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil. Mash the beans, cooked bulgur, cheese, breadcrumbs, scallions, chili oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt with a potato masher in a large bowl until the mixture is well combined and holds together when squeezed. Form into 4 uniform patties about 3/4 inch thick.
- Arrange the patties on the prepared baking sheet, and generously coat each with cooking spray. Broil until a golden-brown crust forms, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the broiler, flip each patty with a metal spatula and coat the tops with cooking spray. Broil until the tops are golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes more.
- Halve, pit and slice the avocado. Put each patty on a muffin bottom and sprinkle with
additional cheese if using; top with some sour cream-lime sauce, avocados and sprouts, and sandwich with the muffin top.
470 calories, 19g fat, 62g carbohydrates, 16g fiber, 15g cholesterol, 320mg sodium, 17g protein, 9g sugar
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