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14 Easy Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake: Simple Tips for a Healthier You

by Sarbjeet Singh 11 Jul 2023
14 Easy Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake: Simple Tips for a Healthier You

14 Easy Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake


A high protein diet is known to offer numerous health benefits, including weight loss, muscle growth, and improved overall health. While the recommended Daily Value (DV) for protein is 50 grams per day, some researchers believe that many people should consume significantly more. Increasing your protein intake doesn't have to be complicated or overwhelming. With a few simple changes to your diet, you can easily boost your protein consumption and reap the benefits. In this article, we will explore 14 easy ways to increase your protein intake and improve your health.

10 Things That Will Help You To Increase Your Protein Intake! | IWMBuzz

  1. Eat your protein first

When sitting down for a meal, make it a habit to eat the protein source first before consuming starches or carbohydrates. Eating protein first has several advantages. It increases the production of peptide YY (PYY), a gut hormone that promotes the feeling of fullness and satisfaction. Additionally, a high protein intake decreases levels of ghrelin, the "hunger hormone," and increases metabolic rate after eating and during sleep. Eating protein first can also help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. Research shows that consuming protein and vegetables before high-carb foods leads to lower blood sugar and insulin responses compared to the reverse order. By eating protein first, you'll feel fuller, maintain stable blood sugar levels, and support your overall health.

  1. Snack on cheese

Snacking can be an opportunity to increase your protein intake. However, many common snack foods like chips, pretzels, and crackers are low in protein. Instead of reaching for these options, choose cheese as a satisfying and protein-rich snack. For example, a 1-ounce serving of cheddar cheese contains 7 grams of protein and fewer calories compared to a 1-cup serving of plain tortilla chips, which only provides 2 grams of protein. Cheese also offers additional health benefits, such as being a good source of calcium and potentially benefiting heart health. Enjoy a cheese stick between meals or pair your favorite cheese with whole grain crackers, tomatoes, or sliced apples for a healthy and filling snack.

  1. Replace cereal with eggs

Many breakfast foods, such as toast, bagels, and cereals, are low in protein. To increase your protein intake at breakfast, consider replacing cereal with eggs. Three large eggs provide 19 grams of high-quality protein, along with essential nutrients like selenium and choline. Numerous studies have shown that eating eggs for breakfast reduces appetite and keeps you feeling full for longer, leading to reduced calorie intake throughout the day. Moreover, eating whole eggs may positively affect LDL (bad) cholesterol particles, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease. By swapping cereal for eggs, you'll boost your protein consumption, feel more satisfied, and consume fewer calories.

  1. Top your food with chopped almonds

Almonds are not only delicious but also highly nutritious. They are rich in magnesium, fiber, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and protein. In a 1-ounce serving, almonds provide 6 grams of protein, making them one of the best nut sources of protein. Despite their calorie content, the body absorbs fewer calories from almonds due to their high fiber and fat content. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of chopped almonds over yogurt, cottage cheese, salads, or oatmeal to increase your protein intake and add a pleasant crunch and flavor to your meals. Almonds are a versatile and convenient option for boosting protein content.

  1. Choose Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is an excellent choice for increasing your protein intake. Compared to traditional yogurt, Greek yogurt undergoes a straining process that removes whey and other liquids, resulting in a thicker and creamier yogurt with a higher protein content. A 7-ounce serving of Greek yogurt provides 17-20 grams of protein, approximately twice the amount found in traditional yogurt. Greek yogurt also stimulates the release of gut hormones that reduce hunger and increase the feeling of fullness. Additionally, it contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been associated with fat loss. Enjoy Greek yogurt alone or use it as a substitute for sour cream in various recipes, such as dips and sauces.

  1. Have a protein shake for breakfast

Breakfast smoothies and shakes can be an easy way to boost your protein intake, provided you choose the right ingredients. Many smoothies are high in fruits, vegetables, or juice but lack sufficient protein. To make a protein-packed shake, use protein powder as a base. Whey protein powder is the most studied type and has been shown to increase feelings of fullness. It typically provides around 17 grams of protein per scoop. Combine unsweetened almond milk, whey protein powder, fresh berries, a healthy sweetener if desired, and crushed ice in a blender. For an additional protein boost, add peanut butter, almond butter, flaxseeds, or chia seeds. Starting your day with a protein shake ensures you kickstart your morning with a substantial protein intake.

  1. Include a high protein food with every meal

While meeting your daily protein requirements is crucial, it's equally important to distribute your protein intake evenly throughout the day. Including a high protein food with every meal is a practical approach to ensure you're getting enough protein at each sitting. Researchers recommend consuming a minimum of 20-30 grams of protein per meal. Studies indicate that this amount promotes satiety and helps preserve muscle mass better than consuming smaller protein portions throughout the day. High protein food options include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, and soy products like tofu or tempeh. By incorporating protein-rich foods into each meal, you'll feel fuller and support muscle maintenance and growth.

  1. Choose leaner, slightly larger cuts of meat

Choosing lean cuts of meat and slightly increasing portion sizes can significantly boost your protein intake while keeping calories in check. For instance, compare the nutritional value of a 3-ounce serving of T-bone steak (21 grams of protein, 250 calories) to a 3-ounce serving of sirloin steak (26 grams of protein, 150 calories). Opting for leaner cuts of meat not only increases your protein consumption but also reduces calorie intake. Lean cuts of meat include skinless poultry, fish, and cuts labeled "loin" or "round." By making these choices and adjusting portion sizes, you can enjoy delicious meat dishes while maximizing your protein intake.

  1. Add peanut butter to your diet

Peanut butter is a tasty and versatile food that can easily enhance your protein intake. Studies suggest that peanut butter may have various health benefits, including appetite reduction, increased fat burning, and improved blood sugar control. By adding 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (32 grams) to sliced fruits like apples or pears, you can increase your protein intake by 7 grams. Peanut butter can also be enjoyed with other ingredients such as oatmeal, celery, whole wheat toast, or yogurt. Incorporating peanut butter into your diet not only boosts your protein consumption but also adds flavor and texture to your meals and snacks.

  1. Eat lean jerky

Lean jerky is a convenient and portable snack option that can help you increase your protein intake. However, it's important to choose high-quality and healthy types of jerky. Many commercially available jerkies contain added sugar, preservatives, and low-quality meat. Opt for jerky made from grass-fed beef, bison, or other free-range animals whenever possible. These types of jerkies provide better quality meat and higher amounts of healthy omega-3 fats. On average, lean jerkies contain about 9 grams of protein per ounce (28 grams). They can be stored without refrigeration for several months, making them ideal for on-the-go protein consumption.

  1. Indulge in cottage cheese at any time

Cottage cheese is a delicious and protein-packed food that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. A 1-cup serving of cottage cheese provides 23 grams of protein and 176 calories. It has been found to be as filling and satisfying as eggs, making it an excellent option for satiety. Full-fat varieties of cottage cheese also contain conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which may promote fat loss and improve body composition. Incorporate cottage cheese into your breakfast by adding chopped nuts or seeds, cinnamon, and a natural sweetener like stevia. Smaller portions of cottage cheese can be consumed as a snack or added to fruit salads or smoothies for an extra protein boost.

  1. Munch on edamame

Edamame refers to steamed soybeans in their unripened form and is a popular choice among vegetarians and vegans due to its high protein content. One cup of edamame (155 grams) contains almost 19 grams of protein and approximately 188 calories. Edamame is also rich in kaempferol, an antioxidant that may aid in reducing blood sugar levels and supporting weight loss. You can enjoy edamame as a snack, add it to stir-fries, salads, stews, or rice dishes to boost their protein content. Its versatility and nutrient profile make edamame a great addition to your protein-rich diet.

  1. Eat canned fish

Canned fish is a fantastic option for increasing your protein intake, especially when convenience is a priority. Canned fish requires no refrigeration, making it suitable for travel or as a snack. A 3.5-ounce serving of canned fish provides approximately 19 grams of protein and just 90 calories. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, herring, and mackerel are also excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and promote heart health. Canned fish can be enjoyed straight from the can, combined with healthy mayo, served on top of salads, or added to various dishes like omelets, croquettes, or pasta. Including canned fish in your diet is a convenient way to meet your protein needs.

  1. Enjoy more whole grains

Whole grains are not only rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants but can also contribute to your protein intake. Compared to refined grains like white rice, whole grains offer a higher protein content. For instance, 1 cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein, while cooked amaranth provides over 9 grams per cup. By swapping refined grains with whole grains in recipes like pilafs, stir-fries, and grain salads, you can increase the protein content of your meals. Some examples of protein-rich whole grains include buckwheat, couscous, wild rice, millet, and teff. Incorporating whole grains into your diet not only boosts protein intake but also provides numerous other health benefits.


Increasing your protein intake doesn't have to be difficult or overwhelming. By implementing these 14 easy strategies, you can effortlessly boost your protein consumption and enjoy the associated health benefits. Whether it's starting your meals with protein, snacking on cheese and almonds, replacing cereal with eggs, incorporating Greek yogurt and cottage cheese into your diet, or choosing lean meats, there are plenty of options to suit your preferences and dietary needs. By making these simple changes, you'll be on your way to achieving a higher protein intake, promoting weight loss, muscle growth, and overall improved health.

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