6 Ways to Sneak More Protein into Your Meals

Substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise or sour cream.

Mayonnaise is great for adding a
creamy tang to sandwiches and dips, and some people think a baked potato is incomplete without a dollop of sour cream, but when it comes to nutrition, both of these condiments are high in fat. While there’s nothing wrong with adding a little mayo or sour cream to your meal every now and then, if you’re making a dish that requires a lot of either or you’re eating these condiments on a daily basis, why not try swapping them for Greek yogurt? Greek yogurt has a more complete nutritional profile, including more protein and less fat, than mayo or sour cream. To compare: A half cup of low fat Greek yogurt contains 12.6g of protein and 5g of fat, while the same amount of low-fat sour cream contains 8g of protein and 8g of fat and the same amount of low fat mayonnaise contains 32g of fat and less than 1g of protein. You will be surprised how easily Greek yogurt can work in any recipe in place of mayo or sour cream, and we’ve included two recipes, a French onion dip (below) and a coleslaw (page 16), that showcase how simple this swap can be.

Bean pasta.

Mix it up and swap out your regular pasta for a pasta made from beans to add extra fiber and protein to your diet. Pasta options include black bean, mung bean, edamame, red lentil, green lentil, and chickpea, and the pastas come in all shapes and sizes. Popular brands of bean pasta include Explore Cuisine and Banza. While whole grain pasta is a healthy choice, the nutritional profile of bean pasta superior in protein content and is ideal for individuals who cannot eat gluten. To compare: one serving (2oz) of a common whole grain spaghetti contains 180 calories, 7g of fiber, and 8g of protein; the same amount of black bean spaghetti contains 180 calories, 11g of fiber, and 25g of protein.

Swap rice for quinoa, spelt, teff, or amaranth.

Brown rice is simple to make, nutritious, and can be used in endless dishes, but expanding your repertoire of grains will help add extra protein and fiber to your meals. To compare: One cup of brown rice contains 5.5g of protein and 3.2g of fiber; teff contains 9g of protein and 5.5g of fiber; quinoa contains 8g of protein and 5.2g of fiber; spelt contains 7.8g of fiber and 10.6g of protein; and amaranth contains 4.7g of fiber and 9.4g of protein.

Give your desserts a protein boost.

Human innovation is amazing: we’ve flown to outer space, created vaccines for devastating global illnesses…and crafted guilt-free desserts made from beans. If you’re interested, check out the two recipes that we’ve included for healthy brownies and cookie dough (page 16).

Sprinkle some seeds.

Seeds, like hemp or chia, can be easily sprinkled atop many of your meals for a sneaky protein boost that doesn’t add any strong or unwanted flavors. Sprinkle two tablespoons of hulled hemp seeds onto a salad for an added six grams of protein or throw two tablespoons of chia seeds on top of your morning oatmeal for an extra three grams. It adds up!

Peas, please!

This unassuming and relatively inexpensive starchy vegetable can be mixed into pasta or grain dishes to add volume, greenery, and yes, protein. A single cup of boiled peas contains 8g of protein.

SOURCE: All nutrition facts were sourced from NHR

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