Whether your son's trying to bulk up for football or your daughter has decided to reduce her carbs, it might be time to try a high-protein diet with your family. High-protein diets are often thought of as being packed with rich fatty foods like steak, cheese and bacon. But protein is actually found in some of the world's healthiest foods, many of which are low in fat. Once you know how many options there are, it's not hard to create simple and satisfying meals that are rich in protein and low in fat.
Eggs provide a quick and easy way to get a dose of protein, and are a low-fat alternative to meat. Much of an egg's protein is found in the low-fat white, so cooking up a mixture of whole eggs and egg whites can help you lower the fat content of the meal without sacrificing protein. Add black beans to your omelet for an extra dose of protein, and toss in diced tomatoes and bell peppers for color and flavor without any added fat.
Fish and Quinoa
Seafood is a great source of lean protein, and many types are low in fat with protein levels comparable to meat. Choose low-fat fish like cod, flounder, trout or tuna, and bake or grill the fish to add little or no fat. Serve your fish with quinoa, which is a protein-rich alternative to traditional side dishes like rice or pasta. Quinoa contains 8 grams of protein per cup, and just 3.5 grams of fat, with zero saturated fat. Round out the meal with a protein-rich vegetable such as peas or a baked potato with the skin left on, or try a spinach salad with fat-free ranch dressing.
A bowl of chili with turkey, beans and vegetables is brimming with protein, and choosing lean ground turkey cuts the fat content significantly. Just throw browned turkey, black beans, kidney beans, chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and your favorite vegetables into a large pot, season with chili powder or Mexican spices and let simmer until thick and rich.
Canned tuna is ideal for putting together a protein-packed meal when you have no time to cook. Mix drained tuna with diced onions, celery and fat-free Greek yogurt, which is creamy like mayo but rich in protein. Place the mixture on a whole-wheat wrap with spinach or other leafy greens and roll tightly. Serve your tuna wrap with a side of reduced-fat string cheese and a cup of blackberries.
Chicken and Bean Burrito
White-meat poultry is an easy-to-prepare source of lean protein, but many people quickly get bored eating chicken breasts night after night. Add rich flavor to your chicken meals by seasoning shredded chicken with cumin, chili powder and chipotle powder, then sauteing with black beans, salsa, cooked brown rice and onions. Add a sprinkle of low-fat sharp cheddar or jack cheese, then wrap the filling in a warmed whole-wheat tortilla.