Choose Lean Sources of Protein
Meat, poultry, seafood, dry beans or peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the protein foods group. These tips will help you choose the leanest protein.
Start with a lean choice:
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts and turkey cutlets are the leanest poultry choices.
- Select leaner cuts of ground beef (label says 90% lean or higher), turkey breast, or chicken breast.
- Drain off fat during cooking.
- Choose lean turkey, roast beef, ham, or low-fat lunch meats for sandwiches. Ask for lower-sodium products.
Keep it lean:
- Trim away all of the visible fat from meats and poultry before cooking.
- Broil, grill, roast, poach, or boil meat, poultry, or seafood instead of frying.
- Choose and prepare foods without high-fat sauces or gravies.
Switch up your protein choices:
- Choose seafood more often as the protein on your plate, especially salmon, trout, and herring, which include omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your heart.
- Include beans or peas in main dishes such as chili, stews, casseroles, salads, tacos, enchiladas, and burritos.
- For lunch, pack a hard-cooked egg, peanut butter on whole-wheat bread, or rice and beans.
- Choose unsalted nuts as a snack, on salads, or in main dishes. As a source of protein and healthy fats, nuts can replace some of the meat or poultry in your diet.