Protein is a macronutrient needed by our bodies, which is why, as a Hy-Vee dietitian, I am always educating my customers on how to incorporate lean sources of protein into all their meals and snacks.
Protein provides us calories for energy and also provides amino acids that assist in building and preserving body muscle and tissue, such as skin and hair. Protein also makes up enzymes and hormones that regulate body functions, as well as antibodies which ward off sickness. Protein is found in a variety of animal and plant foods, including pork, beef, seafood, poultry, eggs, milk and milk products, nuts, seeds and soy products.
The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that we go lean with our protein choices for weight management and heart health.
What does it mean to be lean? Lean cuts of meat have less fat, particularly saturated fat. Saturated fats raise the unhealthy cholesterol levels (LDL) in our blood, which can lead to heart disease. Is the protein on your plate lean? Hy-Vee’s NuVal system can help you get the healthiest protein foods in your homes. With NuVal, the higher the score, the better the nutrition of the food. Compare similar protein foods and pick the product with the highest score to get the healthiest protein on your plate. Remember,
incorporating protein is a good way to keep hunger at bay throughout the day; take control with lean protein today!