Protein is considered to be an essential nutrient required for growth and repair of cells, and when it comes to weight loss, it is considered an indispensable nutrient because it keeps you full for longer, boosts metabolism, curbs appetite, maintains lean muscle mass, and most importantly, is needed for the synthesis of fat-burning hormones. On an average, women need up to 50 gm of protein per day and men require up to 60 gm per day (it also varies depending upon body weight of a person). So, if weight loss is on your agenda or if you want to build muscles, getting adequate protein through diet should be given utmost importance. One easy way to get adequate protein is by having protein powders, but let’s admit it, protein powders and supplements do not come cheap and can burn a hole in the pocket if you are on a budget. So, for people who want to lose weight, please check out good sources of inexpensive protein on the Rati Beauty Weight Loss programs and also this list of 17 Cheapest Protein Sources at the Grocery Store (and no, we are not including protein bars in this list because they usually have loads of sugar in them).
The Connection Between Protein and Weight Loss:
1. Keeps you Full for Longer: What makes protein the real hero is the fact that it keeps you fuller for long. When you consume protein-rich food, it slows down the digestion process, making you feel satisfied and one would less likely make frequent trips to the fridge! When you follow a protein-rich diet for a month or so, you save so many calories hence you notice faster results.
2. It curbs Appetite: When you consume protein, it controls your blood sugar levels from your stomach into the bloodstream, which means it helps to regulate sugar levels and curbs all such unwanted cravings for sugar-rich food.
3. Boosts Fat Burning: According to science, your body needs help from either carbohydrates or protein to burn and use fat as energy. When we try to lose weight, the body is designed in a way that it also loses muscle along with fat. That is why, it is highly important to consume enough protein to avoid losing your lean muscles and burn only unwanted fat.
4. Protein reduces late night snacking: Another common issue is late-night snacking. Most people strictly follow their diet for their entire day, but at night/evening, they give into the temptation and snack and pile on calories. Surprisingly, protein has a powerful effect on both cravings and late-night snacking. According to a study, protein reduces cravings by 60% and cuts the desire for late-night snacking by 50%.
17 Cheapest Protein Sources at the Grocery Store:
1. Quinoa: It’s a whole grain and we use it extensively in Rati Beauty weekly diets because quinoa is rich in both protein and fiber (essential to burn fat). Quinoa supplies up to 8 gm of protein per 100 gm (one cup).
2. Milk: Along with being an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D, milk is also rich in calcium and you can get up to 3.4 gm of protein per 100 ml. And here’s the bonus – you can get pure whey protein by curdling milk – all that greenish liquid is whey!
3. Eggs: How can we not mention eggs in the best sources of protein list? Egg is a superfood that packs a lot of nutrients and essential minerals and protein is just one of them. In a single boiled egg, you can get upto 6 gm of protein.
4. Black Beans: All legumes and pulses have some amount of protein in them, but black beans tops that list because it can give the body 22 gm of protein per 100 gm.
5. Paneer/Cottage Cheese: Paneer, which is made from milk, also is a rich source of protein and can provide 14 gm of this nutrient per 100 gm.
6. Chickpeas (chole): This mouth-watering, yummilicious legume, used extensively across India, can give you 19 gm of protein/100 gm, and there’s no reason to not overeat this kind of a food.
7. Kidney Beans/Rajma: Drawing attention to another legume which is extremely popular in India, rajma or kidney beans, is packed with 24 gm of protein/100 gm.
8. Peanut Butter: You can get delicious peanut butter to spread out on brown bread or rotis by dry roasting peanuts and adding nothing else. However, if you want to pick peanut butter from the grocery store, make sure it does not have added sugar or salt content. You can get up to 25 gm/100 gm of protein, but with peanut butter, stop at one or two spoonfuls because it does also have high fat content.
9. Lentils/Toor Dal: Surprised! Yes, toor dal, which is a staple in Indian cuisine, adds up to 22 gm of protein per cup!
10. Almonds: These nuts are great for your skin, hair, nails, and weight loss because they are rich in vitamin E, healthy fats, and protein. You can get 6 gm per ounce of almonds.
11. Tofu: Made by coagulating soy milk, tofu is extensively used in our weight loss programs on Rati Beauty because they supply up to 8 gm of protein/100 gm and are low in calories too.
12. Greek yogurt: When you pick yogurt from the grocery store, make sure it’s the unflavoured variety without added sugar or flavour. Greek yogurt can give you 10 gm of protein per 100 gm.
13. Masoor dal: It might not provide as much protein as toor dal, but masoor dal still has a good amount of protein with 9 gm/100 gm.
14. Cheese: This again, is a diary product, which has high calcium, vitamin D, and protein content. Parmesan cheese has 38 gm of protein/100 gm and cheddar cheese up to 25 gm/100 gm.
15. Walnuts: Packed with nutrition, saturated fats, potassium, calcium, etc., it also has 15 gm of protein per 100 gm.
16. Chia seeds: Rich in healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, it has about 17 gm of protein per 100 gm.
17. Oats: Again, a staple of Rati Beauty weight loss diets, oats can get your protein intake high with 13.15 gm per 100 gm.
Hope this list proves helpful when you go for grocery shopping the next time around. Do add any other protein source that you can think of in the comments below.