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Category: Diet

Sneaky Ways To Get More Protein Into Your Diet

Whether you’re a health and fitness guru or you simply feel better when you eat a high-protein diet, it can be tough to get the protein you need to support a healthy lifestyle and metabolism. Here, we’ll check out some ways that you can sneak protein into your diet–without constantly loading up on tuna and chicken.

1. Load up on ricotta.

This creamy staple of Italian cuisine packs a surprisingly high protein punch. A half cup of part-skim ricotta (the perfect amount to enjoy in lasagna, on top of toast, or on another kind of protein with a sprinkle of fresh basil) adds 14 grams of protein to your diet. If you’re looking to add a touch of decadence to pasta sauce or soup, stir in a healthy amount of ricotta instead of heavy cream–you’ll love the way the extra protein makes you feel, and your family will be none the wiser that you gave them a healthier option.

2. Add yogurt to your morning.

It can be easier to add items to your diet instead of taking them away when you’re working to load up on the protein. There’s no need to change your current breakfast–enjoy what you already enjoy, plus a side of Greek yogurt. A single serving can add 18 grams of protein to your morning, helping you stay satiated through lunch. If you already enjoy fruit as a part of your breakfast, try dipping it into your Greek yogurt for a delicious way to get the protein you need. Prefer to drink your breakfast? Add a scoop of Greek yogurt to your morning smoothie for protein on the go.

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3. Choose quinoa for your evening grain.

It’s comforting to have a warm bowl of rice or pasta in the evening, but tagging quinoa into your dinner game can help you get the protein you want, without sacrificing comfort or flavor. A bowl of quinoa has about eight grams of protein per cup. If your dinner includes meat or another protein (like beans), using quinoa as a base can help you get the high-protein dinner you need to support a good night’s rest.

4. Don’t forget about shakes.

We know–protein shakes don’t have the best reputation for being tasty, but it’s easy to sneak a scoop into your morning smoothie or bowl of oatmeal. If you’ve tried protein shakes before and haven’t been a fan, trying a different type of protein (like whey, soy, or pea) may provide you with the consistency that you prefer and a taste that you’ll love. If you find that protein powder bothers your stomach, start with half a scoop added to your breakfast and work your way up to a full scoop.

4 Simple Hacks to Cut Sugar From Your Diet

 
We know, we know, sugar is really, really yummy. It’s sweet by itself, it’s a huge component of baked goods, it does, in fact, have the ability to make the medicine go down better (thank you, Mary Poppins), and it truly melts in your mouth
 
Sugar has the ability to actually activate the little feel-good dopamine chemicals in our brains, and our bodies like the energy it gives. This is all in moderation though. Our ancestors did not have the processed sugared candies, wrapped snacks, or soft drink craziness that we have today. Watching our sugar intake is actually an important step to improving your health. 
 
Eating too much sugar has a whole host of health risks and can cause irreversible effects on a body:
 
 
 
  • High Blood Pressure
 
  • Weight Gain
 
  • Teeth Cavities and Rot
 
  • Fatty Liver Disease
 
  • Diabetes
 
  • Acne
 
  • Chemically-Induced Cravings
 
  • High Cholesterol Levels
 
  • Inconsistent Glucose Levels
 
We’re not saying you need to cut all sugar from your diet, but here are four simple hacks to reduce your sugar intake:
 

1. Reduce the Consumption of Soft Drinks. 

 
Soft drinks have an insane amount of sugar content in them. A 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola, for example, has 39 grams or NINE teaspoons of sugar included. A 20-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew has a whopping 77 grams of sugar. 
 

2. Substitute Fresh Fruit for Processed Goodies 

 
If you have a sweet tooth, fresh fruit will help curb that craving just as much as a piece of pie or a cookie. 
 
Fresh fruit has less sugar overall when compared to a piece of candy or something like a slice of cake, and it’s full of natural sugars that the body needs. In addition, fresh fruit is filled with healthy vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals that are not present in something like a candy bar
 

3. Have fun with new recipes, like adding lemon and mint leaves to your iced tea instead of packets of processed sugar

 
Google and recipe bloggers are amazing and are great sources to find creative hacks to cut sugar while preserving flavor. One fantastic example we’ve found is for iced tea. A little bit of fresh lemon juice and freshly picked mint leaves (or from the grocery store) when added to iced tea is a great substitution for packets of processed sugar. They will also make your drink look nice if you’re entertaining, at a picnic, or at an outdoor BBQ. 
 

4. Check the labels. 

 
People are always surprised when they look at a food label and see the amount of sugar included. There are a ton of hidden sugar situations in condiments, sauces, and things like breakfast cereals that add up quickly and are just not necessary
 
Just to give you an idea, one tablespoon of ketchup has one teaspoon of sugar. That’s more sugar than most ice creams.