Here are five meal preparation essentials
Editor’s note: This is part two of a two part article. Part one is entitled: Meal Preparation: The Secret to a Successful Work Week.
Meal Preparation Keys to Success
As a Registered Dietitian, I always recommend my clients look to include three things in each meal and snack: lean protein, healthy fats, and fiber.
Lean protein is a protein source that is not high in animal fat, which tend to be the kind of fat that can have detrimental health effects when eaten in excess.
Examples of lean protein include: chicken breast, low-fat cheese, fish, eggs, and low-fat or non-fat Greek yogurt. Protein is important for muscle and bone health and many functions in the body.
Healthy fats are found in many vegetable sources and are important for heart health and many important bodily functions.
Examples of healthy fats include:
Avocado, olive oil, fats from nuts and seeds, and fats from fish like salmon and tuna.
While many people used to believe that all fats we bad for you and made you fat, we know that fats are essential for many life functions and are an important part of a balanced diet.
That being said, we want to consume all fats in moderation, as there is too much of a good thing and it is important to remember that fat has more than twice the calories per gram than both protein and carbohydrates.
Fiber is your friend.
Fiber is a complex carbohydrate found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fiber takes longer to digest, which will help keep you fuller, longer. It also has the added benefit of being both heart healthy and excellent for digestive health.
When you think about your meal planning, think of how you can incorporate something from each category into each meal and snack.
For example, for breakfast, a healthy choice could be a Plain, Non-Fat Greek Yogurt topped with fresh or frozen berries and sliced almonds. With this meal, you would get protein from the Greek yogurt, healthy fats from the almonds, and fiber from the fruit.
This winning combination is full of nutrition and will keep you full all morning without weighing you down.
By choosing the winning combination of lean protein, healthy fats, and fiber, you will set yourself up for a well-balanced meal.
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