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Top 7 Protein Sources

From eDiets - working with Howtobefit.com to improve your health and fitness

Proteins, which are made up of amino acids, are the building blocks for your body. Protein helps children grow and helps build and maintain muscle mass in adults.

It's a known fact that if you want to build muscle (even toning, for you ladies), a substantial level of protein intake is of utmost importance. Fitness expert Raphael Calzadilla gives the following general recommendations:

For the sedentary: 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight (a 180-pound man needs 72 grams).

For the recreational exerciser: 0.5 - 0.75 grams.

For the athletes: 0.6 - 0.9 grams.

For serious muscle building: 1 – 1.25 grams.

There are many good sources for protein. But here are Raphael’s top 7 sources (in no particular order) that will optimize your muscle gains.

1. Egg whites -- They may not be as tasty as the whole egg, but they are an efficient protein source.

“Egg Whites are an excellent source of protein, because the protein is instantly absorbed by your body,” says Raphael. “They also have no fat and no cholesterol.”

2. Whole egg -- For years, fear of the cholesterol in egg yolk has made people shy away from this wonderful source of protein. But in moderation, you have nothing to worry about.

“Even though the yolk is high in cholesterol, it is also higher in protein than the egg whites. One of the best sources of protein is the yolk in the egg. A Harvard study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (April 1999) showed eating an egg a day did not raise the risk of heart disease.

3. Steak -- Beef... its whats for dinner... and its whats for muscles if you want more of them. And not just protein, but creatine and iron and iron as well.

4. Chicken -- Prefer something a little leaner? Chicken is a mainstay in bodybuilders diets. Lean cuts of chicken breast have 28 grams of protein, no carbs and only 2 grams of fat.

5. Tuna -- Have you ever seen those dedicated gym rats eating tuna right out of the can? It may seem a little crude, but tuna is a hit for muscle gain, and the convenience outweighs the "lack of decorum." Higher consumption of fish is associated with a reduced risk of some types of stroke among middle-aged women, according to an article in the January 17 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

6. Cottage cheese -- Guys, dont let your egos get in the way. This may be a staple of womens diets, but theres nothing wimpy about eating this high protein food.

“Protein in cottage cheese is of extremely high quality and contains all of the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein) in the amounts proportional to the body’s needs,” says Raphael.

7. Salmon -- If you get sick of tuna but still want to get your protein from the sea, salmon is a great alternative. Postpone your appointment with St. Peter by consuming omega-3-rich fish such as Salmon.

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