Protein is a nutrient that’s difficult to get enough of. Plant sources are lower in protein than animal sources, but if you eat enough of them, you can make up for the deficit. The easiest way to get more protein is to add more veggies to your meals — at least three or four to a meal.
But knowing what to eat can be tricky when you’re trying to eat more veggies. You don’t want to overdo it and wind up with a salad full of calories that you can’t fit into your daily plan.
Here are some tips on how to sneak protein into your diet without going overboard:
- Eat more beans and peas. These legumes are high in protein, fiber, and other nutrients that help keep you full and satiated. (This one is especially important if you’re trying to lose weight.)
- Consider beans as an entire category of foods, not just the specific ones listed here. Beans come in all different shapes, sizes and flavors, so think about the ways that they can fit into your meal plan. For example, lentils have a mild flavor that doesn’t overpower a dish like mashed potatoes, while black beans and chickpeas aren’t as sweet as green peas or yellow squash but still add plenty of flavor.
- Add a little protein powder to your smoothies, drinks, or baked goods. There are many different types of protein powder, so you can choose which one works best for your needs and lifestyle.
- Add nuts or nut butter to your meals and snacks. For example, have some peanut butter on your toast in the morning, or add walnuts to your salads. You could even make homemade trail mix for an easy snack.
- The next time you make pasta, try adding eggs to the dough. This will give it a nice flavor and add extra nutrients.