No one can live on bread alone, or protein, for that matter. Whether you favor today's popular protein-rich, low-carbohydrate diets -- or shy away because some doctors say data on the long-term effects are lacking -- it's helpful to understand the value of protein and how to work it into meals sensibly.
People need protein in order to build muscle, hemoglobin, enzymes, and more. But the truth is, just about all Americans, even vegetarians, meet or exceed daily requirements.
Still, when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, nutritionists agree that high-protein foods can play a beneficial role. By slowing digestion and increasing blood sugar steadily, these foods stave off hunger and keep you feeling satisfied longer.
No steak is pure protein, though, and many are loaded with saturated fat, which is why scientists recommend eating beef infrequently, and choosing lean cuts when you do. The best protein-rich meats are poultry and fish; they're low in both fat and cholesterol. Eggs, also laden with protein, are fine in reasonable numbers. Though high in cholesterol, whole eggs contain fat that is largely unsaturated.
Moderation has plenty of merits, and much can also be said for variety. So enjoy some whole grains and fruit, then sample from our range of high-protein, vegetable-packed dishes. You might just strike a well-balanced diet.