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What Is ‘Lean Protein’ And Why Is It Considered Healthier

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There is protein and there is lean protein. But do you know the difference?
Maybe you think so and just want to check you got it right or maybe this is your first time hearing about lean protein and want to learn all about it. It is a source of protein with a low content of saturated fat and calories, which is why it is referred to as “lean.”
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines a lean protein source as less than 10 grams of total fat (4.5 grams or less from saturated fat) and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol in a 100-gram serving.
Another way to define lean protein is a protein source with 2 to 3 grams of fat per ounce.

This type of protein is widely recognized as a healthier type of protein as it can affect heart health in a better way.

Read on to learn more about why this lean protein is considered healthier than the rest.

1. Boneless skinless chicken breast

The boneless, skinless chicken breast is a staple of fitness-friendly and weight-loss plans for a reason: It’s heaps of protein and low in calories. It is also rich in vitamins B3 and B6, which help boost your metabolism.

3. Beans & Lentils

These vegetarian proteins are super healthy and you should eat them regularly. Not only do they give you protein (9 grams per half cup), but they’re also packed with filling fiber, heart-healthy folate, and energy-boosting iron.

4. Tofu and related soy products

Soy is one of the best vegetarian sources of protein. 1/2 cup of tofu gives you 8-10 grams of protein (depending on whether it’s soft or firm), while 1 cup of edamame gives you 17 grams. Calcium-infused tofu also gives you a healthy dose of bone-building calcium, while edamame also packs a whopping 8 grams of fiber.

5. Nuts & Seeds

Unless you are allergic to them, nuts and seeds are a must in your diet. A Harvard study found them to be one of the top foods associated with weight loss. Plus, they’re packed with healthy fats and fiber, in addition to protein. Natural peanut or almond butter is a good choice for topping your morning toast. Toss pumpkin and sunflower seeds along with dried fruit for an energizing afternoon snack.

6. Eggs

The incredible edible egg is a great way to get some protein into your diet. One egg provides 6 grams of protein for just 70 calories. Most of that protein is in the egg white, so an easy way to boost the protein content of your morning scramble—without going overboard with saturated fat or dietary cholesterol—is to add extra protein. Think outside of breakfast and add a hard-boiled egg to your salad at lunch or grab a hard-boiled egg in its shell for a surprisingly satisfying snack.


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