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Can Eating More Protein Lead to Weight Loss?

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Study Shows That Eating Protein May Help Fight Obesity, a Contributing Factor in Prediabetes and Diabetes

Woman eating beef top sirloin kabob

Women who ate adequate amounts of protein reported weight loss, says study.

Have you filled up on protein today?

It could help you lose a few pounds and prevent weight gain and obesity, a risk factor in the development of type 2 diabetes.

Women who “ate more protein” in efforts to prevent weight gain reported weight loss, says a study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the Recommended Dietary Allowance for men and women age 19 and older is 0.80 grams of high-quality protein per kilogram of body weight each day. That means a 150-pound adult needs 54g of protein daily.

Not sure which types of food are protein-rich?

Meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, and nuts and seeds all contain protein, but you’ll get the most bang for your buck eating lean beef (31g of protein in a 3-ounce serving) or tuna, salmon or halibut (22g of protein in a 3-ounce fillet). You can also load up on proteins by eating beans (29g-14g, depending on the bean) or eggs (6g of protein in one egg).

In the study, researchers at the University of Minnesota asked 1,824 women between the ages of 40 and 60 to describe their perceptions about protein sources, dietary requirements and frequency of eating protein. About 43% of the women surveyed ate the recommended amount of protein to prevent weight gain. More than half of obese women in the study ate more protein as a weight-gain prevention technique.

Protein is also an important part of a prediabetes diet. It provides you with energy and amino acids that are essential to good health. PreDiabetes Centers recommends lean protein—like skinless chicken breast, beef top sirloin and light turkey meat—and proteins that contain good fat, such as salmon, which is packed with healthy omega-3 fats.

Concerned you may be at risk for diabetes? Take our Diabetes Risk Survey and find out if there’s a good chance you could be developing diabetes.

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