All About the Proteins Food Group

image description Photo Credit: James Bowe
What is the Proteins Food Group?
All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the group. Although processed soy products and eggs should not be part of your Indigenized diet, sometimes you cannot avoid it. Knowing more about soy products and eggs will help you make informed decisions about your eating lifestyle. Some examples of food from the proteins food group are meats (beef, pork, deer), seafood (tuna, cod ,salmon), nuts and seeds (almond, cashews, hazelnuts) poultry (chicken, duck, quail), soy products (tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers), beans and peas (black/pinto beans, chickpeas/hummus)

What You Need to Know About Eating Meats and Poultry
Meats provide many essential nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals. However, if you choose to eat meats and poultry with fat layers, they can increase your chance for heart disease and diabetes. It is very important to choose lean cuts of meat and eat red meats in moderation. Also, many animals are part of factory farms. Those animals are fed corn, soy and antibiotics to create the best tasting and cheapest meats. As part of an Indigenized diet, animals sourced from those farms should be avoided. Try to source your meats from local farmers markets that treat animals fairly and are grass-fed.

What You Need to Know About Seafood
Seafood provides many essential nutrients such as protein and omega-3 fats. Eating seafood has many benefits such as supporting healthy brain tissues, maintains good cholesterol levels, and keeps your heart healthy. Eating about 8 ounces of seafood a week will help maintain a healthy body.

Why Eating Enough from the Proteins Food Group is Important
Foods in the proteins food group provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. However, choosing foods from this group that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol may have health implications. By choosing the lean cuts of meats, you can maintain a healthy life. Below is a list of health benefits:

•The protein foods group supply many essential nutrients such as protein, B vitamins, iron, vitamin E, zinc, and magnesium
•Protein – essential to build and maintain muscle, bone, skin, cartilage, and blood
•B vitamins – help the body release energy, support the nervous system, and help build tissues and red blood cells
•Iron – is a key component for red blood cells to help carry oxygen when you breathe
•Magnesium – is used to build bones and release energy from muscles
•Zinc – needed to help the immune system and to make sure our bodies work well
•Omega-3 fats – may help reduce the risk for heart disease

 ResourcesUnited States Department of Agriculture – ChooseMyPlate (Protein Foods Group)

Precision Nutrition

Special Thanks:
Derek Chang graduated with a Bachelors degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Utah. Go Utes! He was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He aspires to become a physician-entrepreneur to find and create new ways of improving overall patient health. He enjoys skiing, hiking, camping, reading books, meeting new people, and learning anything new.


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