Tips to help you make wise choices from the Protein Food Group

Go lean with protein:

  • Start with a lean choice:
    • The leanest beef cuts include filet steaks and roasts, top loin, top sirloin, and shoulder and arm roasts.
    • The leanest pork choices include pork loin, tenderloin, center loin, and ham.
    • Choose extra lean ground beef.
    • Buy skinless chicken parts, or take off the skin before cooking.
    • Boneless skinless chicken breasts and turkey cutlets are the leanest poultry choices.
    • Choose lean turkey, roast beef, ham, or low-fat meats for sandwiches instead of deli meats with more fat, such as salami.
  • Keep it lean:
    • Trim away all of the visible fat from meats and poultry before cooking.
    • Steam, grill, roast, poach, or boil meat, poultry, or fish instead of frying.
    • Drain off any fat that appears during cooking.
    • Skip or limit the breading on meat, poultry, or fish. Breading adds calories. It will also cause the food to soak up more fat during frying.
    • Prepare beans and peas without added fats.
    • Choose and prepare foods without high fat sauces or gravies.

Vary your protein choices:

  • Choose seafood at least twice a week as the main protein food. Look for seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, and herring. Some ideas are:
    • Salmon steak or filet
    • Salmon loaf
    • Grilled or baked trout
  • Choose beans, peas, or soy products as a main dish or part of a meal often. Some choices are:
    • Chilli with kidney or pinto beans
    • Stir- fried tofu
    • Split pea, lentil, minestrone, or white bean soups
    • Baked beans
    • Garbanzo or kidney beans on a chef’s salad
    • Rice and beans
    • Veggie burgers
    • Hummus (chickpeas) spread on pita bread
  • Choose unsalted nuts as a snack, on salads, or in main dishes. Use nuts to replace meat or poultry, not in addition to these items:
    • Use pine nuts in pesto sauce for pasta.
    • Add slivered almonds to steamed vegetables.
    • Add toasted peanuts or cashews to a vegetable stir fry instead of meat.
    • Sprinkle a few nuts on top of low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt.
    • Add walnuts or pecans to a green salad instead of cheese or meat.

What to look for on the Food Label:

    • Processed meats such as hams, sausages, frankfurters, and deli meats have added sodium. Check the ingredient and Nutrition Facts label to help limit sodium intake.
    • Fresh chicken, turkey, and pork that have been enhanced with a salt-containing solution also have added sodium.
    • Lower fat versions of many processed meats are available. Look on the Nutrition Facts label to choose products with less fat and saturated fat.

Keep it safe to eat:

  • Separate raw, cooked and ready-to-eat foods.
  • Do not wash or rinse meat or poultry.
  • Wash cutting boards, knives, utensils and counter tops in hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before going on to the next one.
  • Store raw meat, poultry and seafood on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator so juices don’t drip onto other foods.
  • Cook foods to a safe temperature to kill microorganisms. Use a meat thermometer, which measures the internal temperature of cooked meat and poultry, to make sure that the meat is cooked all the way through.
  • Chill (refrigerate) perishable food promptly and defrost foods properly. Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food and leftovers within two hours.
  • Plan ahead to defrost foods. Never defrost food on the kitchen counter at room temperature. Thaw food by placing it in the refrigerator, submerging air-tight packaged food in cold tap water (change water every 30 minutes), or defrosting on a plate in the microwave.
  • Avoid raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs and raw or undercooked meat and poultry.
  • Women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children should avoid some types of fish and eat types lower in mercury.
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *