Protein

Protein is essential for growth and repair of our body. It is required for many bodily functions including muscle maintenance, cell renewal, wound healing and immunity.

Protein that contains all the essential amino acids that the body needs are known as complete proteins. Some examples are soya bean and animal proteins such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy. As animal foods contain saturated fat, make healthier choices by selecting lower fat options and removing visible fat and skin. Include oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna, at least twice a week to reap the goodness of Omega-3.

Plant proteins are generally considered to be incomplete as they lack one or more essential amino acids. However, complementary proteins can be eaten in combination to form complete proteins. For example, rice and beans or peanut butter on whole wheat bread. More people are incorporating plant proteins into their diets for health and environmental reasons. To ensure adequate protein intake, consume a variety of plants proteins, including soya beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and grains.

What about Red Meat?
In general, red meats (including beef, mutton, pork and venison) tend to contain more saturated fat than poultry and fish. High intakes of saturated fat have been proven to be detrimental to heart health. Hence it is recommended to consume red meats in moderation.

When consuming red meat, select leaner cuts and trim off the visible fat to reduce the saturated fat content. Minimise the intake of processed meats such as sausages, ham, salami and bacon, as such foods tend to be high in fats and sodium.

Healthier protein options

  • Lean Meat
  • Skinless Poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Low fat dairy products
  • Legumes especially soya (tofu)

Use the Heart Smart Eating Plate as a guide for portion control.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information only, it is not meant to substitute direct medical advice from your doctor or clinician.

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