Many adults do not eat enough protein, because of the calorie restrictions they put themselves on as they try to lose weight. Keep in mind that eating lean protein, such as lean meat, poultry, seafood, and low-fat cheeses, is essential for maintaining lean body muscle, which helps promote an active or healthy metabolism. Making dietary changes such as adding high-quality lean protein can ultimately lead to improved weight management. As mentioned in my Protein Series parts 1 & 2, protein promotes satiety as well as body muscle, eating a protein-rich meal or snack helps you feel full longer, and satisfies cravings faster.
Recent research found that a moderate-carbohydrate, moderate-protein (3-4 oz per meal) diet helped individuals lose more weight and even reduce their risk factors for metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes, compared to those who followed a high-carbohydrate, low-protein diet (2-3 oz per meal) Adding just one more lean protein to each meal, such as 1 oz meat or 1 cup milk/yogurt or ½ cup beans, is enough to add weight loss benefits.
Black Bean Chili Stew – by Georgia Kostas
1 lb of lean ground beef ( 95% lean, 5% fat)
2 cans of lower-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tbp cumin seeds ( or 1 Tbsp ground cumin)
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp basil
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped ( 1.5 cups)
1 large bell pepper ( red or green), chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp ground red pepper
20 oz can of lower-sodium crushed or diced tomatoes
28 oz can of lower-sodium tomato sauce
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeds removed and minced (or small can of chopped jalapeno)
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a heated non-stick skillet. Add ground beef. Stir 5-7 min, till no longer pink. Drain off fat in a colander, under tap water (not cold or hot). Set aside.
- To a dry non-stick skillet, add cumin seeds and heat over medium heat, to toast seeds. Add basil and oregano, shaking pan occasionally for 3 minutes, till fragrant. Set aside. (Skip if using ground cumin.)
- In a large pot over medium heat, add all ingredients except beans. Simmer for 40-45 minutes, till onions and carrots are soft. Then add beans. Heat 5-10 minutes more.
- You may also cook everything in a crockpot for 6 hours, except beans and meat. Add meat the last hour of cooking, and beans in the last 10 minutes, to prevent beef and beans from becoming too soft.