One of the most important aspects of the Paleo diet is getting enough protein. Your body is now relying on protein for fuel along with fruits and veggies. This is instead of carbohydrates and sugar that you may have eaten before for energy. When you rely on protein for a large amount of your fuel for the day, you will find that you have a lot more energy than you did before the Paleo diet.
Ideally, you should eat a portion of lean protein at every meal. Protein is also great for snacks as well to get you through the day. The proper amount of protein will jumpstart your metabolism and help you to burn more calories. You will feel fuller longer when you eat the right amount of protein at every Paleo meal.
You probably already know that protein plays a huge role in the body’s functioning. It is the building block for cells, and it helps to transport substances in the body. Other proteins assist your cells in communicating for movement and cell reproduction. It also helps to repair skin and cell damage. As you can see, protein plays an important part in the general functioning of pretty much everything in your body.
Good sources of protein
It is recommended that all meats be free-range or grass-fed animals, as these do not have the added hormones that farm-raised meats may have.
- Lean beef
- Lean pork
- Lean poultry
- Rabbit meat
- Goat meat
- Game meats: ostrich, kangaroo, venison
- Fish and shellfish
- Organ meats
- Calf liver
- Beef, lamb and pork tongues
What you should avoid
Not all meat and protein sources are created equally. You should try to stay away from processed meats as these contain too much salt and added nitrates. Fatty sausages and hamburgers should also be avoided. You should also steer clear from most cheeses, especially hard cheeses. The Paleo diet also restricts the amount of soy in your diet, so avoid soybeans and legumes including peanuts.
Vegetarian protein options
Not everyone on the Paleo diet eats meat. There are some vegetarians that wish to live a Paleo lifestyle, but they need to get their protein from other sources other than meat. If you are a vegetarian who eats eggs, you can make sure that eggs are one of the main staples in your diet. You can also rely on nuts for protein, but be careful of the larger amounts of fats that nuts have. Seeds are also a good way to get protein in your diet if you are a vegetarian.
The dangers of too much protein
Too much of a good thing can actually be detrimental in this case. If you eat protein but fail to eat any fat or carbohydrates, your kidneys and liver will be overworked. Consuming too much protein can also lead to anxiety issues and mood problems. It can also interfere with the brain’s neurotransmitters.