Try These Diet Foods!
It's May, and that means lots of people are trying to burn off the last of the jelly rolls in time for the beach. I'll go out on a limb here: I'm going to make the wild guess you've become well-acquainted with skinless chicken breasts by now. There's nothing wrong with chicken breasts—it's mostly protein and little fat—but having it 2-3 times every day tends to get to you after a few weeks.
Preserve your sanity and get some variation with a couple of new high-protein diet foods. You've probably tried at least some of these foods before, but perhaps it is not immediately obvious that they can indeed fit your dieting needs.
This is a peculiar meat-substitute I was introduced to by my vegetarian wife. It comes in the form of fake burgers, fake chicken nuggets, fake lasagna, fake chicken tenders, fake turkey roast and fake ground beef. What's not fake is the fact that it's extremely low in calories (about half of what you get in cooked skinless chicken breast) and it's almost entirely made out of protein.
Furthermore, it's got lots of fiber (which dieting bodybuilders typically get way too little of). With some of the products it's really hard to tell it's not real meat you're chewing, only you get more protein and less saturated fat. Sounds pretty good, huh? Now for the iffy part—the main ingredient of Quorn is mycoprotein, which is a type of fungus.
Like Dave Barry would have said, I'm not making this up. However, once you get over this fact (after all, the plain old mushrooms you had on your pizzas last winter were part of the fungi family as well and is actually related to the fungus found in Quorn) you have just increased your dieting menu considerably.
You may remember the small ads that flashed up and went away in the bodybuilding mags about ostrich meat sticks and the like. Personally, I haven't seen much in that regard lately. I guess there just wasn't enough interest for it to take off -- which is a shame since ostrich meat both tastes great and packs a serious protein punch.
While beef and chicken typically provide about 7 grams of protein per ounce, ostrich meat sails in at a whopping 10 grams per ounce. You can use it pretty much like you'd use any other fowl, and given the extreme protein content with very little carbs and fat, you can happily alternate a percentage of your chicken-days with ostrich ... If you can find a store that carries it, that is. Your best bet is larger health food stores of the Whole Foods or Wild Oats Markets.
The Other Sea Foods
I would guess most bodybuilders take advantage of the dieting-friendly nature of tuna, but it can get pretty dry and tasteless in a hurry. Salmon is gaining in popularity in spite of being more expensive, since it not only tastes better but also provides a good dose of mostly healthy fatty acids along with the protein.
But wait, there are more options swimming around out there. Shrimp, shellfish, crab and even squid (yup, I've tried it, and it actually wasn't half bad!) can make a welcome break from the monotony. Granted, they may not be quite as impressive as tuna in terms of protein/calorie ratios, but with less than 1% fat content they are by no means harmful to your dieting goals. And hey, shrimp is good!
That's just three suggestions. If you're seriously tired of chewing the same boring food every day, you can also look into soy products (in many cases, it's almost all protein), expensive but lean and tasty meats such as deer and elk, and hey, why not try some protein-enriched pasta with pure tomato sauce and some basil?
It's just too bad Met-Rx discontinued their high-protein/low-calorie Caffe pizza (24 grams of protein/210 calories per serving), or life would have been much, much easier around this time of year.
- Follow This Discussion by: