8 Healthy Proteins

We all know that we could use more fruits and vegetables in our diet. But that doesn't mean cutting out protein completely — or straying from a vegetarian diet. Protein is one of the most important, fuel-filled parts of a square meal and it can be found in a variety of foods. From lean meats to legumes and eggs, healthy proteins are an essential part of a balanced diet.

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Proteins are not only essential, but they also keep us fuller for a longer period of time. The trick is to pick protein carefully. Avoid proteins high in saturated fats like un-trimmed beef and pork. Sorry, but crumbled bacon on a green salad isn't the best choice. Add some omega-3 fatty acid rich salmon to your salad instead.

"It is important to choose low-fat protein sources, or protein sources that contain healthier fats like nuts, seeds, fish for optimal health," says nutritionist and author of Fire Up Your Fat Burn, Lori Shemek. She also tells us that "Protein has an important role in not just optimal health but weight loss as well by balancing blood sugar and promoting muscle gain — muscle burns calories even at rest."

For example, she recommends starting your day with eggs for breakfast in the morning. This way, you are more likely to have success in fat burn throughout the day. We have compiled a list of healthy proteins that are easy to factor into your diet — some of which may surprise you.