Protein is an essential macronutrient for your body. It helps keep you fuller longer, and it also helps you build and maintain muscle. But there’s a lot people get wrong about protein that can keep you from reaping its benefits. Here, Dr Carolyn Brown, nutritionist at Foodtrainers, sets the record straight.
1. You are what your food eats.
“Be a quality snob,” Brown says. Look for products that say grass-fed, organic, pasture-raised, or wild whenever possible. We recommend sources like chicken breast, beef, salmon, shellfish, white fish, protein powder, or plant proteins.
2. Protein isn’t just for your muscles.
While protein definitely helps you make gains, it’s also crucial for bones, cartilage, blood, sex drive, and hormones, according to Brown.
3. More isn’t necessarily better.
“You can only digest and absorb 25-35g of protein per meal, so eating half a cow, isn’t necessary.” says Brown.
4. Pay attention to your source of protein.
Brown wants you to consider what other ingredients you’re getting with your protein. “When you’re having wild salmon, you’re getting tons of omega-3s. But when you’re having a protein bar, usually you’re getting protein and a bunch of sugar or artificial ingredients.”
5. Diversify your protein sources.
Grilled chicken is great, but if you’re getting bored of eating it all the time, feel free to switch it up. Brown recommends subbing in duck, venison, bison, mussels, clams, or lobster.
This article originally appeared on Men’s Health