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Building Lean Muscle on a Budget

Food costs keep rising, especially for meat—which means that getting enough protein just got way more expensive. We’ve created a list of budget-friendly staples that are loaded with lean, muscle-building protein.

There are a variety of plant and animal based protein options at your local grocery store—lean red meat, poultry, fish and soy pack the highest protein punch. As you determine the best ways to incorporate protein into your diet, figure in cost consideration and suddenly family meal planning becomes a bit more challenging.

According to WebMD: “Protein is important to many physiological functions from building and maintaining muscle and bone to keeping cells in good working order. Recent studies suggest that protein makes a meal more satisfying, which in turn could help people maintain a healthy weight.”

For most families, filet mignon is not an everyday option. That doesn’t mean you need to break the bank to stock your shopping cart with protein-rich foods. Here is a list of economical protein sources that will keep every member of your family satisfied.

Affordable Protein’s Greatest Hits:

  1. Canned Seafood: Canned seafood is one of the most cost effective protein choices available. A single, five-ounce can of tuna yields almost 30 grams of protein, more than half the recommended daily allowance of protein for adults. Add to that a powerful punch of Omega 3s, and you can see why we’re partial to this protein source!
  2. Beans:Depending on the type of bean, protein amounts range from about 15 to 25 grams per cup.
  3. Plain Greek Yogurt: While one eight-ounce cup of plain, low-fat yogurt packs 11 grams of protein, the same size Greek yogurt delivers about 20 grams of protein.
  4. Milk: An eight-ounce glass of milk contains eight grams of protein.
  5. Eggs: Loaded with high-quality protein, just one egg provides 6 grams of protein.
  6. Nut Butters: According to the peanut institute, the peanut contains more plant protein than any other legume or nut.

While most Americans are consuming enough protein in their diets, it’s helpful to consider additional sources for lean, affordable proteins.

Sources: Men’s Fitness Magazine, Ad Age, NPR, WebMD

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