Protein requirements feature strongly in weight training and bodybuilding circles, and there’s little doubt that adequate protein, plus a bit more, is required by all active athletes.
Are some protein sources better than others? The answer is yes, and it has more to do with health than performance effect. Commercial protein “supplements” are not a feature of this article, mainly because there’s really not much evidence that one works better than any other, even though the manufacturers would like you to think so. Meal timing — when to eat for best effect — is probably more important than protein source.
Lean meat means you purchase it without much fat, you cut it off before cooking, or you grill or cook it so that the fat drips away from the meat before serving. Most of the fat, which is fat you can do without, will be saturated fat that raises cholesterol.
Chicken and turkey are my favorites. They have less iron than red meat, but they are more flexible and don’t seem to have the problems associated with an excess of red meat. Beware of composite slices that may be high in fat and preservatives. Choose lean, fresh meats if possible.
Red meat and processed red meat have been associated with bowel (colorectal) cancer and, more recently, lung cancer, prompting the American Cancer Society and the World Cancer Research Fund to recommend that people who eat red meat should consume less than 500 g (18 oz) a week, very little if any to be processed.
“Red meat” refers to beef, pork, lamb, and goat from domesticated animals, including those contained in processed foods. “Processed meat” refers to meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting or the addition of chemical preservatives, including those contained in processed foods.
Advantages. The amino acids in lean protein build and repair muscle and body tissues broken down by weight training and physical activity. Low animal fat and cholesterol intake protects against heart and artery disease.