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Choosing The Right Proteins

Choosing The Right Proteins

Proteins are one of the three sources that our bodies utilize to produce energy, the other two being carbohydrates and fats. Because proteins are not stored in our bodies in the same way that carbohydrates are, we need to get a sufficient amount of protein every day (a typical adult will need 40 to 65 grams). But not only is it important to get enough proteins, it is also necessary to choose the right “good” kinds.

The difference between good and bad proteins is their saturated fat content: the lower the saturated fat content, the better the protein. Proteins whose saturated fat content is elevated tend to raise your cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease.

Where to find good sources of proteins.


Meats such as steak, chicken with the skin on, and salami, are high in protein but they also contain a lot of saturated fats. That’s why you should try to eat these kinds of meat no more than twice weekly.
Other better choices for protein-rich meats are lean meats, i.e. chicken, beef, turkey, and fish. These meats contain less fat but are still high in protein content.


Soy is high in protein and low in saturated fat, and is being used a meat alternative for vegetarians. Veggie burgers, soy nuggets, tofu, edamame, etc., are all soy products.


Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, etc., are all good sources of protein that are not high in fat. Keep in mind, however, that these should be consumed in moderation.

Beans and peas

Black peas, chickpeas, falafel, lentils, soy beans, and a variety of other beans and peas are excellent sources of protein and are low in saturated fats.

Author Info

Dr Nagi Safa

Dr Nagi Safa is a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeon (Weight-Loss Surgeon) at the Advanced BMI in Lebanon and at the Sacred Heart Hospital of Montreal, and holds an academic appointment at the University of Montreal. Furthermore, he is involved in the training of residents and surgical fellows on how to perform advanced laparoscopic obesity surgery. In 2010, he launched the Advanced Bariatric and Metabolic Institute (Advanced BMI) in Lebanon, and has been helping hundreds of patients from all over the Middle-East through his expertise in obesity surgery. Education: Dr Safa completed his residency training at the University of Montreal General Surgery Program. He then performed a fellowship in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and Minimal Invasive Surgery (Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery), at the Sacred Heart Hospital of Montreal, which is the largest Weight Loss Surgery center in the Montreal area, and one of the busiest in Canada. Experience: During his training, and throughout his practice, Dr Safa performed more than one thousand laparoscopic procedures, including Roux en Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric banding, gastric plication and many other abdominal surgery procedures. He has a particular interest in LaparoscopicRevisional Surgery including banding, bypass and sleeve. With a keen interest in the advancement of obesity surgery and newer minimally invasive surgical techniques, Dr Safa gained experience in the single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS), and offers Single Incision gastric banding and Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery. Research: His current research interests include clinical outcomes from various bariatric surgery procedures and investigations on the impact of bariatric surgery on Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome X. Memberships: Dr Safa holds professional memberships with the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons, Canadian Association of General Surgeons, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Association for Surgical Oncology, Quebec Medical Association, Trauma Association of Canada, Association Quebecoise de Chirurgie, International College of Surgeon, and the College des Medecins du Quebec.