There are a lot of foods containing high amounts of protein, including some you might not expect to be as good for your muscles as they are! With these foods on your plate, you can be sure to get enough protein without having to take protein supplements or powders! Here is the list of foods with high protein and why they make great additions to your diet.
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The first one on the list of foods with high protein is tofu. A staple protein source for many vegetarians, tofu is typically made from soybeans. Soybeans are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which means they help prevent cholesterol from building up in your system. Additionally, tofu is rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants.
You can use tofu just like you would any other meat substitute: in stir-frys, stews, or baked goods, for example. Just be sure to buy organic soy products because soy contains goitrogens, which disrupt thyroid function and may lead to hypothyroidism. Keep reading for more great advice on how to get enough daily protein without resorting to powders or shakes!
Advantages/Disadvantages of Tofu: It’s a complete protein. I.e., 6g per 100g – nearly equal to cow’s milk 8g per 100g. It provides us with omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, an important fat that our body cannot produce itself. It has no cholesterol but has plenty of healthy fats (polyunsaturated). Eating a lot will not make you fat, but it will reduce heart disease risk factors such as LDL levels and increase calcium absorption.
Legumes such as kidney beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, and black beans are high in protein and make for a healthy choice when you’re craving something savory. They also have plenty of fiber, so it’s not surprising that they’re linked to better heart health. Legumes are also rich in phytonutrients called lectins—which have been shown to help control blood sugar. One cup is approximately 20 grams. For your daily intake, try two-three servings per day!
Food that without the question has to be on this list of foods with high protein are eggs. No matter how you slice it, eggs pack a powerful punch when it comes to protein. They’re one of nature’s purest sources, contain essential amino acids, are packed with vitamins and minerals, and can even be cooked in hundreds of ways.
Eggs are also easy to find—you can get them at most grocery stores—and they won’t break your bank account. Plus, they travel well and have a long shelf life if stored properly in a sealed container or carton. Omelets or scrambled eggs? It doesn’t matter; both rank in at just over 6 grams per egg (yolk included). That’s more than 25 percent of your daily recommended intake right there!
The protein in lentils (18 grams per cup) is about 25 percent higher than that in both chicken and eggs. Research also shows that beans, including lentils, can help you lose weight. If you replace a higher-calorie protein source, such as meat or cheese, with legumes (beans and lentils), over time, you’ll slim down without even trying. Lentils are versatile. They cook quickly and taste great on their own, but they’re also an excellent addition to soups, salads, and stir-fries.
A grain-like crop, quinoa is high in protein. Just one cup (cooked) has 9 grams of protein, making it a dieter’s dream. The best part is it’s gluten-free! Quinoa provides additional benefits to your overall health by providing small amounts of zinc and magnesium. In addition, it helps regulate insulin levels and may help protect against diabetes and heart disease.
This is also ideal for vegans and vegetarians who have limited dietary choices when it comes to protein consumption. Pair cooked quinoa with fruit, nut butter, or low-fat yogurt for a filling lunch or dinner! Or even better yet: Sprinkle some on top of some Greek yogurt with berries, honey, and peanut butter—it makes for a great breakfast on busy mornings.
For anyone who doesn’t know how to prepare quinoa: 1 cup uncooked contains 2 cups cooked, so multiply the number of servings you want to make by two, add water (and a dash of salt if desired), cook until fluffy then fluff again right before serving. Delicious, and thus makes it on the list of foods with high protein.
Most commonly eaten for breakfast, cottage cheese is a good source of protein and calcium. However, eating it at night may interfere with your body’s natural circadian rhythm (circadian rhythm is what controls sleep patterns in humans). Cottage cheese has been shown to increase melatonin and serotonin levels in humans, which are hormones that help us relax and fall asleep.
If you have trouble falling asleep after dinner, try removing cottage cheese from your diet. This cheese has more calcium than any other food. Many people make cottage cheese smoothies for breakfast to get their dose of dairy, protein, and vitamin D. Cottage cheese provides 13 grams of protein per 1 cup serving. A 1/2 cup serving will give you around 15gms fat.
Probiotic foods are high in protein and good for your digestive system. Yogurt is one such food that also has other benefits, like calcium and vitamin D—essential for strong bones. Eating a cup or two of Greek yogurt each day can supply you with a significant amount of protein, as well as other nutrients to help fill in nutritional gaps and give you an energy boost.
You’ll want to make sure you eat plain, full-fat yogurt without added sugars; flavored varieties will add unnecessary carbs (and sugar) to your diet. On average, 1/2 cup (120 ml) of 0% plain Greek yogurt provides around 15 grams of protein. If you opt for nonfat or low-fat varieties (which often have a lot more sugar), expect closer to 11 grams per serving.
Start your day by filling up on protein. Oatmeal is rich in fiber and heart-healthy fats, which means it’s a great fuel source for a hearty breakfast or midday snack. To add even more protein to your bowl, top it with sliced bananas, pumpkin seeds, or slivered almonds.
Add 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal (dry: 3 cups water) to MyFitnessPal—it comes in at 160 calories, 4 grams saturated fat, and 6 grams fiber. If you opt for instant oatmeal (1 packet: 110 calories, 2 grams saturated fat, and 4 grams fiber), that’s an extra 20 calories per serving!
When it comes to high-protein foods, avocados are near perfect. They’re a great source of fat (needed for vitamin absorption), have very few carbohydrates, and are rich in fiber. Avocados are also nutrient-dense. That means they’re packed with vitamins and minerals, including potassium, folate, magnesium, B6, and K.
Avocados protect against heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol levels. In addition to being a great snack before or after your workout—avocado toast has been said to be one of Gwyneth Paltrow’s 15 top kitchen tips—avocados may help protect against cancer and diabetes due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
Salmon is incredibly high in protein, but it’s also low in fat and relatively low in calories, making it an ideal choice for weight-loss dieters and athletes. It’s also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which some studies have shown may be effective at reducing body fat as well as cholesterol levels.
According to a 2015 Journal of Human Kinetics study published by Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC), adults who ate meals supplemented with fish oil lost significantly more weight than those on a placebo. The fillet is an excellent source of protein: one 3-ounce serving contains 17 grams.
Ground Beef (grass-fed organic beef, please!)
Ground beef is one of those on this list of foods with high protein that you should always make sure to read your labels. Over-processed ground beef can contain added nitrates, antibiotics, and various other additives that aren’t good for your health or a healthy diet. If you must buy pre-made ground beef, look for grass-fed organic types over cheap grocery store alternatives; they’re leaner, more natural, and better for your health.
If you want to buy locally produced meat, find a good butcher—most will grind it fresh while you wait (literally). From there, cook as little as possible—ground beef is nearly always cheaper in bulk, and shredded varieties save time in cooking but also have less natural flavor.
If you’re looking for lean meat that packs a serious protein punch, look no further than chicken breast. With almost 30 grams per 3-ounce serving, it’s among our highest sources of protein. Plus, because it doesn’t have much fat (less than 2 grams), there are far fewer calories in each serving.
This is one food you can eat plenty of—and feel good about it! Just be sure to keep your meal balanced: serve it up with fruit and veggies to make sure you get plenty of vitamins and minerals from other sources. And limit yourself to just two servings a day.
Great way to add some healthy protein and fiber to your diet. Turkey is lean meat that goes well in a number of dishes. It’s also an economical choice that doesn’t require you to make any major dietary changes. Packed with 26 grams of protein per 100-gram serving and only two grams of fat, it also contains enough potassium for good heart health. One particularly good option is turkey breast. Most people don’t get enough protein in their diets these days—and many don’t know where to find high-protein foods like turkey breast.
A good diet rich in protein can benefit anyone looking to perform better in their sport or anyone trying to maintain a healthy weight. You should aim for at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day, so if you weigh 200 pounds, eat 200 grams daily.
Consume your protein from whole foods whenever possible; concentrate on incorporating lean meats, poultry, and seafood into your meals, as well as beans and lentils. In addition to helping you build muscle and aid recovery after training, consuming enough high-quality protein will help you keep your energy levels up throughout the day—which means improved endurance when it comes to completing everyday tasks. I hope you are finding this list of foods with high protein useful, feel free to comment.