What Are Some Healthy Protein Foods

Foods And Beverages To Consume In Limited Quantities

6 High-Protein Foods That Are Super Healthy

The foods on this list can be included, but they shouldnt be the main focus if you want to lose weight. Although many of them are nutritious, their protein percentages arent high. Depending on what you like and the way you eat, you can enjoy them in small quantities on a frequent or even daily basis.

  • Cheese: Cheese is delicious, low in carbs, and a great source of calcium. However, it doesnt provide a lot of protein per calorie. Additionally, some people find that eating cheese causes cravings for more.22If you follow a keto or low-carb diet, feel free to have a small portion daily, if you like.Protein percentage range: 39% to 20%
  • Nuts: They provide crunch, flavor, and enjoyment at meals and when snacking. Unfortunately, they dont provide much nutrition per calorie.Also, once you start eating nuts, it can be difficult to stop. Eating too many nuts can increase your caloric intake, making weight loss more difficult.23Aim for no more than a small handful no matter what type of nut you choose. Also, portion them out and eat them in a small bowl rather than from the container.Protein percentage range: 18% to 4%
  • Low-protein processed meats: Yes, theyre flavorful and convenient. But foods like bacon, sausage, and salami contain far less protein than other meats. Can you still lose weight if you include them in your diet? Absolutely. But try to choose the processed meats listed in the foods to eat section most of the time.Protein percentage range: 23% to 14%

What Foods Are In The Protein Foods Group

All foods made from seafood meat, poultry, and eggs beans, peas, and lentils and nuts, seeds, and soy products are part of the Protein Foods Group. Beans, peas, and lentils are also part of the Vegetable Group. For more information on beans, peas, and lentils see Beans, Peas, and Lentils are Unique Foods.

Select a wide variety of protein foods to get more of the nutrients your body needs and for health benefits. Meat and poultry choices should be lean or low-fat, like 93% lean ground beef, pork loin, and skinless chicken breasts. Choose seafood options that are higher in beneficial fatty acids and lower in methylmercury, such as salmon, anchovies, and trout. The advice to consume lean or low-fat meat and poultry and a variety of seafood does not apply to vegetarians. Vegetarian options in the Protein Foods Group include beans, peas, and lentils, nuts, seeds, and soy products.

Learn more

Why Do We Need Protein

Protein is an essential nutrient, responsible for multiple functions in your body, including building tissue, cells and muscle, as well as making hormones and anti-bodies. Everyone needs protein in their diet, but if you do endurance sports or weight training you may benefits from increase your protein intake, as well as factoring it into your training routine at specific times to reap its muscle-building benefits.

Studies also suggest that as we get older we may benefit from eating more protein because it helps minimise the muscle loss associated with aging.

You May Like: Are Special K Protein Bars Good For You

Cottage Cheese Peaches And Honey

Cottage cheese is relatively low in calories and sugar, and very high in proteinenough that only 4 ounces of cottage cheese will provide around 20-25 percent of daily protein requirements! Pair it with a chopped peach and a touch honey for a sweet hint. Peaches have been found to ward off obesity and heart disease with its ample dose of beta carotene.

Protein Helps You Maintain A Healthy Appetite

Assortment of healthy protein source and body building food

Several studies have shown that protein plays an important role in keeping hunger at a healthy level. One 2004 study by the American College of Nutrition showed that of the three macronutrients — protein, fat, and carbohydrates – protein is the most filling, leaving you feeling more satisfied.

Another 2006 study by the American Society for Clinical Nutrition found that protein reduced levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, while simultaneously increasinging levels of peptide YY, which makes the body feel full.

In other words, eating more protein can help you feel more full after a meal, so that you don’t run the risk of overeating.

Also Check: 21 Day Fix Shakeology Alternatives

Top 13 Lean Protein Foods You Should Eat

Protein is an essential part of a balanced diet, but sometimes its accompanied by more fat and calories than you want.

Fortunately, there are a variety of lean animal and plant sources of protein that will help you meet your quota.

The protein Reference Daily Intake for an adult who eats 2,000 calories a day is 50 grams, although some people can benefit from eating much more than that. Your individual calorie and protein needs are based on your age, weight, height, sex and activity level .

Beyond proteins essential roles in building and maintaining muscle and tissues in your body and helping regulate many body processes, it also promotes satiety and may help in managing your weight (

Here are 13 lean protein foods you should consider.

Quick Tips: Choosing Healthy Protein Foods

1.Upgrade the protein on your plate. The Healthy Eating Plate encourages you to eat protein-rich foods like beans, nuts, tofu, fish, chicken, or eggs in place of less-healthy options like red and processed meats.

For example, try a turkey or black bean burger instead of a traditional beef burger. Or slice up a fresh-roasted chicken breast or salmon for your sandwich instead of using processed high-sodium lunch meat.

2. Dont stress too much about protein quantity. Most reasonable diets provide plenty of protein for healthy people. Eating a variety of healthy protein-rich foodsfor example an egg with breakfast, some turkey or beans on your salad for lunch, and a piece of salmon or tofu with a whole grain side dish for dinnerwill ensure that you get all the protein and protein building-blocks you need. Choose higher-protein foods instead of bulking up with pricey protein shakes or powders, since some of these are loaded with sugar or other additives.

4.Eat soy in moderation. Tofu and other soy foods are an excellent red meat alternative. In some cultures, tofu and soy foods are a protein staple, and we dont suggest any change. But if you havent grown up eating lots of soy, theres no reason to begin eating it in large quantities. And stay away from supplements that contain concentrated soy protein or extracts, such as isoflavones, as we just dont know their long-term effects.

Don’t Miss: Does Premier Protein Help With Weight Loss

The Importance Of High Protein Foods

As macronutrients go, protein is by far the most filling. It reduces the hunger hormone ghrelin and boosts peptide YY, which makes you feel satiated. Getting enough through your diet quells cravings by up to 60 per cent, research shows, and gives your metabolism a boost in one study, the high-protein group burned 260 more calories per day.

Not only will getting sufficient protein help you build muscle, but it’ll also prevent your body from breaking it down when you’re dieting. In one study, 20 bodybuilders ate 40 per cent fewer calories than they burned each day. Some cranked up their protein intake to 2.3 grams per kilogram bodyweight, while others kept their macros at around 1.6g per kg. At the end of the study, the high-protein group only lost body fat, not muscle.

People who eat more protein have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and a much lower risk of osteoporosis and fractures as they age.

That’s not all, of course. People who eat more protein have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and a much lower risk of osteoporosis and fractures as they age, studies show. What you eat can have a big impact on your mood, too protein plays a key role in the function of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which are crucial to your mental health.

Foods High In Calories And Protein

Healthy Food Advice : What are Complete Protein Foods?

Because low-calorie foods really aren’t always the best choice.

Food Network Kitchens Pan-Fried Salmon.

Matt Armendariz

When it comes to choosing what foods to eat, going low calorie isnt always the best path. Sometimes, youll want foods that are higher in calories and protein. Why? Maybe youre trying to gain weight or muscle, or perhaps youre simply trying to get a lot of protein from one specific food.

Whatever your reason, here are seven foods that are high in both calories and protein.

Plain Greek Yogurt: This food contains a hefty amount of protein: 20 grams per 8-ounce serving of the whole-milk variety, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database, as well as 220 calories. Enjoy Greek yogurt in Greek yogurt pancakes, a Greek yogurt parfait or a yogurt pesto dip.

Wild Salmon: This lean protein contains 206 calories per 4-ounce serving of cooked salmon, along with close to 29 grams of protein, per the USDA National Nutrient Database. Salmon also provides heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Cook up oven-baked salmon, pan-fried salmon or a healthy BBQ salmon sheet pan dinner.

Steak: A 4-ounce serving of cooked skirt steak provides an incredible 30 grams of protein for 232 calories, per the USDA National Nutrient Database. Enjoy steak in a beef stir-fry, steak summer rolls or a steak peppercorn salad.

We Also Recommend

Don’t Miss: Bulk Supplements Protein

Its All About The Protein Package

When we eat foods for protein, we also eat everything that comes alongside it: the different fats, fiber, sodium, and more. Its this protein package thats likely to make a difference for health.

The table below shows a sample of food packages sorted by protein content, alongside a range of components that come with it.

To call out a few examples:

  • A 4-ounce broiled sirloin steak is a great source of proteinabout 33 grams worth. But it also delivers about 5 grams of saturated fat.
  • A 4-ounce ham steak with 22 grams of protein has only 1.6 grams of saturated fat, but its loaded with 1,500 milligrams worth of sodium.
  • 4 ounces of grilled sockeye salmon has about 30 grams of protein, naturally low in sodium, and contains just over 1 gram of saturated fat. Salmon and other fatty fish are also excellent sources of omega-3 fats, a type of fat thats especially good for the heart.
  • A cup of cooked lentils provides about 18 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber, and it has virtually no saturated fat or sodium.

What about protein powders?

Why Is Protein Important

First things first. Why is protein essential for your health?

A diet thats high in protein can help lower blood pressure, decrease your risk of developing diabetes, help you lose weight and build muscle, says Hopsecger.

Here are some other reasons why protein is important. Protein:

  • Oxygenates red blood cells, helping to supply your body with nutrients.
  • Regulates hormones.
  • Speeds up exercise recovery and injury.

Also Check: Cholesterol In Protein Shakes

Choose Leaner Slightly Larger Cuts Of Meat

Selecting leaner cuts of meat and increasing portion sizes slightly can significantly boost the protein content of your meal.

Whats more, your meal may even end up being lower in calories.

For example, compare the nutritional value of a 3-ounce serving of these two steaks (

34 ).

Peanut butter can also boost the flavor and nutritional value of firm fruits like apples and pears, which are rich in fiber and antioxidants yet low in protein.

In fact, spreading 2 tablespoons of peanut butter on sliced fruit can boost the total protein content by 7 grams .

Peanut butter also works well with a wide range of other ingredients, including oatmeal, celery, whole wheat toast, or yogurt.

Summary

Adding peanut butter to your diet can boost your protein intake. It may also help decrease appetite, improve heart health, and lower blood sugar.

What Counts As An Ounce

15 Protein Rich Foods You Should Consider Eating Often

In general, 1 ounce of meat, poultry or fish, ¼ cup cooked beans, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, or ½ ounce of nuts or seeds can be considered as 1 ounce-equivalent from the Protein Foods Group. The table below lists specific amounts that count as 1 ounce-equivalent in the Protein Foods Group towards your daily recommended intake.

Read Also: Vega One Compared To Shakeology

Is Animal Or Plant

You may have read about the debate on animal versus plant-based protein sources and their effect on health as well as the environment. Read more on this topic on our page on eating healthily and sustainably. Research has found that if we changed from our average diet in the UK to the eating pattern recommended in the Governments Eatwell Guide, which is more plant based this would significantly improve our health as well as reducing the environmental footprint of our diet. In terms of where we get protein the diet, the recommendations are eating more beans and pulses, having two portions of fish a week and not having more than 70g a day of red or processed meat.

For many of us, eating more beans, lentils, nuts and other plant-based proteins would be a healthy way to get some of the protein we need, as well as providing us with fibre and other nutrients. This does not mean that we need to cut out meat or other animal foods but look at ways we could eat a wider variety of foods that provide protein.

If you choose to be vegetarian or vegan, you need to make sure you are getting plenty of plant-based protein foods. Most vegetarians get enough protein in their diets, but its important to include a variety of foods to provide protein as well as other vitamins and minerals. Although animal protein is considered better quality than protein from plant sources , provided we eat a varied diet we should get all the protein and amino acids we need to be healthy.

Know Your Total Calorie Goals

Eating more protein is thought to support weight loss, muscle gain, and improved health a number of different ways, but if you arent eating the right amount of calories protein intake isnt going to make much difference.

In other words, the first step in evaluating your food choices is calorie content. Learn how many calories you need to eat each day and then find foods that help you hit that goal consistently.

The easiest way to determine if a meal or snack is the right calorie fit is to plan out your day in advance. This is much easier than it sounds.

Take your total calorie needs and divide by the typical number of meals you have each day. If you need 2000 calories and eat three times a day, youd need roughly ~600 calories per meal with 200 calories to spare. Then use any remaining calories to account for snacks and wiggle room as needed.

Then use this amount to judge whether or not that high protein food is actually benefiting your overall diet.

Recommended Reading: Protein Comparable To Shakeology

Healthy Egg Salad On Cucumber Rounds

Via Well Plated: Healthy Egg Salad

Make egg salad the Well Plated way, with nonfat Greek yogurt and mustard. This technique removes a lot of the fat and even adds in some extra protein. You can also ditch the bread and eat your egg salad on dainty cucumber slices. It might sound like a tea party snack, but it packs some serious protein.

Cheap And Healthy Sources Of Protein

Healthy Protein Sources: Seeds! Health Foods for Weight Loss, Health Tips, Vegan, Vegetarian

, 2).

Luckily, there are many delicious choices that suit every dietary need.

However, some people may find healthy protein sources to be too costly. While some sources of protein are expensive, there are also many affordable alternatives.

Here are 17 healthy protein sources that wont break the bank.

Also Check: Will I Lose Weight If I Only Drink Protein Shakes

Very High Protein Diets Are Dangerous

Some fad diets promote very high protein intakes of between 200 and 400g per day. This is more than five times the amount recommended in the Australian Dietary Guidelines. The protein recommendations in the Guidelines provide enough protein to build and repair muscles, even for body builders and athletes. A very high-protein diet can strain the kidneys and liver. It can also prompt excessive loss of the mineral calcium, which can increase your risk of osteoporosis.

Quick Fruit And Protein Smoothie

If you’re hungry but in a hurry, make a healthy protein smoothie with any extra fruits and veggies lying around. Combine things like leafy greens such as kale or spinach, avocado, banana, pineapple, coconut milk, and an unsweetened protein powder to have a tropical drink at your hand. For more smoothie recipes, check out 56 Best Smoothie Recipes for Weight Loss.

Don’t Miss: Protein Powder High Cholesterol

Ground Beef Sliders And Meatballs

11/20 stars

Sliders or a couple of meatballs are both snack-friendly ways to eat ground beef. With just 2 ounces , youll get about 10 grams of protein and no carbs at all.

For convenience, try grilling a batch of seasoned sliders and freezing them. Or, try a low-carb recipe from our hearty meatball collection, and freeze them right after cooking them. Now your snack is just a microwave-minute away from eating.

If you want fewer calories, buy a leaner blend. Youll pay a little more but increase the percentage of energy from protein in your snack.

Overall
~ 140 calories

Other Sources Of Protein

Assortment of healthy protein source and body building food â Stock ...

While most of us can hit our protein goals through whole-food sources, there are some scenarios where protein powders or other protein-enriched foods can be useful. People starting an intense endurance- or strength-training program, recovering from surgery, or dealing with other health issues may need to boost their protein intake, says London. In these situations, be sure to talk with your health care provider to create a personalized nutrition plan.

That said, there may also be more in-the-moment times where you need some extra help on the protein front. On busy mornings where you barely have time to brush your teeth let alone cook breakfast, WWs protein-packed lattes can be a great solution. Each 8-oz can provides 11 g of protein and 20% of the Daily Value for calciummaking them convenient and nutritious breakfast additions. Ultimately, all foods are on the menu and WW members should do what works for them, which could include using a protein powder or protein-enhanced drinks, says Goscilo.

You May Like: Can Premier Protein Help You Lose Weight

Popular Articles

Related Articles