Our High Protein Foods List For Weight Loss
We’ve broken our list of high-protein, low-fat foods into categories:
- nuts and seeds
Whether you’re a fan of fish, can’t deny your love of dairy or stick to a meat-free meal plan, we’ve got the best options for your waistline.
Read on to get in the know and be sure to pick a few of our suggestions up next time you head to the grocery store.
Check Your Nutrition Labels
This is especially true for packaged foods, but if your fresh meats or dairy are packaged, check those too. You want to look for:
- Serving size: This is what the rest of the label is based on. Remember: Total carbs are calculated per serving. If you eat four servings of food labeled zero carbs that actually has 0.5 grams of carbs, youre getting an extra 2 grams of carbs in.
- Servings per container: Before you down that bag of low-carb almond crackers, make sure that the bag contains only one serving, or you could be eating a lot more carbs than you were expecting.
- Ingredients: Always peek at the ingredients of packaged food. Thats where hidden sugars often reveal themselves. You may be surprised by the added sugars and other sources of carbohydrates that wouldnt be obvious from the front of the package or the nutrition label.
- Total Carbohydrates: After looking at the ingredients, check out the total carbohydrates to be sure of what you buy.
Protein Payout: 4 Oz Strip Steak 133 Calories 26 G Protein
When it comes to steak or burgers, go grass-fed. It may ding your wallet, but it’ll dent your abs. Grass-fed beef is naturally leaner and has fewer calories than conventional meat: A lean seven-ounce conventional strip steak has 386 calories and 16 grams of fat. But a seven-ounce grass-fed strip steak has only 234 calories and five grams of fat. Grass-fed meat also contains higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, according to a study published in Nutrition Journal, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Concerned about your ticker? Keep it healthy by eating more of these foods that decrease your heart disease risk.
Cup : 118 Calories 05 G Fat 85 G Protein
It’s enough to make Popeye do a spit take: Despite their wimpy reputation, a cup of green peas contains eight times the protein of a cup of spinach. And with almost 100 percent of your daily value of vitamin C in a single cup, they’ll help keep your immune system up to snuff. Layer them into a mason jar salad or add them to an omelet to boost eggs’ satiating power. Speaking of omelets, check out these other fat-burning ways to eat eggs.
Trader Joe’s Mini Brie Bites
“Single-serving cheese is nothing new, but these single-serve Brie bites elevate the typical cheese stick experience,” says Andrews. Each mini bite has 4 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrate, and only 70 calories. To keep carbs in check, pair a bite with a low-carb fruit like berries, melon or watermelon, for a satisfying snack.
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Eat More Fish And Shellfish
Which types are best? Since nearly all seafood is high in protein yet low in fat and carbs, the choice is up to you.
However, if you want to maximize protein per calorie, shrimp, crab, and lobster are your best shellfish options. Indeed, more than 85% of their calories come from protein. Whitefish halibut, flounder, and tilapia, among others also have impressive protein percentages of around 80% or more.
Even fatty fish like salmon and sardines provide more protein and less fat than many types of meat. If possible, go for wild-caught salmon, which contains far less fat than farmed salmon.
Although seafood can be pricey, canned fish and shellfish are economical and convenient. As a bonus, all canned salmon is wild-caught rather than farmed.
Bottom line? Select seafood based on personal preference, availability, and your budget. The only types to avoid or strictly limit are fish very high in mercury, such as King mackerel, bigeye tuna, swordfish, and shark.
If you like, add your favorite herbs, some Greek yogurt, or a squeeze of lemon to enhance flavor. Adding a small amount of mayonnaise or a vinaigrette to canned tuna can improve taste and reduce dryness.
Also, be sure to try our delicious high-protein seafood recipes:
Foods To Eat On A High
Just because youre eating a high-protein, low-carb diet doesnt mean meal prep has to feel like a rollercoaster ride filled with highs and lows. One of the best tips for high-protein, low-carb eating is to plan your meals in advance. Keeping a go-to food list handy and a stocked pantry and fridge filled with approved ingredients makes it easy to pull together a snack or a quick dinner without messing up your food goals. Keep reading to learn what to enjoy and what to skip.
A Final Word On How To Pick The Right Type Of Keto Diet For You
Its a good idea to meet with your doctor or a registered dietitian any time you switch up your diet whether youre on keto or another eating plan. And above all, Torchia says to listen to your body and assess your energy level and how youre feeling on the diet. You will be your best teacher, she says.
Additional reporting by Elizabeth Millard.
Protein Payout: 1 Oz 158 Calories 9 G Protein
Dr. Lindsey Duncan, a nutritionist who’s worked with Tony Dorsett and Reggie Bush, is a big fan of pumpkin seeds. “A handful of raw pepitas or dry roasted pumpkin seeds can give you a natural jolt to power through a workout,” he says. “They’re a good source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber, keeping you feeling full and energized longer, and contain manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc, which provide additional energy support to maximize gym time.” Throw them into salads and rice dishes or eat them raw. Looking for more delicious ways to eat pumpkin? Check out these 8 amazing ways to eat pumpkin this fall!
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Can You Eat Soup On A Low Carb Diet
If youre new to the Keto diet or cooking in general soups are a great place to start. Dont have this or want to add a little more of that.. go for it. Theyre economical. The Keto diet can be expensive with its emphasis on organic protein, but soups and stews allow you to stretch your ingredients.
Does Caffeine Cause Belly Fat
Coffee alone does not cause weight gain and may, in fact, promote weight loss by boosting metabolism and aiding appetite control. However, it can negatively affect sleep, which may promote weight gain. Additionally, many coffee drinks and popular coffee pairings are high in calories and added sugar.
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Foods That Are Almost Pure Protein
Protein is an essential macronutrient that serves many functions in your body.
The recommended amount of protein is 0.37 grams per pound of body weight, or 0.8 grams per kilogram (
The simplest way to increase your protein intake is to eat more high protein foods.
That said, not all high protein foods are created equal. Some of them are extremely high in this nutrient, containing almost nothing but protein and water.
Here are 10 foods that are almost pure protein, comprising 80% of calories or more.
Practical Applications: How To Use The Zero Carb And Almost Zero Carb Food Lists For Keto Success
There are dozens of ways you can use this guide to help on your path toward keto diet success. Here are some practical suggestions you may find helpful:
No matter what you decide to do, always keep your health and the sustainability of the diet in mind. The results you get mean nothing if your dietary approach is worsening your health & wellbeing or if it is too difficult for you to stick with for the long-term.
Instead of forcing yourself to follow a strict diet, focus on finding weight loss strategies that may improve your health and fit better with your lifestyle and experiment with them to see if they work for you. The zero carb and almost zero carb lists, for example, may be one of these weight loss tools that can help you reach your goals and gain more control over your health and body composition.
If youd like to learn more about what you should and should not eat on the keto diet, check out these two free keto-friendly eating guides:
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Protein Payout: 1 Medium Vegetable 60 Calories 42 G Protein
Ghrelin is your body’s “I’m hungry” hormone, which is suppressed when your stomach is full, so eating satiating high-fiber and high-protein foods is a no-brainer. The humble artichoke is a winner on both counts: It has almost twice as much fiber as kale and one of the highest protein counts among vegetables. Boil and eat the whole shebang as a self-contained salad , toss the leaves with your favorite greens and dressing, or peel and pop the hearts onto healthy pizzas and flatbreads.
Do Carbs Make You Gain Weight
Carbsweight gaincarbs doyouyouweightcarbsCarbohydratesHere is a list of 12 high-carb foods that also happen to be incredibly healthy.
- Quinoa. Quinoa is a nutritious seed that has become incredibly popular in the natural health community.
- Oats. Oats may be the healthiest whole grain food on the planet.
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Can You Survive On Zero Carbs
While we can survive without sugar, it would be difficult to eliminate carbohydrates entirely from your diet. Carbohydrates are the bodys main source of energy. In their absence, your body will use protein and fat for energy. It may also be hard to get enough fibre, which is important for long-term health.
Good Protein Sources To Try
Ultimately, the best protein sources provide high amounts of protein and beneficial nutrients per calorie.
This includes the following:
These options are your best bet to hit your daily protein macro goals and achieve higher protein intake regularly.
However, there are still some serious benefits to other proteins that provide a mixed macro ratio. While they may not be the most protein dense overall, they can still contribute nutrition and health benefits.
Not to mention, your overall diet is not designed to be pure protein, and finding macro balanced foods and meals that match your nutrition needs is an efficient way to get better balance overall.
This is especially true for vegans and plant based eaters who rely on plant based proteins that tend to also be a source of fat or carbohydrates.
It is a balancing act, figuring out what macro ratios work best for you.
Here are 30 additional good protein sources to consider:
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What Is A High Protein Breakfast
Here are seven quick and easy ideas for high-protein breakfasts to power your morning.
- Overnight Oats with Blueberries. ½ cup oats + ½ cup Greek yogurt + ½ cup milk + 1 tablespoon chia seeds + ½ cup blueberries.
- Cottage Cheese Toast.
Healthy Low-Protein Foods to Include
- Fruits: Apples, bananas, pears, peaches, berries, grapefruit, etc.
- Vegetables: Tomatoes, asparagus, peppers, broccoli, leafy greens, etc.
- Grains: Rice, oats, bread, pasta, barley, etc.
- Healthy fats: Includes avocados, olive oil and coconut oil.
Here are 14 foods to avoid or limit on a low-carb diet.
- Bread and grains. Bread is a staple food in many cultures.
- Some fruit. A high intake of fruits and vegetables has consistently been linked to a lower risk of cancer and heart disease .
- Starchy vegetables.
Here are six of the worst carbs you can consume.
Top 5 Carb Sources For Bodybuilders
- Breakfast Cereal. Breakfast is on this list because it is a convenient, high-calorie food.
- Oatmeal. People who consume oats regularly are less likely to become obese.
- Sweet Potatoes.
Protein Payout: 1/2 Cup 109
Beans are good for more than just your heart. They’re loaded with proteins, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that can benefit your brain and muscles, too. Not to mention, they digest very slowly, which can help you feel fuller, longer, and fuel weight loss efforts without causing feelings of deprivation. Look for easy-to-use, pre-cooked BPA-free varieties that come in a pouch or a box. Add them to soups and salads or mix them with brown rice and steamed vegetables to create a heartyyet healthydinner. Big into snacking? Mix black beans with some salsa and corn, and serve with some whole grain crackers in place of your favorite packaged dip.
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Proteins High In Healthy Fats
Even though they aren’t as protein dense, or often as low in calories, nutritionally speaking, higher-fat proteins can be just as good for you as low-fat protein options. It all depends on your personal nutrition needs and dietary goals.
Because fat is more calorically dense – providing twice as many calories per gram as other macronutrients – you can get more calories in a smaller portion size. Which is why a little healthy fat, like plant based fat from nuts and seeds, can be a great addition to help add calories when trying to gain muscle.
But this also doesn’t mean eating high fat foods will make you fat! Some fatty foods can be satiating – keeping your appetite in check when trying to cut calories. Fat can also slow the absorption of protein and carbs. This may be beneficial if you are looking for long-lasting energy.
Additionally, fatty proteins from fish and plant based sources are associated with heart health benefits and support good nutrition overall .
Quality proteins that are higher in fat and lower in carbs include nuts, seeds, nut butters, fatty fish, full fat dairy, and some meat alternatives.
High fat proteins work especially great for keto dieters or those looking to gain muscle.
Here are eight options to try:
While many nuts and seeds may seem like they have a higher carbohydrate content at first glance, their net carbs are actually low when consider their high fiber content.
What Are Good Fats
- lean meats, such as sirloin, chicken breast, or pork.
- nuts and seeds, including nut butter.
- oils, such as coconut oil, olive oil, and rapeseed oil.
- some fruit, such as apples, blueberries, and strawberries.
10 Foods That Are Almost Pure Protein
- Chicken breast. Chicken is one of the most commonly consumed high protein foods.
- Turkey breast. Turkey is a low fat source of protein.
- Egg whites. Like most other animal foods, eggs have high quality protein that contains all the amino acids.
- Dried fish.
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Protein Payout: 2 Tablespoons 191 Calories 7 Grams Of Protein
This creamy spread is downright addictive. While eating too much peanut butter can wreak havoc on your waistline, a standard two-tablespoon serving provides a solid dose of muscle-building protein and healthy fats. According to a 2014 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming peanuts can prevent both cardiovascular and coronary artery disease the most common type of heart condition. Look for the unsalted, no sugar added varieties without hydrogenated oils to reap the most benefits. If you’re tired of plain old PB& J sandwiches, try stirring the spread into hot oatmeal, smearing it on fresh produce, or blending it into your post-workout smoothie. And for some seriously slimming smoothie inspiration check out these 10 smoothie recipes for weight loss.
Almost Zero Carb Cheeses
Most unprocessed, full-fat cheeses with no added flavors or ingredients have between 0 and 1 grams of net carbs in every 1-ounce serving. In general, hard cheeses will be the lowest in net carbs, and softer, creamy cheeses will be the highest.
Since most people use a lot of cheese on keto, the trace amounts of net carbs can really add up quickly. If you are having multiple servings of cheese per day, make sure you monitor those cheesy carbs.
Here is a list of the most popular keto cheeses with net carb content per 1 oz serving:
Protein Payout: 1 Oz 138 Calories 5 G Protein
One of the hallmarks of a balanced diet is to have a good ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3s. A 4:1 ratio would be ideal, but the modern American diet is more like 20:1. That leads to inflammation, which can trigger weight gain. But while eating a serving of salmon every day isn’t exactly convenient, sprinkling chia seedsamong the most highly concentrated sources of omega-3s in the food worldinto smoothies, salads, cereals, pancakes or even desserts is as easy a diet upgrade as you can get.
Almost Zero Carb Fruits And Vegetables
Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables are your best option in this category. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber and wont cause your net carb intake to climb substantially.
To give you a better idea of what the almost zero plant foods are, here is a list of ketogenic fruits and vegetables with the lowest net carb counts :
- Broccoli Raab
- Bamboo Shoots
Stick with the lowest net carb fruits and vegetables on this list to help you meet your fiber, vitamin, and mineral needs without worrying about going over your daily net carb limit.
For more info on keto-friendly fruits check out this article: Best Low-Carb Fruits .
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