Protein has always been something I’ve struggled with in the past, and still do some days. It’s an important part of our diet as it helps repair our muscles from strenuous activity and gives us energy, and can also help keep you fuller for longer than carbs. Pairing it with fiber is even better if you can since that is another one that helps keep you fuller longer.
Now before you turn to protein powder or shakes, try these foods:
- Lean pork, chicken, turkey. Bake it or grill it and limit your oil or try healthy alternatives to keep it low calorie/fat. Most of these choices pack a whopping 20-25 grams of protein for 100-150 calories.
- Ground turkey or the leanest ground chuck you can get your hands on. Usually 19-20 grams for 160-170 calories.
- Greek yogurt, which is almost like having a dessert! 12 grams for 90-100 calories, and some even have more than that.
- Regular yogurt usually has about 5 grams per serving, calories depend on the type you get. I like to get Yoplait light or store brand versions of that for 80-100 calories a piece. It tastes good to me though, and for some it won’t!
- Cottage cheese. Sometimes this means you have to acquire a taste. I personally love Dutch Farms brand because it tastes the creamiest. 12-13 grams for 80 calories if you get the low fat version.
- Nuts: almonds, peanuts, cashews, walnuts. Check the nutrition facts and make sure to measure before eating, calories vary 160-200+ calories per quarter cup serving, but have 7-8 grams of protein. Also has significant fiber. This is a high calorie choice but healthy!
- Nut butter. I have only used peanut butter but that has 7g of protein for 180-200 calories. This is obviously another high calorie choice.
- Eggs or egg whites. Usually 6 grams for 70 calories or so.
- Beans, any kind: kidney, black, etc. Most have 6-7 grams for 100-130 calories per half cup serving. Also high in fiber!
- Milk. All dairy milk should have 8 grams, but calories vary from 90-130 per one cup serving.
- Cheese. You can get anywhere from 4-7 grams for 60-110 calories.
- Protein rich cereals such as Kashi GoLean or Special K Protein. These vary 10-13 grams per serving before the milk is added in. There are some others that are 10+ grams after milk is added in but the cereal themselves aren’t as rich with protein as some others. Some protein cereals also have significant fiber.
Keep in mind food can vary a bit in the nutrition facts, and I am just sharing my experiences with these high protein foods so that you know where to start if you’re also struggling with protein.
Of course, this isn’t everything and I couldn’t possibly list it all but these are a few that I personally turn to, some more often than others. You can also make recipes with some of this food to increase protein content mixed with other foods. Play around with it and even find your own high protein foods if you can. Find something you enjoy as well! We should enjoy the foods we eat especially when we’re eating healthy!
Try new foods as well, sometimes you find things that you like and wonder how you lived without knowing it existed before, and that goes for healthy foods as well! As I have mentioned in a previous post, our taste buds change as well so remember that you might like something now that you never did before. This list is definitely a good place to start if you’re unsure though!