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15 Popular High Protein Foods

15 Popular High Protein Foods

Three of the main categories of food your body takes in are fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. There are places for all three of these food types in your diet. However, proteins are lower in calories per gram than both carbs and fats. This helps you consume more food with fewer calories.

This is why there are a number of diets that are high protein, low-calorie diets. It’s far easier to consume fewer protein calories than carb or fat calories. However, there are a number of other benefits when it comes to protein, which is why you should be on the lookout for high protein foods.

Why Are High Protein Foods Important?

Your body’s muscles are protein. The muscle fiber is protein, so when you consume protein you’re not just gaining a valuable energy source for your body to draw on. You’re also consuming food that helps rebuild your muscles. When you workout and lift weights, the muscle fibers tear and breakdown from the strain you put on them. Protein is then used to repair the damaged muscle fiber. This is how muscles grow larger.

The fibers are so broken down after a heavy workout and the protein used to repair and rebuild increases the size and mass of the body. Like everything else, it is important to consume protein in moderation, but for a healthy lifestyle, protein is extremely important for your diet.

There are a number of high-protein foods available to most people. If you’re looking to increase your muscle size or just want a high protein, low-calorie food, you can find this in both plants and animals. It generally is better to consume meat based protein than plant-based protein. This is because meat based protein contains all of the vital BCAA (branched-chain amino acids). BCAAs are used in the delivery of protein to your body’s muscles. Basically, it helps your body consume and use protein more efficiently. So if you’re looking to increase muscle mass, meat-based protein is best.

However, there are a handful of plants that are known as “complete” protein, which means even the plants have the animal-based BCAA within it. These are desirable for those who want to increase muscle mass, but who also want to remain on a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Eggs

High protein - eggs

In terms of pure protein and low-calorie foods, few other food options out there can compete with eggs. A single egg has around 70 to 75 calories, but comes packed with 7 grams of protein. However, if you’re looking to cut out a number of the calories while maintaining the protein, eating just the egg white is an option. An egg white is just (around) 17 calories, while you consume four grams of protein. In these instances, just about the entire food you’re eating is pure protein.

Pork Loin

A pork loin is about three ounces. In the three ounces, you are going to pack away around 135 calories, but also 25 grams of protein. It is also low in fat. In some cases, if you have high cholesterol it is important to watch the foods you eat as some of these are high in sodium (this, for example, has 430 milligrams of sodium). However, it packs a major punch with the amount of protein it packs.

Turkey Breast

High protein - Turkey Breast

When it comes to high protein foods,
you can always turn to anything that flies. Turkey and chicken are both
desirable, as these animals are mostly muscle with very little in the way
of fat. For every ounce of turkey breast you eat you will net eight grams of
protein. Most serving sizes will be around three and four ounces, which means
you’re eating 24 to 32 grams of protein.

Chicken Breast

Eating a full chicken breast is
packed with protein. The full chicken breast has 54 grams of protein, all with
only 284 calories. It is important to note this is without the skin. The skin
is one of the more unhealthy elements of a chicken. So, if you want the high
levels of protein without the calories, carbs or fats, you need to eat a
chicken breast that is not broiled or deep fried, and doesn’t have the
skin.

Almonds

High protein - almonds

You can net a surprising amount of
protein from some nuts. In terms of high protein foods, almonds are one of
the best. It is also why almonds is one of the best snack foods out
there as well. A cup of almonds comes with 20 grams of protein. Of course,
when you look at the serving size on the package it will probably list it in
ounces. In this case, there are six grams of protein per ounce.

Cottage Cheese

When eating out, most of the side
dishes a restaurant provides you will either be extremely fattening, or
come with little to no nutritional value. If you want high protein foods
as your side, go for cottage cheese. Cottage cheese packs a high 25 grams of protein
per one cup. The number of calories will vary a bit, depending on the kind
of cottage cheese you pick up

Greek Yogurt

Most dairy options are high protein
foods. You need to be careful with the fat content (if you’re looking to cut
down on your calories). A single container of nonfat Greek yogurt comes with 17
grams of protein. This makes it a nice snack (you can pack it with some almonds
for a solid in between meals snack to keep your body’s metabolism revved up).

Broccoli

High protein - broccoli

Most of the veggies you eat as a
side will not come with much in the way of protein. However, of the veggies,
broccoli is one of the best. For a cup of chopped protein you will get around
2.6 grams of protein. It is almost always better to eat the broccoli raw
instead of boiling it in water as some nutritional value will leave during the
boiling process.

Tuna

Just about anything from the water
will come high in protein. This is because the animals are always on the move
which reduces the fat content and increases the protein content. Tuna is one of
the high protein foods on the list. A single three-ounce can of tuna will
contain 25 grams of protein (this may vary some depending on if you go with the
water in a can or oil in a can tuna).

Quinoa

High protein - quinoa

Quinoa is one of the vegetables that
contains all nine amino acids. Due to this, it is one of the few non-meat
options that is known as a “complete protein.” It comes with eight
grams of protein per cup, so while it does have more calories than a serving of
meat, if you’re looking to consume more protein on a vegan or vegetarian based
diet, this is the way to go.

Halibut

Halibut is another one of
the seafoods that is great for your diet. For a single serving,
which is around four ounces, you’ll consume around 30 grams of protein (for
just 158 calories).

Tempeh

When it comes to packing on a solid
amount of protein on your diet, tempeh is a great addition. For a single cup
serving, you’ll receive 31 grams of protein.

Black Rice

High protein - black rice
Dish of Oriental Black Rice

Rice is high in carbs, so it’s best
to limit rice consumption and to use it before working out (as you can use the
carbs for energy). However, a single serving of black rice, which is lower in
calories than brown rice, comes with five grams of protein, which is more than
brown rice as well.

Beans

There are a number of beans that
are great for your diet. Different kinds of beans have different
levels of protein. However, on average, a single cup of beans has 41 grams of
protein.

Hummus

High protein - hummus

In terms of dips, hummus has more
nutritional value than most. It can also be seen as one of the
most high protein foods. A single cup of protein is packed with 19
grams of protein. Of course, this is for a full cup of hummus, which is higher
in the way of calories. When it comes to picking dips between heavy creams and
hummus, always go with the hummus option (it helps that hummus tastes great as
well).

Conclusion

Protein is an
extremely important element to your diet. Every gram of protein comes with
fewer calories than carbs and fats. This way, you can stay fuller, longer while
eating less. If you’re looking to drop some weight, eating a high protein,
low-calorie diet is the way to go. Your muscles are also made out of
protein, so to repair the muscles after exercise you need protein in your
system.

There are a number of high protein
foods out there. These are some very best you should consider as each has
its own benefit. Whether you are open to eating any kind of food or you’re
interested in remaining vegetarian or vegan, you should consider
adding each of these foods to your diet. 

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