36 High Protein Foods You should be Eating

Best High Protein Foods You should be Eating

Best high protein foods to eat 

Protein foods are one of the most important macronutrients you can eat.


They do a lot for our bodies as all tissues, organs, hormones, and muscles are made up of some type of protein. They’re needed for repair, maintenance, growth, and development.


In addition, if you want to build muscle or lose weight, then your diet should be full of these protein foods. Here’s why protein foods are considered one of the best weight loss foods;


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How protein foods help you lose weight

Protein foods have always been the core of successful weight loss plans. This is why popular programs such as Nooms lose weight for good also include high protein foods in all meals.


Protein foods will help you lose weight fast by;


1. Reduces Appetite

There is a difference between having cereal for breakfast or enjoying an egg omelet. While cereal might taste better due to high sugar content, the egg omelet will keep you full for hours.


This is due to the effects protein has o your hormones. When you eat something full of protein, it increases the production of satiety hormones responsible for making you feel full.


While at the same time decreasing the production of the hunger hormone. As a result, you end up eating less yet feeling just as full.


For somebody who’s trying to lose weight, this is exactly what you want. Programs such as the Nooms healthy weight loss take advantage of this to help you lose as much as 10 – 21 pounds in weeks.


2. Increases Metabolic Rate

Did you know that your body needs as much as 35% more calories just to break down protein foods?


While it only needs 15% more calories to digest carbs and fats. If you’re trying to lose weight fast. This increased metabolism will definitely be of great advantage on a good weight loss plan.


How much protein per day?

Protein requirements will vary depending on factors such as weight, age, gender, and physical activity. However, most calculations use bodyweight to determine protein requirements.


The recommended daily intake is 0.8grams per kg of body weight for an adult who does minimal physical activity.  For active adults who exercise daily with weights, the recommended intake is 1 – 1.5grams per kg of body weight.


Lastly, for healthy adults with no health concerns looking to increase their protein intake 2grams per kg of body weight is a safe choice.


Best High protein foods

1. Eggs

This breakfast staple is one of the cheapest low-carb food options available for many.  Eggs are full of essential disease-fighting nutrients such as vitamins, iron, and minerals.

Protein: 6g per 1 large egg (1)


High-protein seafood sources

2. Salmon

Although slightly expensive, salmon is highly nutritious with vitamin D and rich omega 3 fatty acids. Pan fry it or oven-bake to enjoy it for your next meal.


Protein: 17g per 3 oz(85g) serving (2).




3. Canned light tuna

Light tuna canned has remained one of the most popular kinds of seafood, only second to shrimp due to its high-protein and low-fat composition. Choose tuna canned in water as it has fewer calories.


Protein: 39g per 172g (3)


4. Shrimp

Shrimp has long reigned as the most popular seafood as it’s low in calories and highly nutritious full of Vitamin B12 and selenium. Despite its small size, it’s very rich in protein.


Protein: 24g per 3.5 oz (100g) serving.


protein foods- shrimp


5. Halibut

Great source of lean protein, halibut contains lots of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to vitamin B6, niacin, vitamin B12, magnesium, phosphorus, and Niacin.


Protein: 23 g per 85g (4


High protein foods: meat sources 

6. Lean beef (90%)

Feel free to indulge in sirloin steak as lean beef is not only delicious but full of vitamins and minerals esp zinc and iron.  Enjoy it in various forms such as roasts, ribs, or minced.


Protein: 26 g per 100g serving (5


With meal services like Nutrisystem, you never have to worry about running out of delicious recipe ideas. You will get customized meals sent right to your doorstep.


7.Chicken breast (skinless)

A common source of protein, chicken is not only delicious but also easy to cook making it a staple in many households.
Protein: 31g per 100g serving (6.)


8. Bison

Although much more nutritious than beef, bison also known as North American Buffalo is yet to become an everyday meat staple. Bison is an excellent lean protein packed with iron, zinc, and vitamin B12.

Protein: 26g per 100g (7).


9. Lean pork

No this won’t be about your pork favorites such as bacon but rather lean pork cuts such as tenderloin or pork roasts.
Protein: 30g per 100g serving (8).


10. Turkey breast

Offering a somewhat similar taste to chicken, skinless turkey is a great low-fat source of protein, vitamin B6, and niacin.
Protein: 22g per 100g serving (9




Protein foods: dairy

11. Greek yogurt

This creamy goodness is a great source of balanced nutrients as it contains proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins, and minerals all fortified by gut-healing probiotics.

Proteins: 17g per 6- oz serving (10)


12. Milk

For those who can tolerate it, milk is an excellent source of protein that’s very high in bone-building calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin B2.
Protein: 8g per 1 cup (244g) serving


13. Cottage cheese

Fresh, soft, and creamy, cottage cheese is a great low-fat and full of calcium, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B2, vitamin B12.
Protein: 11g per 100g serving (11


14. Goat cheese

Full of essentials nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Goat cheese is also easier to digest making it great for all.

Protein: 22 g per 3.5oz  serving (12



whey protein powder- increase protein


15. Whey protein powder

Whey protein is a popular supplement commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders as it has been shown to boost strength.


It is a fast-digesting mixture of proteins made from whey which is the liquid part of milk. It helps you lose body fat and gain muscle.
Protein: 25g per 1 scoop (32g) serving.


High protein foods: legumes

16. Chickpeas

Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are a great source of fiber. Their bland taste makes them great with pretty much everything. You can try a quick chickpea salad or hummus dip.

Protein: 15g per 1-cup serving (13


With meal services such as Nutrisystem, enjoying chickpeas won’t be a struggle. You get customized ready-to-eat meals delivered to your doorstep.


17. Lentils

A favorite legume for many as they’re super easy to cook and make great soups. Lentils are also full of nutrients such as folate, phosphorus,  iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

Protein: 18g per 1-cup serving (14


18. Black beans

This versatile legume is a nutritional star full of protein and carbohydrates. Easily enjoyed in a burger, salad or vegan chili soup.
Protein: 15 g per 1-cup serving (15) 


19. Kidney beans

Most common of all bean types, kidney beans are a great source of plant-based protein and nutrients such as folate, vitamin B1, Manganese, and iron.

Protein: 15g per 1-cup serving (16


20. Navy beans

Also known as haricot beans, navy beans are an excellent source of protein,b vitamins, and minerals.
Protein: 15 g per 1-cup  (17


21. Green peas

A freezer must-have, peas are easy to incorporate into different foods and are a great source of fiber and protein. From stir fry, soups, and stews.

Protein: 8g per 1-cup serving (18)


Plant-based protein foods

22. Oats

Considered one of the most popular whole-grain cereals, oats have long been a staple as a healthy breakfast food as they are rich in fiber, protein, and fats.


Protein: 13.g per 0.5-cup serving (19




23. Tempeh

Tempeh is an Indonesian traditional food that is made by cooking and fermenting soybeans. It has gained popularity due to distinct texture and rich flavor. This cake-like meat alternative is rich in gut-healing probiotics,


Furthermore, it has been said t0 help lower cholesterol, increase bone density, and promote muscle recovery.
Protein: 18g per 100 serving (20)



24. Edamame

Edamame beans are young green soybeans that are picked while still in their pods. Typically served as snacks, these green beans are choke-full of vegetable protein, fiber, and vitamins.

Protein: 11g per 100g serving (21)



High-protein nuts and seeds

25. Hemp seeds

Even though hemp seeds are derived from cannabis sativa. You’re perfectly okay enjoying them without the worry of getting high as they won’t have any effect on you.


The seeds are an excellent source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Best enjoy them in meal replacement smoothie, cereal, or yogurt.


Protein: 9.5 g per 30g serving




Healthy protein snacks 

  • Jerky

Contrary to popular belief, jerky is actually a good healthy snack option.


Most grocery stores have different types ranging from beef, chicken, pork, and even vegan options. A 1-oz serving of beef jerky contains 9g of protein (22).  This high protein content makes it a great snack option


However, it is important to read the nutritional label first as some brands do contain a lot of unnecessary artificial ingredients. Also,  consider making your own at home here’s a simple recipe you can use.


  • Hard-boiled eggs

Eggs are probably one of the cheapest sources of protein. In addition to being the easiest to cook and most portable.


You can enjoy them as a midday snack or afternoon snack and you’ll feel full for hours. Besides one-large egg provides you with 6g of protein. Take two and you’ll be full till dinner


cottage cheese- best healthy snacks


  • Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese should always be on your list of protein snacks. It pairs well with both fruits and vegetables making it a perfect snack to have in between your meals. What’s more it actually very nutrient-dense.


You’re getting a boost a good boost of calcium, riboflavin, and vitamin B12 in addition to other minerals. 1/2 cup serving will provide you with 14g of quality protein.


  • Protein shakes

Protein shakes are not just for the gym-goers looking to build muscle, These simple drinks can also serve you as a healthy snack option due to their high protein content.


They are especially good if you’re not getting enough protein from your diet and need to supplement. Depending on your dietary preferences you can choose either; pea, soy, whey, and egg protein.


In addition, protein powders can be added to snacks and other meals for an instant protein boost.


  • Greek yogurt

Enjoying a cup of greek yogurt will provide you with 20g of quality protein. The best part is you can customize it to your likely, add in some healthy fats with almonds or peanuts.


If you don’t enjoy nuts, add in some mixed berries for sweetness instead.


  •   Edamame

Edamame is typically thought of as vegan foods but that’s not the case. Many Chinese restaurants serve them as appetizers and it’s for good reason. These immature soybeans are very high in protein with just 1-cup providing 17g of protein


Most grocery shops sell them frozen and all you have to do is steam them.




How to eat more protein

1. Start your day with high protein foods

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day especially if you want to lose weight fast. What you choose to eat should be just as equally important. Unfortunately, most favorite breakfast foods such as bagels, toast, cereal contain very little protein and lots of added sugar.


However, one easy switch you can make is starting your day with protein foods. Instead of cereal why not choose a 3-egg omelet with vegetables or cheese. The eggs alone contain 18g of protein (23)


If you find yourself completely short on time, try a protein-rich meal replacement shake. Not only are they portable.  but also a great option for busy mornings


food order


2. Eat your protein foods first

Just as with vegetables, always choose to eat your protein foods first. In a recent study on the effects of food order, it was revealed that eating protein foods first prevents spikes in blood sugar levels.


This is a good thing because blood sugar spikes make it easier for your body to add weight. By eating your protein first it prevents carbohydrates from being absorbed too fast.


In addition by eating your proteins first, you will feel full faster and end up eating less throughout the day.


3. Choose protein snacks

Healthy snacks are a great addition to any diet as they prevent you from overeating or constant cravings. Choosing high-protein snacks can significantly boost your protein intake.


Snack on protein foods such as cottage cheese or edamame thought the day. Other high-protein snacks such as Greek yogurt or hard-boiled eggs are great options to carry to work or eat on the go.


4. Eat protein foods at every meal

If you want to add protein foods to your diet, the best way is to ensure you have proteins at every mealtime. The goal is not to eat one huge meal with proteins but have it throughout the day


Aim to have at least 20- 30g of protein with every meal. With meal services such as Nutrisystem. You don’t have to worry about running out of protein recipes.




5.  Choose lean cuts

Even though the benefits of high protein foods for health and weight loss cannot be understated, animal protein also comes with one major drawback and that is saturated fat.


Saturated fat is a bad type of fat and has been linked to obesity and heart disease. This is why it’s important to choose lean cuts of meat. Besides, less fat means fewer calories and more protein.


When choosing beef, always opt for lean cuts of at least 92% such as sirloin or ground beef. Buy meats with names such as sirloin, loin or round as they are cut from less fatty parts.


For poultry, remove the skin and always trim off excess fat before cooking.


risks of eating too much protein


Effects of eating too much protein?

We know that adding these protein foods to our diet is important and some even choose to go on a high-protein diet. However, too much of anything is bad and some of the risks include:


1. Bad breath

You’ve probably heard of the keto breath as a common side effect of the ketogenic diet. The same can be said of eating too much protein. This is because when you eat too much protein, your body is in a state of ketosis.


A metabolic state whereby your body switches to burning fat for energy rather than using glucose. This reaction is what causes the unpleasant smell. To counter it, drink more water or chew gum.


 2. Dehydration

The more protein foods we consume, the more waster products that our body has to filter out. in this particular case, nitrogen, the byproduct of protein digestions.


The excess nitrogen is flushed out with other liquids and water. This can leave you dehydrated. Even though you might not necessarily feel thirsty, it’s important to increase your intake of water as you consume more high protein foods.


3. Weight gain

Losing weight is one of the major reasons to add protein foods to your diet as it helps reduce your appetite, keep you full, and increase metabolism.


However, you might actually gain more weight if you eat too much protein as your body starts to store the excess protein as fat.


4. Increased risk of kidney damage

This is a major health concern especially for those with pre-existing kidney issues. Eating too much protein will strain the kidney as it has to work overtime to clear out the excess nitrogen and other byproducts of protein digestion.


For those with any kidney issues, this is bound to cause some health risks.




Final Thoughts on Protein Foods

The importance of high protein foods cannot be emphasized enough. In addition, adding protein to your diet is a good way to build muscle and lose weight.


You can determine just how much protein you need by using your current body weight while considering factors such as physical activity and age. Foods such as meats, seafood, eggs, and legumes are the best protein foods to incorporate into your daily diet.


With weight loss meal services like Nutrisystem, you don’t have to worry about not having enough high-protein recipes.


Consider high-protein snacks such as cottage cheese, jerky, and edamame. Whether your goal is to build muscle, live healthier or lose weight, these protein foods should be part of your daily diet


High protein foods you should eat daily