A high protein diet can help build muscles, and also help you eat fewer calories. Protein takes longer to digest, slowing the process down. When adding protein to your diet, eating lower calorie choices will help you control your overall calorie intake. Though there are a variety of plant and animal sources of protein, you will have no problem getting enough in your diet, without even a sprinkle of protein powder. No matter if you are a meat eater or a vegan, there are plenty of delicious options for you.
Meat sources are the highest in protein. Lean meats are the most often recommended sources of protein for people who are looking to build their protein intake.
1. Ground turkey
Ground turkey is a versatile choice that can be used to make burgers, meatloaf, meatballs, tacos or a tasty taco salad. Weighing in at 120 calories per 4 oz serving of extra-lean breast meat, ground turkey also packs 26 grams of protein. A decent iron source, ground turkey is a high-protein food choice.
2. Chicken breast
Almost as low-cal as turkey, chicken breast can be easy and low-maintenance, or elegant and worthy of a dinner party. Throw a breast on the grill, and you’ll get about 2 4oz servings out of it, and manage to keep your calorie count at a low 124 calories. At 24 grams of protein in that serving, you won’t go into calorie debt with this meal. Chicken breast can be served so many ways that you could do something new every day. Compared to your other meat sources, it’s also low in cholesterol.
3. Filet Mignon
This decadent steak is the highest in calories, with 244 calories per 4 oz serving, but with 32 g of protein, those few extra calories are worth it once in a while.
Dairy based sources of protein are a great option for people who don’t prefer meat. Milk, ice cream, eggs and cheese are high in protein, but low calorie options are available, too.
4. Egg Whites
Egg Whites are an easy-to-prepare choice, and are a great addition to salads, and they make a delicious omelet, breakfast sandwich or burrito. 3 egg whites make a substantial serving, but only contain a minimal 48 calories. They’re not as high in protein as meat sources, with 11g protein in those 2 whites, but they certainly leave you a lot of room in the calorie bank.
Shrimp is a really low calorie choice, but one that packs 18 grams of protein in a 4 oz serving, while only costing you 80 calories from your daily calorie budget. This quick cooking choice is great grilled, or boiled and chilled as a cocktail where you are adding on only minimal calories.
Canned, grilled, seared or sashimi, tuna is tasty, low in calories and a huge source of protein. At 128 calories and 28 grams of protein per 4 oz serving, this is a worldwide favorite.
Plant sources like beans, bulgur and brown rice are great ways for vegans to get their protein, or for non-vegetarians to supplement their diets and change it up.
Edamame, or soybeans, are an excellent source of protein with 17 grams in just 1 cup of beans, but with only 189 calories. Soybeans are packed with iron, calcium and fiber, therefore make an amazing choice. Soybeans are a crowd-pleasing appetizer served boiled, and they’re tasty with rice or just sprinkled on salads after they are cooked.
Low in protein? Grab one of these great sources and get building!