High Protein Foods are important if you want to make your daily diet more balanced. A healthy diet requires protein – the best high protein foods help build muscle, keep you full and boost your metabolism without being high in calories and fat. One rule of thumb for protein requirements is 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram that we weigh per day. When choosing high protein foods, pay attention to what comes along with the protein, both good and bad. Here are the 9 best high protein foods to add to your diet today.
Lentils are a low fat, high fiber type of legume that is one of the most favored high protein foods for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. One cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein and less than one gram of fat, amounting to just 230 calories. Lentils are an important source of B vitamins. This group, particularly B3, are essential to keeping the nervous system and digestive system healthy.
2. Almonds and Almond Butter
One quarter of a cup of almond butter, or a small handful of almonds, will provide you with eight grams of protein. Almonds have the same amount of protein as peanuts, but they are less toxic and allergenic than peanuts and far more nutritious. Add them to your breakfast cereal, stir fries, on top of salads or eat a small handful as a snack.
3. Skinless, White-Meat Poultry
The most common white-meat poultry is chicken, and the healthiest part of the chicken is the breast, which you should buy with the skin off to reduce the amount of fat. One hundred grams of chicken has 31 grams of protein and is high in vitamins and minerals such as niacin, vitamin B6 and selenium. Organic skinless chicken breast is tender and does not have hormones or pesticides, making it one of the best high protein foods you can find.
Quinoa – pronounced keen-wah – is often called a “complete protein” grain. Quinoa is a seed with a fluffy, creamy and slightly crunchy texture. The amount of protein in quinoa varies depending on the variety. Some varieties contain more than 20 percent protein, while on average quinoa contains 16.2 grams of protein per 100 grams. Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain and the protein is of a very high quality, as a complete protein with an essential amino acid balance that is close to ideal. It has a slightly nutty flavor when cooked. Quinoa is available in your local health food stores throughout the year.
Eggs are one of nature’s best low kilojoule, high protein foods, all wrapped up in one small package. One large egg contains six grams of protein. Eggs are packed with vitamins and minerals such as choline and vitamin K. Eggs often get a bad wrap for containing cholesterol. In fact, eating cholesterol does not impact upon your blood cholesterol levels, which can lead to heart disease. This means that eggs are in the clear, and it is also clear that eggs are one of nature’s nutritional elites.
6. Greek Yoghurt
One cup of yoghurt will provide you with up to 12 grams of protein. The best yoghurt is European (Greek) yoghurt that is plain and preferably organic. European yoghurt is more nutritious than regular yoghurt. While it contains slightly more fat, low fat yoghurts are often compensated with large amounts of sugar. Indeed, avoid sugary flavored yoghurt or yoghurt treats, as plain yoghurt is so much better for you, especially if the yoghurt has live cultures. European yoghurt is creamy and rich, and will satisfy your taste buds just as well and become one of your favorite high protein treats. Add blueberries or raspberries for a low sugar, large flavor treat that is high in antioxidants and will provide for your protein and calcium needs.
While all fish are great sources of protein, salmon is a special food as it is rich in healthy omega 3 fatty acids as well. With 20 grams of protein per 100 grams, salmon is brain food at its best! Eat smoked salmon with salad, in a sandwich for lunch or grill a salmon steak or fillet for dinner with olive oil and garlic for a delicious meal that is extremely healthy for your heart. If you don’t like salmon, trout and herring are other high protein foods rich in omega 3 which make great healthy options. Try to buy wild salmon, as it is better quality than farmed salmon.
8. Lean Beef
It is commonly known that beef and other red meat is a great source of protein. With 21 grams of protein per 100 grams, beef is one of the most high protein foods you can get. But be careful: beef fat is high in saturated fat, which can clog the arteries and cause disease. The trick to healthy consumption of beef is to choose red meat that is rich in protein and low in fat. Always choose a lean cut of beef, such as tenderloin, sirloin or eye of round and trim away any visible fat from you cut of meat before you cook it.
Seeds are great high protein foods and per quarter of a cup, sunflower seeds offer six grams, pumpkin seeds offer 19 grams and flax seeds offer eight grams of protein. As well as being high in protein, seeds provide a range of minerals and vitamins that are not usually included in our diet. Add them to cereals and salads for a crunchy health hit.
Boosting protein in your diet is one of the best things you can do for your body. The best high protein foods are sources of protein that are low in saturated fat, low calorie and high in vitamins and minerals. The best high protein foods to add to your diet are all highly versatile so there’s no excuse not to get trying new ways with them. Please share your favorite tips. What other high protein foods do you enjoy eating?