Protein - Foods that are high in protein


Go for ground sirloin, the leanest ground beef. A 3-ounce serving has 196 calories and 10 grams of fat. The next leanest is ground round (for 218 calories, 13 grams of fat), then ground chuck and ground beef (both about 231 calories, 15 grams of fat).

Eggs have been much maligned over the years, but the fact is, they are an excellent and inexpensive source of protein and the most nutritionally complete of all protein sources. One large, hard-boiled egg contains 7 grams of protein and has just 2 grams of saturated fat. To avoid the saturated fat altogether, use the egg whites and throw out the yolks. Or you can dress that egg up (and get in a serving of veggies) by making an omelet and folding in iron- and fiber-rich spinach. In studies, people who ate eggs and toast for breakfast stayed full longer and ate significantly fewer calories the rest of the day than people who ate a bagel and cream cheese. Eggs do contain a fair amount of cholesterol, but dozens of studies have shown that it’s saturated fat, not dietary cholesterol, that raises people’s cholesterol the most.

Go to the freezer section for frozen edamame. These young green soybeans, in or out of their shell, are wonderful as snacks; just steam them and add a little salt. You can also add them to soups and salads. Soy has more protein, by volume, than beef, and virtually none of the saturated fat.

Pick up pork chops or a lean pork loin. Pork loin is very lean meat and isn’t too expensive. Throw a couple of chops on the grill (dress them up first with a low-calorie garlic–lime juice marinade, or with chili and garlic powders) for a quick dinner—each is just 129 calories, with a healthy 16 grams of protein.

Buy a package of chicken tenderloins. Keep them in your freezer for quick meals. Each tenderloin weighs about 11⁄2 to 2 ounces, which makes portion control easy for you—two tenderloins are roughly equal to one 3-ounce serving, which is about the size of a deck of cards. Tenderloins will marinate quickly and can be used in kebabs or tossed into stir-fry dishes.

Up the protein: Choose toppings such as grilled chicken or ham (an ounce of each adds about 5 grams of protein), or tinned anchovies (one anchovy has 1 gram of protein). Consider adding an ounce of smoked lox slices on white pizzas (for 5 grams protein); one ounce grilled tofu for 3 grams; or one ounce cooked turkey bacon for 4 grams of protein. And always add extra veggies—like broccoli, mushrooms, or spinach—to increase fiber and vitamins with minimal calories.

Make an Italian-inspired panini. If you trade one ounce of American cheese for mozzarella, you’ll add 3 more grams of protein per ounce. This Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella, Roasted Peppers on Whole Wheat Bread recipe from delivers nearly 17 grams of protein per sandwich, compared to the average grilled-cheese sandwich with only 11 grams.

Turkey is already a great source of lean protein, but you can swap your mayo or mustard for two tablespoons of hummus, and you’ll add 2 grams of protein. Use high-protein bread to get about 3 more grams of protein per slice than regular whole wheat.

Try a half-cup of chickpeas or other beans for an extra 6 to 9 grams.

Add a half-cup of cooked beans, like black beans, kidney beans, or lentils for an extra 6 to 9 grams of protein, depending on the bean type. Overall, beans are also a good source of fiber and other nutrients.

If you are often on the go or get a snack-ish lunch, start by swapping your plain yogurt for a serving of Greek to double the amount of protein. A 5- to 6-ounce serving of Greek plain nonfat contains about 15 to 18 grams of protein, while your regular yogurt has about 8 or 9 grams. You could also add an ounce of raw almonds to the mix for 6 grams of protein.

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