Top 10 High-Protein Foods to Add to Your Diet for Optimal Health

Busy schedules, long working hours, or other daily obstacles can often lead to unhealthy eating habits. Still, it’s never too late to change. Introducing high-protein foods into your diet is the key to unlocking optimal health and energy levels.

Protein-packed options are readily available and can easily be incorporated into your meals, thus significantly impacting your overall well-being.

Don’t let your busy life stand in the way of your health goals. Add these high-protein foods to your diet today!

1. Chicken breast

Chicken breast is a staple in many diets due to its high protein content and versatility in cooking.

It is low in fat and calories, making it a popular choice for those who want to maintain a healthy diet. It can be grilled, baked, or sautéed and used in various dishes such as salads, sandwiches, and stir-fry.

Chicken breast is a lean source of protein, with 32 grams per 100g.

2. Greek yoghurt

Greek yoghurt is strained to remove the whey, resulting in a thicker and creamier consistency than regular yoghurt.

It is an excellent protein source and contains probiotics that benefit gut health. In addition, it can substitute for sour cream in dips, a smoothie base, or a topping for fruit and granola.

Greek yoghurt is a good source of protein, with 13 grams per 130 ml serving.

3. Salmon

Salmon is a fatty fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, making it a nutritious option for those who want to maintain a healthy diet.

It is a good source of protein and is often grilled, baked, or poached. Salmon can be served as a main dish, in salads, or as part of sushi rolls.

Salmon is a delicious source of protein, with 36 grams per filet serving.

4. Eggs

Eggs are a staple in many households due to their versatility and low cost.

They are complete proteins containing all the essential amino acids the body needs. They can be boiled, fried, scrambled, or used in baking. Eggs are a popular breakfast food but can also be used in dishes such as omelettes, frittatas, and quiches.

Eggs are a versatile and convenient source of protein, with 13 grams per 100g.

5. Nuts

Nuts are a healthy snack and are high in protein, fibre, and healthy fats.

They can be eaten raw, roasted, or added to baked goods and salads. Some popular nut options include almonds, peanuts, walnuts, and pecans.

Nuts are a good source of plant-based protein. For example, almonds have 21 grams per 100g serving.

6. Quinoa

Quinoa is a versatile grain that is high in protein and fibre.

It is also gluten-free, making it a popular alternative for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. In addition, Quinoa can be used in salads, as a substitute for rice, or as a base for stir-fries.

Quinoa is a complete protein with 13.1 grams per 100 g serving.

7. Lentils

Lentils are a type of legume that is high in protein and fibre. They are low in fat and calories, making them a popular choice for those who want to maintain a healthy diet. Lentils can be used in soups, stews, or as a base for salads.

Lentils are a good source of plant-based protein, with 25.8 grams per 100 g serving.

8. Beef

Beef is a rich source of protein, iron, and B vitamins.

It is also high in saturated fat, so it is important for those who want to maintain a healthy diet to choose lean cuts and limit consumption. Beef can be grilled, baked, or sautéed and used in various dishes such as burgers, stir-fry, and stews.

In addition, beef is a rich source of protein, with 20 grams per 100 g serving.

9. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a type of cheese made from the curds of cow’s milk.

It is a good source of protein, calcium, and phosphorus. It can be used as a substitute for ricotta cheese in baked dishes, as a topping for fruit, or as a base for dips.

Cottage cheese is a good source of protein, with 14 grams per 1/2 cup serving.

10. Tuna

Tuna is a lean fish high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It is often canned and used in sandwiches, salads, and as a topping for crackers. Tuna is a convenient option for those who want to include more fish in their diet. Still, choosing sustainably sourced options to protect marine ecosystems is essential.

Tuna is a lean source of protein, with 29 grams for 100g serving.

Protein sources to avoid

Although some foods have high protein content, they are unhealthy because they can have harmful chemicals or unhealthy fats during their preparation. Some of these foods are,

  1. Processed meat: Processed meat such as sausages, hot dogs, and ham contain high sodium levels and preservatives. They have been linked to an increased risk of certain diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
  2. Fried chicken: Fried chicken is high in fat and calories, and the frying process can lead to the formation of harmful compounds. It should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
  3. High-fat dairy products: Dairy products such as butter, whole milk, and cheese can be high in saturated fat, which can increase cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. Low-fat dairy options are a better choice.
  4. Refined soy products: Some soy products, such as soy burgers and soy sausages, contain high levels of sodium and preservatives and can also contain genetically modified ingredients. Unrefined soy products such as tofu and edamame are a better choice.
  5. Certain types of fish: Some can contain high levels of mercury and other contaminants, which can harm health if consumed in high quantities. Choosing sustainably sourced and low-mercury fish such as salmon and sardines is essential.

The Bottom Line

Incorporating high-protein foods into your diet is crucial, regardless of your diet plan.

It is particularly essential if you are trying to lose weight. Consuming sufficient amounts of protein can help to reduce hunger and maintain energy levels, even when your caloric intake is lower.

In addition, the sensation of satiety lasts longer with protein-rich foods, making it easier to resist cravings and unhealthy snacking.

To ensure your next meal is packed with protein, consider adding one of the foods above. These foods are not only rich in protein but also provide numerous other nutrients that are essential for good health.

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