Food With High Protein And Less Calories. Foods that are low in protein, high in calories and high in fat are bad for you. In doing so, it will provide a very good option for those who need to slim down and lose unwanted weight because it has less calories and is low on the carbohydrates food groups.
THE ULTIMATE LIST OF 5 FANTASTIC HIGH PROTEIN LOW CALORIE FOODS
Moving towards a high protein low calorie food lifestyle can help with both weight loss and toning goals . Having a more balanced lifestyle is becoming increasingly important where nutritional benefits & the functional aspects of foods are taking centre stage in shopper’s lives.
It’s not uncommon knowledge that a high protein, low calorie food diet is important to feel good after a main meal as well as it being a good support system for those with active lifestyles. It’s becoming harder to understand what foods to eat and what benefits those foods really offer to us – sticking to a chicken, veg and rice routine just doesn’t cut it anymore! So, what other high protein, low calorie foods are out there?
We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite high protein, low calorie foods to help you break free from your food fatigue and add some excitement and variety to your meal planning!
We’ve broken our list into categories:
- Red Meats
Whether you’re a meat-eater, meat-reducer or a vegetarian, we’ve got the best options for your food needs below.
I’m sure this doesn’t come as a surprise. Check it out, one cup of these leafy greens has nearly as much protein as a hard-boiled egg—for half the calories with one cup holding 5g protein and only 41 calories! We love mixing spinach into soups and veggie stir-fries, or simply steaming it on the side of our favourite meat or fish. It’s a super cost-effective way to add a high protein, low-calorie food into your diet!
2. PLAIN GREEK YOGHURT
A 6-ounce (170-gram) serving of Greek yogurt packs 15–20 grams of protein . It’s also thicker and creamier than other yoghurts making it a versatile staple in the kitchen when looking for a high protein, low calorie addition to your favourite dishes.
Non-fat/0% fat Greek yogurts are a great option for those looking for lower fat/calorie options. Perfect for breakfast, topped with fruits and granola, or added to tomato-based sauces to make them deliciously creamy!
3. 100% BEEF BILTONG
Biltong is a tasty beef snack that’s full of flavour and protein. No matter what you’re doing, biltong is the perfect healthy snack to see you through the day and is a fantastic high-protein low calorie food to choose for a snack!
Why not try our two tasty flavours, Red Chilli & Cracked Black Pepper? Not only is our Biltong made with 100% beef – it is packed with 13g of protein and less than 75 kcals per pack! Beef Biltong is also really versatile – pop them on top of your scrambled eggs for some extra flavour or on top of your favourite soup for extra texture and a flavour kick!
What a surprise! 1 cup of lentils has the protein of three eggs, with less than one gram of fat! Are these not the perfect high protein, low calorie food that we may not have thought of? We think so! They’re super versatile too; pop them into your favourite curry or soup to add another texture or cook them in your favourite stock and serve as a side dish.
Quinoa is a popular one on the list of high-protein, low calorie foods because it’s also gluten-free, vegetarian and low in fat . For every cooked cup, Quinoa has up to 8 grams of protein, making it an excellent side dish to any meal.
Quinoa is also a great one to mix into salads, both hot and cold, as well as creating exciting stuffings to use with butternut squash or similar – try this one from BBC Good Food.
20 Low-Calorie Foods That Will Keep You Full
Being on a health journey doesn’t mean you have to eat flavorless food and feel hungry all the time. There are actually a number of foods that check all of the boxes: low calorie, tasty, packed with nutrients, and satiating.
The term satiety is used to describe the feeling we get when we’re full. It also determines how long our hunger is suppressed after we eat a meal. Feeling satiated is important to weight loss and weight maintenance because it directly influences how soon we want to eat after having a meal or a snack and how much we will eat at our next meal.
Signs a food is satiating
When we are looking for low-calorie foods that will allow us to feel full, there are three key questions to consider.
How much water does the food contain? Water contains no calories and by drinking water or consuming foods with a high water content, we feel full without consuming additional calories.
How much fiber does the food contain? Fiber provides volume, takes up space, and slows down the digestive process. It reduces our ability to overeat by keeping us feeling full for a longer period of time.
How much protein does the food contain? Protein helps us feel full for longer periods of time with less food by reducing ghrelin, our hunger hormone.
When you can identify foods with a good mix of fiber, water, and protein, while also being low in calories, you’ve got a winner.
20 low-calorie foods that are super satiating
This fiber-filled fruit ranks high on The Satiety Index of Common Foods, coming in below oranges. Fuji apple slices with almond butter are one of my favorite snacks. The fiber and water in the apple slices mixed with the protein and healthy fat from the almond butter can’t be beat for a power snack.
Arugula and Spinach
You can eat a large amount of spinach or arugula as the base for a delicious salad without adding many calories, since these power greens help keep you full by providing bulk with fiber and water and are good sources of plant-based protein. In addition, you’ll get a nice boost of calcium, magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate.
High in fiber and protein and low in calories and fat, beans are a tasty way to stay full. Due to their high fiber content, beans slow down the digestive process and help manage blood sugar levels. They’re also a good source of folate, iron, potassium, and magnesium.
Berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, are excellent options for those looking for low-calorie, filling fruit. With high fiber and water content, berries are also lower in natural sugars than many other fruits. They are packed with vitamins and nutrients, are antioxidant-rich, and even provide anti-inflammatory properties.
There’s a reason your mom always wanted you to eat your broccoli—this veggie is high in fiber and low in calories. And with vitamins A, C, E, K, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, selenium, and folate, it’s considered a cancer-fighting superfood.
Cucumber, Celery, and Carrots
These water- and fiber-filled veggies can be eaten raw or with a bit of high-quality hummus or guacamole for added protein and healthy fat. Plus, you’ll get vitamins A, C, K, and potassium.
High protein, low-calorie eggs may be the perfect breakfast food. Research has shown that those who eat a higher protein breakfast have reduced hunger throughout the day, increased satiety, and reduced production of the hunger hormone ghrelin. Additionally, eggs are an excellent source of B vitamins and vitamins A, D, E, and K and are also one of the best nutritional sources of choline, a key nutrient in cell growth and maintenance and in brain and bone health.
Fatty fish like salmon, halibut, tuna, and cod are all excellent low-calorie sources of protein. In addition, these fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to combat inflammatory diseases and improve cardiovascular health, brain health, and eye health. Fatty fish ranked second overall on the satiety index, making it an important addition for anyone looking to lose or maintain weight.
Portable, delicious, and bite-sized, grapes are an excellent source of vitamins C and K and contain powerful antioxidants. Like berries, the anthocyanins (dark-colored pigments in the skin of the fruit) found in grapes have been shown to exhibit cancer-fighting properties. Grapes also scored just below oranges and apples on the satiety index.
With probiotics for gut health and more protein than regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is a refrigerator staple. However, be careful of the added sugars that may be included in flavored yogurt. Try sweetening plain Greek yogurt to taste with honey and berries, or whip up this Berry Green Smoothie, which includes some of the satiating foods on this list.
In addition to offering a hefty dose of vitamin C, oranges are a good source of potassium and they help keep you full with their high water and fiber content. In fact, oranges are the highest-ranking fruit on the satiety index, ranking fourth out of the 38 foods tested.
While popcorn may not be the most nutrient-dense choice on this list, it can be a filling low-calorie snack. Whether you’re popping your own or buying bagged popcorn, keep an eye on added oils, fat, sugar, and salt.
The humble spud has been shunned by many, but a five-ounce, plain baked potato only has about 100 calories, along with Vitamin C, potassium, and some fiber and protein. Additionally, boiled potatoes rank in the top spot on the satiety index, making this yummy starch the best low-calorie food to keep you full.
In addition to being high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc, quinoa is the only whole grain to also be a complete protein, making it an excellent option for plant-based diets. One half cup of cooked quinoa has little more than 100 calories. Try using it as a high-protein base for grain and salad bowls.
Steel Cut Oats
High in fiber, protein, nutrients, and antioxidants, steel cut oats are both low-calorie and extremely filling. Oats contain a type of soluble fiber called beta glucan that has been shown to slow digestion, suppress appetite, and increase satiety. Try topping steel cut overnight oats with berries and you have a low-calorie, highly filling power-breakfast.
Whole grains are a staple in many health-conscious eating plans, and for good reason. They provide an excellent source of low-calorie fiber and protein to help slow down the digestive process and help us feel full longer. The key is to make sure that you are using whole grains instead of refined grains to get the fiber and nutrients while also keeping calories low.
Wild rice is a good source of fiber and has less than 100 calories in a cooked, half-cup serving. Consider it a more filling and nutrient-dense substitute for recipes calling for white rice.
The Bottom Line
It is possible to lose weight or maintain your weight while eating delicious foods that are satisfying. When you look at the calories in the foods you eat, also be sure to check the water, fiber, and protein content as well. You’ll reduce your calories while eating healthy, delicious foods that keep you feeling full.
The Ultimate List of High-Protein Foods
Eat your way strong with this list of muscle-building, high-protein food options.
While keeping track of your macronutrients — protein, fat, and carbs — is a huge time commitment and may not be the best practice for everyone, you could probably benefit from paying attention to your protein intake. Specifically, making sure you get enough protein per day.
Why? “Amino acids, the organic molecules that make up protein, are essentially the building blocks of life,” says Abby Olson, R.D., owner of Encompass Nutrition in St. Paul, Minnesota. “Unlike carbohydrates and fat, your body doesn’t store extra amino acids, and they need to be consumed daily,” she explains. In other words, if you fall short on your recommended intake of high-protein foods, your internal and external organs could suffer.
“You need protein to make hair, blood, enzymes, and so much more,” adds Brooke Alpert, R.D., author of The Diet Detox. “The recommended daily allowance is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, so a 130-pound woman would need at least 48 grams of protein. In my practice, I’ve found those numbers to be a bit modest, [so] instead of focusing on grams, I simply ask my clients to make sure there is one serving of protein at every single meal,” she says.
Your health and body composition can also suffer if you don’t regularly eat high-protein foods each day. Science shows a connection between a healthy dietary protein intake and more lean body mass, better cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.
Hit your quota with this list of dietitian-approved high-protein foods that fit within any eating style.
List of High-Protein Foods
High-Protein, High-Fat Foods
Full-Fat Greek Yogurt
Skip the zero-fat cartons and snack on yogurt made with whole milk (generally about 4 percent fat). In addition to the appetite-taming fat, each serving provides around 20 grams of protein. “Compared to regular yogurts, full-fat Greek is way more satisfying since it helps stabilize blood sugar levels,” says Alpert. Stick to plain-flavored varieties (you can add your own natural sweeteners if it’s too tart) to make sure added sugar doesn’t sneak up on you. (See also: These Yogurt Health Benefits Prove It’s a Nutritional Powerhouse)
Whether you prefer plain pecans, almond butter on your midday sandwich, or the crunch of cashews in your homemade trail mix, you’ll score a satisfying amount of protein (about 5 grams per ounce), fat, and fiber from nuts. “Nuts are a trifecta of healthy eating,” says Alpert. “They offer a blend of all three macronutrients, which again helps to balance blood sugar, and they are a vegan source of protein,” she adds. (Here are more high-protein foods for vegans.)
High-Protein, High-Carb Foods
Thanks to beans, it really is possible to reach your recommended amount of daily protein without meat. Stock your pantry with garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, and cannellini beans to toss into salads, stir into soups, and blend into hummus. Not only will you net about 15 grams of protein per cup depending on the particular variety, but “heart-healthy plant-based proteins [also] provide fiber, B vitamins, iron, folate, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc,” says Olson. Plus, there’s no need to fear the carb count, adds Alpert. “Most of the carbohydrates are related to the high fiber count, so they are still quite healthy and a great option for a meatless protein,” she says.
Try this high-protein switch for your next bowl of pasta. A 2-ounce serving of pulse-based noodles (pulses are dried peas, lentils, beans, and chickpeas) offers a reasonable 2.5:1 ratio of carbs to protein (35 grams and 14 grams, respectively), plus more fiber than its flour-based cousin. “Utilizing a variety of protein sources throughout the day allows you to meet your protein needs while hitting your fat, carbohydrate, and vitamin needs,” says Olson.
High-Protein, Low-Carb Foods
Get cracking with this quick-cooking, remarkably versatile option. One egg provides 6 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of carbs, and no, you shouldn’t freak over the 190 milligrams of cholesterol: One review in the British Medical Journal found no link between egg consumption and cholesterol-related heart disease or stroke risk. Kind of makes you want breakfast for dinner, doesn’t it? (Milk is also a good source of protein, with fat-free milk offering up 8.4 grams for an 8-ounce glass.)
While any animal protein is naturally low in carbs and high in protein, wild salmon has strong omega-3 stats, which is a plus for both Alpert and Olson. “Mix up your diet with lean proteins and options that are higher in fat, such as fish, to cover your nutritional needs for essential micronutrients such as iron, B vitamins, and zinc,” recommends Olson. One 3-ounce fillet adds 17 grams of protein to your daily count. There are other seafood options that offer high protein counts for just a 4-ounce serving: rainbow trout (27.5g), bluefin tuna (34g), and canned tuna (26g).
High-Protein, Low-Fat Foods
If you wanted to list high-protein, low-fat foods, chicken breast would definitely be at the top. Grilled chicken is the go-to bodybuilder pick for a reason: One 3.5-ounce serving of boneless, skinless chicken breast has less than 4 grams of fat while offering a hefty 31 grams of protein — all for just 165 calories. Stick to grilling, roasting, or baking rather than pan-frying or deep-frying if you’re keeping an eye on fat intake. Other high-protein meat options include sliced deli turkey breast (6g for 1 ounce) and lean sirloin beef (34g for a 4-ounce serving).
Quinoa is a popular one on the list of high-protein foods because it’s also gluten-free, vegetarian, and low in fat, says Alpert. The ancient grain has 8 grams of protein for every cooked cup, making it an excellent side dish for any meal. If you’re looking for other plant-based, high-protein foods, consider creamy peanut butter (8g for 2 tablespoons), edamame (11g for 1/2 cup), and firm tofu (20g for 1/2 cup).