Ever wondered what will happen if your body is deprived of proteins on a daily basis? Well, not much. Your body won’t be able to function properly. Your body cells will not be able to repair themselves, forget the formation of new cells. Losing weight will be out of the dictionary if you don’t get any protein; though we have keto diet these days. But, even the keto diet includes some protein, actually a lot that easily meets the daily recommended requirement of proteins.
Even studies have shown that people who regularly hit the recommended daily minimum requirement of protein—46g a day for an average woman and 56g for an average man—can lose more weight than those who don’t. Lacking in protein can be one of the reasons for not losing weight. And what do you do for that? Eat high protein foods.
If you keep proteins away from your body, you cannot build muscles or even convert the body fat into muscles.
A high protein diet can help you get lean muscles when combined with workouts and exercising. And when you start getting those muscles, you burn up more calories as they are used up in maintaining those muscles, thus helping in weight loss.
When you exercise, you cause wear and tear of the muscles. In order to repair those tears and make the muscles grow back bigger, you need amino acids that are contained in protein. The requirement of protein increases with your activity and increasing muscles.
So what does all of this tell us about proteins?
Protein is a macronutrient that is necessary for the proper growth and functioning of the human body. It is the building blocks of organs, muscles, skin, and of course cells. Proteins are a major structural component of cells.
Eating enough protein is the key to whether your goal is muscle building or weight loss.
Don’t eat an excess of protein on a continuous basis than required as it may put a strain on the kidneys and liver and can also increase the risk of cancer in the long run, especially the proteins from animal sources.
Calculate how much proteins you require on a daily basis and then consume accordingly. A person requires 0.3g protein per pound of bodyweight while people building muscles require around 0.5g protein per pound of body weight. Use this protein calculator to check your requirement of proteins as per your stats.
It is not difficult to get enough proteins. Many people do choose to meet their protein requirements with the help of bars and shakes. These supplements are fine for bodybuilders as their protein requirement is a lot higher.
For an average person, there are many natural foods that are rich in protein and it is better to rely on natural foods rather than supplements. This is because natural food sources provide you with a lot of other nutrients and not just proteins. Let’s have a look at the foods rich in protein.
These foods have been grouped into different categories:
Egg and dairy
Seeds And Nuts
Protein: 26g per 100g of peanut
Peanuts are a tasty snack when you want to pass time. There are various peanut snack recipes to munch on, a simple one is roasted and salted peanuts. Peanuts are high protein snacks that can be useful for weight loss. It is rich in fats but the majority of it is unsaturated fat which is healthy for the body. It is beneficial for your heart.
Protein: Can vary from 4-16g depending on the type
Oats are one of the healthiest grains on the planet. Different varieties of oats have different amounts of protein in them. Steel-cut oats are the best ones. It is among the best foods to eat in your breakfast as it is full of fiber which keeps you full for longer.
Eating oats lead to a healthy heart, improved blood sugar levels, blood pressure, better bowel movement and can even help with weight loss.
Protein: 100g of uncooked lentils contains around 26g proteins and 353 calories
Lentils are foods rich in proteins. Along with proteins, lentils provide you high amounts of fiber. They are rich in magnesium, folic acid, potassium, and various other nutrients. Lentils are good for the heart too.
Protein:24g per 100g of kidney beans and 333 calories;9g protein and 127 calories per 100g of boiled kidney beans
Kidney beans are high protein foods. They are high in fiber and contain some amount of resistant starch, which can help in weight management. Apart from being rich in vitamins and minerals such as folates, iron, potassium, vitamin K1(important for blood coagulation), they also do not lack in all types of bioactive plant compounds.
Kidney beans can have a number of health benefits when cooked and prepared properly.
Raw kidney beans contain a toxic protein called phytohaemagglutinin which can be eliminated by proper soaking and cooking. Soak them for at least 6-7 hours and boil for at least 10 minutes. Never consume raw kidney beans.
Protein:36g protein and 446 calories per 100g soybean
You can see that soybeans are very rich in protein as compared to other plant foods. The amount of protein is as high as the amount of protein in meat, although the quality is not as good as animal protein.
Well, this quality factor applies to most of the plant-based foods. You get comparatively high-quality protein from animal foods. But consumption of soy proteins has been related to a decrease in cholesterol levels.
Soybean is rich in fats, most of it is unsaturated which are healthy fats. It also contains certain soluble and insoluble fibers which can improve your colon health but it may have side effects in some people. Check for that.
Protein:19g protein and 336 calories per 100g of chickpeas
Being a rich source of vitamins, fibers, and minerals, they possess a variety of health benefits such as helping in digestion and weight management and reducing the risk of several diseases. Chickpeas have a low-calorie density, they provide fewer calories as compared to the number of nutrients they contain.
These are very much suitable for maintaining muscle strength. Chickpeas have a low glycemic index which determines how rapidly the blood sugar rises after a meal. Having low glycemic index foods can improve blood sugar level regulation. The proteins and fibers help in blood sugar control and digestion.
Protein:31g per 100g;366 calories
Wheatgerm is a high protein snack. Wheatgerm is part of the wheat kernel which is responsible for the reproduction of wheat. It has a very high nutritional value being a good source of fiber, folates, potassium, zinc, healthy fats, and thiamin. It contains gluten so gluten allergic people should avoid it.
Protein:1 cup chopped broccoli(91g) provides 2.6g protein and 31 calories
Broccoli is not that high in protein as compared to other foods, but I genuinely wished to include it in this list due to the nutritional value it provides through other nutrients it contains. Also, broccoli is very low in calories.
Protein:5g per 100g
Vegetables contain a much lower amount of proteins than the meat. But still, you need to eat them because of the other nutrients they provide, along with some proteins. Aaannnd, these provide you the macros that help in proper digestion. Yes! The dietary fibers.
Egg And Dairy
Protein: 13g per 100g(143 calories); 1 medium egg contains around 6g protein
Egg contains all the nutrients required by the body in some amounts. it even contains the trace nutrients required by the body. The egg is very much a perfect food. Eggs are high in cholesterol, but that cholesterol does not raise the blood cholesterol for the majority of the population.
Eating eggs result in an increase in the HDL(high-density lipoproteins) ‘good’ cholesterol in the blood decreasing the risk of cardiovascular and other health problems.
It is a source of choline which is a very important nutrient and has several functions.
Protein:1 tablespoon(16g) contains 4g protein and 94 calories
Eating peanut butter which does not contain added sugars, vegetable oils, and other such ingredients are beneficial for your body. Peanut butter is rich in proteins and low in carbs which make it adequate for a low carb diet. It also contains healthy fats, various antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
It may even contain harmful substances such as aflatoxins which are carcinogenic. While the human is resistant to its short term effects, what actually happens is not yet known.
Protein: One cup(244g) of cow milk contains 8g protein and 146 calories
Milk is a very important nutrient-rich liquid food which is even used for the production of various products such as cheese, butter, yogurt and others commonly referred to as milk products. A glass of milk boosts up the protein in your early morning breakfast.
Casein is the major protein found in cow’s milk. It is a popular source of calcium. It provides nutrients that are lacking in many foods such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, and potassium.
Milk is a source of many different fatty acids including the omega 3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acids. Different kinds of milk such as cow milk, sheep milk, the one from goat have different nutritional content.
Protein: 38g per 100g
Parmesan cheese is one of the best types of cheese containing a high amount of protein. Being a milk product, cheese, in general, is a rich source of calcium, vitamins and many other nutrients.
Parmesan cheese is prepared from cow milk and requires at least 12 months aging or you can say fermentation, though more the time better will be the taste. This cheese produces a strong nutty, fruity flavor.
Protein:25g per 100g
England is the country of origin of cheddar cheese. It is the most popular cheese in the world having a creamy flavor. Cheese form an important part of the keto diet.
Protein:28g per 100g
The pizza cheese! Mozzarella is made from cow or water buffalo milk. Unlike, most of the other cheese, this cheese is not aged.
Protein:27g per 100g
The cheese with holes(tom and jerry fans can greatly relate!). Having a nutty and sweet flavor, no doubt it was Jerry’s favorite.
Protein:11g per 100g
Cottage cheese is not that rich in proteins as compared to many other varieties mentioned above. Even this cheese is made from cow milk like parmesan. It is a fresh cheese which does not undergo aging to get its flavor. Therefore, it has a very mild flavor as compared to other cheese.
Protein:10g per 100g yogurt
Yogurt is a very popular dairy product made by fermenting the milk. Greek yogurt is a mine of nutrients that has many benefits. Apart from protein greek yogurt is rich in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and other nutrients.
Yogurt reduces the risk of heart diseases and osteoporosis, along with helping in controlling weight. It contains probiotics that boost the immune system
Vegetarian people lack vitamin B-12 because it is generally found in meat products. Greek yogurt supplies some vitamin B-12 to your body, so this is one more reason to include it in your diet.
Protein: One cup(243g) contains 8g protein and 131 calories
A drink made from soybeans that are soaked, ground and boiled in water. As soybeans themselves are rich in proteins, this drink has to be rich in protein. Soy milk can help reduce the LDL(low-density lipoproteins) ’bad’ cholesterol level when consumed on a regular basis.
It contains unsaturated fatty acids that can help reduce bad cholesterol. It has many health benefits. It is a good replacement for cow’s milk if someone is allergic to it.
Protein:38g per 100g
These lean meat pieces, trimmed of fat are a total protein win-win. Although different brands contain different amount of protein, so check for that along with the added sugars.
Protein:24g per 100g; 231 calories
Pork chops are free of carbs. This high protein food also contains essential minerals, vitamins and amino acids essential for overall health. It is an important protein source when you are building muscles. It contains some amount of vitamin C. Some pieces of pork chops contain cholesterol, so you should eat them accordingly.
Protein:26g per 100g beef. It contains 250 calories
Beef contains some saturated fat along with a good amount of protein. Different cuts of beef contain different amount of protein but in general, you can rely on it for your protein requirement. Beef contains a higher amount of iron than chicken.
Protein:27g per 100g;239 calories
Chicken is one of the most common high protein meat eaten around the world. Also, it is one of the most loved meats.
Protein:26g per 100g
Halibut is an oily fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are very beneficial for the cardiovascular system. Eating halibut can help reduce the negative effects of chronic inflammation. Majority of the seafood is rich in a wide span of nutrients along with containing a good amount of protein.
Protein:20g per 100g;208 calories
As I said that many kinds of seafood are rich in protein, salmon is one of them. Although its protein content is not as high as other seafood, it is still great and better than many other foods. In terms of fats, it is rich in healthy omega 3 fatty acids.
Protein:25g per 100g
Sardines are rich in selenium, vitamin B12 and of course the omega 3s.
Seeds And Nuts
Protein:6g per ounce(28.4g) almond;163 calories
Almonds contain a good amount of protein, thus a place in the list of high protein foods. It even a high amount of healthy unsaturated fats. Almonds are known to lower cholesterol levels and the risk of diabetes. It aids in lowering the blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Almonds are high in calories so their consumption should be limited.
Protein:6g per ounce;159 calories
The same as almonds! So even these come under high protein food list. These are a good source of antioxidants and contain more of it than any other nuts. They are the richest source of the antioxidants beneficial for the eye-lutein and zeaxanthin-among nuts.
Protein:5g per ounce;157 calories
These are my favorites! Cashews are good for the skin and hair as well as a good source of dietary fibers.
Protein:4.3g per ounce;185 calories
As compared to other nuts, they contain a slightly lower amount of protein and higher in calories. But still, these are very healthy. They are a good plant source of omega 3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, magnesium and the amino acid arginine which can decrease inflammation.
They promote weight management, a healthy gut and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Protein:5g per ounce;126 calories
If you throw away these seeds, then you need to stop that. These seeds are rich in zinc which improves our immunity and prostate health.
Other seeds rich in protein include hemp seeds and sunflower seeds.
Protein:8g per 100g
Tofu is made from soy milk. It is low in calories and contains healthy fats majorly, it is a food which burns fat and aids in weight loss.
Protein:52g per 100g
Soya chunks are the perfect alternatives of meat for vegetarians and contain a whopping amount of protein(more than 50%!!).
34.Seitan or vital wheat gluten
Protein:75g per 100g
Seitan is made from a protein of wheat called gluten. Wheat flour is blended with water which results in sticky strands of gluten protein. The resultant dough is then rinsed which washes away the starch leaving behind sticky gluten protein which is called seitan.
It is an alternative to tofu and other soybean foods which themselves are high protein vegetarian foods. Even seitan is a vegetarian substitute for meat just like soy chunks and other soy products.
It hardly contains any fat. It is a low carb food, so it’s not a hurdle for you if you are trying to lose weight. It largely consists of proteins which is a bodybuilding macronutrient, even required if you are trying to lose weight. You require some proteins even if you are relying on the keto diet for weight loss.
It is tasteless and easy to cook, you can give it the flavor of any seasonings and sauces. If you are a vegan and allergic to soy, then this is the high protein option for you.
With so many advantages certainly comes certain disadvantages. Seitan is a highly processed food. Although it is not high in carbs, calories, and unhealthy fats, it should be consumed in moderation as we already eat a lot of processed foods.
People suffering from celiac disease, and people who are allergic to wheat should avoid it.
Whey is the remaining liquid after the straining of curdled milk, one of the byproducts of cheese production. A mixture of proteins isolated from the whey is called the whey protein. Whey undergoes processing after being separated during the cheese production to become whey protein, the powder consumed a lot by bodybuilders, fitness freaks and athletes. These are high protein foods for muscle building.
Whey protein powder is complete proteins obviously which can supplement your daily protein intake easily by 20-50g. So, if you are lacking proteins in your diet, this powder can easily make it up for you. It can also help in weight loss as it promotes satiety.
It doesn’t taste very good, that’s why it is flavored with different flavors such as chocolate and vanilla.
Whey protein provides you with all the nine essential amino acids, which is not less than a boon for your body. The absorption and utilization of whey protein are very quick as compared to other types of protein. It supplies protein which is required for muscle growth. It is somewhat better than the protein we get from other sources.
Take the help of whey protein only when your diet is lacking in protein. Otherwise, it won’t have any significant impact on your results.
It has other health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and blood sugar.
Do not eat more than the per day recommended dose of 1-2 scoops as it can cause digestive problems. People with kidney or liver problems should consult a doctor before use.
You can get the best one here.
These foods will help you reach your daily requirement of protein easily, which is an important bodybuilding nutrient; also essential for weight loss. Which ones are you planning to include in your diet?