When it comes to building and maintaining a healthy body, protein is an essential building block and plays an immensely important role; without it, you would die.
Protein is what we call the amino acids which make up the very fabric of our being. When we consume protein, our body breaks it down and reconstructs it to make cells, tissues and structures in our body. So, if you’re hard at work a daily intake of protein will be the building block for the process of repairing your muscles, bones, and everything in between.
If you’re looking for high-protein low-fat foods then you may be looking to lose weight. Foods with high protein do also keep us feeling full and satisfied after a meal, which is half the battle for weight loss.
However, not all protein sources are created equal and some are high in fat (not always a bad thing). Therefore, it may be important to choose high protein-low-fat foods to ensure optimal weight loss.
Here are the top 10 best high-protein low-fat foods to add to your diet.
Chicken & Turkey Breast
Chicken and Turkey are super great high-protein low-fat options – particularly the breast meat which is much less fatty than the legs.
Chicken is extremely versatile and delicious on its own or with a vegetable or carb accompaniment. It is an excellent source of lean protein, with a 3-ounce serving containing about 27 grams of protein and only 3 grams of fat. Animal protein is also always very complex and packed with minerals like vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and niacin.
Turkey breast, like chicken, is a super lean protein source that is high in protein and low in fat. On average, 3-ounces of turkey breast contain about 25 grams of protein and just 1 gram of fat. While not quite as high as chicken, it is slightly cheaper to purchase in the supermarkets/ Turkey breast is also a rich source of selenium, which is important for supporting the immune system (essential when loosing weight & building mass).
Fish (Cod, Halibut, Bass)
White fish, such as cod or tilapia are lovely, meaty fish which makes them a perfect high-protein low-fat food. On average, a 3-ounce serving of white fish contains about 20 grams of protein vs just 1 gram of fat (healthy fats I may add). White fish is also a fantastic source of vitamin B12 (essential for body repair and blood health) and omega-3 fatty acids. They offer a great source of protein so long as you enjoy the fish with a range of fresh vegetables or salads.
An idea to cook the fish would be to bake it in the oven with a tiny amount of olive oil, some lemon and seasoning.
I adore Lentis. They may seem a little bit scary to begin with, but they are actually very easy to cook with once you get the hang of it.
They are a great plant-based protein source that does not contain much fat at all.A full cup serving of lentils contains on average 18 grams of protein and just 1 gram of fat. You can combine cooked lentils with your chicken, or meat of choice to smash in even more high-protein foods.
They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, which can help improve digestive health, contain iron (good for the blood) and are a healthy source of vitamin B1.
Beans (Black Beans & Kidney Beans)
Beans are a properly underrated high-protein and low-fat food. Yes, they make you a little gassy, but beans are a super cheap, long-life high protein food that you should be adding to your diet. They punch well above their weight in terms of nutrition and health benefits – they are super filling too!
Kidney beans you can buy in a huge bag at your local Asian food store, and they last for years. A humble kidney bean can be added to rice, eaten with salads or made into a wonderful dish like Feijodada (traditionally with black beans – lots of fat though!) About 100g of cooked beans contains 9g of protein and only 0.5g of fat. If you cook the beans with lots of garlic, onion and spices, then you’ll supercharge the health benefits.
Black beans are another favourite of mine, again a wonderful addition to any meal and are very high in protein, while being low in fat. They contain 8.9g of protein (on average) and 0.4g of fat per 100g of cooked beans. I like to mix both of my read beans together into a stew and cook until the beans are soft, and the water has turned into a thick sauce.
Although we have already talked about white fish, we wanted to separate tuna off into its own category. It is an extremely good high protein low-fat food source (and after-gym snack). Alongside being a great source of vitamin D and selenium, Tuna contains on average 25 grams of protein per 1 gram of fat (for a 3-ounce serving).
While it is always best to get your Tuna fresh, I personally stick with cans. They last for a long time and are great for a little high protein low fat snack after the gym, or during the day. I keep things really simple: I open the can, drain the brine, add a splash of extra virgin olive oil and cracked black pepper. Wham, I munch it directly out of the can. It does me a treat.
This was a surprise to me, but I will be adding Greek Yogurt to my diet for sure. The difference between Greek (strained or sack yoghurt, as it is sometimes called), is that the whey has been removed from the yoghurt giving it a thicker consistency and creating its distinctive sour flavour. A serving of Yoguart contains roughly 17 grams of protein and a measly 0.2g of fat. That is more protein-dense than chicken.
Other than that, it is a fantastic source of calcium and good for your gut! It is a fantastic little high protein low fat snack!
I bet you’re jumping for joy! There is nothing better than a steak. This is certainly a treat.
Usually, beef contains quite a bit of fat on it’s own. Rump and rib-eye steaks naturally are quite fatty. it is what gives those cuts all their flavour. However, if you buy beef ‘loin’ or ’round’, you can enjoy your beef with up to 90% less fat.
A lean round of beef (a 100g serving) can contain 24g of protein and a total of 5.6 grams of fat. Now, you may be thinking that is too much fat, but remember your body does need fat to function. Eliminating fat completely is actually going to be counter-productive. So, a bit of beef every now and again will be an extremely valuable source of protein, B vitamins, zinc and selenium (among many other things) while being low in fat.
Eggs are a fantastic source of loads of great nutrition and energy – the issue is that the yolk is almost 100% fat.
Egg whites, however, are an excellent source of protein and are very low in fat. The whites of a single egg white contains about 4 grams of protein and just 0.1 grams of fat which, when added to a protein-rich dish, will supercharge it! You’ll find them to be super nutrient rich too as they are a rich source of vitamins like vitamin B12 and vitamin D. All the good stuff for supporting and repairing an active body!
Shrimp (We call them Prawns)
Prawns (also known as Shrimp) as a very good source of protein with low fat. An 85-gram serving contains up to 22grams of protein and a only 2 grams of fat. The best thing about prawns is that they are so versatile and easy to add to loads of easy dishes. A prawn/chicken salad, prawns on toast, prawns on your steak. You can put them just about anywhere.
The two considerations you need to make are that they are naturally high in sodium (generally from additives to preserve the flesh) so, you may need to be careful before over-salting them.
You may be thinking that Cheese is high in fat. Well, it is most of the time.
Cottage cheese is another great option for a high-protein low-fat food. It is an excellent source of protein and contains comparatively very little fat. A full cup serving of cottage cheese contains about 28 grams of protein for every – wait for it- just 2 grams of fat. That is nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Like Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese is a rich source of calcium and vitamin B12. So not only will you get to enjoy lovely rich protien, but have a healthy heart and healthy bones.