7 High Protein Foods that Aren’t Chicken

Article posted in: Nutrisystem for Men
high protein foods salmon

Even if you don’t want to look like a bodybuilder, pounding down high protein foods is a good idea. Lean protein doesn’t just build muscle, it also digests more slowly than carbohydrates, so you feel full longer when you eat it. Translation: You’ll eat less.

But, there’s more. A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that overweight women who ate 35 grams of protein in the morning were less likely to eat high-fat, high-sugar snacks in the evening. So, you might not just eat less, you’ll probably eat less junk.

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Now, if you’ve tried to up your intake of high protein foods in the past, chances are that you’ve done it with chicken breast. Sure, 100 grams of boneless, skinless chicken breast delivers almost 30 grams of protein with fewer than 200 calories, but…. eat it every single day, and you’ll be screaming for something more.

If you’re trying to add more protein to your diet—and you can’t stand the sight of another chicken breast—there are seven awesome alternatives to try for a change of pace. They may not all stand up to chicken, protein gram for protein gram, but they’re great sources of this muscle-building fuel. (And don’t forget, we’ve got awesome protein shakes that make powering up with protein easy… and delicious! You can stock up here >).

If you’re bored of poultry, try these seven high protein foods that aren’t chicken:

1. Eggs

eggs high protein foods

If you want a protein-packed breakfast to stave off snack cravings later in the day, crack a couple eggs. You’ll get roughly six grams of protein from just one, along with key nutrients like choline. Worried about cholesterol? Don’t be: The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans confirmed that the cholesterol isn’t directly correlated with blood cholesterol levels. (Read more about the egg-cholesterol connection here).

The eggs on your plate do correlate to the deliciousness in your day, though. Try one of these eight amazing (and easy) egg recipes for new twists on your favorite high protein foods at breakfast.

2. 93% Lean Ground Beef

lean beef high protein foods

It can be a little dry for burgers, but ultra-lean beef is great in chili, tacos and other foods in which veggies and cooking oil provide some moisture. But, anyway you use it, beef will bring the protein punch: Two ounces cooked (a Nutrisystem PowerFuel-sized serving) delivers more than 16 grams with just 118 calories.

Add in some chopped greens to bring extra nutrients and volume to your beef serving without bonus calories. In recipes like these awesome Slow Cooker Kale and Beef Meatballs, the flavor of the beef and Parmesan cheese completely hide any kale taste, while the leaves make each meatball bigger and juicier for a more satisfying meal.

3. Ground Turkey

turkey high protein foods

So many people only eat this bird at Thanksgiving, but the ground stuff is cheap, flavorful and perfect for a new twist on your favorite burgers. They’ll be lower calorie than beef, but won’t skimp on the protein: A two-ounce serving of cooked turkey has about 16 grams of protein, as well as phosphorous, a mineral used in building healthy bones and teeth.

Have it like you would any other burger, or try it with a twist: The basil-and-mozzarella-topped Caprese Turkey Burger, in this list of our five favorite better-for-you burgers, is one you’ll love.

4. Salmon

high protein foods salmon

A two-ounce serving of farm-raised Atlantic salmon actually will give you about 13 grams of protein at 117 calories, and it will also help your heart. Because of the omega-3 fatty acids present in fatty fishes like salmon, doctors recommend eating them twice per week. While these acids aren’t being touted as strongly as they’ve been in the past, they’re still effective. A study by the American College of Cardiology found that Japanese men who ate a high amount of Omega-3 had lower incidence of atherosclerosis than the middle-aged American men, who ate less.

It makes a great burger, is awesome grilled, and, of course, goes great in sushi. Try one of these eight mouthwatering recipes for a healthy salmon dinner.

5. Edamame

edamame high protein foods

If you’re going to have sushi, you might as well start with a half of a cup of some salty, delicious edamame … and its nine grams of protein. They’re so easy to pop in your mouth, eating half of a cup is no stretch, and it comes with a bonus: Potassium. Most Americans don’t get enough of this nutrient, which is bad news, as it helps keep the heart functioning properly. Needless to say, this is one of the high protein foods you should definitely incorporate more.

You can steam your edamame, or use it with quinoa for a meatless Monday burger that doesn’t skimp on the protein—check out the recipe for this surprising burger here.

6. Cocktail Shrimp

high protein foods shrimp

Skip the fried version, and shrimp is one of the lowest-calorie, high protein foods you can eat: Three ounces of large, peeled and deveined, cooked shrimp has about 100 calories, but has almost 20 grams of protein.

Having people over? Impress them with a new twist that adds some crunch and even more protein. Try the recipe for Shrimp Cucumber Bites, here, on The Leaf. Hummus adds an extra protein bump, while a sprinkling of paprika takes the flavor up a notch. Try not to eat them all before guests arrive, though.

7. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt

At 100 calories and17 beautiful grams of protein, Greek yogurt is awesome, and not just with fruit on the bottom. Greek yogurt is the perfect high-protein, zero-fat substitute for sour cream on taco night, and a surefire way to get mashed potatoes creamy as butter with way fewer calories. Of course, it also makes killer fro-yo.

While you’d think this just about sums it up, you can even use Greek yogurt to make cheesecake in a mug: Try this simple Birthday Cake Cheesecake for one amazing, low-calorie dessert, teeming with protein.