High-Protein, Low-Carb Foods

Anon: what are some high-protein, low-carb foods I can eat?

Here are some suggestions:
  • Fish/seafood
  • Chicken
  • Any meat
  • Eggs
  • Plain greek yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Whey protein powder
  • Tofu
  • Unsweetened soymilk
  • Some meat substitutes (check the label)
  • Some protein bars (check the label)
  • Natural peanut butter
  • Almonds/walnuts/other nuts

Any forms of animal (fish, chicken, turkey, ham, steak, etc) will be high-protein and low-carb. Eggs are great too!

Some meat substitutes have good amounts of protein relative to carbs, others are full of carbs and basically devoid of nutrition. Read the label and use common sense: avoid things like breading, bbq sauce, etc.

“Unsweetened” is your friend. Look for the plain/unsweetened versions of soy milk, almond milk, greek yogurt etc. Unsweetened versions have less calories too: (70 vs 140 for soy milk, 35 vs 90 for almond milk)

“Low fat” is not your friend. Usually that means they’ve compensated for removing fat by adding sugar, making the food higher in carbs, equal if not higher in calories, and crappy-tasting to boot.

Whey protein powder is a good way to add in protein and I’ve also found that it’s crucial for getting my smoothies to blend!

Some protein bars can be good sources of protein, although they’re not usually low-carb. I try to find bars with about or at least 1 gram of protein for every 10 calories, and not much more than 1 gram of carbohydrates for each gram of protein. I like Met-Rx Protein Plus bars (310-340 calories, 30-34g protein, 33-37g carbs) and ThinkThin bars (230 calories, 20g protein, 25g carbs). Cliff bars are the worst in my opinion–with 240 calories, 46g carbs, and only 10g protein you might as well just eat a bagel!

Cheeses are also good sources of protein–some have up to 8-10g protein for an 80 calorie serving! I avoid low-fat or fat-free cheeses because they taste nasty, and often less protein too.

Natural peanut butter/almonds/walnuts/other fats are primarily sources of fat, but they do have some protein–usually 5-10g a serving–for a small amount of carbs.

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Depending on your goals, you can choose proteins with a high amount of fat (salmon, steak, whole eggs, cheese, peanut butter, nuts, 2+% greek yogurt) or lower amounts of fat (chicken, egg whites, tilipia, tuna, whey powder, lean cuts of meat, 0% greek yogurt).

I personally believe animal proteins are superior, but you can also find protein from non-animal sources (tofu, soy-based meat substitutes, soy milk, peanut butter, nuts)–just be careful not to eat

As always, you want to think about the balance in your diet overall. Almost any food can fit into your desired macros if you make room for it, and ultimately, your overall ratio of protein, carbs, and fats on a daily and weekly basis is more important than the content of any individual food! 
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