If you're someone who has struggled with weight loss, you'd know firsthand how difficult it can be to find the right foods to fuel your journey. There are so many fad diets and conflicting advice out there that it can be overwhelming to know where to start. However, one thing that has consistently proven effective in weight loss is incorporating protein-rich foods into your diet. And so, we have shared a list of the highest protein-rich foods that will help you on your weight loss journey
The Importance of Protein in Your Weight Loss Journey:
Before we dive into the specific foods, it’s important to understand why protein is so crucial in your weight loss journey. Protein is an essential nutrient that helps build and repair tissues in your body, including muscle tissue (1). When you consume protein, it helps keep you full for longer periods, which can lead to consuming fewer calories overall. Additionally, protein has a higher thermic effect compared to carbohydrates and fats, meaning that our bodies burn more calories digesting protein than they do digest other macronutrients. While it’s true that you need all three macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) in your diet, consuming enough protein can help support weight loss efforts. It is recommended that adults consume at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, but if you’re looking to lose weight, you may benefit from consuming more.
Highest Protein-Rich Foods for Weight Loss:
Below is a list of the high sources of protein that you can start incorporating into your diet if you're willing to slim down.
Animal-Based Protein-Rich Foods for Weight Loss:
Animal-based protein sources are some of the highest protein foods available and can be a great addition to a weight loss diet. Here are our top five picks for animal-based protein-rich foods -
1. Chicken breast:
Chicken breast is a great source of lean protein, with about 31 grams of protein per 100 grams of cooked chicken breast (2). It’s also low in calories and fat, which makes it a great option for losing weight.
Turkey is one of the protein food items that give you 29 grams of protein per 100 grams of cooked turkey breast. It makes for a great source of iron and B vitamins as well.
3. Greek yoghurt:
Greek yoghurt is a rich source of protein, with about 17 grams of protein per 170-gram serving. It also contains calcium and probiotics.
Eggs are a versatile protein source, with about 6 grams of protein per large egg. They are also packed with healthy fats and vitamins.
Plant-Based Protein-Rich Foods for Weight Loss:
If you follow a plant-based diet or just want to incorporate more plant-based protein sources into your diet, there are plenty of options available. Here are the five best plant-based protein-rich foods -
Lentils are one of the best plant-based protein food items, with about 18 grams of protein per cooked cup. They’re also the best source of fiber and iron.
Edamame, or cooked soybeans, are one of the highest protein-rich foods, with about 18 grams of protein per cooked cup. They also consist of fiber and iron.
Quinoa is a complete protein source, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. It has about 8 grams of protein per cooked cup and is also a good source of fiber and nutrients like magnesium and iron.
Chickpeas are a versatile protein source with about 15 grams of protein per cooked cup. They also contain fiber and iron.
Tofu is one of the high sources of protein, with about 10 grams of protein per 100 grams of tofu. Along with protein, tofu is also loaded with calcium and iron.
Protein-Rich Vegetables for Weight Loss:
While many people think of animal-based and plant-based protein sources as the primary options for protein, vegetables can also be a great source of protein. Here are some of the protein-rich vegetables that you must consume -
Broccoli is a nutrient-dense vegetable, with about 3 grams of protein per cooked cup. It also has fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Spinach is another great protein-rich vegetable, with about 5 grams of protein per cooked cup. It makes for a great source of iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C.
3. Brussels Sprouts:
Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables that are high in protein, with about 3 grams of protein per cooked cup. They are also filled with lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Asparagus is one of the low-calorie protein-rich vegetables that contains about 3 grams of protein per cooked cup. It’s also a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals just like Brussels sprouts.
Artichokes are unique vegetables that are high in protein, with about 4 grams of protein per cooked cup. They also contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Benefits of Protein-Rich Vegetables for Weight Loss:
In addition to being a rich source of protein, vegetables also offer a variety of other benefits for weight loss. Here are the top three benefits of protein-rich vegetables -
1. Low in Calories:
Vegetables are generally low in calories, which means you can eat a lot of them without consuming too many calories overall. This can help you feel full and satisfied without overeating.
2. High in Fiber:
Most vegetables are high in fiber, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods. This can help you consume fewer calories overall.
Vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are important for your overall health. Incorporating a variety of vegetables into your diet can help ensure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs.
Protein-Rich Fruits for Weight Loss:
While fruits are not typically thought of as a source of protein, some fruits are high sources of protein. Here are some protein-rich fruits that you should eat -
Guava is a tropical fruit that’s high in protein, with 4 grams of protein per cup. It’s also filled with fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
Blackberries are a low-calorie fruit that’s high in protein, with about 2 grams of protein per cup. Blackberries have fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants as well.
Apricots are a sweet fruit that’s high in protein, with about 2 grams of protein per cup. They contain fiber, vitamins A and C, and potassium along with protein.
Kiwi is a tropical fruit that’s high in protein too, with 2 grams of protein per cup. It also makes for a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants just like most fruits.
Peaches are a sweet fruit that contains about 2 grams of protein per cup. Along with that, they’re also a good source of fiber, vitamins A and C, and potassium.
Benefits of Protein-Rich Fruits for Weight Loss:
While fruits may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of protein, incorporating these protein-rich fruits into your diet can offer a variety of benefits for weight loss. Here are the top three benefits of protein-rich fruits -
1. Low in Calories:
Like vegetables, most fruits are low in calories, which means you can eat them without worrying about consuming many calories overall. This can help you feel full for long hours.
2. High in Fiber:
Many fruits are loaded with fiber, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods. This means you consume fewer calories overall.
Fruits are packed with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are necessary for your overall health. Consuming different kinds of fruits will help ensure your body is getting all the nutrients.
If you're looking to slim down and love the taste of coffee, you can also rely on Saffola Fittify Hi-Protein Slim Meal Shake Cappuccino Coffee. This high protein slim meal shake contains natural dietary fiber, 26 vitamins & minerals and 5 superfoods to help you manage weight effectively for a slimmer fitter life. When you replace one of your daily meals with one portion of this slim meal shake, you end up consuming up to 70% fewer calories vs. an average Indian meal with 50% daily vitamin nutrition as per the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
Incorporating protein-rich foods into your diet can be a great way to support weight loss efforts. Whether you prefer animal-based, plant-based, or vegetable-based protein sources, there are plenty of options available. By including these protein-rich foods into your diet, you can help keep yourself feeling full, while also ensuring you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs. So go ahead and fuel your weight loss journey with some of the highest protein foods today!
FAQs on Protein-Rich Foods for Weight Loss:
Which Food is Rich in Protein but has Little Fat?
When it comes to protein food items, there are plenty of great plant-based protein sources, if not better, than animal-based sources. One of the protein-rich foods that are low in fat is Greek yoghurt. Not only is it packed with protein, but it also contains probiotics that are great for gut health. Another low-fat protein food item is tofu, which can be used in many ways. Other protein-rich foods that are low in fat include eggs, chicken breast, and fish like salmon and tuna.
Can I Get Enough Protein on a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet?
Yes, it's possible to get enough protein without eating meat. Some of the highest protein foods for vegetarians include lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, nuts and seeds like almonds and chia seeds. These foods are not only rich in protein but also contain other important nutrients like fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals. If you follow a vegan diet, some of the best protein-rich vegetables for vegans include spinach, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Fruits like bananas and avocados are also surprisingly rich in protein.
Which Indian Food is High in Protein?
If you're someone who loves Indian food, many dishes are naturally high in protein. One of the highest protein foods is rajma or kidney bean curry. It is delicious and is also stuffed with protein and fiber. Other protein-rich Indian foods include chana masala, dal, and paneer. If you're looking for a non-vegetarian option, tandoori chicken is also a great source of protein. Just be sure to watch your portion sizes and limit your intake of oil and other high-fat ingredients.
Is Rajma High in Protein?
Yes, as mentioned above, rajma is one of the highest protein foods with 24 grams of protein per 100 grams. Even diabetics can eat rajma as they are high in fiber too.
What Happens if I Don't Eat Enough Protein?
Not eating enough protein can lead to muscle loss, which can slow down your metabolism and make it harder to lose weight. It can also leave you feeling hungry and unsatisfied, leading to overeating and weight gain. Hence, you must aim for at least 20-30 grams of protein per meal, and don't forget to include some protein in your snacks as well.