If you want to pack some PROTEIN and shed some fat, and you haven’t got many spare $’s. I’ve found 15 cheap sources of protein that will only make a small dent in the bank balance.

Proteins are the building blocks of the body, they’re made up of amino acids containing oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. A complete protein refers to amino acids, there’s nine that the body can’t produce on its own.

“These are called essential amino acids—we need to eat them because we can’t make them ourselves. In order to be considered “complete,” a protein must contain all nine of these essential amino acids in roughly equal amounts.” says Nick English

We need around 0.8 g per kg body weight, 0.8-1.2kg body weight if you are training. Each portion provides different amino acids, variety is key, it’s not all about chicken!

  • eg.0.8g x 80kg bodyweight = 64g per day says Mr Protein myprotein.com

Sirloin steak, rib eye, fresh salmon, sounds mouth watering and are some of the best sources of protein you will find. But not all of us have that kind of budget, you’ll need to find some cheap alternatives.

  • CANNED TUNA –  Mild in flavour you won’t go wrong with a can of tuna, an easy way to get in part of your 6oz of recommended weekly fish intake. Tuna packs 25 grammes of protein per 100 grammes, tuna is a complete protein providing all 9 essential amino acids.

can of tuna

  • MINCED/GROUND BEEF – Air on the side of caution with the ground beef, it’s high in fat and cholesterol, I recommend only to be eaten once a week, on the plus, ground beef has 27 grammes of protein per 100 grammes. ” Ground beef is a good source of B vitamins, with each 3.5-ounce serving of 90 percent lean ground beef providing 34 percent of the DV for niacin, 11 percent of the DV for riboflavin, 21 percent of the DV for vitamin B-6 and 45 percent of the DV for vitamin B-12.” says Jessica Bruso from Livestrong.com
  • FROZEN CHICKEN BREASTS – Made for protein junkies, already trimmed of all fat, every breast is around 5 -6 ounces no need for measuring out portion size. You can thaw them out overnight in a marinade no different to how you would with fresh. 16 grammes of protein per 100 grammes.
  • COD – I buy the frozen cod from our local superstore, it’s quite cheap and at around 20 grammes of protein per 100 grammes it’s a good choice for protein but lacks the amount of omega 3 fatty acids salmon has. If you’re eating tuna as well as cod, you can get your omega 3 allowance from the tuna.
  • Quinoa – It’s a seed and can be used as a replacement for staples such as rice, pasta and oatmeal, its carb packed at around 70 grammes per half cup. A half cup of quinoa will give you 11 grammes of prcheap high protein eggotein. That’s a lot of protein for a carb source! Buy in bulk and it will work out much cheaper.
  •  EGGSContaining 6 grammes of high-quality protein, and super cheap at 12p each. Surprisingly the egg yolk has half of the protein and most of the nutrients, don’t throw the yolk. Eggs accommodate 9 essential amino acids.
  • WHEY – One of the most common nutritional supplements, a by-product of cheese and curd manufacturing. Containing tons of nutrients, and punching heavy at 80 grammes of protein per 100 grammes its one of the cheapest ways of getting your protein in. Another high-quality protein consisting of all 10 essential amino acids. Sold as a powder can be added to yoghurts smoothies, comes in some delicious flavours to mix with water or milk.
  • PEANUT BUTTER – “two tablespoons of peanut butter, the amount in an average sandwich, provides about 7 grams of protein. In comparison, the calorie equivalent of turkey in a sandwich offers about 20 grams of protein.” says bodybuilding.com  peanut butter is rich in monounsaturated fats, the healthy variety that can prevent heart disease and is less likely to be stored as body fat.
  • MINCED/GROUND TURKEY – Low in fat, ground turkey is a healthy choice for a protein go to. Packing 23 grammes of protein per 100 grammes. Have a try at making burgers, meatballs, my girlfriend makes tacos. Low in calories only 110 per 100 grammes, its full of essential vitamins and minerals.
  • COTTAGE CHEESE – An awesome source of dairy protein, consisting of 15 grammes of protein per half cup, it slowly digests more so than whey. I’d recommend eating it as a late night snack, helping feed your muscles in the night. Another healthy choice, it’s low in calories and has many essential nutrients, like vitamin B, calcium and selenium.
  • LOW FAT – MINCED /GROUND PORK – No need to keep a’ fav’ for the cheat days anymore, low-fat pork meat allows you to make sausages, burgers, meatballs and not worry too much about the fat content. High in protein some 23 grammes per 100 grammes, low-fat pork mince is rating high on the protein charts beating some beef mince.
  • CANNED PINK SALMON – Just about makes it onto the list, it’s kinda cheap at £3.00 a can but it’s well worth the few extra pence. ” It’s less expensive than fresh salmon filets, but it provides impressive amounts of certain vitamins and minerals. With 24.62 grams of protein and about 2.2 grams per 100 grammes of heart-healthy unsaturated fats.” Salmon is a complete protein providing all 9 essential amino acids
  • GREEK YOGURT – Thick creamy yoghurt, Greek yoghurt provides more protein than you might expect, 10 grammes per 100 grammes that’s twice as much as regular yoghurt. Buy it plain, choosing the flavoured variety normally means loads of added sugar.  if you prefer it a little healthier add your own fruit, I like to add honey to mine.
  • SARDINES – Rich in Omega 3 and vitamin D, with 23 grammes of protein per 100 grammes, sardines are a great choice if you’re looking for a complete protein source.
  • TOFU – Is made by curdling fresh soya milk, its then pressed into a solid block and cooled. An excellent go-to source of protein for vegetarians. A complete protein and source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese, selenium and phosphorous. 8.2 grammes of protein per 100 grammes.

There we have it, 15 of the best cheap proteins available. I was surprised to add tofu to the list, I never knew it contained such a high amount of protein, great stuff for the vegetarians among us and don’t forget the nuts and seeds they’re also packed full of protein and nutrients.

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