Carbohydrates and fats tend to cause most arguments healthwise. Protein, on the other hand, is widely regarded as the most important nutrient and as weight trainers, we will probably be needing a little more than the RDA to maintain and increase our muscle mass. Let us have a look at some healthy foods high in protein

1. Chicken Breast

When we roast or grill the chicken breast lets try to avoid eating it with the skin on, that way we can eliminate some of the calories from the fat of the skin.

Chicken breast 135g or 5oz – 29g of protein/234: calories

2. Greek Yogurt

Nutrient-packed creamy rich yoghurt, lactose intolerant sufferers may find Greek yoghurt easier to digest, mainly due to the breakdown of bacteria by sugars in the milk. A good source of protein if you need to avoid meat.

Average serving 6oz /150g – 17.5 g of protein /120: calories  

3. Tuna

Fish another great source of protein!  A 100g fillet of tuna will give you a whopping 23g of protein and a very good source for your omega 3 essential fatty acids.  

100g/3.5oz fillet of tuna – protein 23g/Calories: 136

4. Pork Loin

Pork tenderloin, loin chops – 3oz/80g serving gives you 24g of protein and a hefty amount of energy generating B vitamins-only 2g of saturated fat!

80g/3oz serving – protein 24g/Calories: 194

5. Lean Beef

Depending on what cut you choose, beef can be a great source of protein. Saturated fat can be high in some beef cuts and Saturated fat = high calories.

Always ask your butcher for lean, some good examples of lean cuts are: 1. Sirloin Tip Side Steak also called the knuckle 2. Top Sirloin 3. Bottom Round-taken from the rump region contains selenium an antioxidant can aid exercise recovery.

100g/3.5oz – 23g protein/244 calories

Nuts and Seeds

When I first started training, I had no idea about the goodness of nuts I simply thought they were a tasty treat high in fat, it never crossed my mind that nuts were actually good for you.

To my surprise after a little research,  I learned in addition to being a good source of fiber, essential fats, nuts are also packed full of protein!! On the flip side the fat content, although some essential fats… fats = calories-try to keep in mind, small portions 25g is enough per serving. ( if you buy a small pack of nuts, have a look at the nutrition info on the back of the packet.)

1: Pumpkin and Squash Seeds

Contain a wide variety of nutrients-copper, zinc, magnesium, and manganese. Pumpkin seeds also contain the free radical scavaging anti-oxidants. Good source of vitamin A and K.

                                               Protein in 100g -29.8g     Calories per 25g serving: 112                                                                                                                                                 

2: My Favorite! Peanuts (Dry Roasted )

I’d say probably the most popular nut choice, certainly my favourite. The kernels have an ambience of health-enhancing nutrients.
  •  High concentration of antioxidants, vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein, and manganese. Packed full of many important vitamin B complex groups.
                                                      Protein in 100g-23g Calories per 25g serving: 146

3: Almonds

Almonds a cheap alternative to the higher end priced nuts, but in no way inferior. In fact, they are one of highest protein loaded nuts out there, they are also rich in calcium and vitamin E. A great choice of nut if trying to avoid dairy.

Protein per 100g-21.3g   Calories per 25g serving: 144

4: Cashews

A yummy buttery flavour, cashews certainly rate high on the taste buds. Cashews retain a wealth of nutrients, Zinc, vitamin B6, magnesium, iron, trace elements and phosphorus.

Calories per 25g serving 138    Protein per 100g-16.67

5: Pistachio’s

If you’re looking for a lower calorie nut, then pistachio’s are one of the healthier choices, containing fewer calories and more vitamin k than any other nut. They have many other essential nutrients such as potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc and copper.

Protein per 100g-16.67g Calories per 25g serving: 140g

Budget Protein/healthy meals

Many of you reading this may be thinking it’s all well and good showing these great sources of protein, but if you’re on a budget some of the above foods may be too expensive to eat on a regular basis.

I completely understand, many times in my life I’ve been short of a few $’s, but still wanted to continue a healthy training schedule:

There are an abundance of cheaper alternatives and meal ideas out there that will incorporate all your protein and other nutritional needs, please press the link below and you will see a page I compiled that gives you a few ideas for protein on a budget.