17 Healthy High Protein Foods List
Whether you are on a Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, or High Protein Diet, your body needs protein from a variety of healthy protein sources for optimal health.
Protein is made up of smaller components called amino acids, 12 of these are manufactured by our bodies. Another 9, called essential amino acids, must be obtained from food. A complete protein is a protein that contains all of the essential amino acids. Animal proteins, including meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy are complete proteins. Only a few plant-based proteins are complete proteins. Incomplete proteins, such as peanuts, dried beans and whole grains. To become a complete protein, 2 of these incomplete proteins need to be combined.
Each type of protein source has its own benefits. Different varieties of each protein source also have different nutritional values. For example, some types of fish are very lean and low in calories and others have more fat and are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
There is also a difference between organic and non-organic dairy products. The government regulation on organic farming causes organic farms to produce organic dairy products with different, and better, nutritional qualities than conventional dairy products. Organic dairy products contain significantly higher protein, ALA (alpha-Linolenic acid), omega-3 fatty acid and a higher omega-3 to omega-6 ratio than conventional dairy products.
In regard to legumes and grains, dried is much preferred over canned–especially due to the high sodium content in canned foods.
Many fitness professionals consider protein powders (and bars) to be the best thing ever. As a Fitness Professional and Wellness Coach, with a focus on nutrition as well as fitness, I believe some powders and bars can be healthy. However, most are not, so I am not including any in this 17 Healthy High Protein Foods List. If you are interested in a healthy “protein” bar, you can read my review on one HERE.
I have broken down the 17 Healthy High Protein Foods List into 5 categories: Dairy, Fish, Meat, Poultry, and Plant Based Protein. I have also included one or more of the nutritional benefits of each of the individual proteins. Continue reading 17 Healthy High Protein Foods List