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11 of the best high-protein foods for weight loss

Insider
Insider
 2022-01-21

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  • Eating a protein-rich diet can help you reach your weight-loss goals, according to dietitians.
  • Salmon and shrimp can bulk up a meal, and black beans are great for plant-based diets.
  • Opt for quinoa or whole-grain loaves over white bread, and try adding low-fat dairy to your diet.
Peanut butter is full of protein and "healthy" fats.

Peanut butter is low in carbs, and it can be a great source of protein and "healthy" fats.

"My favorite high-protein food for weight loss is peanut butter," registered dietitian nutritionist Rebecca Stib told Insider. "Per a serving (which is typically 2 tablespoons), you'll get about 8 grams of protein."

Start your day with some nutrient-dense eggs.

" Eggs are a great food for weight loss," registered dietitian Jenn Fillenworth told Insider.

They're full of vitamins and minerals, and one egg contains about 6 grams of high-quality protein with all of the essential amino acids.

Incorporate salmon into your diet.

"One of my absolute favorite foods for weight loss is salmon," Fillenworth told Insider.

Although salmon is a fatty fish, she explained that eating the right kind of fat doesn't necessarily mean you're going to gain weight.

The fish contains essential omega-3 fatty acids , which you have to get from your diet since the human body can't produce them.

Black beans are a great plant-based protein for weight loss.

"My favorite plant-based protein for weight loss is the black bean," Fillenworth said.

She told Insider that in addition to being high in protein , black beans are also high in fiber, so they can help relieve constipation and bloating — which could be attributed to some weight gain.

Opt for low-calorie lean meats, like chicken breasts.

"When looking for the best high-protein foods for weight loss, think low-calorie and high-quality ingredients," registered dietitian Sabrina Russo told Insider.

She said the first things that come to mind are lean meat , poultry, and fish. These are all great sources of complete protein with little carbs and fat.

Try switching from white to whole-grain carbs.

"High-protein seeds and whole-grain products are another great option," Russo told Insider.

Try incorporating whole-grain pasta or high-protein crackers into your diet, as these grains help keep you full without as many calories as processed white carbs .

Eat low-fat dairy products.

"Low-fat dairy products are also examples of high-protein foods that may be beneficial for weight loss," Russo said.

She suggested opting for plain, low-fat, or fat-free milk , yogurt, or cheese.

You can also enjoy plain yogurt with fresh berries for some natural sweetness.

Add some cottage cheese to your diet.

"At 23 grams of protein per cup and less than 200 calories, this protein-rich dairy product is a great addition to any meal," registered dietitian Staci Gulbin told Insider.

A cup of a lower-fat cottage cheese with 1% milk fat can even have around 28 grams of protein .

Although a serving of cottage cheese is fairly high in sodium , you can look for low-sodium or no-added-sodium brands.

Use quinoa as an alternative to rice or pasta.

"This gluten-free seed is a delicious and healthy alternative to rice or pasta," Gulbin told Insider.

A serving contains approximately 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of gut-friendly fiber.

Nuts are another great plant-based protein option.

"Nuts are a great portable and nutritious addition to any healthy lifestyle plan," Gulbin told Insider.

Almonds, pistachios, and peanuts average around 6 grams of protein per 1-ounce serving with about 3 grams of gut-friendly fiber.

Add shrimp to your shopping list.
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Adding shrimp to any meal will bulk it up with protein.

" Shrimp is an extremely low-calorie filling protein," said registered dietitian Summer Yule .

It's also an excellent source of iodine, she added, which we need to support our thyroid health and manage our metabolism.

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