Trying to eat a healthy, balanced diet can be a challenge, especially for someone with a busy, active lifestyle. Carbs and fats are usually pretty easy to find while on the go, but good sources of protein can be much more of a challenge. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 10 foods that can make eating more protein easy to achieve – and tasty!
If you have yet to try this good-for-you grain, it is definitely time that you do! At 14 grams of protein per 100 g serving (not to mention the myriad of other health benefits), quinoa is the perfect alternative to rice or pasta in your favorite dishes – or even in baked goods and smoothies!
2. Go Greek
Greek yogurt has a thick, creamy texture and a slightly tangy taste that is delicious with a little honey and fruit or even some peanut butter. It’s also a great protein-packed (about 18 g per 6 oz. serving) base for dips and dressings, as well as a substitute for butter and oil to lighten up your favorite desserts.
3. Get Nutty
When that afternoon hunger strikes, satisfy your craving for something crunchy with a handful of unsalted almonds, cashews or pistachios. Not only are they convenient and tasty, but they are also a great source of healthy fats and protein (6 grams per oz.), which will keep you full much longer than that bag of potato chips (unless they’re Quest!)
4. Protein Powder
It’s not just for shakes anymore! Quest Nutrition makes a low-carb, low-sugar blend of protein powder that comes in a variety of flavors (chocolate milkshake and peanut butter to name a couple – YUM!), making it a great way to sneak more protein (23 grams per serving) into your diet. From pancakes and donuts to protein ice cream and shakes, the options are only as limited as your creativity!
5. Beef/Turkey Jerky
Another easy source of protein for when you’re on the go, this chewy snack packs a punch with about 11 grams of protein per ounce (the size of a single serve pouch). Be wary of sodium and sugar content though – some brands have as much as 300 mg of salt and 5 g of sugar! Most health food stores carry more nutritious versions with fewer preservatives.
6. The Protein Bar
This one may be a gimme but keep in mind, not all protein bars are created equal! Many of the bars on the market are laden with preservatives, fillers and sugar, so the key is to check that nutrition label before you buy. Quest created a bar that is high in protein (20 grams!), low-carb, gluten and sugar free – and with flavors like chocolate chip cookie dough and cinnamon roll, they taste so good you’ll feel guilty – almost!
Whether you have them scrambled for breakfast, hard-boiled in a salad or in a zesty dinnertime burrito, eggs are a great choice for more protein, any time of day! With 6 grams of protein per egg (4 g if you opt for egg-whites only), they have the added health benefit of omega-3s, which are great for your heart and help lower cholesterol.
8. Veg Out
Vegetables like broccoli, peas, artichokes and edamame are all high in protein (about 8 grams per serving), making them a great addition to any meal. Add them to a morning smoothie, pair them with some hummus for a satisfying snack or cook them up as a side dish, any of these veggies are an easy way to up your protein ante.
9. Here Fishy Fishy
With 25 grams of protein per can, tuna is a convenient, low-calorie and fat-free choice that can be added to any soup, salad or pasta dish. And let’s not forget the good ol’ fashioned way, on a sandwich with…
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t LOVE avocado? Add one more reason to the list – it’s loaded with good-for-you monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and 3 grams of protein per serving! Used instead of butter in your brownies, mixed up in spicy guacamole dip or even eaten them by themselves, this foodie favorite is the perfect way to boost your protein at any meal.