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8 Proteins (that aren’t chicken) for Health and Weight Loss

August 17, 2016

Many people believe that the only way to get a healthy high protein meal is to eat a chicken breast with a side of vegetables. But that meal can get pretty boring pretty fast! One of the easiest ways to fail in weight loss goals is to get bored with eating healthy foods. It’s important to add some diversity to your meals not only for the sake of taste, but also for the diversity of nutrients.

However, if you’re looking for a way to stay full for longer and lose weight at the same time, high protein meals are the way to go! A study from 2005 published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate 30% of their calories from protein (versus 15%) reduced their total energy intake by 441 calories.

So how do you get in all that protein goodness without having to eat the same thing every day? We have some suggestions!

Cod (24 grams of protein in 4 ounces)
Fish is always a refreshing alternative to chicken, and also high in healthy omega-3 fats (another great energy source). You’ll definitely want to use True Lemon Lemon Pepper seasoning for this one. Trust us. Don’t like cod? Try tilapia instead!

Canned Oysters (17.5 grams of protein per serving)
These may not be on your usual grocery shopping list, but canned seafood can be a great way to get some quick and tasty protein even if you don’t live in a coastal town. They contain high levels of iron, minerals, and B vitamins as well as plenty of protein – and taste delicious on whole grain crackers! Does the thought of oysters gross you out? Try this recipe with canned tuna (28 grams of protein for 4 ounces of tuna) instead.

Black Beans (8 grams of protein in ½ cup)
Add black beans to your favorite soups, scramble them in your eggs, or even top off your salad with them. They add great texture and nutrition! This Corn and Black Bean Salsa with True Lime recipe is a great way to start.

Hemp Seeds (10 grams protein for 1 ounce)
Include a handful in your favorite smoothie recipe, or sprinkle on top of your oatmeal or yogurt in the morning. They will give you a great kick-start for your day!

Pumpkin Seeds (5 grams of protein for 1 ounce)
They may have a little less protein per serving than hemp seeds, but pumpkin seeds are a powerhouse when it comes to good balanced nutrition. They’re an excellent source of magnesium, copper, and zinc, and also taste amazing on top of salads!

Ham or Turkey, sliced (20 grams of protein for 4 ounces)
Make sure to check the sodium content before loading up on these deli meats (as they tend to be high in salt, which isn’t going to help you). Wrap a slice of ham around a gently cooked asparagus spear, or roll up a slice of swiss cheese with the turkey for a quick high-energy snack.

Shrimp (24 grams of protein in 4 ounces)
Create a delicious (and simple) meal with just garlic, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, fresh spinach, shrimp, and pasta. Looking for something even more fun? How about a True Lemon Basil Shrimp!

Tofu (10 grams of protein in ½ cup)
Tofu is a great alternative to chicken in recipes that call for it, but also easy to scramble with vegetables in the morning instead of eggs. Just want the kick of protein without having to worry about the texture? Puree tofu in a smoothie!

What are your favorite ways to change up your protein routine? Tell us in the comments!

[Credit: Glassman, Keri. “16 Kinds of Protein that Can Help You Lose Weight.” Prevention.]
[Credit: “9 Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds.” Mercola.]
[Credit: Lewis, Jessica. “Do Canned Oysters Lose Nutrients?” LiveStrong.]

Tags: health tips, productivity, food