10 High-protein, Low-carb Foods That Can Help You Lose Weight

  • Post last modified:September 9, 2023
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High protein, low carb foods can keep you full for a long time and ultimately help you lose weight.

Low-carbohydrate diets including The Atkins diet, ketogenic diet, and paleo diet have good weight loss effects, mainly because they all need the dieter to eat fewer carbohydrates and increase protein intake appropriately.

Generally speaking, protein-rich foods take longer to digest. To put it bluntly, this type of food is more resistant to hunger. If you lose your appetite and eat less, you will lose weight.

In addition, by reducing your carbohydrate intake, your body will gradually switch from burning glucose to burning fat.

Studies have also shown that reducing carbohydrates in the diet will increase energy expenditure (calorie burning) during weight loss. This metabolic effect can increase the success rate of your fight against obesity.

However, when rating high-protein, low-carb foods, you should pay attention to two main potential risks[*]:

  • Excessive consumption of saturated fat: This is bad for heart health.
  • Excessive intake of protein: This can pose a significant acid load to the kidneys. People with kidney disease should avoid a high-protein diet.

Here are 10 foods that are rich in protein and low in carbohydrates.

High protein low carb foods

1. Eggs

A large egg contains 6 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of carbohydrates.

Eggs are one of the most common healthier foods in our daily lives. 

In addition to being rich in protein, they also contain healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals, including lutein, vitamin D, and choline.

Eggs are very low in calories. Additionally, they can increase satiety, while stimulating your metabolism which helps you burn more calories.

2. Chicken Breast

Each 3 ounces (85 grams) of skinless chicken breast contains 20 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbohydrates, and less than 3 grams of fat (mainly unsaturated fat). 

In addition, chicken breast is also rich in selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B6 and niacin.

The low-fat protein in chicken breast has many benefits for your body, including:

  • Building and maintaining muscle mass.
  • Building healthy bones. 
  • Reducing appetite.

When buying chicken breast, it is best to check the label and try to buy organic, antibiotic-free products. It is also better to choose healthier cooking methods and avoid deep frying.

3. Turkey

The nutritional value of turkey will vary greatly due to the different preparation methods.

Low processed turkey is an important source of protein, vitamins and minerals. However, processed turkey may contain a lot of sugar, preservatives, unhealthy fats and sodium.

Each 3 ounces (85 grams) of skinless roasted turkey contains 24 grams of protein and 0 grams of carbohydrates.

Other than chicken and duck meat, turkey is another high-protein poultry product that can replace red meat in your diet. 

Other nutrients in turkey are vitamin B12, folic acid, selenium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and calcium.

The health benefits of turkey include:

  • Maintaining muscle mass.
  • May reduce the risk of colon cancer.
  • May reduce the incidence of colonic diverticulitis.
  • Prevent anemia.
  • Improve heart health.

Turkey is the main dish on Thanksgiving. With your leftovers, you can make sandwiches and soups, or cut them  into small pieces to add to your salad.

4. Lean Beef

Lean beef is an excellent source of protein. 

Every 3 ounces (85 grams) contains 25-30 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbohydrates, and other nutrients including iron, vitamin B12, CoQ10, etc.

However, many beef cuts on the market also contain saturated fat, which can have a negative impact on your cardiovascular health. Try to choose lean beef, which can reduce saturated fat while maintaining a high protein content.

5. Tuna

You can find different types of tuna on the market such as fresh, frozen and canned. They are all good sources of essential nutrients for your body.

Every 3 ounces of tuna contains 20 grams of protein and 0 grams of carbohydrates.

Other nutrients include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, selenium and choline.

Whether fresh or canned, tuna has many health benefits, such as:

  • Helping to prevent anemia.
  • Promoting heart health.
  • May reduce the risk of dementia.
  • Fight age-related muscle loss.
  • Helping to control blood sugar.

The nutritional content can be affected by the liquid (oil or water) in the package and whether other ingredients (such as salt) are added. It is recommended to choose canned tuna in water.

6. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is different from ordinary yogurt. Greek yogurt adds an extra step in the production process which is the separation of liquid whey. Therefore, the texture is thicker, while containing fewer carbohydrates and sugar.

Greek yogurt is an important source of protein. A 7-ounce cup of Greek yogurt contains 20 grams of protein and 8 grams of carbohydrates. 

Other nutrients include vitamin B12, potassium, iodine, calcium and probiotics.

In particular, the probiotics it contains can help keep your intestines healthy, prevent leaky gut disease, and promote your immune system.

When buying Greek yogurt, avoid fruity products because they contain more sugar. Choose plain yogurt, with the choice to add fresh fruit or nuts yourself.

Greek yogurt can also replace higher-calorie foods, such as cheese, cream and mayonnaise, to help lose weight.

7. Peanuts

Peanuts are rich in protein, fat and various essential nutrients. They can even help you lose weight and may reduce the risk of heart disease.

3.5 ounces (100 grams) of peanuts contains 25.8 grams of protein, 16.1 grams of carbohydrates, 8.5 grams of fiber, and 49.2 grams of fat (most of which are healthy unsaturated fatty acids).

Peanuts are also an excellent source of many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including biotin, copper, niacin, folic acid, manganese, thionine, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin E. Peanuts also contain antioxidants such as coumaric acid, white veratrol, isoflavones, phytic acid.

Although peanuts do contain a lot of fat, studies have shown that eating peanuts can help maintain a healthy weight and may help to reduce the risk of obesity. 

The main reasons are:

  • Peanuts can increase satiety, thereby reducing appetite.
  • The high content of protein and monounsaturated fat in peanuts may increase calorie burning.
  • The insoluble dietary fiber contained in peanuts may help control weight.

However, because peanuts are high in calories, it is best not to eat too many at once.

Another thing to note is that peanuts are one of the common food allergens, so in some cases, these severe allergies may be life-threatening.

8. Broccoli

Similar to cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts, broccoli also belongs to the cruciferous family which is one of the healthiest vegetable groups.

Broccoli is rich in many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron and potassium. It also contains more protein than most other vegetables.

One cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli contains 3 grams of protein and 6 grams of carbohydrates.

In addition, broccoli is also rich in various antioxidants and plant compounds, such as sulforaphane, indole-3-methanol, carotenoids and quercetin.

The main health benefits of broccoli include:[*]

  • May help with cancer prevention.
  • Lowering cholesterol.
  • Protecting your eyes.

Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked, but gentle cooking can maximize its health benefits.

9. Cheese

Whether it is added to sandwiches or salads, cheese can give you a unique creamy taste. However, cheese is high in calories and fat, which discourages many people who want to lose weight from eating cheese.

However, some types of cheese are not only good for health but can also help with weight loss.

For example:

  • One slice (22 grams) of swiss cheese contains 5.9 grams of protein, 0.3 grams of carbohydrates, 6.8 grams of fat and 86 calories.
  • One of the lowest calorie cheeses is non-fat mozzarella cheese, which provides about 84 calories per 28 grams, 7 grams of protein and 6 grams of fat.
  • Parmesan cheese is another popular healthy cheese. One tablespoon of shredded parmesan cheese contains only 21 calories and 1.4 grams of protein.
  • One serving of cheddar cheese provides 114 calories, 7 grams of protein and 9 grams of fat.
  • One serving of blue cheese provides 100 calories, 6 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat.

These cheeses can help you feel full while helping to control your weight.

However, pay attention to the food you may be pairing when eating cheese, such as wine, biscuits or bread. These foods are rich in sugar and carbohydrates and can lead to weight gain. 

To get the best benefit, you can enjoy your favorite cheeses with fresh fruit or low-carb nuts.

10. Tofu

Tofu is a good source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids that your body needs. 

It is also an important plant source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B, vitamin D, potassium salt, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, calcium, manganese and phosphorus.

3 ounces (85 grams) of tofu contains 8.7 grams of protein and 2 grams of carbohydrates. This helps to keep you feeling full for a long time, helping you control your weight better.

The health benefits of tofu include:[*]

  • Reducing the frequency of hot flashes in menopausal women.
  • Improve heart health.
  • Reducing “bad” cholesterol (LDL) levels.
  • Preventing osteoporosis.
  • May help to fight cancer.

If you are a vegetarian or vegan, tofu and other soy foods can be a big part of your diet. Tofu is also the main source of vegetarian protein.

In addition to the 10 foods mentioned above, other high-protein and low-carbohydrate foods that can help you to lose and control weight include:

  • sardines, salmon, shrimp, crab, scallops and other seafood
  • chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds
  • spirulina
  • venison
  • almonds

If you have more thoughts about high-protein, low-carb food, please feel free to leave a comment.

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