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the best foods high in protein and low in carbs

foods high in protein and low in carbs: Proteins, along with carbohydrates and fats, are a necessary macronutrient for our body. They are basically made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, although some can also contain sulfur and phosphorus.

Also, proteins are made up of amino acids. There are 20 types of these that are part of proteins and differ into essential and non-essential amino acids. The essentials are not produced by the body so they must be obtained through the diet. But what foods are richer in protein?

foods high in protein and low in carbs
foods high in protein and low in carbs

1. Peanuts

Peanuts are an ideal “snack” with high protein content. But, in addition, they are rich in fiber or magnesium. Many studies suggest that it is an optimal food to lose fat, and this is because they contain a large amount of monounsaturated fats, known as good fats.

It is also possible to benefit from this food by consuming peanut butter, which, in addition to being just as nutritious, is delicious. It contains 16% of its calories in protein: in 28 grams of the product (159 calories) 7 grams are proteins.

2. Prawns

Now you have an excuse every time you go for tapas . Because prawns, in addition to being a very tasty food, are rich in protein. Prawns are low in calories, yet they contain numerous nutrients. For example: selenium, vitamin B12 and omega 3 fat. The protein content is 90%. At 85g (84 calories), 18 are protein.

3. Soy

Soy is a plant source of protein and contains the most essential amino acids except for methionine. However, if we mix soy milk with cereals it is possible to nourish ourselves with this missing amino acid. 100g of this legume contains 15.7g of protein.

4. Milk

Soy can be consumed as soybeans or as soy milk . But normal milk also contains a lot of protein. In fact, cow’s milk contains a large amount of nutrients necessary for our body. It is rich in calcium, phosphorus and riboflavin. 149 calories contain 8 grams of protein.

5. Salmon

Salmon is made up of a large amount of protein and, in addition, it provides polyunsaturated fats such as omega-3 fatty acids . Now, this also applies to the rest of the fish, as they all have a high protein content. Some contain more fat, for example mackerel, and others less, such as hake. 85g of salmon contain 19g of protein.

6. Turkey breast

Turkey breast is an excellent food with high protein content . Since it contains little fat, it is also an ideal food for weight loss.

A meal with 85g of turkey breast contains 24g of protein and 146 calories.

foods high in protein and low in carbs
foods high in protein and low in carbs

7. Chicken breast

Another option, equally healthy as the previous one, is chicken breast , a food rich in protein and with a low calorie content. Virtually 80% of its calories come from protein. 100g of chicken breast contains 22g of this macronutrient.

8. Oats

Oatmeal is a cereal with a high fiber content, which causes the metabolism to speed up and you feel fuller. But, likewise, this delicious cereal is also rich in protein and contains numerous minerals and antioxidants . In half a cup of oatmeal there are 13g of protein.

9. Eggs

There is some controversy about cholesterol and egg consumption. But this is a healthy food, rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which should not be missing in the diet. Without a doubt, it is the best protein source that exists, containing all the essential amino acids, in other words, proteins with high biological value.

10. Almonds

If you had talked about peanuts before, almonds are also a food rich in protein that also includes many nutrients such as fiber, vitamin E and magnesium. In 28g of almonds there are 6g of protein and 161 calories.

11. Cottage cheese (light)

Cottage cheese is a type of cheese that in its normal version contains a lot of fat. However, the light version is highly recommended as it is a food with a high content of a type of protein called casein .

Casein is a slow absorption protein so it is ideal to take at night if you practice physical exercise. It also contains a high level of glutamine.

foods high in protein and low in carbs
foods high in protein and low in carbs

12. Greek yogurt

Almost 50% of the calories from Greek yogurt are from protein . This food contains a lot of fat and, therefore, the light version is a better option. Greek yogurt is good for building muscle mass while boosting your basal metabolism to burn fat when you rest. It is also rich in vitamin D and calcium.

13. Lean pork

Pork often has a lot of saturated fat, that is, unhealthy fat. Therefore, a good alternative is to consume lean pork, because, like any meat, it is rich in protein (20% of its calories are protein) . In addition, this type of meat is rich in vitamin B1 and vitamin B3.

14. Beef steak

Beef is a great source of protein . Its great flavor makes it one of the favorite meats but, being a red meat, it should not be consumed more than twice a week.

Beef is rich in iron, vitamin B12, and numerous nutrients. 85g of this food contains 22g of protein.

15. Quinoa

Quinoa is a cereal that contains high quality protein, that is, of high biological value . It is a complete source of amino acids, making it ideal for building muscle and burning fat.

16. Lentils

Lentils are delicious and nutritious legumes that, in addition to iron, copper, magnesium and other nutrients, are also rich in protein . Therefore, it is a good nutritional alternative for vegetarians. 27% of its calories are protein.

17. Essene bread

Essene bread or ezekiel bread provides multiple health benefits , making it excellent for your body. It is a type of bread made from legumes and cereals (sprouts). One slice contains 4g of protein and 80 calories.

18. Tuna

Tuna is a very popular protein food that can be eaten canned or cooked . It is a fish with low fat content, however, it contains omega 3 fatty acids. 100g of tuna contains 25g of protein.

19. Pumpkin seeds

It has already been commented that soybeans were a food rich in protein. Well, pumpkin seeds are too . They have many nutrients such as iron, magnesium and zinc, and 28g of this product contains 5g of protein

foods high in protein and low in carbs
foods high in protein and low in carbs

20. Couscous

Another cereal that is included in this list is couscous, as it is rich in vegetable protein . It also contains other interesting nutrients from a dietary point of view, such as slow absorption carbohydrates, unsaturated fats and fiber. For every 100g you will be consuming 15 of protein.

21. Mussels

Mussels are delicious and are an excellent health product . Its high nutritional quality and very simple preparation make it a highly recommended product. It is rich in protein, iodine and vitamin B12.

22. Tofu

Tofu is prepared with soybeans and its origin is oriental. As you surely know, soy protein is one of the healthiest, and tofu contains 8g of protein per 100 . It is a very healthy food, not in vain we can find it in many vegan and vegetarian food recipes.

23. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are one of the healthiest and most nutritionally complete legumes . Contains 19g of protein per 100. It can be eaten in salads or in the classic stews and stews.

24. Seitan

Seitan is made from wheat gluten, and is a food that contains 22g of protein per 100g . It cannot be missed if you need a high protein diet.

25. nice

This blue fish contains 25g of protein per 100 . In addition, it is rich in fatty acids and is very low in calories, making it ideal for a balanced diet. As if this were not enough, it should also be noted that it is a fish rich in many minerals: zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium among them.

Low carb foods

foods high in protein and low in carbs
foods high in protein and low in carbs

The main low-carb foods are meats, chicken, fish, eggs, and fats like butter and olive oil. In addition to these, there are also fruits and vegetables that are low in carbohydrates and that are normally used in weight loss diets, some of them are melon, papaya, pumpkin and eggplant.

Carbohydrate is a nutrient that is present in most industrialized and refined foods, and must be avoided in diets for weight loss to be effective. However, the absence of carbohydrates can cause symptoms such as headache, bad mood, difficulty concentrating and even bad breath, so it is important to know how to choose what type of carbohydrate to eat and in what quantity.  

Foods low in carbohydrates are meats, poultry, fish, eggs, cheeses and natural yogurts. Meat, fish and eggs are foods that do not contain even a gram of carbohydrate in their composition, while milk and its derivatives have carbohydrates in small quantities, milk being the one that contains the most carbohydrates. 

Foods low in carbohydrates and high in fat are vegetable oils such as soybean and sunflower oil, olive oil, butter, heavy cream, seeds such as chia, sesame, sesame and flaxseed; in addition to oilseeds such as peanuts, hazelnuts and almonds. But while milk has carbohydrates in its composition, cheeses usually contain very little carbohydrate.

Low carb example menu

The table below shows an example 3-day menu that can be used on a low-carb diet:

FoodsDay 1Day 2Day 3
Breakfast1 glass of plain yogurt + 3 tablespoons of granola + 1 peach, chopped into pieces1 cup of coffee + 2 slices of whole wheat bread with 1 egg and 1 slice of cheese1 cup of coffee + 2 scrambled eggs with ricotta cream
Morning snack2 slices of papaya + 1 tablespoon of oat bran1 plum + 5 cashews1 glass of green juice  + 10 units of peanuts
Lunch dinnerPumpkin puree + baked chicken with tomato paste + lettuce salad with arugula and onion + 1 teaspoon of olive oil Zucchini pasta with ground beef and pesto sauce Grilled chicken + cauliflower rice + Cooked aubergine salad with carrot and onion sautéed in olive oil
Afternoon snackCoffee without sugar + 1 slice of whole wheat toast with 1 egg and 1 slice of cheese1 frozen banana whipped with 2 ice cubes + 1 natural yogurt6 rice crackers + peanut butter + 2 slices of white cheese

In addition to reducing the carbohydrate content of the diet, it is also necessary to consume fewer calories than what is spent, being important to practice physical activity regularly to help burn excess fat accumulated in the body, such as walking at least 3 times per week for 1 hour.


Anna is a registered dietitian with a bachelor’s degree and a certificate in general nutrition. she is started as a nutritionist clerk in 2017 and moved to buzzrecipes in 2018. she is now manages author communications, topic selection, and medical review of all nutrition content.

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