Whether you are trying to gain muscle or lose weight, high protein low carbs food is the ideal pick for you. The body breaks down carbohydrates into sugar and sugar into calories. If the calories you consume are higher than the calories your body uses, your body will accumulate body fat.
On the other hand, a high protein diet is low in calories. It also promotes muscle growth, making it ideal for weight loss and muscle gain. However, many people go wrong when it comes to a diet high in protein and low in carbs.
Here’s a complete guide to high protein, low carbs food.
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Benefits of High Protein Low Carbs Food
High protein low carbs food has many benefits. Let’s look at the top reasons to switch to a high protein low carb diet.
- Reduced Risk of Heart Disease: A diet with fewer carbs and more protein can reduce heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and high triglyceride.
- Bone Health: Protein is essential for bone health. High protein diets prevent bone loss and alleviate the risk of fracture, especially in older adults.
- Blood Sugar Regulation: If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, eating carbohydrates can increase blood sugar levels. A high protein low carb diet can reduce blood sugar levels and help in regulating them.
Best High Protein Low Carbs Food
There are various foods that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Eating these foods is essential for the overall nutrition and growth of your body. Proteins help in building and repairing muscle and tissues, forming enzymes, and fortifying bones, muscles, and cartilage.
That said, let’s look at some best foods you should include in a high protein, low carb diet.
Chicken is high in protein. 100 grams of chicken contains:
- 31 grams protein
- 3.6 grams fat
- 165 calories
- 0 carbs
Grilled chicken is even better, as it has fewer oils and other added ingredients. Chicken salad is another delicious and protein-rich dish you should eat if you want to consume high protein and low carbs.
Fish is a rich source of protein. In fact, many nutritionists consider fish as the protein powerhouse. A one half wild Atlantic salmon fillet weighing 154 g has:
- 39.2g protein
- 12.5 mg fat
- 86 mg sodium
- 280 calories
- 0 carbs
Fishes come in different types and nutritional compositions. Some popular, high-protein fishes are halibut, tuna, cod, mahimahi, and ocean perch. However, the best fit for weight loss (according to research) is fatty fish that contain omega-3 fats. These fishes also reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and improve brain and eye health.
If you don’t eat fish or chicken, eggs can be the ideal high protein low carbs food for you. Also regarded as the poster child of protein, an egg is a rich source of protein and healthy fat. It also helps with hormone imbalance. A hard-boiled egg (50 grams) contains:
- 6.3g protein
- 4g fat
- 77 calories
- 0.6g carbs
Nutritionists believe eating egg dishes for breakfast is a great way to kickstart your day. Some delicious egg dishes to try are scrambled eggs, omelets, and boiled eggs sprinkled with salt and black pepper.
Don’t get disheartened if you’re a vegetarian. There are some amazing vegetarian high-protein foods that can fulfill your daily protein intake requirements. Tofu is a great protein source. A three-ounce slice of Tofu has:
- 8.7 g protein
- 4 g fat
- 78 calories
- 2 g carbs
Moreover, Tofu is one of the few plant proteins that contain all nine essential amino acids. A slice of Tofu has it all. It can help you with muscle gain and weight loss. In addition, Tofu is a rich source of iron, potassium, manganese, vitamin B, zinc, copper, and other vitamins and minerals.
There are a lot of ways to eat Tofu. The easiest way is to eat it raw. You can also bake or shallow fry it with spices and vegetables. Many people use Tofu as soft cheese in lasagna and other dishes.
The final high protein, low carb food on the list is nuts. They are a low-carb, high-protein snack that offers heart-healthy proteins to your body. The nutritional composition varies from buts to nuts.
The most protein-rich nuts and peanuts. 100 grams of peanuts have:
- 25.80 g protein
- 49.24 g fat
- 8.50 g fiber
- 567 calories
- 16.13 g carbs
Some other protein-rich nuts are almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, and hazelnuts. You can eat nuts by adding them to your meals or as snacks.
Meals That Don’t Have High Protein Low Carb Food
If you want to pursue a high protein low carb food diet, there are certain foods you should avoid. These include food items that are high in carbohydrates and calories. Let’s look at some food items you should avoid eating.
- High Carb Processed Foods: Highly processed carb foods like pizza, chips, fried chicken, and French fries. These foods contain many calories and unhealthy fats. They promote unhealthy fat gain and are also bad for your heart.
- Sugary Drinks: Sugar is poison for you if you want to lose weight. One teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories and 5 g of carbs. It has unhealthy calories that increase body fat and blood sugar levels. Hence, you should avoid drinking sugary drinks like juice, tea & coffee, sports drinks, soda, and sweetened alcoholic beverages.
- Sweeteners: Just like sugary drinks, sweeteners are also high in calories. These include added sugar, maple syrup, coconut sugar, honey, and agave.
- Grains and Starches: Lastly, you should avoid grains and starches. Though they’re not unhealthy, they are rich in carbs and low in protein, leading to weight gain. Hence, you should consume wheat, rice, and other grains in limited amounts.
Overall, a high protein low carb diet has many health benefits. It ensures bone health, heart health, and optimum blood sugar levels. Many foods are rich in protein, such as fish, chicken, tofu, eggs, and nuts. You can choose the food based on your food preferences. It’s also essential to limit foods high in carbs, such as grains, starches, and sugar.