11 High-Protein, Low-Calorie Foods

Are you on a quest for a more healthy lifestyle? If so, adding more high-protein, low-calorie foods might be your secret weapon. 

These nutritional powerhouses can keep you feeling full and satisfied longer and support muscle growth and repair. From lean proteins found in meats to plant-based proteins provided by nature, these foods are the key to unlocking your healthiest self.

Each meal is thoughtfully designed by our culinary experts and dietitians, ensuring you don't have to compromise taste for nutritional value. Whether you're a seasoned health enthusiast or just taking your first steps on the path to wellness, Green Chef is here to make the path to health a little easier and a lot tastier.

What Are the Benefits of Eating Foods High in Protein and Low in Calories?

You’ve probably heard some buzz about high-protein foods before, but have you ever wondered why they're so beneficial? Let's break down some of the potential health benefits. First, protein is a vital macronutrient for our bodies. It's involved in everything from building and repairing tissues to making enzymes and hormones. It's the building block of your bones, muscles, skin, and blood. So whenever you consume foods high in protein, you're fueling your body with the resources it needs to function properly.

Now, let's talk about weight management. Achieving a lower body weight is a major goal these days for a lot of people. You probably already know that fewer calories can help support a healthy weight, but high-protein foods can help, too. How? Well, protein promotes satiety, meaning it keeps you feeling full longer, which can help control your appetite and reduce unnecessary snacking. Not only that, but protein has a high thermic effect, meaning your body burns more calories to digest it compared to fats and carbs.

 

But that’s not all. Eating high-protein foods is great for building lean muscle mass. There’s a reason why so many gym enthusiasts are eating protein bars and whey protein powder. Pairing protein with regular exercise can build muscle while losing fat, leading to a more toned and defined physique. So, if you’re looking to support your body, support a healthy weight, and build bigger muscles, high-protein foods are the right choice for you!

11 of the Best High-Protein Foods That Are Also Low in Calories

Finding foods that feature protein isn’t too hard. It’s an abundant nutrient. However, finding ones that are also low in calories is where it gets a bit tricky. Luckily, we’ve gone ahead and done the hard work for you. 

Here is a list of high-protein, low-calorie foods that can jumpstart your journey to a nutritious diet:

Chicken

Chicken breast is a lean protein superstar, offering about 26 grams of protein in a 3-ounce serving. Low in saturated fat and high in essential nutrients like selenium, vitamin B6, and niacin, it's a great choice that can be stir-fried, grilled, or used to swap out other meats in your favorite dishes.

Turkey

Turkey breast is more than just a holiday staple. It's an excellent source of protein that's also low in fat. With around 26 grams of protein and a good dose of B vitamins in a 3-ounce serving, it's a nutritious choice for salads, sandwiches, or turkey bowls.

White Fish

White fish, such as tilapia, halibut, salmon, and tuna, are rich in protein and packed with heart-healthyomega-3 fatty acids. Whether grilled, baked, or added to a stir-fry, these fish are the cornerstone of a nutritious and delicious meal. Try a blackened tilapia with tomato, corn, and celery for a spice-packed meal delivered right to your doorstep.

Chicken

Chicken breast is a lean protein superstar, offering about 26 grams of protein in a 3-ounce serving. Low in saturated fat and high in essential nutrients like selenium, vitamin B6, and niacin, it's a great choice that can be stir-fried, grilled, or used to swap out other meats in your favorite dishes.

Turkey

Turkey breast is more than just a holiday staple. It's an excellent source of protein that's also low in fat. With around 26 grams of protein and a good dose of B vitamins in a 3-ounce serving, it's a nutritious choice for salads, sandwiches, or turkey bowls.

White Fish

White fish, such as tilapia, halibut, salmon, and tuna, are rich in protein and packed with heart-healthyomega-3 fatty acids. Whether grilled, baked, or added to a stir-fry, these fish are the cornerstone of a nutritious and delicious meal. Try a blackened tilapia with tomato, corn, and celery for a spice-packed meal delivered right to your doorstep.

Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are a protein-rich snack that can be enjoyed anytime. But for those watching their cholesterol, egg whites are a great option. They offer a straightforward way to boost your protein intake while supporting your heart health. Scramble them, poach them, or use them in omelets for a protein-packed meal.

Lentils

Lentils pack a powerful nutritional punch. Not only are they a great source of protein, but they're also rich in fiber and folate. Add them to soups or salads, or even use them as a meat substitute for a plant-based protein boost.

Black Beans

Black beans are a powerhouse protein option, providing 15 grams of protein per cup. These legumes are also rich in fiber, which supports digestive health, and antioxidants that fight off harmful free radicals. Use them in soups, salads, or as a filling for tacos and burritos.

Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are a protein-rich snack that can be enjoyed anytime. But for those watching their cholesterol, egg whites are a great option. They offer a straightforward way to boost your protein intake while supporting your heart health. Scramble them, poach them, or use them in omelets for a protein-packed meal.

Lentils

Lentils pack a powerful nutritional punch. Not only are they a great source of protein, but they're also rich in fiber and folate. Add them to soups or salads, or even use them as a meat substitute for a plant-based protein boost.

Black Beans

Black beans are a powerhouse protein option, providing 15 grams of protein per cup. These legumes are also rich in fiber, which supports digestive health, and antioxidants that fight off harmful free radicals. Use them in soups, salads, or as a filling for tacos and burritos.

Soybeans

Whether you prefer tofu, tempeh, or edamame, soybeans are an excellent source of plant-based protein. As a complete protein, they provide all the essential amino acids your body needs. Incorporate them into stir-fries, salads, or just snack on some roasted edamame.

Hummus

Made from chickpeas, hummus is a versatile and tasty high-protein snack. It pairs perfectly with fresh veggies, whole grain crackers, or sandwiches. Plus, it's packed with fiber and heart-healthy fats.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a protein-richwhole grain that also boasts all the essential amino acids, making it a

Soybeans

Whether you prefer tofu, tempeh, or edamame, soybeans are an excellent source of plant-based protein. As a complete protein, they provide all the essential amino acids your body needs. Incorporate them into stir-fries, salads, or just snack on some roasted edamame.

Hummus

Made from chickpeas, hummus is a versatile and tasty high-protein snack. It pairs perfectly with fresh veggies, whole grain crackers, or sandwiches. Plus, it's packed with fiber and heart-healthy fats.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a protein-richwhole grain that also boasts all the essential amino acids, making it a

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a snack-time hero. They're a great source of protein, heart-healthy fats, and magnesium that support bone health. Add them to your salads or yogurt, or simply enjoy them on their own for a quick, nutritious snack.

Broccoli

Don’t underestimate the power of broccoli! This green veggie offers a good amount of protein and is rich in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. Whether steamed, roasted, or tossed in a stir-fry, broccoli is a tasty way to up your protein game.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a snack-time hero. They're a great source of protein, heart-healthy fats, and magnesium that support bone health. Add them to your salads or yogurt, or simply enjoy them on their own for a quick, nutritious snack.

Broccoli

Don’t underestimate the power of broccoli! This green veggie offers a good amount of protein and is rich in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. Whether steamed, roasted, or tossed in a stir-fry, broccoli is a tasty way to up your protein game.

How Can Green Chef Help You Follow a Low-Calorie, Protein Packed Diet? 

How Can Green Chef Help You Follow a Low-Calorie, Protein Packed Diet? 

Navigating the world of healthy foods can seem daunting. There are a ton of options, and it can be challenging to turn them into meals — but it doesn’t have to be. That's where Green Chef comes in. We provide a variety of meal options that include the same protein-rich, low-calorie options we've just discussed. Everything we mentioned, from lean chicken breast to protein-packedquinoa, is featured in our expertly crafted recipes designed to excite your taste buds while fueling your body with the nutrients it needs.

But we know eating healthy is about more than just having the right ingredients. It's also about convenience. Check out our Protein Packed Meal Plan, boasting protein-packed meals with 30+ grams of protein per serving. This means you can whip up a nutritious, high-protein meal without the stress of meal planning or grocery shopping. With Green Chef, maintaining a high-protein, low-calorie diet has never been easier. Imagine coming home after a long day and having everything you need to cook a healthy, filling, and delicious meal just waiting for you. No more last-minute grocery runs or settling for unhealthy takeout — just fresh, wholesome ingredients and a hassle-free cooking experience. So why not let us take care of the meal prep while you focus on enjoying the path toward a healthier you?

Green Chef Logo

Feel Great About Your Food

Green Chef is all about eating and living green. We are a USDA certified organic company. We work with farmers to source sustainable, delicious ingredients.
Green Chef is all about eating and living green. We are a USDA certified organic company. We work with farmers to source sustainable, delicious ingredients.
*Offer only valid for new Green Chef customers with qualifying auto-renewing subscription purchase. Take 50% off your first box and 20% off subsequent 8 boxes (up to 51 weeks from your first box), including free shipping on the first box. Discount varies for other meal plans and sizes. Shipping fee applies on all deliveries after the first box. Not valid on premiums, meal upgrades, add-ons, taxes, or shipping fees. May not be combined with gift cards or any other promotion. No cash value. Void outside the U.S. and where prohibited. Offer cannot be sold or otherwise bartered. Green Chef has the right to end or modify any offer at any time. Additional restrictions may apply. See https://www.greenchef.com/terms for more details.