In bodybuilding, there are few things more important than quality protein. The body needs to get sufficient protein to achieve anabolism. It also needs quality protein so it is used in the most efficient manner possible.
Thus, it is vital that we focus on taking in protein through the healthiest sources that are available. For protein, this comes down to the leanness of the food. We want our diet to contain foods that are a source of ‘lean protein’ which means little fat or carbs, but a lot of protein.
There are many foods that fit this criteria. Some are better than others. Identifying which are the most abundant sources of protein is invaluable. With this condensed list, we will have a better idea on what to pick up at the grocery store and what to base our meals around.
So here is a look at 10 of the greatest sources of lean protein food.
Eggs are already a common staple food. On average, an egg will contain 7 grams of protein. As we usually eat two or three in one sittings, we can get 14 or 21 grams just from eating eggs. Eggs are also a healthy fats source.
If we want to further the leanness of eggs, we can drop the yolk. Egg whites have little calories and fat, and there is still about 3.5 to 4 grams of protein. We can also eat a mix of egg whites and whole eggs. Basically, the egg white contains most of the protein and the yolk contains the vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
Pick up a can of tuna and look at the nutrition label. On average, a can of tuna has somewhere around 120 calories and 36 grams of protein. It is one of the most lean sources of protein out there. It contains maybe a gram of fats and no carbs. So it gives us a way to get a large amount of protein with minimal caloric intake – making for a healthy and effective way to meet our protein intake quota for the day.
Salmon is similar in regards to protein amounts, but it has a bit more healthy fats. Other types of fish can be considered as well, such as halibut, perch, snapper, cod, and tilapia.
3) Chicken Breast
Chicken has always been viewed as a quality source of protein. In 100 grams of boneless chicken breast, there is roughly 195 calories. There is also approximately 7 grams of fats and 30 grams of proteins. As there are no carbs, it makes for a great source of protein and healthy fats. Another effective staple for any bodybuilder’s diet and a great food to use for hitting certain macronutrient ratios for the day.
Turkey breast offers practically the same benefits as chicken breast.
4) Non-Fat Mozzarella Cheese
It’s only one type, but cheese is a potential lean protein source. Its fat free and loaded with protein. 100 grams of non-fat mozzarella contains roughly 32 grams of protein.
Low-fat cheeses are also a bit effective. Some options include low-fat Swiss, cottage, parmesan, and Romano cheese.
5) Pork Loin Chops
Lean pork chops are an effective source of protein. 100 grams of pork loin will contain around 25 grams of protein. There is a fair amount of fat found in pork chops, but most of it is either saturated or monounsaturated.
Similar sources include sirloin roast and ham.
6) Mature Soybeans
Here is a great way to get some veggies in without just taking on carbs. Mature soybeans contain 17 grams of protein in every 100 grams serving. Surprisingly, there is a fair amount of fat but it is healthy. There is also around 10 grams of carbs, but most comes from dietary fibres.
Alternatives to mature soybeans include kidney, white, Lima, fava, black, and mung beans.
7) Lean Beef
Surprisingly, beef is an acceptable form of protein as well! It contains approximately 36 grams of protein for every 100 grams serving. There are various levels of fat content based on the leanness of the meat. It may be anywhere from 6 grams to 30 grams per 100 grams serving depending on which cut is chosen.
How Are These Foods Chosen?
It is important to discuss how the foods were picked for this list.
These are not just high protein foods. These foods are protein dense. This means that a considerable amount of the food is made up of protein. So the protein-to-calorie ratio for the foods on this list is much in favor of protein. This is usually because of the lack of fats and carbs.