Protein Healthy Foods

1. Whole Eggs

Once feared for being high in cholesterol, whole eggs have been making a comeback.

Although a high intake of eggs raises the levels of “bad” LDL-cholesterol in some people, they are one of the best foods to eat if you need to lose weight. They are high in protein and fat, and are very satiating.(1Trusted Source2Trusted Source).

One study in 30 overweight women showed that eating eggs for breakfast, instead of bagels, increased feelings of fullness (satiety) and made participants eat less for the next 36 hours (3Trusted Source).

Another eight-week study found that eggs for breakfast increased weight loss on a calorie restricted diet, compared to bagels (4Trusted Source).

Eggs are also incredibly nutrient dense and can help you get all the nutrients you need on a calorie-restricted diet. Interestingly, almost all the nutrients are found in the yolks.

2. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens include kale, spinach, collards, swiss chards and a few others.

They have several properties that make them perfect for a weight loss diet, such as being low in calories and carbohydrates and loaded with fiber.

Eating leafy greens is a great way to increase the volume of your meals, without increasing the calories. Numerous studies show that meals and diets with a low energy density make people eat fewer calories overall (5Trusted Source).

Leafy greens are also incredibly nutritious and very high in many vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, including calcium, which has been shown to aid fat burning in some studies (6Trusted Source).

3. Salmon

Fatty fish like salmon is incredibly healthy and very satisfying, keeping you full for many hours with relatively few calories.

Salmon is loaded with high-quality protein, healthy fats and various important nutrients.

Fish — and seafood in general — may also supply a significant amount of iodine.

This nutrient is necessary for proper thyroid function, which is important to keep your metabolism running optimally (7Trusted Source).

Studies show that a significant number of people don’t fill their iodine needs (8Trusted Source).

Salmon is also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation, which is known to play a major role in obesity and metabolic disease (9Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

Mackerel, trout, sardines, herring and other types of fatty fish are also excellent.

4. Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.

Like other vegetables, they’re high in fiber and tend to be incredibly filling.

What’s more, these types of veggies generally contain decent amounts of protein.

They’re not nearly as high in protein as animal foods or legumes but still high compared to most vegetables.

A combination of protein, fiber and low energy density makes cruciferous vegetables the perfect foods to include in your meals if you need to lose weight.

They’re also highly nutritious and contain cancer-fighting substances (11Trusted Source).

5. Lean Beef and Chicken Breast

Meat has been unfairly demonized.

It has been blamed for various health problems despite a lack of good evidence to back up these negative claims.

Though processed meat is unhealthy, studies show that unprocessed red meat does not raise the risk of heart disease or diabetes (12Trusted Source13Trusted Source).

According to two big review studies, red meat has only a very weak correlation with cancer in men and no correlation at all in women (14Trusted Source15Trusted Source).

The truth is, meat is a weight-loss-friendly food because it’s high in protein.

Protein is by far the most filling nutrient, and eating a high-protein diet can make you burn up to 80–100 more calories per day (16Trusted Source17Trusted Source18Trusted Source).

Studies have shown that increasing your protein intake to 25–% of daily calories can cut cravings by 60%, reduce your desire for late-night snacking by half and cause weight loss of almost one pound (0.45 kg) per week (19Trusted Source20Trusted Source).

If you’re on a low-carb diet, feel free to eat fatty meats. However, if you’re on a moderate- to high-carbohydrate diet, choosing lean meats may be more appropriate.

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