5 Low Carb High Protein Foods to Add to Your Grocery List

Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays a role in weight management. It also helps you maintain healthy hair and nails, grow your muscles, and keep your immune system strong. We all know that we need protein in our diets, but it can be hard to find high-protein foods—and even harder to find low carb high protein foods if you’re focused on losing a bit of weight. 

Eating well may seem like a challenge, especially when it comes to getting protein after workouts, and this problem has many asking, “What foods are low in carbs but high in protein?” Luckily, there are many low-carb, high-protein options that can be incorporated into your everyday diet. Below, we’re exploring five of the best low carb high protein foods that are perfect for an active lifestyle and can be found at your local grocery store. Before that, let’s discuss what a low-carb, high-protein diet looks like.

What is a Low Carb, High Protein Diet?

A low carb, high protein diet focuses on reducing carbohydrate intake while increasing protein consumption. This dietary approach aims to aid in weight loss and muscle maintenance by prioritizing foods like meats, fish, eggs, dairy with high protein content, and low-carb vegetables, while limiting grains, sugars, fruits, and starchy vegetables.

How Many Grams of Protein Should I Eat?

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that the average person eat 0.35 grams per pound of body weight per day, but people who are lifting weights regularly might want to eat up to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight. Therefore, those on a low carb high protein diet should aim to consume 0.35-0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

How Many Grams of Carbs Should I Eat?

According to the Mayo Clinic, those on a low carb high protein diet typically eat 20-57 grams of carbs a day. Depending on your individual calorie intake, particularly if they are more than others, you may end up eating closer to 100g of carbohydrates a day. While there is no set grams of carbohydrates you should eat per day, the goal is to reduce that number comparatively to the number of grams of protein you consume per day.

Is it Safe to Eat Low Carb, High Protein Foods?

Eating a low-carb, high-protein diet can be safe and effective for many people, especially in the short term for goals like weight loss and muscle building. This diet helps to reduce appetite and increase satiety, which can lead to a natural reduction in calorie intake. However, it's important to choose a variety of foods to ensure you're getting a balanced intake of nutrients. Long-term adherence to a very low-carb diet may require careful planning to avoid nutritional deficiencies and to ensure it is balanced and sustainable. Additionally, individuals with certain health conditions, such as kidney disease, should approach high-protein diets with caution and consult a healthcare provider or a dietitian.

Benefits of Low Carb High Protein Diets

Low-carb, high-protein diets offer benefits like weight loss, muscle maintenance, and improved blood sugar control. By reducing carbs and focusing on protein, these diets help decrease appetite and caloric intake, while protein's satiety effect aids in managing hunger. They can also improve heart health markers, such as triglycerides and HDL cholesterol. However, ensuring a variety of protein sources and low-carb vegetables is key to meeting nutritional needs. Consulting with a healthcare professional is advised to tailor the diet to individual health conditions and goals.

5 Low Carb High Protein Foods

1. Lentils

This high-protein food is a dieter’s best friend. Lentils are packed with protein, fiber, folate, and other heart-healthy nutrients that can help you maintain weight loss while feeling satisfied. They’re also high in iron, which helps to reduce fatigue after workouts.

You might be wondering: Are lentils really a low carb high protein food? According to the USDA food data, 100g of boiled lentils contains 20 grams of carbs, but of those 20 grams there is 8 grams of fiber. Because lentils are high in fiber, they can help in managing blood sugar levels, promoting digestive health, and increasing satiety, potentially aiding in weight management. Additionally, the carbohydrates in lentils are absorbed slowly, thanks to their high fiber content. This results in a lower glycemic index (GI), which can help in stabilizing blood sugar levels and maintaining energy levels throughout the day.

Including lentils in moderation can certainly make them a great low carb, high protein food that provides essential nutrients, aids in satiety, and supports overall health.

2. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are an easy, delicious, and a low carb high protein food you can enjoy after exercising, for breakfast, or in a snack box. They provide high-quality, complete proteins, which help you feel satisfied for longer periods of time than fat or carbs alone would. Eggs also include tons of nutrients that aid in muscle recovery and growth. With just 1 gram of carbs per hard boiled egg, they will keep you full and on track for weight loss.

3. Salmon

Salmon is a great low carb high protein food due to its impressive nutritional benefits. It delivers high-quality protein, crucial for muscle maintenance and growth, without adding too many carbs, aligning perfectly with low-carb dietary goals. Beyond protein, salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, known for promoting heart health and reducing inflammation. It also offers essential vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, potassium, and selenium, supporting overall well-being. Additionally, its versatility in the kitchen and delicious taste make it an enjoyable addition to any meal, providing a satisfying and healthful eating experience for those managing carb intake while focusing on protein and nutrient-rich foods. At the grocery store, you can buy salmon raw, cooked, or in a convenient snack pouch to eat on-the-go.

4. Deli Turkey Meat

Lean and packed with protein, deli turkey helps to support muscle maintenance and growth without adding significant carbohydrates to your diet. Its high protein content promotes satiety, reducing cravings and helping with weight management. Additionally, turkey is a good source of various vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, which are essential for energy production and overall health. Deli turkey is convenient and versatile, making it easy to include in meals and snacks, from sandwiches (with low-carb options like lettuce wraps) to salads. Its low fat content also makes it a healthier option for those watching their calorie intake. However, it's important to choose low-sodium and preservative-free options when possible to maximize health benefits.

5. Greek Yogurt

Looking for an alternative to your morning cereal or after-dinner bowl of ice cream? Greek yogurt is packed with high-quality protein and delicious flavor. It also contains a lot of calcium and vitamin D, both of which are essential for strong bones and teeth.

Greek yogurt is strained to reduce whey and lactose, lowering its carbohydrate content, making it an ideal low carb high protein food. It also offers probiotics for gut health and is versatile in culinary uses, from smoothies to dips. With fewer carbs, essential nutrients, and a boost of protein, Greek yogurt is a nutritious addition to your diet.

Bonus: Products from Nutmeg State Nutrition

No matter what you’re craving, Nutmeg State Nutrition’s line of protein-rich diet foods will satisfy your needs. Our selection includes everything from protein bars to chips, breakfast meals, drinks, and so much more. Try our Proti Fit Dill Pickle Chips to curb your mid-day cravings, or start your morning with a bowl of tasty yet nutritious Proti Diet Honey Nut Soy Cereal. These items are the perfect high-protein food for anyone looking for a convenient, healthy, and satisfying way to get the nutrients they need.

For more information about the best protein foods for weight loss and tips for integrating more protein into your lifestyle, contact Nutmeg State Nutrition today!

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