In this article, we’ll get to know the top 10 protein sources for muscle building. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian sources of proteins are included. So be sure to leave a comment with your favorite source of protein.
Here’s why protein is important in the first place. Protein is composed of amino acids and these literally are the building blocks that become us. So our muscles, our tissues, our organs are composed of these amino acids that we get from proteins.
Another important thing about protein is that when we eat proteins it stimulates the release of the hormone called glucagon. This is the digestive hormone that encourages us to burn and metabolize fat.
So including protein in your meals and stimulating the release of glucagon is what signals our body to become full and satisfied. It also stimulates our body to start metabolizing and burning fat.
Top 10 Protein Sources
Protein is something you want to include in all of your meals, including snacks. Here are the top 10 protein sources to build muscles and burn fat:
10. Eggs (6g Protein per egg)
We all know that egg is one of the best protein sources, but let’s take a moment and dispel a couple of myths about eggs.
There have been a lot of people who have said: “Eggs are really high in cholesterol, you don’t want to eat the yolk”. This is not a good health recommendation.
There’s a lot of confusion about cholesterol and you can read the truth about cholesterol here. If this is something you’re concerned about, go ahead and bookmark our website and keep an eye out for the upcoming articles on this subject.
The bottom line here that you need to remember is that eating a whole egg is what provides you the benefit. So the yolk actually is what contains most of the nutrients in the egg. If you’re not eating the yolk, then you’re really missing out a lot.
9. Cheese (20-30g Protein per 100g)
Cheese is the next item on the top 10 protein sources list. It’s important to know that processed cheese products don’t count. So take a look at the food label and if there’s a long ingredients list, chances are that the cheese you want to buy is processed.
But when we’re eating high-quality cheeses, then it can be a very good protein source. One way to know that you are purchasing a high-quality cheese is that it actually says the words grass-fed or pasture-raised on the packaging.
8. Yogurt (20g Protein per cup)
Another wonderful protein source is yogurt. Again, there’s a couple of myths to dispel. Often times when we are in the grocery store, there are a lot of different yogurts to choose from in the yogurt section.
Most of the yogurt that we see advertised on TV actually contains a whole lot of sugar. In some cases even contain high fructose corn syrup and other different chemical additives that we don’t want to be eating.
So read the ingredient labels and if you see a bunch of weird chemical names or sugar, then this is gonna be your red flag. This is a processed food, which means it’s not a healthy choice.
Avoid non-fat dairy products! This is probably one of the biggest myths about dairy products that’s out there. The fat contained in a high-quality dairy product is actually what helps you digest that dairy product.
So when you take the fat out and eat a fat-free or skimmed version, it’s actually gonna be harder for your body to digest. Also, this fat helps us feel full and tells our body to turn off that hunger mechanism.
So when we’re eating yogurt we’ve got a high protein source, but we also have a source of high-quality fats. And these fats are really good for our brain, for our overall health and they’ll make us feel full and satisfied.
7. Quinoa (24g Protein per cup)
This may be a new food for some of you, but if it’s something you aren’t familiar with, it’s definitely one of my most highly recommended protein sources.
It’s incredibly easy to prepare. It’s basically 2 parts water to one part quinoa, and it prepares pretty much just like rice or any of the other grains.
6. Almonds (30g Protein per cup)
Nuts are another fabulous protein source, and almonds are probably the top source of protein. Another great thing about almonds is that they help to stabilize our blood sugar.
So they make a really good snack especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Nuts can also help you if you have problems maintaining your blood sugar, or you have diabetes or something like that.
5. Beans (15-40g Protein per cup)
Beans are one of the best protein sources, and what’s even better is that there are a lot of different beans out there: lentils, kidney beans, pinto, black beans, garbanzo beans.
And there’s a lot of different uses for beans: hummus, add beans to salad, etc.
4. Tempeh (31g Protein per cup)
Most of you have probably heard of tofu but you may not be familiar with tempeh. Tempeh is a fermented tofu product and when you ferment the tofu it really unleashes the different nutritional benefits and it significantly ups the protein content.
You can find tempeh in pretty much any grocery store, definitely any health food store. It’s very easy to prepare and it’s really great food for vegetarians because it can be used in place of certain meat products.
3. Spinach, Asparagus, Swiss Chard, Mustard Greens
You may be surprised to find that these vegetables are actually up there really close to all the meat products I’m about to mention. If you have ever wondered how can a vegetarian get enough protein, well this is it because these vegetables are a really great protein source.
Not only do we have phytonutrients, vitamins and all kinds of wonderful nutrients coming from these vegetables, these are also good protein sources.
2. Meat (15-40g Protein per 100g)
Animal products are probably the most common thing that people think of when they think about protein, but I want to give you some really useful recommendations on how to find a good, high-quality meat product for you to eat.
- Eat only grass-fed or pasture-raised meat.
- Avoid processed meats (if it has an ingredients list, it’s not 100% meat).
- Avoid fast-foods and restaurant (you’re not gonna find there grass-fed meat for sure).
1. Fish (18-42g Protein per 100g)
Actually, turkey is the number one protein source, but in between beef and the other meats is the fish products: tuna, shrimps, cod, etc.
Since the reason we eat protein is to get the amino acids out so that we can then use those amino acids to build our bodies, the higher quality the protein is, the higher quality actually we are going to be.
Hopefully, these tips will help you integrate more protein into your diet and improve your health, take control over your hunger and control over your weight. Stay fit!
Get more like this
in your inbox
Sign up for our daily email with fitness and nutrition tips, diets and weight loss programs, health news, and more.