The 10 Healthiest Lean Proteins You Can Eat


Cod is among the highest protein and lowest calorie seafood choices you can make. Since it is low in fat, the calories in cod are kept significantly lower than fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, or tuna.


Haddock is another great white fish that is low in calories and fat, and rich in nutrients including B vitamins, selenium, and phosphorus.

Chicken Breast

Chicken is the most popular animal-based "meat" protein enjoyed in the United States. Skinless chicken breast is an exemplary lean protein source that has gained popularity for its nutritional benefits and versatility.

Turkey Breast

Even leaner than chicken breast, turkey breast is a top choice to pack in more protein per calorie. It's an ideal choice if you're trying to lose weight turkey can help you stay fuller for longer.

Fat-Free Cottage Cheese

Fat-free cottage cheese is a great choice to pile on the protein without adding extra fat or calories to your diet. Cottage cheese is rich in casein, the slow-to-digest dairy protein.

Egg Whites

A study in the journal Foods reported that egg protein has an amino acid score of 100, indicating it's the most absorbable type of protein you can eat.

Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt

If you want to up the pro in your diet, non-fat Greek yogurt is a must-have. Traditional Greek yogurt is strained to lose the watery whey, resulting in a richer, thicker creamier yogurt with twice the protein and less sugar than traditional yogurt.

Firm Tofu

For plant-based protein, tofu is a great option as it contains all nine essential amino acids like animal-based protein foods. What's more, tofu is nutrient-rich and provides calcium, iron, magnesium, and B vitamins.

Cooked Lentils

Lentils, a versatile and nutrient-dense legume, offer a wealth of health benefits due to their impressive protein content and nutrients, and they are rich in polyphenols.

Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)

Chickpeas, (aka garbanzo beans), are lean proteins that are packed with fiber and nutrients like iron manganese, zinc, B vitamins, magnesium, and chickpeas help maintain stable blood sugar levels, aid in weight loss and maintenance, improve your heart health, and bolster your GI tract microbiome.

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