Top 10 Low Calorie High Protein Foods



Tuna, monkfish, roughy, pout, cuttlefish, clams and crayfish are low-cal, high-protein foods. A 3 oz. serving of tuna has 22g of protein and 99 calories. Atlantic salmon, by comparison, provides 10g more of protein in the same serving but has triple the calories. Shellfish may have more cholesterol than you want in your diet. For example, a 3 oz. serving of crayfish, which has roughly 13mg of protein, has 91mg of cholesterol, almost 1/3 of your daily DMV for cholesterol. A 3 oz. serving of roughy, by comparison, provides almost 14g of protein and has only 51mg of cholesterol.

2.Hard Boiled Eggs

Boil a batch of eggs and keep them in the refrigerator for a quick, grab-and-go snack. Worried about the fat in the yolk? Scoop it out and add a dollop of hummus and you'll increase your fiber intake

3.Non-fat kefir.

Kefir is a fermented dairy beverage that’s like drinkable yogurt, and it’s surprisingly high in protein and low in fat, containing 11 grams of protein per cup and 0 grams of fat. Plus, “as with other dairy foods, Kefir is high in calcium giving you the bone health benefits,” says Ashley Holmes Roth, MS, RDN. Add in some non-fat milk for an even more protein-packed smoothie, along with your favorite fruit and some greens, like kale or spinach, she says.


Edamame is a popular, low-cal, high-protein snack, with 12g of protein in a 3.75 oz. serving, providing 120 calories. Unlike sources of protein from animal products, edamame is a cholesterol-free food.

5.Beef Jerky

This high-protein snack is easily found in most convenience stores if you find yourself craving a quick snack and there is not healthy market nearby. However, some products are high in sodium so make your selection carefully if you are watching your salt intake.


Move over, salmon — it’s time to give snapper a shot. Snapper is a leaner fish, making it a good low-fat, high-protein option. “Snapper has 22 grams of protein and 1.5 grams of fat per 3 oz serving, and it's also high in selenium,” an antioxidant that fights off inflammation in the body, says Roth.

7.Cottage Cheese

You'll have plenty of options to choose from when you buy cottage cheese. This high protein snack is low in calories if you choose the lower fat varieties. Curd size does not change the nutritional benefits of this foods, so choose the curd that you enjoy most.


While other meats like steak or bacon might be higher in fat, turkey is nice and lean, with only 6.3 grams of fat per serving. “Turkey contains 20 grams of protein per 3 oz serving. It's a versatile, lean source of animal protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids, and it brings all the benefits of many B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12),” Roth says. “Turkey is also a great source for phosphorus, which is important for bone health." Use it as a substitute for ground beef in a burger or meatballs, or bake or roast it with some herbs and lemon, like rosemary or sage.


Need a high-protein alternative to potato chips? Edamame is the perfect salty, savory snack for you. Steam them, roast them, peel them, eat then and enjoy.


Lentils are a great low-fat source of protein — and they’re plant-based, so they’re good for vegans, too. “One cup cooked has 18 grams of protein and .8 grams of fat. Not only are lentils full of protein, but they have loads of iron, folate, and fiber,” says Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD. You can easily swap lentils for the meat in many recipes, like tacos, burgers, and bolognese sauce, she says.


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