With so much research coming out on the importance of increasing protein intake, I’ve been paying a lot more attention to high-protein foods. (Here’s a blog post I wrote about protein needs!)
But, it’s not easy to get 100g+ of protein per day.
Here is a list of staple foods to help you build a high-protein grocery list. These are foods that are in my pantry, fridge & freezer these days to help me increase protein consumption.
High-protein PANTRY foods
Gluten-free chickpea/lentil pasta: this is a quick carb base for meals, and I add an additional protein (like chicken or ground beef) + a salad to make it a full meal.
Collagen powder: with ~10g of protein per scoop, this is a great way to elevate chia seed pudding, matcha lattes, smoothies and more.
Canned tuna/salmon: when there’s NOTHING in the fridge for lunch, I love making a quick tuna salad. I use either Greek yogurt or avocado-oil based mayo as the base. With canned salmon, I like making salmon patties.
Canned wild yellowtail fish: if the usual canned fish is too much for you, canned yellowtail has a VERY mild flavor. It’s great to throw onto a salad.
Hemp hearts: 3 tbsp gives you 10g of protein. You can sprinkle hemp hearts on pretty much anything, or add them to a smoothie.
Bone broth: I freeze my bones and make my own, but there are great brands like Kettle & Fire or Thrive Market that make high-quality bone broth.
Canned beans: high in fiber, beans are a great protein boost. I particularly love the brand Eden Foods, because they properly prepare the beans for maximum digestibility. If you have the time to soak your own beans from dry, even better!
Meat sticks/bars: we’ve come a long way from Slim Jims (please don’t eat Slim Jims!). There are great brands making meat products from grass-fed animals - brands like Epic, Chomps, Wild Zora... This is a great snack to keep in your purse or backpack!
Protein powder: I recommend pea protein, bone-broth-based or whey (if tolerated).
High-protein REFRIGERATED foods
Greek yogurt:* I am really loving mixing organic Greek yogurt with some chocolate protein powder, and topping with blueberries and grain-free granola. SO good!
String cheese*: yes, I am hitting the string cheese these days.
Organic turkey deli meat: one of my favorite things to recommend to clients is ‘roll-ups’. This is like a little lettuce-wrapped burrito using turkey slices and random veggies.
Eggs: hard-boiled eggs are a great snack.
Hummus: is hummus ever a bad idea?
Cottage cheese:* I have been experimenting with cottage cheese pancakes, which are pretty good. I also like adding a few drops of stevia to my cottage cheese, sprinkling with cinnamon and topping with fresh fruit and nuts - not bad!
Organic chicken sausages: these are so easy to cook up for breakfast or really any other meal. Some good brands are Applegate and Charcutnovo.
Whole chicken: it’s easy to prepare, so delicious, and you can freeze the bones to make the best homemade bone broth. You can opt for bone-in chicken thighs, drumsticks or wings instead.
Ground turkey: super easy to make into a breakfast skillet.
Turkey bacon: a delicious breakfast side, or for sprinkling on top of a salad for an extra protein boost.
High-protein FROZEN foods
Frozen peas: peas are a great plant-based protein boost that’s easy to add to various dishes.
Frozen ground meat: I particularly love the Force of Nature brand because they ground in organ meat (*gasp!*). You can’t taste it at all, but you get SO many health benefits!
Frozen fish: salmon, ahi tuna and mahi mahi are some of my faves. I like to stock up when I find the wild-caught options on sale.
Base Culture Bread: I love this brand since it has very simple ingredients and no added starch. It’s not super high in protein (4g), but better than other bread options.
*Dairy is tricky for a LOT of people - if you have poor gut health, dairy is typically problematic. Often times improving gut health will help you tolerate dairy - that’s what happened to me!
And there ya have it! These are some of my staple grocery items that focus on high-protein.
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Struggling to figure out what the right diet is for you?
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