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Nutritious, Protein-rich Foods that Go Beyond Red Meat

Hey Angels and Alphas,

With high-fat and high-protein diets pretty much always being popular, it may seem like you have complete freedom to always load up on red meat. That being said, regardless of what type of eating plan you’re following, red meat is still very high in saturated fat when compared to leaner cuts and other sources of protein altogether. 

With most experts agreeing that saturated fat intake increases the risk of heart disease, among other issues, it’s no secret to anyone that we should be making an effort to minimize our consumption of red meat and focus on acquiring protein from leaner sources.

For that exact reason, it’s smart that we make leaner proteins our mainstay. Most people consider red meat to be something they can eat freely, when in reality, people shouldn’t be eating red meat any more than 2 times a week. 

Instead, let’s take a look at some other options we have and what protein sources we can focus on that will also help us feel full, build muscle, and lose weight:


No surprises here, chicken is the lean meat protein source most athletes and regular gym-goers go for when they’re trying to get in more protein. Chicken is low in calories, low in saturated fat (as long as you avoid the skin,) and contains up to 31 grams of protein for a 3.5-ounce serving. 

When compared to red meat, for instance, a top round cut, it will tend to bring in about 70 percent of the calories for the same amount of protein.


A similar serving of shrimp, about 3.5 ounces, offers about 20 grams of protein on average with just one gram of fat and a whopping 93 calories. 

When you’re grocery shopping for shrimp, try to look for shrimp that’s farmed in the U.S., which was rated as the best choice in terms of the natural sustainability.


Sardines are small fish that are often overlooked but they pack a massive punch when it comes to their flavor and their protein. You can buy them fresh, throw them on the grill, or pick them up in a can, which you’ll often find in flavors like olive oil and lemon if you’re not sure about the taste. 

One can comes with around 25 grams of protein. And with sardines being oily fish, they are a great source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. You can eat them for lunch just like you would in a tuna salad and charge yourself up with healthy protein and fat for the rest of the day.


When it comes to soy proteins, you are probably already familiar with tofu. Tempeh, on the other hand, is made from fermented, cooked soybeans. 

It’s a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids that create proteins. A 3.5-ounce serving comes with about 20 grams of protein and it actually works as a great substitute for meat in sandwiches.


Countless people start opting for Greek yogurt when they’re looking for dairy that’s high in protein. But cottage cheese is another awesome choice. One cup brings in about 24 grams of protein, but just make sure you skip the 0 percent fat and go for 2 percent. 

This will add more taste and satiety. You can pretty much minimize added sugar by just looking for unsweetened versions and then adding in your own toppings such as nut butter or fruit.


If you’re a vegan or vegetarian and you’re looking for non-animal options, pea protein is a pretty great source of protein you can use in smoothies. 

Made from yellow peas, just one serving of pea protein comes with about 25 grams of protein, zero saturated fat, and it’s also a great source of iron (up to 35 percent of your daily requirement.)


With just one tablespoon of chia seeds, you’ll get in about 2g of protein. They can be used in breakfasts, sprinkled on top of soups or salads, or just as healthy, protein-abundant desserts. They also work great to replace eggs in vegan cooking because they’re hydrophilic and they’ll expand when soaked in water for about 15-20 minutes.

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