High Protein Diet Shopping List
I think you’re going to like this article series, and hopefully you’ll like it enough to save it because I’m going to go into staple foods that you should try and include in your shopping list when your focus is to get better, stronger, leaner and keep that all good healthy feeling going.
This series is split into 3 since we want to look at the 3 main categories of foods – proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Your body can’t run optimally without all three and you shouldn’t even consider trying to cut one out completely because take it from me, it will not be sustainable and can lead to serious health problems.
I’m going to start with what you probably consider to be the most important just as I do – high quality protein sources. To take it further I’ll also include a short list of unhealthy protein sources you should also stay away from.
Let’s jump right in…
High Protein Diet A+ Shopping List
You will have to excuse me if you are a vegetarian as this list does primarily consist of meat products, simply because they contain all the essential amino acids which are necessary for optimal muscle recovery, growth and function. With that said I will also include high quality vegetarian sources at the end of the list.
Eggs – Eggs are simply one of the cleanest and easiest sources of high quality protein. Ignore all the hype about cholesterol, yes eggs have it but most research today shows that they help with elevating your good cholesterol and their effect is quite limited anyway.
Liquid Egg Whites – You can’t get more convenient then liquid egg whites, just make sure there are no additives listed on the container as there are a lot of impostors out there.
Skinless Chicken Breast – Fairly inexpensive, lean and very high quality protein, should be a definite staple in your diet.
Top Round Steak – The leanest cut of beef. Has a bit more fat than chicken but great source of protein along with creatine and glutamine which supports your muscle building efforts like none other.
Lean Ground Beef – Go for lean beef that is at least 90% lean. Great source of protein especially if your goal is muscle building for same reasons as above.
Lean Ground Turkey – Lean high quality protein. A little more expensive than chicken breast but awesome to make tacos with.
Turkey Bacon – This should be a treat for the weekends since leaner than regular bacon, but a great way to keep your diet fun and not a chore.
Buffalo – Lean gamey meat, very tasty and fairly expensive but great on the BBQ.
Cod, Halibut, Flounder and Pollock – Inexpensive lean fish.
Wild Salmon – Although wild salmon is a little fattier it contains the good Omega 3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation and help with muscle recovery and cardiovascular health.
Tuna – Very lean and high quality protein fish. If canned make sure to get it in water and not oil, but fresh tuna is obviously more nutritious and you don’t have to worry about negative effects of chemicals used in canning.
Cottage Cheese & Greek Yogurt – Both are slow digesting forms of protein, try and find low fat varieties to save extra calories. Great for having when you have a long time in-between meals and also fantastic to have before bed.
Whey Protein Powder – You might find it strange to be part of this list since it is not a raw food, but whey protein is without a doubt one of the leanest, meanest forms of protein you can get which is devoid of almost any fat or carbs. It comes from the liquid byproducts during cheese production and is usually micro-filtered to only contain the highest quality amino acids. Recent long term research backs this up significantly with some new studies even showing reduction of diseases such as of the heart and even cancer. I recommend the Oatmeal & Cookie flavor of BB 100% Whey Protein Powder.
Lentils – Red, green or brown lentils come in many forms and contain almost all the essential amino acids. Although in 100 grams of lentils 60% is carbohydrates, lentils are also a good source of protein measuring about 26 grams for that size of serving.
Beans – from pinto to soy and kidney to lima there are so many varieties to choose from making them a fun way to keep things interesting in the kitchen. Soak in water for several hours before cooking to reduce the awful bloating feeling and add as many spices as you like with even a little vinegar and you have found yourself a staple in Asian, Indian, & African countries.
Plant Based Protein– Yes protein can come from a blend of different fruits and vegetables and they are also very environmentally friendly. Try the best in the market – Garden of Life Organic Plant Based Protein.
Proteins to Stay Away From
This list might be a no brainer but it’s good to always bring attention to foods we should also stay away from…
Chicken with skin – Why have extra fat from the skin added to your food when you don’t need it?
Breaded Chicken – I know it tastes good, but there’s a reason KFC is going out of business, anything breaded simply adds way too much simple carbs and fat you really should avoid.
Fatty Ground Beef – Make a point to stay away from any ground beef that is below 85% fat free. Yes, they may be tasty but the extra saturated fat is a 6pack abs killer.
Fatty Cuts of Red Meat – Once again, most steaks you will find have this extra fat, if it’s on the side you can cut it off but just better to stay away from it all together.
Deli Meats – Most deli meats are full of preservatives and no good chemicals, aim for chicken or turkey breast and bonus points for organic.
Bacon & Sausages – Simply too fatty, just better to avoid all together.
Farmed Fish – Yes a lot more inexpensive than wild fish but farmed fish also contain less nutrients including Omega 3’s and usually have more toxins in their systems.
High Protein Diet Shopping List
How’s that for a list for your high protein diet shopping? Keep this in mind often since it will really help you steer your overall healthy eating plan in the right direction. If you have other foods that you would like to add or even challenge please leave a comment below and also let me know if this series of articles is what you’ve been looking for!
Great article. It’s great that you have given a better variety of lean protein sources than constantly pushing chicken breast as the “go to” source cause that would get a little boring. Thanx.
I got a question, Sam
I eat greek yogrut all the time and it’s what I try to eat every night before bed, but should I also have a cassein drink also? or should I go with one or the other since they’re both slow acting proteins?
Definitely go with one or the other as one will be sufficient. With that said you can mix it up and have the yogurt on non training days and the protein on training days.
Do you have a list for people that don’t eat chicken or meat? I eat fish and veggies
This is a very comprehensive list of protein foods so unfortunately it doesn’t really get much bigger than this list. Pretty much any variety of fish is great though just try and get wild as much as you can.
I have really enjoyed reading through your site! Not only is it well put together, but also everything is put into a simple and straight to the point perspective. With that being said i am a busy mom of three i work part time and like to prepare healthy meals for my husband and kids, i am wondering if you have any meal
Hi Marsha, thanks very much for the very positive feedback, greatly appreciated. I am just in the process of putting together more extensive meal plans but for now you can look through meal plans on the site such as this one – Six Pack Diet Plan for Women