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Non-Dairy High-Protein Foods

by
author image Natalie Stein
Natalie Stein specializes in weight loss and sports nutrition. She is based in Los Angeles and is an assistant professor with the Program for Public Health at Michigan State University. Stein holds a master of science degree in nutrition and a master of public health degree from Michigan State University.
Non-Dairy High-Protein Foods
A vegetable and meat stew provides protein, fiber and antioxidants. Photo Credit Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images

Protein is a source of dietary energy and an essential nutrient for healthy immune function and maintaining strong muscles. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, are sources of protein and other essential nutrients, but you might not like them or you might be unable to eat them because of lactose intolerance. Non-dairy alternatives can provide the protein and other nutrients you need on a dairy-free diet.

Chicken and Turkey

Non-Dairy High-Protein Foods
Grilled chicken breast with herbs, spices and vegetables Photo Credit Liv Friis-Larsen/iStock/Getty Images

A 3-ounce portion of skinless stewed or roasted chicken or turkey breast contains about 27 grams of protein and is low fat. Remove the skin before cooking your chicken or turkey to reduce its saturated fat and cholesterol content. Saturated fat and cholesterol from food raise levels of cholesterol in your blood and may increase your risk for heart disease. Chicken breast with balsamic roasted vegetables and white turkey chili are two ideas for high-protein, dairy-free meals.

Fish

Non-Dairy High-Protein Foods
Salmon with rosemary Photo Credit pilipphoto/iStock/Getty Images

A 3-ounce serving of canned tuna has 17 grams of protein, and a 3-ounce serving of trout has 20 grams of protein. Fish are carbohydrate-free and sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel, provide vitamin D, which is a nutrient that could be lacking in your diet if you do not drink vitamin D-fortified milk. Canned fish with bones, such as salmon, mackerel and anchovies, are sources of calcium, which is another nutrient in dairy products.

Beef and Pork

Non-Dairy High-Protein Foods
Raw beef steaks with rosemary, salt and pepper Photo Credit ValentynVolkov/iStock/Getty Images

A 3-ounce portion of broiled beef top sirloin steak has 26 grams of protein, and a 3-ounce portion of pork tenderloin has 24 grams. These choices also provide iron and niacin, or vitamin B-3. Choose lean cuts of meat, such as tenderloin, and trim away visible fat before cooking to limit your intake of saturated fat. Limit consumption of processed meat, such as salami, bacon and sausage, because high consumption can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.

Plant-Based Protein Sources

Non-Dairy High-Protein Foods
Tofu block and cubed tofu Photo Credit eskymaks/iStock/Getty Images

A quarter-cup of roasted mature soy beans, or soy nuts, has 9 grams of protein, and a quarter-cup of edamame, or green soybeans, has 8 grams of protein. The University of Michigan lists tofu, tempeh and soy milk and yogurt as sources of protein. Many soy products also provide calcium. Black, pinto, garbanzo, navy and other beans, lentils and split peas are sources of protein and dietary fiber, which can lower your cholesterol levels. Nuts and peanuts supply protein, heart-healthy unsaturated fats and fiber.

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