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List of High-Protein Foods & Drinks for Weight Loss

author image Kristen Douglas
Kristen Douglas has been writing since 1984 and editing since 1996. She has contributed to "Independent News," "Folio Weekly" and numerous private blogs, with experience covering topics such as home and garden, education, marketing, mental health and cooking/food. Douglas has certification in information processing from Metro Business College and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Columbia College.
List of High-Protein Foods & Drinks for Weight Loss
A bowl of quinoa with shrimp and parsley. Photo Credit: nata_vkusidey/iStock/Getty Images

Often, when you think of a high protein diet, your mind goes to extremely meat-based, low-carbohydrate diets, which, according to the National Institutes of Health's MedLine Plus website, can produce an increased risk of mortality, including higher rates of death from cancers. You can find high protein foods for weight loss in vegetable form, as well as in all of the other USDA recommended food groups in order to “beef up” the protein in your diet.

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One of the healthier products in most stores today is quinoa. Long thought by most people to be a grain, quinoa is actually a seed, but it substitutes well for most grains. This seed contains 11 g of protein per cup, and cooks similarly to oatmeal and pastas. Whole wheat spaghetti, by contrast, contains only 7.46 g of protein per cup.

Whole Grains

Rather than buying breads, purchase whole grain wheat flour and make bread. One cup of this flour contains 16.44 g of protein. If you do choose to purchase bread from the market, make sure the packaging states that it is all whole grain, as some breads listed as wheat are a combination of wheat and white flours. Also, read package labels to make sure no additives such as corn syrup have been included in the bread. Two slices of whole wheat bread contain only 5 g of protein, by contrast. Other alternatives are flax flour, buckwheat flour and cornmeal, which all contain protein content as well as being healthy for weight loss.

Broccoli and Other Green Vegetables

You might think that only animal or nut products contain protein, but there are quite a few green vegetables that have good concentrations of protein. For example, one cup of cooked broccoli contains 4.65 g of protein. A cup of cooked asparagus has a whopping 5.31 g of protein. Even canned green peas are a good source of protein, carrying 7.51 g per cup. Green vegetables such as these are not only good sources of protein, but carry high levels of fiber, which helps with digestion. For a drink that's portable and for a change of pace, a can of vegetable juice can contain about 3 g of protein per serving, according to

Eggs and Dairy

Eggs have had a bad rap in recent decades, but according to the World's Healthiest Foods website, eggs can give you healthy doses of protein--5.5 g per egg--along with choline, which helps with brain function, and all for about 70 to 78 calories per egg. Poached and hard boiled eggs are especially healthy for weight loss because they don't include added oils or fats in cooking. Milk can be a good source of protein as well, with 8.35 g of protein in one cup of skim milk.

Soy and Other Beans

For those people who think that you can't be a vegetarian or cut back on meat and still eat high protein, soy and other bean products can fill the gaps. One cup of tempeh, a firmly packed version of fermented soy, contains a full 31 g of protein. Tempeh can be sauteed for sandwiches or salads, and is very filling. A 1/4 block of firm tofu contains 6.5 grams of protein. Other beans, such as black beans, black-eyed peas or chili beans, range from 2.5 grams per cup for mung beans all the way up to 15.83 grams for navy beans. Plain cooked soybeans--think edamame--contain 22.23 g of protein, making it a "super food" amongst protein-rich products. Soy milk can also be a good protein-based drink, containing 6.74 g of protein per cup.

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