The Best Sources of Natural, Affordable Protein

How to Get Your Protein On Without Breaking the Bank

Getting your protein levels to where you want them to be in your diet can be a challenge if you're looking at it without proper context. The goal of getting to anywhere from 120 to 140 grams can be daunting to some who are beginning on the path to fitness, but some of that hesitation comes from marketing.

Going through your average grocery store or health supplement chain, you are likely to see formulas making claims about the explosive protein content that you will get in a shake, bar, or ampule. The hesitation, then, comes at the price tag on the products themselves; with some protein bars starting at $1.50, and going upwards toward $3 per serving, it can quickly add up.

Some shakes and powders are highly recommended, if you can find those that have the right source of protein and are low in carbohydrates. However, here are some very easy, very inexpensive sources you should consider.

The Quick and Easy List:

  • Eggs: If you aren't already stocking up on eggs, you're missing out. Eggs can offer anywhere from 6 to 8 grams of protein per egg, at 70 calories or so per serving. They're extremely easy to make, easy to eat, and the only clean up you have to concern yourself with is the shell. Eggs are packed with serious nutritional content, including heart-healthy fats and the vitamins found in egg yolk.
  • Chicken: The price of chicken has actually gone up over the past decade, as has the pricing for most, if not all, meats, but chicken continues to be one of the very best performers priced per ounce. The only exception to this is turkey, when it's seasonally discounted to be as cheap as 50 cents per pound. Chicken is another highly versatile protein, and the perfect addition to salads, soups, tacos, and virtually any dish that calls for meat. Barbecued, grilled, roasted, broiled, or sauteed, it's simple to cook, and a single 1 cup serving nets you 35 grams of protein.
  • Fish: Not all fish is inexpensive, but there are many varieties that are. Tilapia, for example, is often half the price of salmon, and provides as much as 23 grams of protein per fillet. Salmon, while generally pricier, gives you 38 grams per 6 oz serving. The best part about getting your protein from fish are the associated fats, including Omega-3s.

These are just a few examples of some of the high protein foods you should be including in your diet, even if you aren't on a budget. Sources like peanut butter, almonds, and others also fit in well for snacks.