Cutting out fatty and fried sources of protein makes sense when you’re trying to cut calories and eat healthy.
But you still need nutritious forms of protein in your diet, according to Nutrition.gov. Here are five great protein sources you’ll love when you want to add protein without adding a lot of calories.
The first is fish. Besides being low in calories, fish is low in saturated fat. Though varieties like sole, flounder and cod are lower in calories, fatty fish like salmon and mackerel also contain the healthy fats called omega-3 fatty acids. They’re all delicious, even when steamed or slightly sauteed — no breading needed.
Egg whites are another terrific option. One cup of egg whites has 26 grams of protein for under 120 calories — perfect for turning into a scramble.
When you want a meatier mouth-full, choose chicken, a great source of lean protein. Breast meat and skinless thighs are low in fat. Or try turkey. Fat-free ground turkey and light-meat turkey both have about 100 calories in a 3.5 ounce serving.
Low- or non-fat dairy can be a rich protein source. A cup of non-fat cottage cheese or fat-free Greek yogurt supplies between 15 to 20 grams of protein for around 120 calories.
Experiment with unconventional ways to enjoy these options. Yogurt, for example, isn’t just for breakfast. Topped with a medley of berries, it makes a creamy dessert. Or take a leftover fish filet and add it to a bowl of seasonal greens for a satisfying lunch. Or fill a four-egg-white omelet with sauteed vegetables for a fast and easy dinner when there’s no time to cook a full meal.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a detailed list of high-protein recipes to get you cooking.