Highest Protein Kfc Menu Item Under 500 Calories
Original Recipe Chicken Breast
390 Calories, 21g Fat, 2g Carbs, 39g Protein
The chicken breast is going to give you the most bang for your buck at KFC, and you have the option to go with a fried or grilled version. The Original Recipe Chicken Breast contains 39g of protein, but 390 calories. If you go with the Grilled Chicken Breast, it will contain only 210 calories and 38g of protein, giving you the most protein for the fewest calories.
High Protein Doesnt Always Mean Its A Great Protein Source
I just want to be very clear with this post that Im simply pointing out some options you can order, but they arent necessarily the greatest sources of protein.
For example, one of the higher protein items at McDonalds is the crispy chicken sandwich, which contains 470 calories and 26g of protein.
Is that a bad protein source? No, 26g of protein is pretty solid. But for almost 500 calories, its certainly not an amazing protein source, either.
You can absolutely get more bang for your protein buck by making some substitutions at fast food restaurants, but I wanted to keep this guide simple by showing you menu items you can expect to find.
What Are High Protein Foods
Protein is a vital part of any healthy diet, so what are high protein foods that you can add to your lifestyle?
We all know that a daily dose of protein is vital, and high protein foods are essential for building and maintaining muscle mass, keeping up your energy levels, and improving your metabolism. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build more muscle at the gym, or simply feel your best, getting enough protein is crucial for a balanced, healthy lifestyle. But what are high protein foods that you can add to your diet to make sure you’re getting enough every day?
We’ve done some research to bring you the ultimate guide to high protein foods. We’ll discuss the importance of protein, some of the best high protein foods, and how to determine how much protein you actually need. If you’re still struggling to get enough protein into your diet through foods, you can always try our guide to the best protein powder , and enjoy a drink in the best protein shaker. The best protein bars can also be handy for a protein boost on-the-go.
If you want to learn more about which foods contain high levels of protein, let’s get into it.
Recommended Reading: No Added Sugar Protein Bars
Protein Helps You Build Muscle
Protein is vital for building and maintaining muscle, hence the reason why so many dedicated gym-goers choose to take protein powder.
As a 2012 International Society of Sports Nutrition study showed, adding additional protein to your diet can help you to build more muscle at the gym. And, a 2010 Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise study found that increasing protein intake can even help you maintain muscle mass when you’re trying to lose weight.
Proteins Are Made Of Amino Acids
Proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids. There are about 20 different amino acids that link together in different combinations. Your body uses them to make new proteins, such as muscle and bone, and other compounds such as enzymes and hormones. It can also use them as an energy source.
Some amino acids can be made by your body there are 11 of these and theyre known as non-essential amino acids. There are 9 amino acids that your body cannot make, and they are known as essential amino acids. You need to include enough of these in your diet so that your body can function.
Read Also: Low Carb Low Fat High Protein
Highest Protein Mcdonalds Menu Item Under 500 Calories
Crispy Chicken Sandwich
470 Calories, 20g Fat, 46g Carbs, 26g Protein
You would expect that a fried chicken sandwich would have more protein, but when theres breading involved, you end up not getting a ton of white meat in there. Still, this is one of the better protein options at McDonalds!
In fact, if you order a McChicken, it contains 400 calories but only 14g of protein overall, so this is a much better option.
Protein Powders Shakes And Bars
In most cases, consuming the right balance of whole foods each day will provide you with all the nutrients you need, negating the need for protein supplements. However, you may benefit from supplementing your diet if youre:
- A teenager who is growing and exercising a lot.
- An adult switching to a vegan dieteliminating meat, chicken, fish, and even dairy and eggs from your diet.
- An older adult with a small appetite who finds it difficult to eat your protein requirements in whole foods.
- Starting or increasing a regular workout program, trying to add muscle, recovering from a sports injury, or find you feel weak while exercising or lifting weights.
Don’t Miss: Protein Powder For Teenage Athletes
To Avoid Problems When Increasing Protein Intake
- Choose unsalted nuts and seeds, to reduce your daily sodium intake.
- When shopping for canned beans, choose the low sodium versions.
- Adding more protein to your diet can increase urine output, so drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Increasing protein can also cause calcium loss so make sure to get plenty of calcium .
How To Get Your Protein Needs
Your daily protein needs can easily be met by following the Australian Dietary Guidelines. The Guidelines group foods into 5 different food groups, each of which provide key nutrients.
The 2 main food groups that contribute to protein are the:
- lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans group
- milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives group.
As part of a healthy diet, the Guidelines recommend particular serves per day from each of the 5 food groups.
The human body cant store protein and will excrete any excess, so the most effective way of meeting your daily protein requirement is to eat small amounts at every meal.
Daily recommended serves of lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans and milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives for adults
|Person||Recommended average daily number of serves of lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans||Recommended average daily number of serves of milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives|
|Men aged 1950 years||3|
So, what is a serve? A standard serving size of lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans is one of:
A serve of milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives could include:
- 250 ml fresh, UHT long life, reconstituted powdered milk or buttermilk
- 120 ml evaporated milk
- 40 g hard cheese such as cheddar
- 120 g ricotta cheese.
Also Check: How Much Protein Do I Need For Muscle Gain
Guava Is A Surprisingly Protein
We don’t often think of fruit as being particularly protein-rich, but guava is offers a hefty4.2 grams of protein per cup, according to the USDA. It also offers nine grams of fiber per cup and a whopping 600% of your daily Vitamin C needs.
Add a few cubes to your salad to increase its protein power, slip a slice into your water for some extra flavor, or simply snack on the sweet fruit between meals.
Foods With More Protein Than An Egg
Protein is hot-hot-hot right now. Protein is a building block for muscle, as well as hormones and enzymes in our bodies. As a beauty bonus, protein helps our bodies grow healthy hair and nails and keeps skin looking good too.
Protein is also very filling because it takes longer to digest and is less likely to cause blood sugar spikes than simple carbs. Most of us are eating enough protein , but we may not always space it out throughout the day. Many of us eat the majority of our protein at lunch and dinner and not as much in our breakfasts or snacks.
So, why an egg? Eggs are a complete source of protein. In one little 70-calorie package, you get 6 grams of protein as well important nutrients, like choline and eye-protecting antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.
But eggs aren’t the only good source of protein in fact, many amazing vegetarian and vegan sources often get overlooked when people think of protein.
All meat and fish are high in protein, so we didn’t include them in this list. Ground beef has 21 grams per 3 ounces, chicken breast has 27 grams per 3 ounces, and 4 ounces of salmon has 23 grams of protein. So for this, we tried to choose foods that you may not think of as “protein” to show you how easy it can be to eat more protein.
Try these healthy high-protein foods with more protein than an egg to boost your protein intake throughout the day.
Pictured recipe: Tomato-Cheddar Cheese Toast
1/4 cup = 7 g protein
Pictured recipe: Dark Chocolate Trail Mix
You May Like: How Much Protein In 2 Tablespoons Of Peanut Butter
Choose Leaner Slightly Larger Cuts Of Meat
Selecting leaner cuts of meat and increasing portion sizes slightly can significantly boost the protein content of your meal.
Whats more, your meal may even end up being lower in calories.
For example, compare the nutritional value of a 3-ounce serving of these two steaks (
Peanut butter can also boost the flavor and nutritional value of firm fruits like apples and pears, which are rich in fiber and antioxidants yet low in protein.
In fact, spreading 2 tablespoons of peanut butter on sliced fruit can boost the total protein content by 7 grams .
Peanut butter also works well with a wide range of other ingredients, including oatmeal, celery, whole wheat toast, or yogurt.
Adding peanut butter to your diet can boost your protein intake. It may also help decrease appetite, improve heart health, and lower blood sugar.
High Protein Snacks That Are Healthy And Portable
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.
When you live a busy lifestyle, snacks can be useful when hunger hits and you dont have time to prepare a meal.
However, many snack foods available today are high in refined carbs and sugar, which can leave you feeling unsatisfied and craving more food.
The key is to make sure your snacks are nutritious and contain protein.
Protein promotes fullness because it signals the release of appetite-suppressing hormones, slows digestion, and stabilizes your blood sugar levels .
Here are 30 high protein snacks that are healthy and portable, so you can enjoy them even when youre on the go.
Jerky is meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips, and dried. It makes an excellent and convenient snack.
Its very high in protein, containing an impressive 9 grams per ounce .
Beef, chicken, turkey, and salmon are often made into jerky. It can be found at most grocery stores, but keep in mind that store-bought versions are typically high in added sugar and artificial ingredients.
Your best bet is to make your own jerky, using only meat and some seasonings.
You May Like: Orgain Pumpkin Spice Protein Powder
These 9 Mushrooms Have The Most Protein
Mushrooms are an excellent replacement for a lot of meat products. They are essential items to include in your diet if you are looking to become vegetarian or have a plant-based diet.
While protein is something that is highlighted in mushrooms, the nutrients and minerals they provide are essential to your health as well. Mushrooms are also commonly used to prevent or aid in fixing health issues, both physical and mental.
Check out a video summarizing this article that we have uploaded to our YouTube channel.
Eat Your Protein First
When eating a meal, eat the protein source first, especially before you get to the starches.
Protein increases the production of peptide YY , a gut hormone that makes you feel full and satisfied .
In addition, a high protein intake decreases levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and increases your metabolic rate after eating and during sleep .
Whats more, eating protein first can help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels from rising too high after a meal.
In one small study, people with type 2 diabetes were served identical meals on different days. Blood sugar and insulin rose significantly less when they consumed protein and vegetables before eating high carb foods, compared with when the order was reversed .
Eating protein first at meals can help you feel full and keep your blood sugar and insulin levels from rising too high.
Read Also: Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein
Foods High In Protein & Iron
Getting enough protein and iron can help you maintain lean muscle mass, prevent anemia and symptoms of fatigue and support a healthy immune system. Healthy adults should get at least 0.8 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, or about 60 grams per day for a 132-pound adult. Men should get 8 milligrams of iron per day, and women should get 18 milligrams of iron per day. You can meet your requirements by including a few high-protein, high-iron foods in your regular diet.
A 3-ounce serving of grilled beef tenderloin has 26 grams of protein and 2.8 milligrams of iron, and a 3-ounce serving of 95-percent-lean ground beef has 22 grams of protein and 2.4 milligrams of iron. Choose lean cuts of beef and extra-lean ground beef to limit your intake of unhealthy saturated fat. Try strips of grilled steak on a salad with spinach leaves, which provide additional iron, or make a high-protein, iron-rich chili with extra-lean ground beef, beans, tomatoes, chili powder, celery, onions and garlic.
The University of Michigan lists shellfish as foods that are high in protein and iron. A 3-ounce serving of mussels has 10 grams of protein and 3.3 milligrams of iron, while a 3-ounce serving of oysters provides 18 grams of protein and 3.3 milligrams of iron. Bake shucked oysters topped with garlic, mustard, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, or make a seafood paella with mussels, lobster, shrimp, clam juice, olive oil, rice, saffron, garlic, onions and tomatoes.
What Is The Recommended Protein Intake
According to Healthline, the recommended protein intake should be 0.8 grams per kg of body weight, therefore, on average both males and females should take daily protein of about 56 grams and 46 grams respectively.
Now we are done defining the basic terms, letâs get down to the main question of the dayâ¦
Also Check: Protein Shake Without Protein Powder
Have A Protein Shake For Breakfast
Many smoothies contain a lot of fruit, vegetables, or juice, but very little protein.
However, a shake or smoothie can be a great breakfast option, especially if you choose nutritious ingredients.
Protein powders make it easy to create a healthy, high protein shake. There are several types on the market, including whey, soy, egg, and pea protein.
Whey protein powder has been studied the most and seems to have an edge over the others when it comes to helping you feel full (
Heres a basic whey shake recipe:
Whey Protein Shake
- 8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 scoop of whey powder
- 1 cup of fresh berries
- stevia or another healthy sweetener, if desired
- 1/2 cup of crushed ice
Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
To boost the protein content even further, use extra protein powder or add peanut butter, almond butter, flaxseeds, or chia seeds.
Having a protein shake for breakfast helps you start the day off right. Whey may be the best type to use.
Protein Helps You Maintain A Healthy Appetite
Several studies have shown that protein plays an important role in keeping hunger at a healthy level. One 2004 study by the American College of Nutrition showed that of the three macronutrients — protein, fat, and carbohydrates – protein is the most filling, leaving you feeling more satisfied.
Another 2006 study by the American Society for Clinical Nutrition found that protein reduced levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, while simultaneously increasinging levels of peptide YY, which makes the body feel full.
In other words, eating more protein can help you feel more full after a meal, so that you don’t run the risk of overeating.
Don’t Miss: C Reactive Protein High Levels
What Are The Health Benefits Of A Plant
“Beans and legumes are the often unsung heroes of the plant-based world,” says Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, a registered dietitian in San Francisco, and the co-founder of the nutrition news company Appetite for Health. “They are rich in protein and high in minerals and fiber, without the saturated fat found in some animal proteins. A diet that includes beans and legumes may also help improve your blood cholesterol, a leading cause of heart disease, and improve digestion, research has proven.”
And that dream team of fiber and protein help keep you full longer, making it easier to lose weight or maintain weight loss.
“Including just a half-cup to full cup of legumes daily is all you need to reach these benefits,” says Samantha Previte, RD, a registered dietitian with Dietitians of Palm Valley in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
How Much Protein Do You Need
The reference dietary intake of protein is between 46-63 grams for most adults, with pregnant and lactating women needing up to 65 grams per day. The daily value for protein is set at 50 grams per day , which is an average that works for most people. Athletes or other people looking to build muscle mass may want to consume more protein.
High protein foods include lean chicken, lean pork, fish, lean beef, tofu, beans, lentils, low-fat yogurt, milk, cheese, seeds, nuts, and eggs.
Below is a list of healthy protein foods sorted by common serving size, use the protein nutrient ranking to sort by 100 gram or 200 calorie serving sizes. For more information, see the lists of vegetarian protein, high protein fruits, and high protein vegetables.
Setting targets can provide a guide to healthy eating.
Read Also: Sascha Fitness Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate