We all know how important protein is as a part of a healthy diet. We need to eat enough protein to keep our muscles strong, our metabolism healthy, and our hair and nails looking smooth and shiny. Prioritizing protein has all kinds of benefits, but it can be hard to get enough – especially when appetite is limited. There are ways to get enough protein without feeling like you have to eat to the point of discomfort. You can focus on low-volume foods that are high in protein to help make meeting your protein needs easier.
See the list below for some products and recipes that can help you increase your protein intake.
- Tuna, chicken, or salmon packets: 15-20 grams protein
- Greek yogurt: 18 grams protein for ¾ cup
- Cottage cheese: 15 grams protein for ½ cup
- Eggs: 14 grams protein for 2 eggs
- Egg whites: 13 grams protein for ½ cup
- Bone broth:10 grams protein for ½ cup
- Turkey Jerky: 13 grams protein for 1 oz
Brand-name bars, shakes, and cereals:
- Fairlife protein shake - 30 grams protein
- Premier protein shake - 30 grams protein
- Orgain protein shake - 20 grams protein
- Built protein bar - 15-29 grams protein
- ONE protein bar - 20 grams protein *also has a dairy free, plant based version with 12 grams protein
- Barebell protein bar - 20 grams of protein
- Protein2o water - 15-20 grams protein
- Gatorade zero with protein - 10 grams protein
- Kashi GO cereal - 9-13 grams protein
- Special K protein cereal - 15 grams protein
High protein tuna or chicken salad:
25-30 grams protein
Mix ½ cup tuna or shredded chicken with ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon mayo, salt and pepper. Add mix-ins like chopped nuts, celery, grapes, pickles, onions, or fun seasonings if you want to change up the flavor!
Greek yogurt ranch dip:
12 grams protein
Mix 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt with 1-2 tablespoons dry ranch seasoning. Use as a dip for veggies or your favorite whole grain crackers. You can also add to wraps or sandwiches for extra protein and flavor.
Greek yogurt fruit dip:
15 grams protein
Mix ½ cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon nut butter or 2 tablespoons powdered nut butter. Use as a dip for a fruit or eat on its own!
Hummus Greek yogurt dip:
8 grams protein
Mix 2 tablespoons of hummus with ¼ cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt. Use as a dip for pita chips, pretzels, whole grain crackers, or veggies.
Bone broth soup:
30-35 grams protein
Add 4 cups bone broth, 8-10 ounces cooked lean protein of choice (shredded chicken breast, ground turkey, etc.), ⅔ cup brown rice or pasta noodles, and 1-2 cups vegetables of choice (chopped celery, carrots, kale, onion, etc.) to a pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until rice/pasta is cooked. This makes 4 servings. 1 serving = 1.5-2 cups. *Vegetables like onion and celery add lots of flavor. Even more reason to load up on vegetables for this recipe! *For a creamier soup, add ⅔ cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt after cooking and stir to combine. Bonus for the added protein!
20 grams protein
Mash 2 hard boiled eggs with 2 egg whites (or about ¼ cup whites) and mix with 2 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon mayo, salt and pepper. Can be eaten as a sandwich on whole grain bread or with crackers.
18 grams protein
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly whisk 6 eggs with salt and pepper. Lightly spray a muffin tin and divide the egg mixture between 6 cups. Add a sprinkle of cheese and crumbled turkey sausage for extra protein! You can also add toppings like spinach, onion, peppers, or other vegetables. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Makes 6 egg bites. 1 serving = 2 egg bites
*For a lower fat version, sub ½ cup of egg whites for 3 of the eggs.
18 grams protein
Add 2 cups shelled edamame, 8 ounces shredded chicken, 1 cup chopped cucumber, ½ cup chickpeas, and 8 ounces of feta cheese to a bowl. In a separate bowl, add ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup lemon juice, ½ tbsp parsley, and salt/pepper to taste. Whisk the olive oil mixture together and drizzle over the salad. Toss to coat. This makes about 10 servings. 1 serving = ½ cup.
While eating enough protein can be a struggle, it’s helpful to know that there are products out there and strategies we can use to make this easier. Making small changes to add extra protein can make a big difference!
Sequence members get extra support in shaping a meal plan that works for your goals from our dietitian teams. Message your Care Team to book an appointment, or see if you qualify for the Sequence program today.