44 High-Protein, Low-Carb Foods To Eat For Weight Loss

44 High-Protein, Low-Carb Foods To Eat For Weight Loss

While carbs may have a bad rap, not all should be thought of as evil or worthy of cutting from your diet completely. That said, some types are better than others (hello, complex carbohydrates like millet, chickpeas, and oats!), while the simple carbs in foods like store-bought cookies and cakes can spike your blood sugar quickly and keep you from feeling satisfied. Even better? High-protein, low-carb foods that will ensure your meals are super satisfying. Bonus: These foods are great to keep on hand if you’re eating a keto or low-carb diet.

“Since protein moves more slowly through the stomach than carbohydrates and fat, it can contribute to feelings of fullness,” nutritionist Kelly Jones, RD, previously told WH. And it’s a super important macronutrient if you’re trying to build muscles, which help boost your metabolism.

So what is a high-protein, low-carb food? Anything that contains at least as much protein as net carbs (calculated when you subtract the fiber amount from the total carbs) will fit the bill, according to nutritionist Sonya Angelone, RD. To get even more technical about it, anything under 100 grams of net carbs per day would qualify, says nutritionist Charlotte Martin, RDN, CPT. “Net carbs are simply the number of carbs in a food that your body can actually digest and use for energy,” she explains.

Meet the experts: Kelly Jones, RD, is a board-certified sports dietitian. Sonya Angelone, RD, is a nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Charlotte Martin, RDN, CPT, is the owner of Shaped By Charlotte and author of The Plant-Forward Solution. Tamsin Jordan, RDN is the founder of Jordan Nutrition, a women’s health focused nutrition and counseling service. Alex Lewis is a registered dietitian at Baze. Lauren Harris-Pincus, RDN, is a nutritionist and the author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club. Maggie Moon, RDN, is the author of The MIND Diet.

Ready to fuel your body with lots of good-for-you macronutrients? Here are 44 high-protein, low-carb foods nutritionists recommend you stock up on.


1. Bulgur Wheat

raw bulgur

Angelafoto//Getty Images

Bulgur wheat is a whole grain that’s often used to prepare falafel or tabbouleh. One cup of bulgur wheat provides around 17 grams of protein. That’s the equivalent of eating three eggs. It also helps that the grain is cholesterol-free, high in fiber, and full of complex carbs that help manage blood sugar, she adds.

Per serving (1 cup): 110 cals, 2 g fat (1.5 g sat), 12 g carbs (12 g net carbs), 0 g fiber, 125 mg sodium, 12 g sugar, 11 g protein


2. Kefir

Kefir

Kefir

If you’re a yogurt fan, you’ll love kefir, too. It’s a tangy yogurt beverage made from fermented milk, and naturally a good source of protein, usually about 10 grams per cup. “To maximize the amount of protein, choose kefir made with an animal-based milk, rather than plant-based [if you can],” says Tamsin Jordan, RDN. She suggests incorporating it into a smoothie to also add some tummy-friendly probiotics to your diet.

Per serving (1 cup): 110 cals, 2 g fat (1.5 g sat), 12 g carbs (12 g net carbs), 0 g fiber, 125 mg sodium, 12 g sugar, 11 g protein


3. Chickpea Pasta

Banza Chickpea Pasta

Chickpea Pasta

If you’re trying to watch your carb intake, pasta may seem off-limits. But that doesn’t have to be the case! Chickpea pastas are high in fiber, so their net carbs amounts are usually lower than traditional pastas, says Jordan. Not only are they super yummy, but they have become popular among those trying to increase protein intake. “Though the protein content will vary depending on the brand, most 50 gram servings (or about 1/2 cup), provide around 14 grams of protein,” she says. One favorite of the Women’s Health Test Kitchen: Banza pasta, which cooks up like the real deal.

Per serving (56 grams): 190 cals, 3 g fat (0 g sat), 34 g carbs (28 g net carbs), 6 g fiber, 0 mg sodium, 1 g sugar, 11 g protein


4. Shrimp

shrimp

LINDA XIAO

Shrimp is a seriously underrated lean protein source (and virtually carb-free). “Just one serving provides nearly half of the daily value (DV) of protein,” says Martin. Shrimp also get their pink color from an antioxidant called astaxanthin, which is said to have skin and heart health benefits.

Per serving (100 grams): 106 cals, 1.7 g fat (0.3 g sat), >1 g carbs (>1 g net carbs), 0 g fiber, 148 mg sodium, 0 g sugar, 20 g protein


5. Almond Butter

    Almond Butter in Jar

    cheche22//Getty Images

    Typically low in carbs but higher in fat and protein, nut butters can make for great snacks. Almond butter provides nice variety if you’re typically all about the peanut butter, says Alex Lewis, RD, LDN, of Baze, who likes pairing it with veggies (like baby carrots) or mixing it into unsweetened yogurt for low-carb, higher-protein eats.

    Per 2 tbsp serving: 190 cal, 17 g fat (1.5 g sat), 6 g carbs (2 g net carbs), 4 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 7 g protein


    6. Almond Milk

    Cow's milkpinterest

    Getty Images

    As long as it’s unsweetened, almond milk is a good go-to for low-carb, high-protein eaters (much like almond butter), according to Lewis. Use it to make satisfying chia puddings or protein shakes.

    Per 1 cup, unsweetened : 36.6 cal, 2.68 g fat (0 g sat), 1.42 g carbs (1.42 g net carbs), 0 g sugar, 173 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 1.44 g protein


    7. Baked Cheese Snacks

    Moon Cheese 100% Natural Cheese Snacks

    Moon Cheese 100% Natural Cheese Snacks

    Moon Cheese 100% Natural Cheese Snacks

    Savory, crunchy cheese snacks are portable, non-perishable, and packed with protein, says Lauren Harris-Pincus, RDN, a nutritionist and the author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club. Plus, they’re an excellent source of calcium (and sure to satisfy your chip cravings).

    Per 1 oz. serving: 170 cal, 14 g fat (9 g sat), 2 g carbs (1 g net carbs), 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 350 mg sodium, 11 g protein


    8. Scallops

    The simple lunch

    Maureen Vollum//Getty Images

    Scallops are another high-protein, low-carb seafood item. “They’re a good source of potassium and magnesium, which are both important for heart and brain health,” says Martin.

    Per serving (3 oz.): 90 cals, 0.5 g fat (0 g sat), 5 g carbs (5 g net carbs), 570 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 17 g protein


    9. Sunflower Seed Butter

    SunButter Sunflower Butter

    Sunflower Butter

    SunButter Sunflower Butter

    There’s more to life than just peanut and almond butter (yes, gasp!). “Most people know about peanut butter, but not as many people try other nut butters,” says Angelone. One popular option in recent years (which is technically a seed butter): Sunflower butter, which is inexpensive and high in protein.

    Per 2 tbsp: 200 cal, 18 g fat (1.5 g sat), 7 g carbs (5 g net carbs), 3 g sugar, 65 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 6 g protein


    10. Canned Tuna

    Tuna Salad

    Jennifer A Smith//Getty Images

    Tuna is easy to enjoy and a great canned fish to keep on hand. “Just two ounces of pure protein is an easy way to make any meal or snack high protein. Just make sure to purchase a low-mercury option like Safe Catch if you’re enjoying it regularly,” says Lewis. Pair with veggies, as a base for tuna salad, or use on sandwiches—it’s quite a versatile ingredient.

    Per 2 oz. serving: 270 cal, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 0 g carbs (o g net carbs), 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 230 mg sodium, 14 g protein


    11. Flaxseed

    close up of flax seeds in a ceramic spoon on white background

    Veena Nair//Getty Images

    Flaxseed is a good source of protein that yields heart health benefits. “The fiber in flaxseed can help lower total and ‘bad’ cholesterol (a.k.a. LDL cholesterol), while ALA (an omega-3 fatty acid) may support heart health by helping to lower blood pressure and cholesterol,” she says.

    Per 1/3 cup serving: 170 cal, 13 g fat (1 g sat), 9 g carbs (1 g net carbs), 8 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 10 mg sodium, 5 g protein


    12. Spirulina

    Organic Spirulina Powder and Tablets

    Rocky89//Getty Images

    “Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that’s used as a dietary supplement thanks to its high nutritional value,” says Martin. “Protein makes up about 60 percent of spirulina’s dry weight, making it a better source of protein than most vegetables.” It’s also rich in numerous vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Try it in smoothies.

    Per 1 tsp serving: 5 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 1 g carbs (1 g net carbs), 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 25 mg sodium, 1 g protein


    13. Lobster

    half eaten lobster

    Alexandra Grablewski//Getty Images

    “Lobster is an excellent source of lean protein that boasts an impressive nutritional profile. It’s a good source of vitamin B12 and choline, which support brain function,” says Martin. Enjoy without the roll and mayo- or butter-based dressings to keep it low in carbs and healthy.

    Per 3 oz. serving: 81 cal, 0.5 g fat (0.01 g sat), 1 g carbs (1 g net carbs), 588 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 17 g protein


    14. Pumpkin Seeds

    Pumpkin seeds on a spoon

    Blanchi Costela//Getty Images

    Like nuts, pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein and are rich in numerous antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, especially magnesium. “Magnesium is the fourth most common mineral in the body and is involved in everything from the creation of energy to the digestive regulation,” says Martin. “It also plays a role in the body’s stress response system, and deficiency is associated with higher stress and anxiety.”

    Per 1/4 cup serving, shelled pumpkin seeds: 180 cal, 14 g fat (3.5 g sat), 4 g carbs (1 g net carbs), 3 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 5 mg sodium, 9 g protein


    15. Venison

    Venison, Elk Sirloin Tip Roast

    LauriPatterson//Getty Images

    Fan of beef? Give venison a go! “Venison is an excellent source of protein that’s lower in fat compared to some other animal proteins,” says Martin. “It’s also free of carbs and lower in calories than beef and chicken.”

    Per 3 oz. serving: 134 cals, 2.7 g fat (1.1 g sat), 46 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (o g net carbs), 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 26 g protein


    16. High-Protein Cereal

    Magic Spoon Cocoa Cereal

    Magic Spoon Cocoa Cereal

    Thanks to the popularity of low-carb diets like keto, you can even find high-protein, low-carb cereals these days. One Harris-Pincus likes: Magic Spoon. “It’s made with allulose, stevia, and monk fruit, so it tastes like regular sugar but has 90 percent fewer calories and no impact on blood sugar,” she explains.

    Per 3/4 cup serving: 110 cal, 6 g fat (5 g sat), 8 g carbs (3 g net carbs), 2 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 60 mg sodium, 12 g protein


    17. Tempeh

    Close Up Of Tempeh

    Harald Walker / EyeEm//Getty Images

    Made from fermented soybeans that are cooked and packed into a dense, brick shape, tempeh “is a close relative of tofu and a protein powerhouse,” says Lewis. “It also contains probiotics (which help feed your gut’s good bacteria) and a boatload of fiber.” The versatile ingredient is often cooked into a crispy meat substitute that can take on the flavor of any dish it’s a part of.

    Per 4 oz. serving: 230 cal, 8 g fat (1.5 g sat), 16 g carbs (4 g net carbs), 12 g fiber, <1 g sugar, 10 mg sodium, 22 g protein


    18. Halibut

    Grilled Halibut with Asparagus and Tomatoes

    Lauri Patterson//Getty Images

    If tuna’s not your jam, halibut is a high-quality source of protein with a milder flavor. “Halibut contains some fat, but mostly the heart-healthy mono- and poly-unsaturated kinds,” Martin says. (It also contains other heart-healthy nutrients like selenium and magnesium.)

    Per 3 oz. serving: 94 cal, 2 g fat (0.3 g sat), 46 mg sodium, 0 g carb (o g net carbs), 0 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 18 g protein


    19. Almond Flour

    Almond flour with three nuts on top

    manoa//Getty Images

    Noticing the almond trend here? You can use almond flour in all sorts of low-carb cooking and baking, from pancakes to pasta. “The benefit is that it’s lower in carbs than whole-wheat or white flour and has a bit more protein than some grain-based flours,” says Lewis.

    Per 3 tbsp serving: 100 cal, 9 g fat (0.5 g sat), 4 g carbs (2 g net carbs), 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 4 g protein


    20. Snacking Cheese

    Horizon Organic Mozzarella String Cheese

    Mozzarella String Cheese

    Horizon Organic Mozzarella String Cheese

    String cheese and Mini Babybels are a go-to for Harris-Pincus. “One creamy cheese round provides at least four grams of protein and zero grams of carbs for 70 calories or less,” she says.

    Per cheese stick: 50 calories, 2.5 g fat (1.5 g sat), 160 mg sodium, 1 g carbs (1 g net carbs), 0 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 4 g protein


    21. Pistachios

    Pistachiospinterest

    Getty Images

    “Pistachios make an excellent snack, with 30 nuts providing only 100 calories and five grams of carbs,” says Harris-Pincus. (These little nuts can also help aid weight-loss efforts.)

    Per 1/4-cup serving: 172 cal, 14 g fat (2 g sat), 0 mg sodium, 8 g carbs (5 g net carbs), 2.3 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein


    22. Salmon

    spiced salmon with cool cucumber salad recipe

    Chelsea Kyle

    If you’re on a high-protein, low-carb diet, fish is your best friend. “Fish is a brain-boosting protein, and fatty fish [like salmon], in particular, help you get essential omega-3 fatty acids important for healthy arteries, reduced inflammation, and a healthy brain,” says Maggie Moon, RDN, the author of The MIND Diet.

    Per 3 oz. serving: 177 cal, 11 g fat (3 g sat), 50 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g net carbs), 0 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 17 g protein

    Want to try some new salmon recipes? Look no further for Cajun-Spiced Salmon With Cool Cucumber Salad or Sheet Pan Salmon and Tomatoes. Yum!


    23. Greek Yogurt

    greek yogurt

    Chelsea Kyle

    There are many lower-sugar Greek yogurts on the market now, some with just a touch of sugar and others sweetened with stevia or monk fruit to keep the carb content down without use of artificial sweeteners, says Harris-Pincus. “Look for varieties containing nine grams of sugar or less, and add in nuts or berries for added fiber,” she adds.

    Per one 7 oz. container (plain, low-fat): 146 cal, 4 g fat (3 g sat), 68 mg sodium, 8 g carbs (8 g net carbs), 7 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 20 g protein


    24. Ricotta

    Ricottapinterest

    Getty Images

    Bored with your usual cheese routine? Creamy ricotta, which is surprisingly high in protein, will help you mix things up, says Moon. Try spreading it on cucumbers for a satisfying low-carb snack.

    Per 1/2 cup serving (part-skim): 171 cal, 10 g fat (3 g sat), 123 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (6 g net carbs), 0.4 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 14 g protein


    25. Eggs

    eggs

    JOE LINGEMAN

    Not only are eggs high in protein, but they’re also a good source of hard-to-get vitamin D, which can improve bone and tooth health, says Moon. “Eggs are also an excellent source of choline (packing 20 percent of your daily value), an under-recognized nutrient important for memory,” she says.

    Per large egg: 72 cal, 5 g fat (2 g sat), 71 mg sodium, 0.4 g carbs (0.4 g net carbs), 0.2 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 7 g protein


    26. Avocado

    avocado calories

    Chelsea Kyle

    Avocado is a nutritional powerhouse, thanks to its high amount of fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, says Harris-Pincus. “For a low-carb snack, roll up a slice of avocado in a piece of deli turkey,” she says.

    Per avocado: 322 cal, 29 g fat (4 g sat), 17 g carbs (3 g net carbs), 1 g sugar, 14 mg sodium, 14 g fiber, 4 g protein


    27. Seitan

    Seitanpinterest

    Getty Images

    If you’re vegetarian and looking to try a low-carb, high-protein diet, seitan is a must. “Made from wheat, seitan is the gluten protein that remains after wheat flour has been ‘washed,'” says Shaw. “You can use it in stir-fries, sandwiches and, really, any meat-based recipe you’re looking to turn vegetarian.” It does tend to be high in sodium, so be mindful of adding tons of extra salt to it. And, of course, if you have celiac’s disease, steer clear.

    Per 2.5 oz. serving: 90 cal, 1 g fat (0 g sat), 4 g carbs (3 g net carbs), 2 g sugar, 340 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 17 g protein


    28. Edamame

    Edamamepinterest

    Getty Images

    “There’s a reason this crunchy high-protein, low-carbohydrate snack is appearing all over the snack food aisle,” says Shaw. It’s packed with vegetarian protein and iron, and you can easily toss this into a salad, stir-fry, or soup. “Brands like Seapoint Farms have even taken to packaging dry roasted edamame for a high-protein, convenient snack on the go,” she adds.

    Per 1 cup serving: 188 cal, 8 g fat (1 g sat), 14 g carbs (6 g net carbs), 3 g sugar, 9 mg sodium, 8 g fiber, 18 g protein


    29. Mozzarella Cheese

    Mozzarellapinterest

    Getty Images

    When paired with tomato and basil, who can resist this high-protein, low-carb snack? “A one-ounce serving of mozzarella provides eight ounces of high-quality protein with only one gram of carbohydrates,” says Shaw.

    Per 1 oz. serving (part-skim): 72 cal, 5 g fat (3 g sat), 1 g carbs (1 g net carbs), 0.3 g sugar, 175 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 7 g protein


    30. Almonds

    Almondspinterest

    Getty Images

    Like pistachios, almonds also make a great high-protein, low-carb snack. “Research suggests that eating nuts like almonds is linked to longer lifespan, less belly fat, improved brain health, and more,” says Moon. Here for allll of that.

    Per 1/4 cup serving: 207 cal, 18 g fat (1 g sat), 8 g carbs (2 g net carbs), 2 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 8 g protein


    31. Deli Turkey Meat

    Turkey deli meatpinterest

    Getty Images

    “Deli turkey makes an easy lunch or fast snack,” says Harris-Pincus. “Spread on one tablespoon of hummus and create roll-ups for an additional 25 calories, one gram protein, two grams of carbs, and one gram fiber,” she says. (You can also try these deli turkey kebabs for lunch.)

    Per 2 oz. serving: 62 cal, 0.5 g fat (0.1 g sat), 2 g carbs (1.7 g net carbs), 2 g sugar, 440 mg sodium, 0.3 g fiber, 12 g protein


    32. Chia Seeds

    Chia seedspinterest

    Getty Images

    “Chia seeds are a secret weapon on any diet plan since they absorb about 10 times their weight in water and help keep you full,” says Harris-Pincus. What’s more, the high-protein food is also rich in healthy fats. “Add them to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, and much more,” she says.

    Per 1 oz. serving: 138 cal, 9 g fat (0.1 g sat), 12 g carbs (2 g net carbs), 2 g sugar, 5 mg sodium, 10 g fiber, 5 g protein


    33. Unsweetened Peanut Butter

    Peanut butterpinterest

    Getty Images

    Did you need another reason to open up a fresh jar of peanut butter? “Peanuts have the highest protein content among nuts,” says Harris-Pincus. Just make sure to opt for a jar that’s added sugar-free.

    Per 2 tbsp serving: 190 cal, 16 g fat (2.5 g sat), 7 g carbs (4 g net carbs), 2 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 8 g protein


    34. Pork Tenderloin

    roasted pork tenderloin

    NightAndDayImages//Getty Images

    This lean cut packs a ton of protein and makes for a budget-friendly main (compare its price tag with what you’ll find on other cuts of meat; it’s the clear winner). Plus, it’s so simple to prepare. Coat with your favorite spices and seasonings, sear in a skillet, then pop into the oven until it’s finished cooking—when the internal temperature reaches 145°F. So easy!

    Per 4 oz. serving (roasted): 128 cal, 3.5 g fat (1 g sat), 0 g carbs (0 g net carbs), 0 g sugar, 50 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 23 g protein


    35. Jerky

    Kalahari Spicy Peri Peri Biltong

    Spicy Peri Peri Biltong

    Kalahari Spicy Peri Peri Biltong

    “Jerky is back as a portable snack with many trendy, flavored varieties on store shelves,” says Harris-Pincus—but not all are created equal. Find one that isn’t heavily sweetened (no teriyaki flavor!), and you’ve got yourself a solid low-carb, high-protein snack.

    Per serving: 160 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 0 g carbs (0 g net carbs), 0 g sugar, 460 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 32 g protein


    36. Cottage Cheese

    Good Culture Cottage Cheese

    Cottage Cheese

    Good Culture Cottage Cheese

    “Cottage cheese is such a great way to boost your protein intake with very few carbs,” says nutritionist Brooke Zigler, RDN. Use it instead of yogurt for a berries-and-granola parfait and you’ll have an easy, filling breakfast.

    Per 4 oz. serving (low-fat, 2% milkfat): 92 cal, 3 g fat (1g sat), 5 g carbs (5 g net carbs), 5 g sugar, 348 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 12 g protein


    37. Tofu

    Tofupinterest

    Topic Images Inc.//Getty Images

    Tofu is an inexpensive source of protein that is extremely versatile and can be a great alternative to meat. “It also has a long shelf life, so it can be a great option to keep in the refrigerator for when you want a quick and easy protein for your meal,” says Zigler. Add it to smoothies, or use it in a quick scramble instead of eggs.

    Per ½ cup serving: 181 cal, 11 g fat (2 g sat), 4 g carbs (1 g net carbs), 0 g sugar, 18 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 22 g protein


    38. Chicken

    spiced chicken with tomatoes and chickpeas

    LINDA XIAO

    “Skinless chicken breast is one of my favorite sources of lean protein,” says Zigler. “It’s low in saturated fat compared to other meats, which can help someone maintain a healthy weight.” Add it to salads and sandwiches, or eat plain or with some veggies as a meal or snack.

    Per 3 oz. serving: 140 cal, 3 g fat (0.9 g sat), 0 g carbs (0 g net carbs), 0 g sugar, 63 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 26 g protein

    Want a new chicken recipe to try? Whip up Spiced Chicken With Tomatoes And Chickpeas!


    39. Hemp Seeds

    Bowl of hemp seedspinterest

    Jeff Kauck//Getty Images

    “Technically nuts, hemp seeds are small but mighty when it comes to nutrition and protein,” says Maggie Michalczyk, RD, nutritionist, and author of Once Upon a Pumpkin. “More than 25 percent of their total calories come from protein, and they’re a great addition to baked goods, salads, yogurt bowls, and more.” Hemp seeds are also a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, and iron, and they add a nice nutty, crunchy texture.

    Per ¼ cup serving: 170 cal, 120 g fat (1.5 g sat), 3 g carbs (0 g net carbs), less than 1 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 10 g protein


    40. Grass-Fed Beef

    sliced steak on cutting board with carving utensils, close uppinterest

    Andrew Scrivani//Getty Images

    “A great source of protein, grass-fed beef is higher in omega-3 fatty acids and lower in total fat compared to other types of meat,” says Michalczyk. Pair it with nutrient-dense foods, like veggies.

    Per 4 oz. serving: 157 cal, 7 g fat (3.1 g sat), 0 g carbs (0 g net carbs), 0 g sugar, 72 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 24 g protein


    41. Asparagus

    Fresh asparagus spears, close uppinterest

    Ian O’Leary//Getty Images

    “These vibrant green spears boast a long list of nutrients like vitamin K, antioxidants, and protein. Another higher-protein vegetable, asparagus is a great green to put on your weekly rotation,” says Michalczyk. Grill them with some olive oil or cheese, or add to a stir-fry with meat or tofu.

    Per ½ cup serving: 27 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 5 g carbs (2.2 g net carbs), 2.5 g sugar, 3 mg sodium, 2.8 g fiber, 3 g protein


    42. Canned Sardines

    Canned sardines with capers

    Kuvona//Getty Images

    “People don’t usually eat them because they think they are the same as anchovies, which are fishy and salty, but sardines are convenient, high in omega-3 fatty acids, and not very fishy,” says Angelone. He buys a variety without bones, drains out the excess olive oil, and tosses them with eggs, puts them on salads, or combines them with crackers.

    Per can: 151 cal, 10 g fat (1 g sat), 0 g carbs (0 g net carbs), 0 g sugar, 370 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 16 g protein


    43. Sunflower Seeds

    sunflower seeds in a wooden spoon

    Diana Taliun//Getty Images

    Nutrient-rich seeds are another great way to fit your high-protein, low-carb needs. Angelone is a big fan of sunflower seeds. Have a scoop as a snack, sprinkle them on your salads, or grind them into pesto.

    Pr 1/4 cup: 190 cal, 15 g fat (1.6 g sat), 7 g carbs (4 g net carbs), 2 g sugar, 360 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein


    44. Collagen Powder

    collagen protein powder

    marekuliasz//Getty Images

    Okay, so this isn’t exactly a “food,” but Angelone highly recommends collagen powder for low-carb eaters looking to up their protein intake. It dissolves in both hot and cold water and has no taste or texture, so you can add it to soups, smoothies, or your morning coffee for a boost.

    Per 2 scoops (Vital Proteins collagen powder): 70 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 0 g carbs (0 g net carbs), 2 g sugar, 110 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 18 g protein

    Headshot of Isadora Baum

    Isadora Baum is a freelance writer, certified health coach, and author of 5-Minute Energy. She can’t resist a good sample, a margarita, a new HIIT class, or an easy laugh. Learn more about her on her website: isadorabaum.com

    Headshot of Becca Miller

    Becca Miller (she/her) has been working in the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen since 2018, where she researches and writes about tasty recipes, food trends and top cooking tools. She graduated from NYU with a liberal arts degree focusing on creative writing. She makes killer scrambled eggs, enjoys a glass of un-oaked chardonnay and takes pride in her love of reality television.