Ideas for Low Carb High Protein Meals

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Carbohydrates and Proteins

Low-carb, high protein meals are really easy to come up with if you just think about the kinds of foods that fall into each macronutrient category. Almost all foods contain protein but it varies in the type of protein based on whether or not it comes from an animal source. High biological value proteins, which are better utilized by the body, are chicken, beef, fish, pork and other animal meats. Protein also comes from soy and dairy sources.

Carbohydrates are somewhat difficult to avoid all together because they are found in almost everything but meat sources. You can find carbohydrates in fruits, vegetables, dairy, breads, rice, pasta and potatoes. Carbohydrates are the body’s energy source and are needed to do our daily activities. However most people over indulge with carbohydrates, which result in unwanted weight gain. Cutting back on the amount of carbohydrates consumed daily is usually recommended when you lead a sedentary lifestyle and are overeating.

Low Carb High Protein Meals

Below is a list of low-carb, high protein meals to start incorporating into your diet. These foods can be prepared in many different ways to best meet your needs.

Eggs

Eggs, especially egg whites can be used in a variety of ways to make low-carb, high protein meals. Try quiches, omelets, or egg salad and add in your favorite vegetables.

Chili

Use lean ground beef 93% or greater, ground turkey or chicken. Add some beans, onions, peppers and tomatoes with your favorite spices to make a great low-carb, high protein meal.

Salads

Salads can be fun if you mix up your ingredients. Just be careful not to add too much fruit, croutons, or pasta salads or you will end up with a high carbohydrate meal. Throw in all of your traditional vegetables then layer it up with a protein source. Scoop of egg salad, tuna salad, grilled chicken or even deli meat. Just make sure to use a low-calorie dressing.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a very low-carb vegetable that gives off the feeling that you are eating spaghetti. This is a great substitute for those trying to cut back on carbs and make some low-carb, high protein meals. It can be used in many ways, but my favorite is with some lean ground beef Bolognese and a little grated Parmesan cheese.

Lettuce Wraps

Using romaine or iceberg lettuce you can make wraps instead of using bread. Fill them with your favorite lean protein and other vegetables, roll them up, and enjoy a great low-carb, high protein treat.

Shish Kabobs

Shish kabobs are easy to make and delicious. Using wooden skewers, layer on vegetables and chunks of meat. Then grill them and serve on a bed of salad.

Stir-Fry

Stir-fry vegetables with a lean protein source like beef, chicken or pork and your favorite sauce. Tofu stir-fry is also another great option.

Message from the RD

Monitoring carbohydrate intake can be very beneficial for your overall health and low-carb, high protein meals are recommended for those who live a sedentary lifestyle. For those who are very active limiting your carbohydrates too much may be detrimental to your overall health. Be aware of your body’s needs and fuel appropriately. It might be best to consult a dietitian in your area to get a recommended macronutrient breakdown based on your goals, activity level, and lifestyle.

References

This information is based on my education and experience working at SHS Nutrition, LLC in Piscataway, NJ.

Wardlaw,G. M. Perspectives in Nutrition. Fourth Edition. 1999.