Weight Loss Made Practical » Nutrition

10 Foods High In Protein Low In Carbs

Carbs and calories are two important nutritional details. With these foods, you can consume more protein while staying low in carbs.

There are actually a wide variety of whole foods that can help you get more protein without that many carbohydrates. From a high-level view, the food groups that contain a lot of grams of protein and low or no amounts of carbs per 100 grams are meat and fish > cheese > nuts > 1 exceptional legume.

There are of course individual differences within these categories but this ranking gives you a better idea of what you are looking for. Below you can find 10 foods high in protein and low in carbs from each of these categories with other nutritional details.

If you are on a very strict low-carb diet, you may mainly be interested in the highest protein meats and fish since these contain no carbs at all.

Also keep in mind that the actual nutrient quantities in meat will vary. Even 2 pieces of meat in the same area of 2 different animals can vary in nutritional values. Reasons for this include what the animals eat, and just genetic variability (1, 2).

1. Tuna

The first option on this list, tuna, is a very popular type of fish full of protein and other valuable nutrients like vitamin B12. On top of that, fish does not contain any carbohydrates.

Keep in mind that some types of tuna contain a lot of mercury. The recommendations for how much tuna you can eat vary from person to person and type of tuna to type of tuna.

100 grams of cooked tuna contains (3):

  • Protein: 29.9 grams
  • Net carbs: 0 grams
  • Calories: 184
  • Carbs: 0 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0 grams
  • Fat: 6.3 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 181% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Selenium: 67% of the DV
  • Niacin: 53% of the DV
  • Vitamin A: 50% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 33% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

If you want to eat more tuna you can find a wide variety of recipes with it. You can also just enjoy a tuna steak on its own with some side dishes.

2. Rabbit

It is not the first meat choice for most people but rabbit meat can provide you with a lot of protein without adding anything to your daily carb count. Especially if you lack other sources of vitamin B12, rabbit meat can be a great addition to your diet.

100 grams of cooked rabbit contains (4):

  • Protein: 33 grams
  • Net carbs: 0 grams
  • Calories: 173
  • Carbs: 0 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0 grams
  • Fat: 3.5 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 108% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Niacin: 32% of the DV
  • Iron: 27% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 24% of the DV
  • Selenium: 22% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

One popular way to prepare rabbit meat is stew.

3. Anchovy

Anchovy is a particularly small kind of fish that is found in both freshwater and saltwater. They are often pickled so you might have to keep an eye on your sodium intake.

100 grams of canned anchovy contains (5):

  • Protein: 28.9 grams
  • Net carbs: 0 grams
  • Calories: 210
  • Carbs: 0 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0 grams
  • Fat: 9.7 grams
  • Sodium: 153% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Niacin: 100% of the DV
  • Selenium: 97% of the DV
  • Iron: 26% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 25% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. Anchovy is definitely one of the more nutrient-dense fish out there.

However in the case of certain nutrients more is not always better. For anchovy, the amount of sodium in it may be cause for concern. Consuming too much sodium may cause negative side effects like increased blood pressure.

4. Pheasant

A pheasant is a kind of bird found throughout the world. This is not one of the most popular meats but pheasant can be a good addition to your diet to increase your protein intake while keeping your carb intake low.

100 grams of cooked pheasant contains (6):

  • Protein: 32.4 grams
  • Net carbs: 0 grams
  • Calories: 247
  • Carbs: 0 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0 grams
  • Carbs: 0 grams
  • Fat: 12.1 grams
  • Niacin: 38% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B6: 37% of the DV
  • Selenium: 30% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 24% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 12% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

5. Parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese is a hard cheese that originates in Italy that is one of the cheeses highest in protein. It is made from cow milk and usually ages between 12-36 months.

100 grams of parmesan cheese contains (7):

  • Protein: 35.8 grams
  • Net carbs: 3.2 grams
  • Calories: 392
  • Carbs: 3.2 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0 grams
  • Fat: 25.8 grams
  • Calcium: 118% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Phosphorus: 69% of the DV
  • Sodium: 67% of the DV
  • Selenium: 32% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 20% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Most people eat parmesan cheese grated over their pasta dishes but you can also consume it on its own or stirred in soup.

6. Soybeans

Soybeans, also called edamame when the soybean is still young, are a type of legume that stands out because of their higher fat content and lower carbohydrate content compared to other legumes.

Most other legumes are not as great as soybeans for increasing your protein intake while staying low-carb.

100 grams of cooked soybeans contains (8):

  • Protein: 16.6 grams
  • Net carbs: 3.9 grams
  • Calories: 173
  • Carbs: 9.9 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 6.0 grams
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Manganese: 41% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Iron: 29% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 24% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 24% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 21% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Soybeans are also the main ingredient of the popular meat replacement tofu. Tofu is mostly popular in the Eastern kitchen but available all around the world.

7. Mozzarella cheese

Mozzarella cheese was traditionally made with Italian buffalo’s milk but you can make it with any kind of milk.

If you’ve ever had mozzarella cheese you have probably noticed that it’s a lot softer than most other cheeses. This is because of an extra reheating and kneading step.

100 grams of low sodium mozzarella cheese contains (9):

  • Protein: 27.5 grams
  • Net carbs: 3.1 grams
  • Calories: 280
  • Fat: 17.1 grams
  • Carbs: 3.1 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0 grams
  • Calcium: 73% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Phosphorus: 52% of the DV
  • Selenium: 22% of the DV
  • Zinc: 21% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 20% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Mozzarella cheese combines great with many other foods and dishes like for example with some basil and tomato. It is a cheese high in protein, low in carbs and not that high in calories.

8. Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts originate from big trees in the Amazon forest.

Keep in mind that brazil nuts are extremely high in selenium. This is a big reason to not overdo it with brazil nuts even if it does not put you over your daily carb limit.

As an adult, you want to stick to 20 grams of brazil nuts or less to stay under the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for selenium (10). More than that and you may experience negative side effects.

100 grams of brazil nuts contains (11):

  • Protein: 14.3 grams
  • Net carbs: 4.8 grams
  • Calories: 656
  • Carbs: 12.3 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 7.5 grams
  • Fat: 66.4 grams
  • Selenium: 2739% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Magnesium: 94% of the DV
  • Copper: 87% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 73% of the DV
  • Manganese: 61% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Brazil nuts are also very high in magnesium. You can get an amazing 94% of the Daily Value of magnesium with 100 grams of brazil nuts.

9. Eggs

Eggs are part of many low-carb food lists and for a good reason. They offer a wide variety of important nutrients while being very filling. If you or members of your family have a history of high cholesterol you might want to avoid eggs anyway.

100 grams of hard-boiled eggs contains (12):

  • Protein: 12.6 grams
  • Net carbs: 1.1 grams
  • Calories: 155
  • Carbs: 1.1 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0 grams
  • Fat: 10.6 grams
  • Selenium: 44% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Riboflavin: 30% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 19% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 17% of the DV
  • Vitamin B5: 14% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

10. Walnuts

Walnuts are another very popular food, botanically speaking not a nut but often considered one anyway.

100 grams of walnuts contains (13):

  • Protein: 15.2 grams
  • Net carbs: 7 grams
  • Calories: 654
  • Carbs: 13.7 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 6.7 grams
  • Fat: 65.2 grams
  • Manganese: 171% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Copper: 79% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 40% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 35% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 27% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

One of the main remarkable attributes of walnuts is their high omega-3 fatty acid content. Omega-3 is considered to be one of the healthiest types of fat.