When the Diet Wars are finally over, if ever, the only real winner will be the companies that manufacture those protein supplements. Whether you go keto, paleo, vegan, Atkins, Zone, South Beach or whatever is currently trending on Twitter, the only thing they all seem to agree upon is protein, protein, protein! As a result we scoop it into our shakes, munch it between meals in “bar” form, and even sprinkle it atop our cereal. With all the powders, bars, elixirs and pastes available to us, it's almost as if protein didn't exist in any natural form.
Except it does, and it's natural form is inarguably better than whatever processed supplement you can buy. Here are a few “real” foods that are almost pure protein.
Egg whites contain 60 percent of all the protein in an egg, which is one of themost protein-rich foods you can find (that's because eggs contain all the amino acids). If you make yourself an egg white omelet, you're losing out on all the antioxidants, minerals and vitamins of the yolk, but 91 percent of the calories from what you are left with is nothing but protein.
Just one ounce of dried fish provides you with 18 grams of protein, or put another way, 93 percent of its calories come from protein. The other huge advantage which adding fish to your diet supplies is the large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which you are probably not getting anywhere else.
Your mother made you sandwiches with it every day when you were in school, and your mom knew what she was doing: tuna fish is almost pure protein, a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, and a mere 100 grams of it provide you 52 percent of the selenium you need each day.
The protein in codfish is 93 percent of total calories, and Alaskan pollock is 89 percent protein with exceptional amounts of choline and vitamin B-12 as well.
If seafood is not your cup of brine, have some chicken. Not the legs and wings that come in a tub at a drive-through, but roasted, skinless breast of chicken instead. Just 85 grams – three ounces – will provide you with about 27 grams of protein and only 140 calories. That's 80 percent of the total calories. If possible, opt for pasture-bred chickens, as those have higher antioxidant and omega-3 levels.
Turkey breasts are another great land-based source of protein, and also rich in niacin, vitamin B6, selenium, phosphorus and zinc. It tips the sales at a whopping 95 percent of calories as protein.