High-Protein, Low-Fat Foods List

Updated July 20, 2017

Whether you're on a diet, incorporating a workout routine, or just trying to eat healthier, high-protein, low-fat foods help you limit bad fat and get the important proteins your body needs. Foods like beef, ham and bacon, though exceptionally high in protein, are also sources of high saturated and trans fats (the fats that raise cholesterol and blood pressure). To avoid proteins that come hand-in-hand with bad fats, hit the dairy and seafood sections of the grocery store.


Tofu is processed soy milk that is pressed into white, spongy blocks. Enjoy this high-protein food as a full meal or as a compliment to soups, curries, stir-fry and even sandwiches. It only contains about 5 grams of fat per serving and up to 10 grams of protein, making the protein-to-fat ratio a comfortable 2-1. Tofu comes either soft or firm, depending on your taste for textures, and is an ingredient in thousands of delicious recipes.


Fish is a hearty, high-protein alternative to fatty red meats like beef and ham. Fish is generally low in fat (salmon, the "fatty" fish, only contains 21 grams of fat per serving) and packs up to 39 grams of protein into a single portion. Fish gives you enough variety to keep meals lively and offers additional health benefits like high levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

Low-fat Milk

Low-fat milk is a powerhouse of vitamins and contains about the same amount of protein as beans and tofu, without all the fat. With 8 grams of protein per serving and only 5 grams of fat, low-fat milk is an excellent high-protein, low-fat addition to a diet plan or workout regimen. It also brings calcium and vitamin D to the table. The fat that is in low-fat milk is mostly saturated fat (3 out of 5 grams); you should take this into account when watching fat intake.

Low-fat Cottage Cheese

Low-fat cottage cheese is a major component of any high-protein, low-fat diet. It packs a whopping 28 grams of protein into a serving with as little as 2 grams of fat. Cottage cheese serves in a variety of dishes, ranging from a simple snack to seasoned salad topping, and contains lots of vitamin B12, while remaining low in cholesterol. However, those with blood pressure issues should take into consideration that cottage cheese is high in sodium.


Beans come in many varieties and can complement almost any meal. They supply 8 grams of protein per 1 gram of fat and are low in cholesterol. Bean salads, pastes, dips and soups can all provide a tasty meal that's both high in protein and low in fats and sodium. They're also mildly anti-inflammatory, which is a bonus for those suffering from high blood pressure or chronic pain.

Low-fat Yogurt

Low-fat yoghurt is a snack food that holds an excellent protein to fat ratio. With about 11 grams of protein per serving and only 3 grams of fat, yoghurt is an excellent food to use between meals to keep your metabolism running strong throughout the day. However, even low-fat yoghurt comes with a fairly high amount of sugars; those who are counting carbohydrates should consider that fact.

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About the Author

Chet Carrie has been writing since 2004. He served as an editor for a university magazine and has freelanced for several newspapers. Carrie holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.