Does getting enough protein for your muscle-building efforts have to cost a fortune? Not if you pick the right foods!
10. Canned Tuna – 23 g of protein per dollar
Surprised that the food responsible for half the nutrition of many a bodybuilder comes so low on this list? Tuna prices have gone way up in the last years and it shows. There’s also the risk of mercury in tuna, so this staple comes in last for good reason.
9. Whey Protein – 24 g of protein per dollar
There’s the next surprise. Given the above price hikes in tuna, the whey protein powder that seems so expensive when you buy the $58 tub actually gives you more protein per dollar.
8. Eggs – 30 g of protein per dollar
After the avian flu outbreak in Mexico last year prices for eggs were way up. Now they’re back to their regular level and if you don’t go for the organic variety, eggs are a cheap protein source.
7. Fresh / Frozen Chicken – 32 g of protein per dollar
Thanks to a poultry industry that produces at a capacity that fifty years ago seemed impossible, chicken is one inexpensive source of protein.
6. Ground Beef – 34 grams of protein per dollar
This price depends on your quality expectations. The usual cheap ground beef is 70 to 80 percent lean, meaning you get 20 to 30 percent of fat per serving. If you want 90% lean, wait for a sale and you can match the regular price of the cheaper stuff.
5. Cottage Cheese – 36 g of protein per dollar
I wouldn’t touch cottage cheese if my life depended on it. Ok, not really, but the taste is very disagreeable to me, yet for those that can stomach it (cheap pun), it provides a lot of protein value.
4. Beans – 40 g of protein per dollar
What’s not to like about beans? They are high in protein, fiber and minerals and easy to prepare. If you are clueless about that, here are two recipes for beans and that other great legume, lentils.
3. Plain Yogurt – 42 g of protein per dollar
Forget the Greek yogurt craze that has taken half of America. There may be a difference in taste between plain and Greek yogurt, but their nutritional values are about the same. What differs is the price: Greek yogurt costs up to double as much as the plain old store brand.
2. Milk – 50 g of protein per dollar
What would life be without milk? Not a day goes by where I don’t have some, either to get my whey protein powder down or for breakfast with my muesli. If you believe you can’t drink it because of lactose intolerance, have a read right here.
1. Lentils – 58 g of protein per dollar
The top spot takes another legume: the honest little lentil. Packed with protein to the top mast, it also carries various minerals and vitamins. Once more check these recipes if you want a simple preparation idea.
Keep In Mind!
I compiled this list on pure dollar value – how much protein you get per dollar. It doesn’t take calories and your complete nutrition into account. If you want to build muscle while losing weight, you should read this, and if you need general help with your workout and bodybuilding nutrition, head over here.
Picture courtesy of the U.S. Army.