High protein foods

Adequate and good quality protein intake is highly essential for health. But often, our diet falls short of the recommended protein intake. We eat in fast food chains often and end up ordering junk foods. But these restaurants do have some high protein foods too that one should order. Hear from nutritionists what they prefer to order at these food outlets.

Adequate protein intake and its importance

Proteins are an essential macronutrient. They are required for muscle building, repair and also for functioning of various enzymes. They can help in weight loss and keep us feeling filled.

US health authorities advise its adult citizens to consume at least 0.8 g per kg of good quality proteins. And active people need more. But when we eat outside such as in KFC or McDonald’s, we end up opting for junk foods that are loaded with saturated fats, salt, and refined sugars. But these eateries also have some healthy food options that one can order and enjoy. Which are the high-protein foods there?

Dietitian Uta Boellinger says:

“Food is not just nutrition but clearly also a way of celebrating, socializing, and so much more,” 

Hence, Uta is not in favor of dietary restrictions.

High protein foods at fast food restaurants

The Spicy Classic Chicken Sandwich

High protein foods
The Spicy Classic Chicken Sandwich (Source: YouTube)

Dr. Mike Molloy, sports nutrition company M2 Performance Nutrition prefers to have these at KFC. He said:

“I would probably pair that up with a diet soda because fried spicy chicken and soda go so well together,”

The above sandwich gives 620 calories. It has 33 grams of fat, 34 grams of protein and 49 grams of carbs.

Chicken thighs, green beans, corn, and mashed potato

High protein foods
Chicken thighs, green beans, corn, and mashed potato (Source: Ahead of thyme)

Dietitian Jaclyn London told Insider that she likes to order these at KFC. She said:

I’d start with one to two of the chicken thighs (this cut is juicier than chicken breast, but nutrient — and protein — packed), and then add a side of green beans, corn and, if I’m going with someone else who wants to share, I’d add a side of mashed potatoes or coleslaw, too,” 

She added:

Any time you have the opportunity to add more veggies to your meal, the more nutritious and satisfying it becomes – remember that!”

I chicken thigh has 770 calories, with 42 grams of fat, 55 grams of carbs, and 43 grams of protein. And the green beans provide 25 calories and if corn is used, it gives 70 calories.

Kentucky Grilled Chicken with sides and a cookie

High protein foods
Kentucky Grilled Chicken with sides and a cookie (Source: Kansas City at the cheap)

Registered dietitian Alix Turoff considers this as the best option for high protein meal at KFC. This has 210 calories, 7 grams of fat, nil carbs and 38 grams of protein. Alix opines:

“If you’re trying to get the most bang for your buck calorie-wise, the lower-calorie side options include corn on the cob (70 calories), green beans (25 calories), and sweet kernel corn (70 calories),”

The moderate-calorie sides include the macaroni and cheese (140 calories), macaroni salad (140 calories), mashed potatoes (110 calories), and mashed potatoes with gravy (130 calories).”

The side salads of KFC are also good, Alix adds. 1 Caesar salad has just 14 calories, and a house salad with no dressing has 15 calories. A light Italian salad dressing adds another 15 calories whereas the creamy parmesan Caesar dressing provides additional 260 calories.

Read here: 9 seed oil free restaurants in Los Angeles, California, the USA!

For desserts, Alix states:

“For dessert, a chocolate chip cookie is a nice way to finish things off with something sweet for 120 calories (versus 300 calories in their cakes/pies),”