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When it comes to muscle-building meals, adding clean foods high in protein is key. On the flip side, avoiding processed foods and pseudo-protein foods is equally important.

 

What’s a pseudo-protein?

 

A pseudo-protein is a food that would be high in protein and considered healthy if it wasn’t lathered in carbs and sugar or fried in inflammatory oils. Think of things like any sweet-tasting buffalo wings or a fried chicken sandwich or lean ground beef covered in cheese and sour cream for a taco. We recommend saving these foods for special occasions, and being mindful to choose lower inflammatory foods a majority of the time.

 

In order to maximize your healthy protein per meal, stick with high-quality foods that have one ingredient. These are our top four power protein foods for muscle:

 

Salmon

 

Wild-caught salmon is one of nature’s true superfoods. A simple 4oz serving contains a host of healthy nutrients, including:

 

  • 24g of protein
  • 0g carbohydrates
  • 0g sugar
  • 6.7g of healthy fats
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • healthy doses of niacin, selenium and phosphorus
  • only 165 calories

 

 

Filet Mignon

 

Filet mignon isn’t just for fancy steakhouses anymore. With services like Butcher Box and others willing to deliver grass-fed, free range meat straight to your house, you can enjoy the taste and the protein benefits of a nice filet in your own kitchen. A serving of filet contains:

 

  • 22g of protein
  • 0g carbohydrates
  • 0g sugar
  • source of iron, B-12 & zinc
  • creatine
  • only 227 calories

 

Quinoa

 

Quinoa is an ancient grain that is a terrific source of plant protein. It works perfectly as a side dish to any seafood or meat, but it can also be used as a base for everything from vegetable stir fry to breakfast with blueberries and honey.

Just one cup of quinoa contains:

 

  • 8g of protein
  • 39g of healthy carbohydrates
  • 5g of healthy fiber
  • 1g of sugar
  • only 222 calories

 

All-Natural Pumpkin Seeds

 

Far too many people only eat pumpkin seeds around Halloween after carving their pumpkins. And worse, some people throw them away! Let this be a lesson to all of you. The simple pumpkin seed is loaded with nutrients, as well as a hefty dose of protein.

 

One quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains:

 

  • 8g of protein
  • 0g trans fat
  • 0g sugar
  • 6g carbohydrates
  • 187 calories
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