If you're a "Man's Man" you probably like steak – thick, juicy, and full of flavor. And while steak is an excellent source of protein – about 40 grams of protein in a 5-ounce serving -- there are other sources of protein that will also put hair on your chest, so to speak. Whether you're on the go, cooking at home, or dining out, check out these non-beef foods that pack in the protein.
If tuna is the chicken of the sea, then maybe salmon is the steer of the river. Ounce for ounce, salmon has just as much protein as steak. When possible go for wild salmon, which provides heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids but less saturated fat as compared to farm-raised salmon—better yet, catch it yourself for a super manly option. For an option that would impress the guys, try grilled mesquite salmon steaks or salmon burgers topped with coleslaw.
Greece brought us powerful Gods and the first Olympians, so it is no surprise that their namesake yogurt is a high-protein option. When compared to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt packs in twice the amount of protein per ounce – 1 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt packs in 20 grams of protein. If a bowl of berries and Greek yogurt won’t fly in the locker room, add it to a peanut butter smoothie for a boost of protein.
Savory protein bar
When Lemon Meringue Pie and Cookies and Cream aren’t your preferred flavor profiles, be on the look out for protein bars that offer a savory kick. The key is finding bars with just a few whole food ingredients you can see and pronounce. One favorite is the Strong and KIND line that includes bold flavors such as Thai Sweet Chili, Honey Smoked BBQ, and Roasted Jalapeno. Each bar packs in 10 grams of natural protein and is a great option to stash in your desk to eliminate the 3 p.m. vending machine run.
You don't have to be like Rocky Balboa downing raw eggs to incorporate this high-protein food into your daily routine. Eggs are an inexpensive source of protein that last much longer in your fridge compared to meat. Even if you don't know poached from shirred, anyone can scramble an egg for a high-protein breakfast—one egg contains only 75 calories and offers 7 grams of high-quality protein, as well as other nutrients important for brain, eye, and bone health. If you're concerned about the cholesterol in eggs, the limit has been lifted -- the recent 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) remove the daily cholesterol limit of 300 mg.
If the idea of jerky makes you think of the sticky-sweet “teriyaki” version found in gas stations, you are behind the times. These days all sorts of meats beyond beef—turkey, pork, bison—can be found dried and seasoned with more sophisticated flavor profiles. Look for a brand with all natural ingredients (such as an EPIC or Tanka bar), for an easy high-protein snack that will appease your most avid CrossFit friends.
While a lot of men focus on meat and dairy as their main sources of protein, another delicious, plant-based option not to be neglected: the bean burrito. A bean burrito made with brown rice will provide all the essential amino acids found in steak, and can easily pack in 20 grams or more of protein. Load yours up with cilantro, jalapeno, and chopped onions for tons of flavor without extra salt.
Relationship disclosure: Patricia Bannan works with KIND bar to help people make healthy snack choices.
Patricia Bannan is a Los Angeles-based registered dietitian specializing in nutrition and health communications. She is the author of "Eat Right When Time Is Tight: 150 Slim-Down Strategies and No-Cook Food Fixes." Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.