Low cal, low fat, low carb, high fiber, high protein foods?
January 11, 2008 3:06 PM   Subscribe

One serving of lentils has only ~120 calories, 0 grams of fat, 10g of protein (20% of daily recommended amount), and 11g of fiber (44% of daily recommended amount). What are other superfoods with similarly high levels of protein and fiber, and low levels of carbs, fat, and calories?
posted by HotPatatta to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 70 users marked this as a favorite
Chickpeas, split peas, any kind of bean, really. You can check up on different foods at the USDA Nutrient Database
posted by dilettante at 3:18 PM on January 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

beans, chickpeas, soy (especially edamame, mmmm), all are high in protein, low in fat (well except for the soy and even that is relatively low) and a significant source of fiber.
posted by caddis at 3:19 PM on January 11, 2008

posted by caddis at 3:19 PM on January 11, 2008

Oh, and amaranth. And quinoa.
posted by dilettante at 3:21 PM on January 11, 2008

Mostly it's legumes with the high protein/fiber combination. Two top ranking foods are Soy flour and Kidney Beans. Me, I'd prefer a nice smoked salmon spinach salad, or tuna sandwich on whole wheat.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:22 PM on January 11, 2008

The World's Healthiest Foods website is great for finding some of this info (and getting sucked in for hours...), though it's sometimes a bit hard to navigate.

Healthy foods high in fiber
Healthy foods high in protein
posted by occhiblu at 3:29 PM on January 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Seconding quinoa.
posted by rtha at 3:41 PM on January 11, 2008

Most green leafy vegetables will fit the bill. Their % of protein is high, but you need to eat a lot.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:51 PM on January 11, 2008

So maybe you really can't over think a plate of beans?
posted by donovan at 5:27 PM on January 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you want to combine these elements and make which is surprisingly tasty and very healthy, here is a recipe for ya:

Quinoa, Kale, and Chickpeas

Rinse 1 c quinoa well.
Put 1 c water and 1 c quinoa in a pot and turn to medium heat.

Wash and de-stem 1 bunch kale, cut into short strips.
Chop 1 onion.
Put onion and kale in a saucepan with a lid, add 1/4 cup white wine, salt and pepper, 1 tsp curry powder, cover and simmer 10 min.

Your quinoa should be almost done, so now is the time to open up a can of chickpeas and dump them into the kale. When the quinoa is done (it should have soaked up all the liquid), add that to the kale too.
Stir and cook uncovered until almost all the liquid has evaporated and kale is tender (5 min).

Eat and feel super healthy.
posted by rmless at 5:36 PM on January 11, 2008 [24 favorites]

The squash family (esp. winter squashes) doesn't stack up on the protein side (I don't think?) but they are amazing sources of vitamins and fiber. Plus yummy and versatile.
posted by nax at 5:38 PM on January 11, 2008

All these legumes are even more healthy & emzyme-filled if they're sprouted. Sprouting is extremely easy.

Just soak the dried legumes in any container of water for 12 hours or so, then drain them, then rinse them every 12 hours or so after that. Leave the container in any room-temperature place that's not in direct sun. In a couple days the sprouts start growing (you get the increased nutritional benefit from them as soon as they have even tiny sprouts).

If you want you can google for more specific instructions by type of legume, but I've found most kinds of bean or pea will work with the 12-hour rule.

Kids totally love this (adults seem to think it's magical too).
posted by lorimer at 9:39 AM on January 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

Quinoa is great, but contrary to popular belief, it is not actually that high in protein. It gets 15% of its calories for protein. Wheat is 14% protein, so that's about the same.
I'd argue that it is much more useful to watch your micronutrient intake (phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals), than it is to watch your macronutrient intake (protein, carbs, fats). Beans are still great no matter how you look at them though.

Green vegetables and berries are among the healthiest foods you can eat. I second whfoods.com for the reasons why these are so healthy.
posted by davar at 1:47 PM on January 12, 2008

Tuna? (No fiber, but a different kind of protein...)
posted by ihope at 4:16 AM on January 13, 2008

Nthing Quinoa.

I found that in the supermarket it was costing me about $15.00 per kilo (only available in tiny 300g bags). I hunted around and found a health food store that sold me a 12.5kg bag for $6.00 per kilo.
posted by tomble at 2:31 PM on January 13, 2008

posted by kneelconqueso at 8:43 AM on January 14, 2008

to add to the list of relatively high protien/fiber carbs like whole wheat and quinoa- bulgur and oatmeal. Kashi's GoLean line of products (cereal and waffles amongst others) are all high in protein and fiber, and tasty.

Besides legumes, there aren't a lot of foods that have high levels of both the macrocategories you mentioned without carbs. I think it's often easier to combine high protein, low fat foods with high fiber, low fat foods to get the best of both.

This is pretty easy to do in under 200 calories and less than 10 minutes. Eg: fat free yogurt, skim milk, or skim cheese with an apple. egg whites with broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, etc.
posted by flaneuse at 11:28 AM on January 15, 2008

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