The Best Foods to Build Muscle Mass for Every Budget and Palate

Close-up of roast chicken with rosemary

Building muscle mass is a fitness goal for many athletes but is also essential for the health of people of all ages and body types. Body builders have the biggest challenge in terms of developing an extreme muscle to fat ratio, but anyone seeking a healthier lifestyle should aim for an increase in muscle mass.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is set at a mere 0.8 g/kg of body weight. People seeking muscle development need much more protein and would benefit by adding the following foods to their diet.

Lean Meat

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Alternatives – Bison, Venison, Elk, Goat

Lean beef is a longstanding source of protein and there are many alternative options to consider. Be aware that red meat can be very fatty, countering healthful benefits. Choose lean cuts of beef to get a whopping 22 grams of protein for every three ounces.

Lean Poultry

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Alternatives – Geese, Ostrich, Emu, Pheasant

There are 38 grams of protein per cup of chopped chicken. Remember that not all poultry is lean. Duck can be loaded with fat. People often disregard turkey as a practical source of protein, but it is inexpensive per pound and extremely easy to cook. If you can’t eat an entire turkey before it spoils, you can freeze it to keep ‘back-up’ protein for busy days.

Fish
You can quickly make a high protein meal with fresh or canned fish. Research your sources to avoid pollutants, preservatives, and excessive salt.

Eggs & Dairy Products

  • Eggs
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Low Fat Cheese
  • Whey Protein
  • Skim Milk

Eggs and dairy products are inexpensive sources of protein that can be easily prepared. You get six grams of protein per egg and 25 grams per cup of cottage cheese. Whey protein can be added to meals or drinks to bring up your protein count without effort.

Plant Based Protein

  • Beans
  • Soy Products
  • Quinoa
  • Spinach
  • Nuts & Seed

Remarkably, spinach has more protein than beef per calorie and contributes to a well-rounded diet.

Building muscle mass by adding protein to your diet can be inexpensive, easy, and delicious with an abundance of nutritive and tasty choices.

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