Cheap And Healthy Natural Protein Sources (2024)

Protein is one of the most important nutrients you can consume. It’s instrumental in repairing and building cells and tissues in your body. Research shows that adequate protein intake is essential if you want to maintain independence as you age. The main way it does this is by helping to prevent muscle loss which naturally happens as you age.

Muscle loss can be slowed or even stopped if you follow a strength or resistance training program. In this instance, protein will help to repair your cells, effectively maintaining muscles.

Studies show the amount of protein you need depends on your weight. Experts recommend you consume 0.8 g per kg of body weight. However, if you’re trying to build muscle mass you may need as much as 1.8 g per kg of body weight.

There are several cheap and healthy natural protein sources. Being aware of them will allow you to choose the ones which best suit your lifestyle.

Protein Powders

Protein Powders

Protein powder is a great way to supplement your protein intake. Best of all, using affordable supplements (Torokhtiy has a great list) is an easy way to control how much protein you’re consuming.

There are many different types of protein powder available, including why protein and plant-based powders are suitable for vegans.

You’ll find them in a variety of flavors, drink them like a milkshake, add them to a smoothie, or even sprinkle the powder in your food.

All you have to do is choose the one that fits your budget. Of course, the above affordable supplement review also gives you important information about the amount of protein, carbohydrates, sugar, and fat.

The average person needs a protein powder maximizing protein and minimizing everything else. However, athletes may find powders with higher levels of protein and carbohydrates beneficial.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter costs around $2.50 a jar and offers an impressive 8 grams of protein from just two tablespoons.

Of course, peanut butter also contains saturated fat, possibly trans fats, and is high in phosphorous. In short, eat in moderation.


Most people are aware that eggs contain protein, it’s essential for the development of the chick. A dozen eggs can be purchased for under $3 and contain about 76 grams of protein. That’s an average of 6 g of protein per egg.

They’ll also help you feel full for hours after consuming them.

Cottage Cheese

This has a distinctive look and taste, you’ll either enjoy it or not.

It generally costs around $3 for a small container which contains an impressive 75 grams of protein.

Although it does have slightly more carbs than Greek yogurt, it’s still generally acceptable for a low-carb diet.

Plain Greek Yogurt

Plain Greek Yogurt

A standard serving, (approximately 200 g), of Greek yogurt will have roughly 16g of protein. Greek yogurt is also reputed to offer other health benefits, such as preventing osteoporosis, reducing cholesterol, and even boosting your immune system.

Greek yogurt costs around $5 for a 4-5 serving pot of 1 kg.

Chicken Breasts

Chicken breasts contain more beneficial nutrients than any other part of the chicken. Frozen or fresh breasts contain roughly the same amount of protein. That’s approximately 25g per serving.


People often overlook milk when considering protein, despite the fact whey comes from milk. A gallon of skimmed milk will cost you around $2.50. That offers around 20 cups of milk with each cup offering 7.3g of protein, and the same amount of calories.

The amount of protein is the same regardless of which milk you use. Of course, semi-skimmed and full-fat milk have more calories.


You can get plenty of protein from canned tuna! It’s easy to keep at home and can be consumed straight away.

A can costs around $1, effectively one serving of tuna, and offers you around 25 g of protein. Eat it by itself or mix it with numerous other ingredients.

Swiss Cheese

Cheese is made of milk, meaning it’s natural for it to have a high protein content. However, some cheeses are more protein-dense than others. The top two are Swiss cheers and Parmesan.

Swiss cheese costs about $5 a pound, but just 1 oz of Swiss cheese has 8 g of protein!

Beef Liver

Beef Liver

Liver tends to be something that people either love or hate. If you’re a lover of it you’ll be pleased to learn that it costs roughly $2.50 per pound. There is 92 g of protein in one pound.

Canned Mackerel

Mackerel is similar to tuna, high in protein, low in cost, and it’s rich in healthy omega-3 fats. You can get a 15 oz can of mackerel for under $3. There are 96g of protein in one can.

It’s as healthy as fresh fish and substantially cheaper.

Canned Kidney Beans

Kidney beans got their name from their resemblance to the human kidney. They’re a tasty and surprisingly nutritious bean which is a great source of protein and fiber.

You can get a 16-ounce can for roughly $1, the can contains 28 g of protein and they’re ready to eat. There are plenty of recipe options but adding them to salads and chili are some of the best!

Extra-firm Tofu

Tofu is made from soy, which is known to be high in protein and contains some of the most essential amino acids. It’s also high in magnesium and iron.

A pound of tofu costs around $3 and offers 67 g of protein.

Summing Up

Protein Rich Foods

Protein is essential for your ongoing health. That’s why it’s so important to know the best cheap and healthy natural protein sources.

There are enough options on our list to keep any tastebuds happy, although that’s just a selection of what’s available.

It’s a good idea to monitor your protein intake and use one of the affordable supplements to ensure your body is getting all that it needs.