Top 15 Healthy Carb, Protein, and Fat Rich Foods

You ditched processed foods, so now what?

Choosing the right food is half the battle when learning to eat healthy and here are 75 great suggestions on what to eat instead.

These healthy carbohydrate, protein, and fat rich foods will help you to achieve your weight loss, muscle building, and healthy eating goals.

These are helpful since many of you are tracking your macros instead of just calories.

Choosing foods in each of the three groups can help you get the correct macro amounts you need.

Carbohydrate Rich Foods

15 Starchy or Complex Carb Foods

  1. Oatmeal (old fashioned or Steel Cut)
  2. Yams (almost same as sweet potatoes)
  3. Brown rice (love basmati, a long grain rice)
  4. Sweet potatoes
  5. Multi grain hot cereal (mix or barley, oats, rye, triticale, and a few others)
  6. White potatoes with skin (glycemic index be damned!)
  7. 100% whole wheat bread
  8. 100% whole wheat pasta
  9. Beans and lentils (great for healthy chili recipes)
  10. Cream of rice hot cereal
  11. Quinoa
  12. Couscous
  13. Pumpkin
  14. Butternut squash
  15. Fresh beets

15 Carb Rich Fruits

  1. Grapefruit
  2. Apples
  3. Blueberries
  4. Cantaloupe
  5. Oranges
  6. Bananas
  7. Peaches
  8. Grapes
  9. Strawberries
  10. Pineapple
  11. Black berries
  12. Plums
  13. Pears
  14. Acai berries
  15. Mango

15 Vegetables Lower in Carbs but high in Nutrients

photo credit: Nancy D. Regan via photopin cc

photo credit: Nancy D. Regan via photopin cc

  1. Broccoli
  2. Kale
  3. Asparagus
  4. Spinach
  5. Salad greens
  6. Tomatoes
  7. Peppers (green and red)
  8. Onions
  9. Mushrooms
  10. Cucumbers
  11. Zucchini
  12. Carrots
  13. Green beans
  14. Peas
  15. Cauliflower

MacroFoodListCoverThumbFind out how to get our helpful 100+ item macro food list. Lists macro counts and seperates foods by macro purity.

Get it here

protein sources

Top 15 Protein Rich Foods

  1. Eggs
  2. Whey protein (protein powder supplement)
  3. Chicken breast
  4. Salmon (wild Alaskan)
  5. Turkey breast
  6. Canned tuna (solid white)
  7. Nuts (walnut, almonds, pecans)
  8. Pumpkin Seeds
  9. Tofu
  10. Seitan
  11. Top round steak (grass fed beef)
  12. Flank steak (grass fed beef)
  13. Cod fish
  14. Greek yogurt
  15. Rainbow trout

See also: Do you Eat Too Much Meat?

15 Healthy Fat Sources

  1. Flaxseed
  2. Almonds
  3. Olive oil
  4. Avocado (see our delicious avocado ice cream recipe)
  5. Walnuts
  6. Virgin coconut oil
  7. Salmon (wild caught)
  8. Peanuts
  9. Clarified butter
  10. Ripe olives
  11. Peanut oil
  12. Hemp seed oil
  13. Pecans
  14. Cashews
  15. Dark chocolate

See Also: Why saturated fat isn’t that bad after all. and Fats: What You Need, What to Avoid.

What About Fiber?

Luckily when you choose the foods in the healthy carb category, they also supply your body with more than enough fiber both soluble and insoluble. Just focus on eating a variety of vegetables and fruit with some complex carbs added in each day.

These lists certainly aren’t definitive but they can be a great guide for those trying to clean up their diets, remove processed foods, and satisfy their daily macro amounts.

Do you have any additions to the above lists?

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48 Comments

  1. Sarthak Chauhan 2 days ago

    Hi I m 17 year old my height is 5 ft 9 inch my weight is nearly 53kg so am i underweight

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 2 days ago

      Head over to our calculator here and use it to figure out how much your should be eating each day.

      Reply
  2. l 2 weeks ago

    eat steamed vegatables

    Reply
  3. Jamie French 2 weeks ago

    Hi I’m type one diabetic and I have no idea which foods would be best for me any ideas?

    Reply
    • NK Manjunath 1 week ago

      Eat more RAAGI. Raagi is available in south India.
      It has to be crushed into flour and make into balls and eat along with veg curry or Mutton curry or Chicken curry or Fish curry.
      Raagi is very very powerfull food item to control Diabetis.

      Reply
  4. Elena 3 weeks ago

    All I want to do is lose my belly fat

    Reply
    • Saurabh Chavan 2 days ago

      Fat cannot be reduced from one spot! It goes from the entire body. Focus on planning a calorie deficit diet which will help you, burn enough caloires from cardio and weight training. You shall start noticing changes in 4-5 weeks, don’t keep a check on the weight all you need to check I your inch loss. That’s a true sign of fat loss.

      Reply
  5. Ajay 3 weeks ago

    I m 32 years old. I have 69 kg weight. I have belly fat a lot. I want to reduce my belly fat without any muscles loss. What should be my diet plan. And what workout should i do to reduce my belly fat.

    Reply
  6. Sherry 3 weeks ago

    Since when are mushrooms considered vegetables?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 weeks ago

      Yes, they technically are a fungus but generally, they are placed in the vegetable category for ease of listing.

      Reply
    • Matthew Johnson 2 weeks ago

      Since these people said so lol

      Reply
  7. Tania Molinar 2 months ago

    SUPER HELPFUL THANK YOUUUUUUU!!!

    Reply
  8. Jeremy 3 months ago

    I loved your article! Straight forward and useful.

    I linked to it twice in my blog: https://jeremyedwards.blog/blog/how-to-avoid-a-post-workout-nap-eat-more

    Hope that’s ok?

    Thanks again!

    Reply
  9. BIMALESH dash 4 months ago

    i.m 20 yrs old. but im only 51 kg. please help how to gain weight.my height is about 6 ft.

    Reply
    • Ted 4 months ago

      Hi Bimalesh, Please check out our macro calculator and set it for gain. https://healthyeater.com/flexible-dieting-calculator

      Reply
    • Saurabh Chavan 2 days ago

      Your BMR must be high! Due to which your body is burning maximum calories from muscle proteins as energy, start weight lifting and it will get your BMR on track. All the food which you will eat will be utilized properly. Increase your calories intake and workout! You’ll start noticing decent gains in 5-6 weeks of time.

      Reply
  10. Rashid Thomas 4 months ago

    I’m diabetic and recently had heart failure…..go figure since I am in the gym often 🙂 But I need to watch my carbs and sodium. I am hearing that brown rice is not good for me to have?? Are their any fruits that are “bad” sugars that I should watch?? My last question is, what is best for pre-workout and post-workout?? I do conditioning vs. weights since I am 52 and heart health is more important. Thanks

    Reply
    • Ted 4 months ago

      Hi Rashid, Brown rice, whole grain rice, and even white rice are great sources of carbs. No fruits have “bad sugars” and sugar isn’t “bad”. Your body runs on glucose, a simple sugar. You just want to watch eating a high amount of added sugars.
      Preworkout you should have some carbs; fruit, oatmeal, nonfat yogurt etc. Post workout you want some protein. Protein shakes, tuna, chicken breast etc.

      Reply
      • Andrew McMahon 2 months ago

        sorry but non fat yogurt always has some sort of artificial sweetners or added sugar. there is nothing wrong with full fat yogurt. to be honest rashid thomas, being diabetic should be on a ketogenic diet(low carb diet). he would benefit most from that diet

        Reply
        • Ted 2 months ago

          Most major brands have 0% fat plain Greek yogurt which have no added sugars. Trader Joes has a great one. It isn’t about the fat but about the extra calories it creates which don’t always align with one’s TDEE or daily fat macro allotment.

          Reply
          • Andrew McMahon 2 months ago

            but why demonize fat. Your body needs some daily fats. greek yogurt has healthy fats. only in north america have i seen so much marketing on low fat products. ive been to many european countries and the majority of there dairy products are full fat yogurts with more natural ingredients and they dont suffer from a high obeisity rate. also full fat healthy products keep you feel full for longer and dont make you fat. unless you mix a high fat product with simple carbs such as pasta and white bread.. oh and ps calorie counting is bull crap if i eat 300 calories of almonds and drink 300 calories of soda. the soda will make me fat and the almonds wont. calorie counting is a waste

          • Ted 2 months ago

            Fat is part of a healthy diet and I’m not demonizing fat al all, but with flexible dieting, 25-30% of your calories should come from fat so higher fat foods can quickly push you over your fat allotment. Since fat is calorie dense, choosing lower fat foods allows you to eat more in general in a day.

      • Ronald Patton 3 weeks ago

        Hi I am trying to loose my belly fat.. .and I am carb sensitive can you please suggest a good dietary plan for me.. Thank yoy

        Reply
      • Becky 3 weeks ago

        Actually when you are diabetic there are some fruits you should avoid. Fruits contain fructose not glucose which is processed differently. Also depends on how controlled your diabetes is and which type you are. You need to watch mainly your carbs and sugars (of any kind) things like grapes are higher in sugars which should be avoided to a degree. Look for simple carbs i.e brown wholegrains etc as these are more easily broken down rather than complex carbs. Also look out for salt as you are more likely to have heart problems such as high blood pressure and cholesterol as a diabetic. See your doctor/dietician for more info.

        Reply
  11. E Goertz 5 months ago

    I have a question, I went off gluten and wheat breads last fall, and have lost over 15 pounds,and I am now only 92lbs, five feet tall and 63 years old. Can someone tell me how to put some meat on these bones and gain at least five pounds back?

    Reply
  12. Bren 7 months ago

    Ted, I have $ 75/month to spend on food.

    Would you help me to create a healthy list of low maintenance foods from these list, and how to equally separate them to get through 30 days of eating [without spoilage happening] ?

    At this stage, my interest is in simply getting enough proper food without either starving at the end of the month or resorting to in-expensive ice cream, whole wheat bread toast, peanut butter, and bran based cereals with water as a moisturiser as my daily consumption for the last 5-7 days of the month.

    Bren

    Reply
    • Amanda 7 months ago

      I would suggest buying bagged brown rice and black beans, sweet potatoes, and for veggies buy big bags of frozen broccoli. That way they won’t spoil, but you still get the nutrients. These are super affordable and then you can supplement with whatever else your budget allows. I’ve had to do this before.

      Reply
      • Bren 6 months ago

        So, Amanda do you have recipes that you use with this group of food stuff?

        By the way, thank you for responding to me comment.

        Bren

        Reply
    • Traci Veno 2 months ago

      Bren,
      Try food pantries and St. Vincent De Paul. You deserve it with that tight a budget. They are very kind and do not give you a hard time in anyway or make you feel bad you are budgeted or on food benefits. Also local churches have free meal nights and people who believe in God and don’t and families and many walks of life go to these. The free breakfasts at the Catholic churches are always full of families, singles, homeless, all kinds in a nice atmosphere. You do not have to go to mass. All are welcome. It will help stretch the budget and you meet nice people. Also if you have food benefits certain states do other programs along with it. Like here in Oregon at Farmers Markets they will match up to ten dollars two times a week and the farmers market produce is sometimes less and organic. check craigslist as people give food away sometimes also. Many of us have been on the last few days before pay starving road 🙂
      As for spoilage. Freeze everything you can. Greens freeze great. Make your own bone broth. The bones can be used 5-6 times and I get mine organic $3 pound and you only need 2-3 pounds. Last you a month or more and very healthy.
      Sardines are very healthy also and cheap. Mashed up with a little mustard they make you feel awesome. Lots of calcium.
      Also try growing your own greens and herbs from seed. Like lettuce and kale. It is super easy to grow and you can even do it inside. Many states have seed sharing. That is free seeds to people who need it. Do a search for seed sharing in your area and free soil and free pots on craigslist. Also post an add that you need bulk rice and beans to survive 🙂
      You can do it!!
      Traci~

      Reply
  13. Raves104 7 months ago

    Thanks man exactly what ive been looking for a big list all in one page for grocery shopping plus its a good list to!!

    Reply
    • Ted 7 months ago

      Cool! Glad you found it useful.

      Reply
  14. Zombification💀

    I would remove Yams from the list, they can be mostly overwhelming source of corn-syrup and other sugars in outstanding proportions like 50-80% of mass.
    I love them but let’s be real, they aren’t healthy at all. It’s not balanced product.

    Reply
    • Ted

      Yams do not contain corn syrup. Natural sugar from yams or fruit is not unhealthy.

      Reply
      • Zombification💀

        uh my bad… I didn’t know that plant… though of Jam.
        Jam can be healthy, but you need careful read labels of what you buy in that category, but it’s still imbalanced 😛 Best way to go about having one… mash fresh fruit with honey :3

        Reply
  15. Skylar Wolf

    Top 15 protein rich foods nr 3 and nr 6 are both chicken breast..

    Reply
    • Ted

      good eye, we’ll fix it up

      Reply
  16. spectra311

    Thanks for this! I have been looking for new foods to try in addition the ones I already eat now.

    Reply
  17. Daniel Wagle

    I love this. I have mentioned in a previous comment that I believe in a “healthy carb, healthy fat” diet. I also mentioned that I eat pumpkin seeds everyday and that http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3066/2 states that pumpkin seeds have very high quality protein, as does spinach. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2626/2. I also agree with the maligned white potato with skin as well. It is very high in potassium. I have also heard good things about purple potatoes. I have heard of seitan, but I have never made it. It is too expensive to buy in the store. I would have to make it myself with vital wheat gluten flour, which I have seen for sale.

    Reply
    • JamesF

      Do you buy pumpkin seeds or dry your own?

      Reply
      • Daniel Wagle

        I buy raw ones already bagged at a health food store or the farmers market.

        Reply
  18. JamesF

    Seitan is a new one for me.

    Reply
    • vigith

      Thanks I have been looking for the new food to include in diet and this will be usefull.

      Reply
    • Zombification💀

      sounds like something ocultist would worship.

      Reply