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 healthily 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

complex carbs

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. Multigrain 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. Blackberries
  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
Did you know you can eat carbs and still reach your fat loss or muscle building goals? Learn how to count your macros and transform your body.

protein sources

Top 15 Protein Rich Foods

  1. Eggs
  2. Organic protein powder (such as Organifi Complete Protein)
  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. Codfish
  14. Greek yogurt
  15. Rainbow trout

healthy fat sources

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

If you are confused about saturated fat, dig deeper into which fats you need, and which ones 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?

You'll Love Our Macro Solution Program

Step-by-step ebooks, or fully customized personal macros coaching. Now with complete vegan edition.

204 Comments

  1. Savitha 3 months ago

    Good informations.

    Reply
  2. Jennifer Lee 4 months ago

    My son is 16. He weighs 126lbs and is 6″3. He has “texture ” issues with most carbs, so he mainly just eats meat. He thinks if he just eats protein he will bulk up and gain weight. Do you have any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 4 months ago

      Hi Jennifer, Protein included, he will need to eat an amount of calories that will place him in a calorie surplus. I would show him how to calculate this here and then focus on carb-based foods he does like as well as a good ratio of fat and protein.

      Reply
    • James 4 months ago

      Weight gain comes from eating more than your total daily energy expenditure – whether carbs, proteins, or fats. No one instantly builds muscle from eating lots of protein. However, if a comprehensive strength training program is followed, then the extra protein will help to repair and rebuild muscles.

      Reply
    • Alejandro Cisneros 3 weeks ago

      I am no professional chemist or nutritionist, although I can share with you an insight that helped me lose some pounds: Just like how Mardi Chappel shared that story up above in this comment section, the chemist introduced Mardi to a nutritional-weight … maybe a nutritional-mass? Beef sources may tend towards having a considerable amount of fat-pockets, and may also lack other nutrients found in other fibrous foods! Although I still have to master my consistency, it has worked for me in my teen-years.

      Reply
  3. Monalisa Midya 4 months ago

    Hi… I am 25+ yrs old lady,waight is 84 n my height is 5’8″..i know i am overweight n i faced problem that not lengthening my hair for a long time….how could i do for this two problems
    ..plz suggest

    Reply
  4. geeta 4 months ago

    hey m 23 yr old bt my weight is just 43 i really want to gain weight upto 50
    plzhlp me out

    Reply
    • James 4 months ago

      See how to gain muscle in this post https://healthyeater.com/gain-muscle-lose-fat-iifym

      Reply
    • kashif 4 months ago

      Hey Geeta.
      Being naturally leaner and finding it harder to gain weight, ectomorphs are encouraged to focus on resistance training and limit endurance-type training. So the name of the game is strength and hypertrophy (building muscle).

      In order to gain strength and size, ectomorphs should focus on slowing down training (rest longer between sets), using heavier weights for fewer reps (four to eight) and not targeting the endurance energy systems during training (you’re not running a marathon here, so you don’t want to feel as if you are).

      Ectomorph Sample Workout
      1a. Deadlift — 4 sets of 5 reps
      1b. Dumbbell Bench Press — 4 sets of 5 reps
      2a. Dumbbell Reverse Lunge — 3 sets of 8 reps per side
      2b. Chin-Up — 3 sets of AMGRAP* to 8 reps
      3a. Goblet Squat — 3 sets of 8 reps
      3b. Inverted Row — 3 sets of 8 reps
      Bonus Exercise (exercise of choice/lagging body part) — 1 to 2 sets of AMGRAP*
      *As Many Good Reps As Possible
      For this session, complete the exercises in pairs. For example, do one set of your deadlift (1a), rest 60 to 90 seconds, then a set of your dumbbell bench press (1b). Rest 90 to 120 seconds, and then repeat that sequence again for three total sets. Then move on to 2a and 2b using the same rest periods, finally finishing with 3a and 3b in the same fashion. Lastly, perform one or two sets of an exercise of your choice (biceps curls, triceps pulldowns, etc. — just not cardio!) until fatigue.

      You can do this session three times per week, resting a day in between sessions. If you’re an ectomorph, you should not be doing a ton of high-intensity cardio on your off days (even if that’s your natural inclination), but you can stay active with low-intensity activities like walking, swimming or going through a dynamic warm-up.

      Compound movements are great for ectomorphs, as they maximize your workout time by working multiple muscle groups at once. So if you’re burned out on your current workout, try incorporating lunges with biceps curls, squats with an overhead press or renegade rows with push-ups.

      Nutrition for Ectomorphs
      Since ectomorphs have such a naturally fast metabolism, they must make sure to consume an adequate amount of calories and carbs. If you’re sedentary, you’ll multiply your weight in kilograms (weight in pounds divided by 2.2) by 31 calories.

      If you’re more active, you’ll need between 33 to 38 calories/kg. And if you’re extremely active, you’ll need 35 to 60 calories/kg. If you want to lose weight, subtract 500 from that final number (add 500 if you’re looking to gain weight). Divide your macros between 50- to 60-percent carbs, 25- to 15-percent fat and 25-percent protein.

      Ectomorphs typically handle carbohydrates much better and should consume a sufficient amount of high-quality carbohydrates each day in order to support intense training sessions. Ectomorphs should also aim to eat every two to four hours, meaning you’ll have smaller meals more frequently.

      Reply
  5. Diane costar 4 months ago

    What about milk. What type and how much is best

    Reply
    • James 4 months ago

      Depends on your goals? Cow’s milk has a good mix of protein, carb, and fat, but is not for everyone.

      Reply
    • Dianne 4 months ago

      Drink almond milk..cows milk has mucus and blood in it and they dye it all white…don’t believe me? Google it.

      Reply
      • Nicole 4 months ago

        Plus it’s loaded with sugar!

        Reply
      • Pratyush 4 months ago

        I have a cow at my farm house so I am 110% sure that I get fresh cow milk , with blood and with dye

        Reply
        • Mo 3 months ago

          Pratyush…you get your milk with blood and dye??

          Reply
      • Tracey 3 months ago

        I used to work on a farm, when I would milk the cows there never was any blood in it and the milk is naturally white when the cream is seperated from it.

        Reply
  6. Prasad Kadi 5 months ago

    I’m skinny with weight of 53 kgs and height of 5’10’.I need to gain weight, look fit and I’m vegetarian so plz suggest some diet for me

    Reply
    • marie_bz 4 months ago

      Same problem here, I am a vegetarian 5’9 weigh 53 and really need to gain weight

      Reply
  7. Keshav 5 months ago

    Hey i am a skinny thin guy. I m 24 years old. I want to gain my muscles weight not fat. I want bulk up .. my weight is 52 kg and my height is 169 cms. Please suggest me a suitable diet plan and a suitable protein weight gainer powder if it is necessary.

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 5 months ago

      See our article on lean muscle gain here.

      Reply
    • Nathan 5 months ago

      You are definitely skinny my friend. You need to increase your carb intake, it should be the highest, followed by your protein. Fat should be the lower one, it’s okay to be a little lenient here though, just make sure it’s the healthy fats. Meaning no McDonald’s, Burger King, you know, all those bad fast food joints. You need to start lifting weights, be smart though, find someone that you can shadow, maybe a family friend or a family member that won’t mind bringing you along. Form is just as important in weight lifting as how much your lifting. You don’t want to get injured, as that would make it harder to reach your goals. It’s not going to be easy, in fact, weight training is one of the hardest things you can do. But it’s also one of the most rewarding. Not only will you end up looking good, you’ll be happier, and healthier.

      One thing about your diet is where you live. That can have a big impact on what you eat. I’m not a dietitian, so I can’t make recommendations on exactly what you should eat. Since you’ve commented on this thread, I assume you have access to the internet. The internet is great for finding out what you need to know.

      Just make sure your getting information from reliable sources. Some people are just out to make a buck and don’t mind spreading false information. Check multiple sources. Search for consistency. As you go, you will learn. You will meet other people that will guide you along the way.

      My best advice, don’t give up. If you really want it, go for it. Work hard, and enjoy yourself. Peace.

      Reply
  8. Carol Moore 5 months ago

    I am a 49 year old lady who needs to lose 50 odd by December I will be 50 and I need better health

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 5 months ago

      Hi Carol, You should first see how much energy your body requires. You can then track your food intake to eat a little less than that for weight loss. See our calculator here.

      Reply
    • Charly 5 months ago

      Hi Carol. I’ve been very successful on a nutrition system and I’ve helped hundreds of others. It improved their weight, energy, and overall health.

      Reply
      • Gladwell 4 months ago

        share charly

        Reply
    • Nicole 4 months ago

      You really need to look into the ketogenic diet! I’ve never been able to successfully lose weight since I had my daughter over 20 years ago and have fluctuated all these years high and low. I’m finally losing weight and so happy! This “diet” has helped me have more energy, sleep better, and satisfy me to the full! Seriously look into it! It’s not restrictive and the food is actually delicious and you don’t feel deprived and lose weight. What else could you ever want! The science is there to back it up if you feel scared about the amount of fat you need to consume but I can just promise you your health will thank you for it! I highly recommend watching That Sugar Film and The Magic Pill! I wish you luck!

      Reply
      • Tina 3 months ago

        Hi nicole … i also want to follow a keto diet but afraid whether will have loads of carb cravings and i have a problem with monotonous scheduling.. i am also struggling with my weight for tge last 18 years… but being a foodie i munable to curb my cravings… pls suggest a good keto diet and i am a vegetarian 🌷
        Thank you 😊
        Tina

        Reply
  9. saahith 5 months ago

    Hey, I am a 16-year-old teen try to bulk up I am tall and thin and I just want to look bigger. My weight right now is 62 kg that is 136lb.I want to gain weight not fat weight but muscles weight but I NEED A MEAL PLAN SOME PLEASE HELP ME

    Reply
    • Vishal 5 months ago

      Hi,
      You are the same age of my daughter and she is also thin. Good thing that you like to put on some weight to look big but here let me tell you, you should gain muscle weight not body fat.

      Reply
  10. Kristine 5 months ago

    Greatful for these jestures gonna try some

    Reply
  11. MMK 5 months ago

    Thanks for the usually information on macros. It’s a more manageable way of tracking food intake to counting calories.

    Reply
    • MMK 5 months ago

      *Useful

      Reply
  12. Rafael Sanchez 6 months ago

    Thank you

    Reply
  13. Israel Hernandez 6 months ago

    I’m 14 years old and I want to bulk what exactly do I need to do and how do I do it?

    Reply
    • Himanshu 5 months ago

      Simply be in caloric surplus

      Reply
    • Jorge Garcia 5 months ago

      bro you are young, just eat a lot of food. your body is still in the building stages. just eat and workout. its ok to gain some fat. once your properly bulk then cut. but a simple rule of thumb to bulk is just add an extra 500-1,000 calories a day that’s all you really need to bulk.

      Reply
    • Louis Talman 5 months ago

      I’m 14 too and I want to bulk up, so far I’m on a high protein, high carbohydrate diet, with as limited sugar as I can, so far I’ve had brilliant results.

      Reply
      • Mitchel 5 months ago

        Perhaps you need a higher intensity workout and remember to drink lots of water

        Reply
    • Mitchel 5 months ago

      Obviously fall this list for healthy foods and to( bulk up ) you need to do weight training .

      Reply
  14. Kristin 6 months ago

    Looking for a list of foods and their macros–Does that exist? That way I can plug in foods daily based on my macros.

    Reply
    • dan 5 months ago

      download ‘myfitnesspal’ and you can scan items or type them in and it searches their database!

      Reply
      • Jorge Garcia 5 months ago

        yesssss this appppp does it all for you!!!

        Reply
  15. Aman Chauhan 6 months ago

    Hii…my name is Aman and I’m 20 yrs old. I’m 5’4 and weigh 40kg i wanna gain weight and also height.. can u plzz suggest me some suitable diet plan along with some home workout tips…u can message me on Instagram also ..my Instagram user name is “the._phoenix”
    Thank u.

    Reply
    • ig - rexchan52 6 months ago

      Eat everything, high in protein and carbs, reduce sugar(less junk foods) and oil intake.
      Look for Youtube for Home workout.

      Reply
  16. Toini Amunyela 6 months ago

    I want to know which food can I eat to lose weight

    Reply
    • James 6 months ago

      See the calculator at https://healthyeater.com/flexible-dieting-calculator

      This will show you exactly how many carbs, fats, and protein to eat to lose weight.

      Reply
    • Toyarenaie 5 months ago

      The single most scientifically proven way to loose weight is through less calories. Reduce your calorie intake but no less than 1000-1200, you can look online for a calorie calculator that uses your weight and height to determine how much calories you need and then take about 250-500 calories away. Focus on Healthy fats your body will be less likely to hold onto fat if your giving it a little above and lost of fruits and veggies limit carbs don’t eliminate limit have more complex carbs example instead of white rice opp for brown, or bulgur, or quinoa. drink lots of water and sleep, set time to bed set time to rise. To your question I cant list all foods but here are some that promote weight loss: grapefruit,apple,cauliflower, broccoli,eggs,tuna,salmon,spinach,kale, avocado,potatoes, and apple cider vinegar –>like teaspoon per glass of water and nuts in moderation. Best advice do some research and work with your body. PS cut our process food as much as possible if you cant make it at home don’t buy it. hope this helps.

      Reply
  17. sarah 7 months ago

    Hi, I am 5 ft, I exercise a lot but my diet is appalling… nearly everything I eat bloats me out. I was thinking of doing one day low carbs, the next high carbs, then low carbs, then hogh carbs etc…. don’t know if this will work for helping me lose some weight and tone up as well as keeping me strong enough to keep up my exersice. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 7 months ago

      Hi Sarah, I would recommend to stop obsessing about carbs and eat them at levels that fit your day’s activity. You can calculate your TDEE and how many carbs you need with our macro calculator.

      Reply
    • IknowWhatImDoing 7 months ago

      Low carb diets are bullshit.
      Getting enough of all macros is important. Cutting carbs is bullshit and makes you low energy.

      Reply
      • Tim 6 months ago

        Done correctly a low carb diet is very healthy… and it is bullcrap that has been promoted by so called nutritionists that you need carbs for energy! A body in Ketosis gets all the energy it needs from sources other than carbohydrates. I used to ride my mountain bike hard for an hour each day 5 days a week on a zero carb diet. I lost 70lbs in 22 weeks and was never hungry! I ate high fat foods daily and my cholestrol LDLs went into the basement… Its not for everyone but very effective for those willing to do it right.

        Reply
    • Jade Lyron 6 months ago

      Eat foods low in calories, then take a break n hang out b4 u goin exercise again and don’t stress to much bout

      Reply
  18. Rouinna Venturina 7 months ago

    Hello! I’m 5’7” and weigh 60kg. I’m doing intermittent fasting and I plan to have a low carb, high protein diet since my goal is to build muscles and lessen my body fat percentage. I want to be introduced in counting my macros. Watching YouTube videos and reading about it seems not enough for me to get started confidently. I want to speed up the results since I already have the discipline and motivation. Knowledge Ian’s familiarity is what’s lacking. Thank you for your help!

    Reply
    • James 7 months ago

      Hi Rouinna, please consider our book – The Macro Solution. This will show you how to count macros. You don’t need to be intermittent fasting, or go low-carb.

      Reply
    • Jorge Garcia 5 months ago

      In this sport there Is no fast solution, no quick fixes. you need to be patient with your results. general rule of thumb for me if you don’t happen to see results then maybe switch up your routine, you may not be resting adequately. another rule of thumb think about 100%- 30% is only GYM the other 70% is all nutrition. I myself have done the intermittent fasting and I chose not to go along with it. as I am bulking I found myself eating a heavy meal in a short period of time since you basically fast for 16hours. if your looking to add size then this program may not be right for you, again every individuals needs are different when it comes to macros. Intermittent fasting is a fat loss tool to lose unwanted fat in areas you can seem to get it away from. this program is best used If you are looking to go on a summer shred. people preach by it but what works for them may not work for you. hope this helps feel free to respond back (all you really need is to know your macros and you will see results)

      Reply
  19. Naveen kambli 7 months ago

    My weight is 54kg and my hight is 5. 8in
    I need to gain lean muscle…
    1 year done gyming.. and i consume 2 scoop whey protein by optimum nutrition.. so how much should protein n curbs i do need to get 1 bulky physic… Please respond

    Reply
    • Malik 7 months ago

      I heard you eat whatever your weight is in grams for protein. So since your 54kg you should consume 119g of protein daily.

      Reply
    • Jorge Garcia 5 months ago

      Weight X 1.5 this should equal your protein intake for one day, as well make sure you are intaking the right amount of Fats to Carbohydrates ratio this as well will help with your bulk process. download My FitnessPal by Under armour its free. this app helps so much to make sure you meet your quota for the day. as well start to take Creatine Monohydrate. 5Grams per day is sufficient keep in mind this is just a supplement its there to help you reach your goals. More then anything whole foods will help you bulk. I would honestly only use the Whey Protein in cereal or oatmeal or even pancakes. whey alone after a workout will help but by eating more natural whole foods you will see better gains. as well strength train 4-5 times a week with MINIMAL cardio! and rest days can turn into active rest days. get out play basketball or go on a hike. hope this helps. just keep in mind what works for the guy next door may not work for you. use only the exercises you feel comfortable with as you slowly progress. Salud!

      Reply