Top 15 Healthy Carb, Protein, and Fat Rich Foods

Some foods are high in carbs, others high in protein, and others high in fat.

Choosing the right food is half the battle when learning to balance your macros and eat healthily and here are 75 great suggestions on what to eat when you’ve had enough of one macro but need more of another.

These healthy carbohydrate, protein, and fat dominant 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 (I 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. If you’re someone who’s not a fan of vegetables, you could try cold pressed juice for extra phytonutrients and soluble fiber.

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 My Macro Solution Program

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

Ted Kallmyer is an ISSA certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition and is our lead macro coach. If you need help reaching your weight loss/fitness goals see our personal coaching options.
Last Updated: February 11, 2020


  1. Carol

    I have heart failure and am on several medications. The side effects of these can be weight gain. I have gained 20lbs since starting them. I walk almost everyday for at least 45 mins. I am conscious of avoiding salt and fats. I need help. I am not a binge eater it I do not see any dairy in your lists. Is this something to be avoided? No hard cheeses? No almond milk or soy?

  2. Edith

    No one will listen,
    My body is strange…
    I consume less than a thousand calories a day, just listen.
    I don’t gain but I don’t lose
    Carbs are ticky I am a type 2 diabetic my Ac1 is 9.
    I would like to lose weight but can’t figure out how and yes I am saying my body is ” different”
    So no comments about a program I never gain unless I am on one.
    I need maybe some help with carbs?????

  3. Maximino Salgado

    Yams are the exact same thing as sweet potatoes

  4. Nasir sakhi

    Sir we can eat broiler chicken it’s good r bad for health

  5. Tash

    I have been told by the doctor that i am Hypoglycemic (non diabetes), but he wants me to try diet chamges before medication first, as i am trying to lose weight, but diets kept hospitalising me due to severe drop in blood sugars… Is this style of eating a good start?

    • Ted Kallmyer

      Counting macros would be great for you because it will ensure that you are eating enough carbs since you’ll be tracking your intake.

  6. Shanta'

    Great list and very helpful. Thank You

  7. Yasmeen

    this is pretty awsome

  8. Melvin Morton

    Trying to find out the best carbs and fiber to eat to cut back on fat

  9. Latasha Gyins

    I have learned the type of body fat that I retain and why. Now I’m trying to learn how to eat and what to eat so that I can loose weigh and gain muscle.

  10. Howard Rankin

    I have occasional blackouts. Does your diet have anything to do with that? Should I eat more foods with complex carbohydrates?

  11. Peter

    I suffer from severe copd emphysema stage 4 @ 15% lung function, O2 usually pretty good @ 97% resting, down to mid 80s while exercising at gym but recovery is good @ around a couple of minutes with breathing exercises. Just had a setback with a toxic reaction to Theophylline medication & calcium from excessive exercise. After dialysis I’ve bombed 6 kgs & really feel it, advice from doctors is high carb intake, I’m pretty much into all the suggestions here, was wondering about Chia seeds, I’ve done research & looks amazing, but have heard because glutinous it not recommended for suffer of respiratory problems, spin abit apprehensive to try, any advice on this
    Thanks Peter

    • Ted Kallmyer

      Hi Peter, Chia seeds don’t contain gluten. All the best with your health and fitness goals.

  12. Sarah Rutten

    I’ve got Hypothyroidism and a hormonal imbalance. I’ve been put on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet and have drastically dropped my carb intake, but I’m finding I’m feeling depressed a lot and having a lot of trouble sleeping. I’ve heard that insomnia and depression can be a side effect of dropping carbs – is this true? My diet has become really clean and I’ve lost weight but I feel plain awful. I’m not actually trying to lose weight, it’s more about getting my thyroid and hormones in balance, but my mood is definitely a major factor. I eat lots of protein and nuts, but have cut out breads, pasta and rice. Would adding more carbs in help me to feel (and function) better, or do I have to ride this wave for a bit longer?

    • Ted Kallmyer

      Yes, dropping carbs too drastically can cause depression and other issues. I suggest you add some back in to get a more moderate amount. Try to get 35% of your total calories from healthy carbs like vegetables, sweet potatoes, fruit, and whole grains.

    • Debbie Draeger

      Sarah, I don’t know where you live, but I highly recommend looking up The Wellness Way…with a hormone imbalance you will struggle no matter what you eat, also the thyroid is SO important in our body and often miss or over diagnosed by the doc. You also could have food intolerances (not quite the same as allergies) that you aren’t aware of, I was tested and reacted negatively to 30 foods, very common things like lettuce, broccoli, black pepper, tomato, wheat and dairy…I have eliminated all of those foods and just finished a 30 day detox to help purify my gut and liver. Being healthy, fixing things like gut issues and hormone imbalance is a very slow process. And if you are feeling depressed, something is wrong, because you shouldn’t be feeling like that. I wish you the best on your journey

    • 3d daddy

      Check you hormone levels and see if your doctor can get you on hormone replacement therapy

  13. Amit kumar Mitra

    Is red meat can provide carbohydrates.

    • Ted Kallmyer

      No, red meat is a protein and fat source and provides zero carbs.

      • Slick nut

        Guess where carbs are stored in the body other than your fat. That’s right, your muscle cells! Now guess what red meat is…

        • Ted Kallmyer

          Carbs, as well as excess protein, can be converted and stored by the body as fat. Carbs are converted to glycogen and stored in muscle tissue for use by muscle cells. However, eating muscle tissue doesn’t nutritionally provide any carbohydrates.

  14. maya haucke

    this really helped me with homework thank you so much

  15. Paul

    What about milk

  16. Tammy Dorr

    I have Hypothyroidism Hashimoto Thyroiditis and trying to lose the weight I have gained (a total of 45-50 pounds). My doctor said cut out all the things from the white category (bread, rice, potatoes, sugar, etc.) but also all starched including sweet potatoes. I’ve read that I shouldn’t eat certain vegetables. I don’t like any sugar substitute except Splenda. I am a picky eater as well. I have cut out ice cream, I’ve started to cut out bread. But with all of the different opinions out there about what to eat or not eat in regards to hypothyroidism. I’ve seen the Lady Boss Lean and be I’m considering that. I am 58, 5″1′ and have low back, neck, hand and feet issues that keeps me from exercising. I do know that eating healthy is expensive. Any guidance would be appreciated.

    • Kris

      Look into anti inflammatory autoimmune diet. I have the same as you. It’s not weight that we gain but inflammation.

    • Mardi chappel

      Ive done every diet. milk shake. prep meals, micro wave meals. Seen a dietitian for 2 years. Eat everything healthy and lost zero.
      Yep zero.
      So i went to chemist. Took a dba test for nutrition weight. And once results came back i gave it a go. Been doing it 6 weeks and ive gone from 99.8 kilos to 93 kilos. Its very easy to follow made prepare what to eat. And i tell everyone

    • Aprill

      I too have Hashimotos. It’s definitely a challenge. I would suggest looking at Isabella Wentz’s book, Hashimotos Protocol and a book called “The Hashimotos Cookbook and Action Plan.”. Definitely cutout Gluten.

    • Nadiah Shaw-Sims

      Tammy, you and I are in the same situation with the hypothyroidism and physical issues. I have the neurostimulator in my back, leads from simulator to battery pack in my hip which prevents me from working out, (doctors say leads might pop). Not to mention daily medication with a side effect of weight gain. I don’t eat red Meats or pork and very little chicken and turkey. I love seafood and eat some form everyday with veggies, drink only water and lemon water and still have trouble losing weight.

  17. arzan

    it was very super plan ever

  18. Anjali

    Is Seitan keto friendly?

    • James

      Seitan is predominantly carbohydrate – so not the best choice for keto.

  19. Roy garcia

    Does one count carbs and sugar separately?

    • James

      If you are referring to macro counting, then no, we only count total carbs.

  20. Ishit jetly

    Hey ! I’m 17 year old boy im 6 feet tall and my weight is 67 and I m aiming to become a Cabin Crew in international Airlines I have 4 years to build myself for that and its enough… For becoming a Cabin Crew health is one of the most important matter and I need some suggestion about diet plan can you please suggest me I need a perfect body shape and good looks … Thank you in advance…☺

    • Ethan Rogers

      I’d say eat as much as you can of healthy foods and try to just gain weight over a long period over some crazy bulk then diet plan.

    • Branden J Boatwright

      Are you 67 or 167, because it sounds like you are wanting to loose weight, but do you know of any high carbs, protein, and sugar intake diet that I can try to gain weight with, because I have a hyper thyroid that makes my metabolism speed up so I am only like a 106 lbs right now, at want to get to healthy weight, where my doctor is not having to worry about me going anemic. Any suggestions?