Protein is an important nutrient that builds muscles and bones and provides energy. Protein can help with weight control because it helps you feel full and satisfied from your meals.
The healthiest proteins for weight maintenance are the leanest, meaning they have less fat and calories than other choices. The leanest protein choices are fish or shellfish, skinless chicken or turkey, low-fat or fat-free dairy (skim milk, low-fat cheese). The leanest red meat cuts are loin and tenderloin. Other healthy options are plant-based proteins.
Review Date 6/8/2021
Updated by: Meagan Bridges, RD, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.