The Worst High-Protein Foods for Weight Loss

If you’re looking to lose weight, you might be considering a high-protein diet. But not all protein is created equal. Some high-protein foods are loaded with fat, added sugar, and sodium, which can slow down your weight loss progress. Here are the 10 worst protein foods for weight loss.

Fried Chicken

Fried chicken might be delicious, but it’s high in fat and sodium. A skinless chicken breast contains fewer than 8 grams of fat, but a fried chicken breast with skin could have over 20 grams. This leads to a significant difference in calories, making weight loss more challenging. To limit additional fat, choose grilled, baked, or air-fried chicken instead of fried options.


Sausage is a popular protein source but is often high in fat and sodium. Pork sausage, in particular, contains more fat than protein per ounce. Try chicken or turkey sausage instead to get a similar flavor-packed protein with much less fat.


Salami is a processed meat that tends to be high in fat and calories. Swap it for deli turkey, chicken, ham, or roast beef. These options are lower in fat and calories and offer the same convenience and versatility as salami.

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Bacon is high in fat and sodium, and a serving contains nearly the same amount of fat and protein. Choose turkey bacon instead for a similar taste and texture with less fat and calories.

Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are typically high in fat and may contain added sugar and sodium. Choose lower-fat options like turkey or chicken hot dogs, or skip the hot dog entirely and opt for a leaner protein source like grilled chicken or fish.

Processed Cheese

Processed cheese is often high in fat, sodium, and calories. Choose natural cheese instead for a protein-rich snack that’s lower in fat and calories.

Fast Food Burgers

Fast food burgers are often high in fat, sodium, and calories. Skip the cheese and opt for a smaller size or try a veggie burger for a lower-calorie protein option.

Beef Jerky

Beef jerky is high in sodium and often contains added sugar. Look for low-sodium options or try turkey or chicken jerky instead.

Fried Fish

Like fried chicken, fried fish can be high in fat and calories. Choose grilled or baked fish instead for a leaner protein option.

Protein Bars

Protein bars are often marketed as a healthy snack or meal replacement, but many are loaded with added sugar and calories. Look for bars with less than 200 calories and 10 grams of sugar.


A high-protein diet can be beneficial for weight loss, but it’s important to choose the right protein sources. Lean protein options like grilled chicken, fish, and low-fat dairy are excellent choices, while processed meats, fried foods, and high-calorie snacks should be avoided. By making these simple swaps, you can enjoy all the benefits of a high-protein diet while still achieving your weight loss goals.

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