Pricing Your Protein Wisely

If you're adhering to a high-protein diet to shed fat and gain muscle, you're on the right path. And you've got plenty of options for protein-packed mini-meals. Here are a couple of terrific choices all with an average cost of less than a buck per 10 gram serving of protein.

The cheapest, by far, is black beans at 13 cents. At the other end of the cost per 10 grams of protein spectrum is cottage cheese at 96 cents. Sirloin steak is noticeably cheaper at 69 cents per 10 gram bite. And every bodybuilder's favorite meat, skinless chicken breast, came in at just 24 cents per 10 grams of protein. For liquid protein, whole milk sits squarely in the middle of the pack at 30 cents.

The Bigger Picture: While all of these proteins are very affordable, most vegetable options are incomplete. To be a complete protein, your food must contain all of the essential amino acids. You can combine several for greater coverage, or supplement your diet with powdered protein. If you go with the 10-pound bag, a serving of Gold Standard 100% Whey costs about 90 cents. Considering that one serving's 24 grams of all-whey protein is more than double the 10-gram amounts offered by the foods priced above, that's a bargain. Especially when you factor in the low amount of fat and impressive 5.5 grams of muscle-building BCAAs in that same serving.

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