If you take a look at the food section in the supermarket, you will be surprised to see that the food industry actually “supports” the consumption of fat and carbohydrates, since these are the cheapest options on the shelf. There are, however, alternatives for the health-conscious. One of the key elements in a healthy and balanced diet is protein, but its cost usually pushes it to the end of the shopping list.

The higher cost of protein-based foods is justified by the expensive process behind it, but there are options for those who are looking for protein sources on a budget.

Rye Berries

Rye berries, which have been considered “the poverty grain” for a long time, are actually a valuable source of protein, iron, fiber and magnesium. Even though they might be difficult to cook, they will taste great if boiled up just like rice.


Everybody knows eggs are rich in protein, but many might not know they’re also among the cheapest sources of protein. An egg has around 3.6 grams of protein and also contains iron, zinc, vitamins B6, B12, D and E, folate and riboflavin.


Together with soybeans and hemp, lentils are one of the most protein-rich legumes. They also have a high level of fiber, but are however an incomplete source of protein, just like rye berries, so they need to be eaten as complementary food.


Peas are an excellent source of protein, especially because of the variety of ways in which they can be cooked. You can find peas in many forms – fresh, frozen, dry – and use them in salads or cooked meals. Peas also contain vitamins B6, B12 and K.

Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese is the cheese with the highest protein level (40%), but also a high level of saturated fat (20%), so it should be consumed with moderation. It is excellent in salads or pasta.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese is a great source of protein, calcium, vitamin B12 and phosphorus. It is important, however, to choose a gums and carbon dioxide-free product.

Light Tuna

With meat and tofu being some of the most expensive sources of protein, canned tuna is an excellent option. Don’t turn it into a favorite food; one serving per week is enough.

Plain Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a power food with many benefits, from mood boost to weight loss. It is also a key protein source that can be served plain or in various foods. Greek yogurt is also a tasty and healthier alternative to mayonnaise and sour cream.