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The Most Cost Effective Nutrition: Protein

The Most Cost Effective Nutrition: Protein

What are the cheapest sources of protein? This essential foodstuff is key to a healthy and balanced diet. Plus, protein is the core nutrition for building muscle mass.

I wanted to find the foods with the highest protein and the lowest cost. In this article you'll find the Top 5 most cost efficient sources of protein in the UK. At the bottom is a table of more.

Top 5 Most Cost Effective Sources of Protein

1. Kidney Beans

Kidney Beans are the most cost effective means to get protein.

To get 100g of protein costs just £0.33p. Here's the full breakdown:

  • Protein p/100g: 24
  • Cost p/100g: £0.08p
  • Cost p/100g Protein: £0.33p

You can buy tins of red kidney beans from all the major supermarkets, with Lidl and Tesco selling tins for 30p.

2. Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are the second most cost effective protein-rich foods. To get 100g of protein costs £0.62p:

  • Protein p/100g: 21
  • Cost p/100g: £0.13p
  • Cost p/100g Protein: £0.62p

You can buy tins of pinto beans from all the major supermarkets, with ASDA selling tins for just £0.40p.

3. Whole Chicken

Whole chicken is the third most cost effective protein-rich nutrition. To get 100g of protein costs £0.70p.

  • Protein p/100g: 27
  • Cost p/100g: £0.19p
  • Cost p/100g Protein: £0.70p

You can buy a whole chicken (of medium size) from all major supermarkets, from approximately £3.

4. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are the fifth most cost effective means to get protein. 100g of protein costs £0.74p:

  • Protein p/100g: 19
  • Cost p/100g: £0.14p
  • Cost p/100g Protein: £0.74p

You can buy tins of chickpeas from all major supermarkets, with ASDA selling them (in water) at just £0.35p.

5. Tuna (tinned)

Tuna in brine or water (tinned) is the sixth most cost effective way to get protein in your diet. It costs £0.74p to get 100g of protein:

  • Protein p/100g: 28
  • Cost p/100g: £0.31p
  • Cost p/100g Protein: £1.11p

You can find tinned tuna in all supermarkets, with ASDA selling it for 97p. Remember to buy a multi-pack to save money.

What are the most expensive sources of protein?
Tuna, salmon and beef steaks cost over 10x more than kidney beans for the same amount of protein.
When researching for this article, I was very surprised by this. For years I had read the advice of bodybuilding experts who all recommended these products. A red beef steak was said to be the best way to get protein. In fact, soy beans have more protein per 100g, but in terms of cost effectiveness, beef steaks are far down the list.
I was also surprised to find that eggs are mediocre in their protein nutritional value. They're pretty average in terms of cost and protein per 100g. Yet, they do have an unquantifiable tasty value + things you cook them with.

Recipe Idea for Protein Rich Meal

With this knowledge, we can now determine the most cost efficient protein-rich meal: Chicken with kidney beans, pinto beans and chickpeas. Interestingly, this is the main foodstuff of many South American countries.

What are the cheapest sources of protein?

table.tableizer-table { font-size: 12px; border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; } .tableizer-table td { padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #CCC; } .tableizer-table th { background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold; } FoodProtein p/100 g£ p/100g£ p/100g proteinKidney Beans240.080.33Pinto Beans210.130.62Chicken270.190.70Chickpeas190.140.74Tuna (tinned)280.311.11Lentils90.151.67Baked Beans60.11.67Eggs130.221.69Salmon (in tin)200.412.05Green Peas50.112.20Soy Beans360.822.28Pumpkin Seeds300.842.80Lean beef mince210.753.57Plain Nuts200.84.00Beef (rump steak)261.164.46Trout271.324.89Haddock200.994.95Salmon221.396.32Banana1.10.076.36Mushrooms3.10.227.10Tuna (bluefin)302.48.00Spinach2.90.4415.17

Sources of data:

Header image source: NHS

Tom
Tom
21st February 2017, 12:28 pm
What do you think of this?
Tom
Tom
Founder
1 year ago

P.S. If you have any questions, ask them here and I'll answer them. I also plan to create a video cooking the protein-rich recipe, and to explore other food stuffs.

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AgnesFaludi
AgnesFaludi1 year ago

Nuts are also very high in protein...peanut 26 g

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garykeanegk
garykeanegk1 year ago

You have to admit that a nice juicy rump steak tastes and lot better than a plate of kidney beans.

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Tom
Tom
Founder
1 year ago

I do. In fact, I currently have a steak marinating for dinner right now! However, I bought it reduced-to-clear with a Yellow Sticker. I'm a creature of habit and tend to have the same meals. So I wanted to research what the best meals would be for nutrition, and then stick to them :thumbsup:

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AgnesFaludi
AgnesFaludi1 year ago

Yummy, Hungarian beans gulyas with beef and carrots. Real protein source. I like beans, but to be honest love beef, how can something replace the taste of a beef steak?

Be careful with tuna, because it collects mercury, not to healthy to eat more than 1 tin a week.

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Tom
Tom
Founder
1 year ago

Good point on the tuna! I'm also not the biggest fan of it, unless it's a tuna mayonnaise with sweetcorn. Having said that, I recently went on holiday to Thailand and ate freshly caught tuna steaks raw and cooked on a BBQ... mouth watering

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raycal90
raycal901 year ago

Thanks so much Tom, this is a brilliant share! I'm trying to increase my intake of protein and was wondering how to do it in the most cost effective way! :slight_smile:

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