Tired of chicken? Try these quick and affordable protein options

Tired of chicken? Try these quick and affordable protein options


Monday, October 14, 2019

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CHANCES are you eat chicken on average three to four times weekly — sometimes twice daily. But loving chicken is one thing, having too much of the most popular go-to protein option in Jamaican homes may make your taste buds rebel.

However, with chicken being more of the more affordable protein options for lunch and dinner, you more than likely feel boxed in. Not to worry though, if you are looking to explore other healthy protein options on a budget, nutritionist Janique Watts has you covered. Below, she shares a few healthy, organic, choices that you should consider incorporating into your meal plan.



Tuna makes is an excellent source of protein — like sardines this seafood can be used in a variety of everyday meals. It contains many of the same nutrients, including riboflavin, Vitamin B12 and Omega-3 that are found in salmon, the more expensive seafood option. There are other benefits to be had from having tuna, including that it helps to control your blood pressure as well as it gives an added boost to your immune system.


Fish fillet

Fish fillet also make a good chicken substitute. It is often a little pricier than chicken, but is a rich source of protein.



Sardines are packed with plenty of nutrients, outside of proteins, including Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin B12. Sardines are very versatile and can be used as an ingredient in any meal of the day. We commonly see Jamaican parents making a mix of sardines and eggs (scrambled); it is often made into a sandwich or had with crackers for lunch or a snack; as well as it is mixed with vegetables or in a salad for dinner.


Ground minced beef

You can make a delicious meal from ground, minced beef. Whether you are going to sauté this with some vegetables and throw it on a piece of roti, pasta or rice, or you are going to make a Shepherd's pie with mashed potatoes, you are guaranteed that with the right blends of seasoning you will have a delicious meal.


Red herring

Red herring is also packed with protein. This is mainly used for dinner purposes.


Whole fish

It might come as a surprise that fish has made this list of cheap things; however, some options of fish are pricier than others. What you can do is to choose less expensive fish because the benefits to be had are great.



Eggs are a popular breakfast option and a high source of protein. Eggs can also be incorporated into salads as well as some smoothies.


Most alternatives listed above which are canned have little to no preservatives in them and therefore are a great source of the whole protein. They are a source of lean protein as well, and the fats that are present help to reduce inflammation and aid with immunity and brain health. If you are a vegetarian or if you simply want to incorporate more plant-based options, Watts said that some of the best options include mushrooms, chickpeas, kidney beans, split peas and artichokes.

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