BAD Sources of Protein to Avoid

Protein is useful for building muscle, burning fat, and encouraging better fitness overall, but not all protein sources are created equal. In fact, there are a few bad sources of protein you’d be better off avoiding completely. Here are the types of protein you should stay away from if you want to be healthy:

Processed Meats

Just because there’s the word “meat” in the title, that doesn’t make these foods okay. Sausages, hot dogs, chorizo, and bacon are NOT healthy protein sources—in fact, they’re higher in fat and artificial ingredients than proper amino acids. Hot dogs are definitely the worst of the bunch, as they tend to be made out of “pink slime”, also known as the worst quality meat. They’re loaded with sodium and chemicals to preserve them, making them a terrible choice if you want to eat healthy.

Ice Cream

Most dairy products are a good source of protein, thanks to the high amino acid content of milk. However, ice cream isn’t going to count as a proper “healthy” dairy product. It’s a dessert, one loaded with sugar, fats, and artificial ingredients. Greek yoghurt is the best dairy-based protein source, so you can freeze it to make a healthy dessert. Ice cream, on the other hand, is something you should avoid as much as possible.

Deep Fried Meats

Chicken-fried steak, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and chicken nuggets are all off the menu if you’re trying to clean up your eating habits. At their core, they do contain meat (either chicken or beef). The problem is that the meat has been dredged in flour and thrown into a vat of boiling oil. Not only does this increase the empty calorie and carbohydrate content of the meat, but it has increased the trans fat content. Trans fats (along with hydrogenated oils) are really the only types of fats you should be avoiding. If it’s deep fried, it doesn’t belong on your plate!

Bologna/Mystery Meat

There are some types of ham or sliced meats that are okay for consumption, such as sliced turkey or chicken breast. Even some pork-based hams are fine. Bologna and mystery meat, however, do not qualify as even adequate nutrition. They are little more than the “extra meat” ground up and made into a ham-like product, with a ton of additives, sodium, and unnecessary fats thrown in. You’re better off avoiding anything labeled “ham” unless it comes on the bone. Most sliced deli meats are pretty unhealthy!


These may be the “man food” of the sausage world, but they’re a lot less healthy than you’d think. While the meat used may be of reasonably high quality, it has been loaded with artificial flavorings and preservatives. There is also a very high fat content, and there is way more sodium than is good for your health. It’s okay to have brats every once in a while, but they’re not a good option if your goal is to clean up your diet.


This is going to be a controversial one, but it’s got to be said! Hamburgers, especially fast food burgers, are fairly low in nutrition and high in fat and sodium. Pre-packaged burgers are usually filled with artificial ingredients, not to mention way more salt and flavoring than is good for you. Fast food hamburgers contain almost no nutrition and A LOT of calories. If you’re going to have hamburgers, make them from raw meat yourself. Preparing the from scratch is the best way to ensure your burgers are 100% healthy!

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