As far as we know, whey protein is a supplement that we get from ingesting the powder that comes in a big tub. The problem is that the ingredients in the powder might have come from an artificial source or a mixture of natural and synthetic items. To be safe, you must know what foods have whey protein.

What is Whey Protein: An Overview

Whey protein is actually a nutrient that is a by-product of adding a coagulant to milk. As such, the milk curds. The liquid or watery part of the separation is what is considered to be whey protein. On the other hand, the curdled part of the milk is described as casein, another popular ingredient used in protein powders.

Whey is famous because of its muscle benefits. It has also gained popularity because the body can absorb it faster than any other type of protein. It is argued that whey helps with fat loss since it can also be used as an aid to weight gain by people who suffer from health deficiencies. However, people suffering from certain diseases should not take whey protein powder without first consulting their doctor.

Now, if you truly want to consume whey protein, rather than taking whey protein powder, you may want to consider getting your daily protein intake from food that can be easily found in your pantry or refrigerator.

What Foods Have Whey Protein: The Most Common

Since whey is derived from the process of curdling milk, it will be found in a lot of milk-based products. That is why you can consume whey protein in everyday food that you may be comfortable eating. These food items will have a great taste, and you get the added benefit of using them to fulfill both your dietary and weight gain purposes. Below are some examples of food sources that most individuals can afford.

  • Milk

If you want to get real protein out of your milk, the best form to purchase is the unpasteurized types. Raw milk actually has 20% protein, and pasteurization is known to kill the bacteria that is found in milk. At the same time, it can denature some of the enzymes and change some of the properties of the milk.

If you fear pasteurized milk, you should get organic milk. These milk products are rich in protein, enzymes, and antibodies. Purchasing organic milk will also ensure that the milk is free of hormones and antibiotics. However, this milk is the one that can get stale quickly if not handled properly. Also, getting organic milk may be a bit difficult as it is sometimes hard to trust a manufacturer who claims that their products are organic.

On the other hand, cow’s milk is the most popular choice. However, if you are someone who has a sensitive stomach or lactose intolerance, you should consider getting your whey protein from goat’s milk. It will be a lot more expensive than cow’s milk because it is not as popular. Nevertheless, it contains fewer chemicals and additives, and it will be gentler on your stomach.

  • Yogurt

For years, yogurt has been marketed by manufacturers and experts as food that has a lot of health benefits. This is actually made from milk that is rich in whey protein. It is, however, not known by many individuals to contain whey. That is because it is more famous as a product that can aid digestion, and keep the digestive tract healthy. Likewise, it is mostly used for weight loss rather than weight gain because, during the digestion process, it can burn fat.

In terms of its protein content, it contains about thirteen grams of protein per cup. While it may not be known that it contains traces of whey, Greek yogurt has long been used along with whey protein powders to give smoothies and shakes better consistency. It contains a higher level of whey because any excess water is removed through the straining process that it underwent.

For a healthy, compact, and protein filled meal, you should add granola, nuts, grains, seeds or even fruits to your yogurt mix. Adding these extra ingredients can quickly turn your favorite snack into an enjoyable meal.

  • Cheese

This list would be definitely incomplete if it did not have cheese in it. As some of you might be familiar, cheese contains a lot of milk, and the process of making it creates several types of protein that may be sweet as in the case of cheddar cheese and mozzarella. Some manufacturers of cheese consider the by-product whey as a waste product. Others have come up with ingenious ideas where they use whey protein to create cheeses. They are usually labeled as Gjetost or whey cheese.

Ricotta cheese is one of the pantry items that contain the most whey protein because it is actually made using whey protein. In fact, in a cup of ricotta alone, you can get 28 grams of whey protein. That is because rather than disposing of the liquids that remain after the curdling process, it is kept to make ricotta.

However, using ricotta can be a bit dangerous because it still contains fats and sugars. Thus, if you intend to use ricotta as a source of whey protein regularly, you should get one that is skimmed or low fat. Nonetheless, by itself the cheese is sweet, and if you are adventurous, you can actually attempt to make it yourself.


When it comes to what foods have whey protein, there are a lot. In fact, whey protein can basically be found in most food products that contain dairy. The question, though is that “Is it as effective as taking whey protein powder?” Probably not because it will require a lot of research, dedication and some smarts to get the right serving size of yogurt, cheese or milk to use for your muscle building.

Initially, it may seem like a good idea, but as time goes by, you may get a tad bit frustrated when you have to make calculations repeatedly. If you hate math, then you should probably just get the whey protein immediately. Nevertheless, you should still weigh the cost of getting the protein from the powder or from food in your pantry.