From growth and maintenance to structural strength and fat loss, there’s a lot that protein is responsible for.
The recommended daily intake of protein for men and women is 56 and 46 grams respectively, though many experts believe that the number is much higher than that.
Let’s take a look at what foods are high in protein.
High Protein Foods – Comparison Table
|Food||Serving Size||Protein content (g)||Type|
|Cottage Cheese||1 cup||27||Diary|
|Whey Protein Supplement||1 scoop||25||Diary|
|Low–Fat Yogurt||1 cup||8.5||Diary|
|Greek Yogurt||1 serving||17||Diary|
|Grated Parmesan||1 ounce||10||Diary|
|Gruyere Cheese||1 serving||8.5||Diary|
|Goat Cheese||1 serving||6||Diary|
|Mozzarella Cheese||1 ounce||6||Diary|
|Roast Beef Deli Meat||1 serving||9||Meat|
|Chicken Breast||1 piece||54||Meat|
|Pork Chop||1 serving||23||Meat|
|Beef (Skirt Steak)||1 serving||24||Meat|
|Turkey Breast||1 serving||26||Meat|
|Beef Jerky||1 serving||26.1||Meat|
|Seeds (Squash And Pumpkin Seeds)||1 cup||12||Plant-Based|
|Pumpkin Seed||100 grams||19||Plant-Based|
|Firm Tofu||100 grams||8.1||Plant-Based|
|Black Bean||1 cup||15.2||Plant-Based|
|Lima Bean||1 cup||15||Plant-Based|
|Brussels Sprout||1 cup||3||Plant-Based|
|Dried Spirulina||1 tbsp||4||Plant-Based|
|Edamame Bean||1 cup||18.5||Plant-Based|
|Chia Seed||1 ounce||4||Plant-Based|
|Hemp Seed||2-3 tbsp||11||Plant-Based|
|Canned Tuna||1 serving||11||Seafood|
High Protein Dairy
- 1 large egg: 6 grams of protein
Egg whites are high in protein, which contains all the essential amino acids that are required for your body to function at its best. At the same time, they are quite low in calories as well, thus making them ideal if you want to lose weight. Though whole eggs are another option, they have much more calories for a very slight increase in the protein amount.
- 1 cup of milk: 8 grams of protein
Everybody is aware of the nutritious value of milk, though a huge portion of the population is intolerant to it. Those who can tolerate it enjoy drinking it. It contains every nutrient that the body requires in small amounts and can have numerous health benefits.
3. Cottage Cheese
- 1 cup: 27 grams of protein
Cottage cheese is a curd product that has amazing amounts of protein. It is low in calories and high in calcium which is why athletes love consuming cottage cheese. Furthermore, it is also considered a brain food as it supports the development and functioning of the brain, nerve cells, and much more.
4. Whey protein supplement
- 1 scoop: 25 grams of protein
Another way by which you can get your daily intake of protein is via whey protein supplements. However, protein is not the only thing it contains. It also has a wide range of nutrients and amino acids that help build muscle, increase strength, and lose weight.
5. Low–Fat Yogurt
- 1 cup: 8.5 grams of protein
As the name suggests, this type of yogurt is ideal for those who are on a weight loss diet. It also contains probiotic bacteria which is especially beneficial for pregnant women and children. At the same time, you should avoid those yogurt products that have added sugars.
6. Greek Yogurt
- 1 serving: 12-17 grams of protein
Greek Yogurt provides 2 to 3 times more protein than an average yogurt. It is also an excellent source of calcium and contains very little sugar which is ideal for thinning down and strengthening skeletal and muscular structures.
7. Grated Parmesan
- 1 ounce: 10 grams of protein
Parmesan is naturally free of carbohydrates, low in fat, and is lactose-free as well. Harder cheese such as this is easy to digest. It is rich in calcium and protein and is considered safe for consumption for pregnant women too.
8. Gruyere cheese
- 1 serving: 8.5 grams of protein
Gruyere cheese has a nutty flavor and can be added in sandwiches or used in various recipes. Other than being a high source of protein, it also contains potassium, phosphorous, and calcium in healthy amounts while being almost free of carbohydrates. All this makes it the go-to cheese type for various health experts and athletes.
10. Goat Cheese
- 1 serving: 6 grams of protein
Goat cheese is highly beneficial to one’s health as it is rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals, and healthy fats. It is enjoyed all over the world since it is an alternative for those who are allergic to cheese made from cow’s milk. Consuming small amounts of goat cheese can provide an impressive amount of nutrients.
11. Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 ounce: 6 grams of protein
Not only is mozzarella cheese known for its mild-taste, but it is also a great source of protein. Other than that, it has various vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin D, a good amount of calcium, zinc, and other essential metals. Its consumption improves gut health, immunity, and helps to fight inflammation in the body. Cheese enthusiasts who want to lose weight without giving up on their favorite food would do well to switch to this cheese.
High Protein Meats
11. Roast beef deli meat
- 1 serving: 9 grams of protein
Other than being high in protein, roast beef deli meat also contains various vitamins and minerals which make it the perfect for growing children. Having servings of roast beef can also provide unsaturated fats, which are way healthier than their saturated counterparts thereby making it the food of choice for many cholesterol patients.
12. Chicken Breast
- 1 piece: 54 grams of protein
Chicken breast is the most popular chicken cut and is especially well-liked among fitness buffs. Its high protein amount is well balanced by low-calorie content, which allows bodybuilders to lose weight while building muscle mass.
13. Pork Chop
- 1 serving: 23 grams of protein
Pork chops can be an excellent addition to your diet since it is high in protein as well as various vitamins and minerals. It can have varying amounts of fat depending on the level of trimming. The protein content of dry lean pork can be as high as 89% which makes it one of the richest sources of protein. Doctors highly recommend it for post-surgery recovery and muscle building.
14. Beef (Skirt Steak)
- 1 serving: 24 grams of protein
This piece of meat is taken from the cow’s diaphragm muscles. It is lean and contains many tough fibers that are easy to digest. The amount of fat it contains is less than half of its protein content thereby making it an extremely healthy high protein food. At the same time, you get a rich, beefy flavor that will get you salivating for more.
15. Turkey Breast
- 1 serving: 26 grams of protein
One of the foods that are almost purely protein is turkey breast. Furthermore, it is a great source of zinc and phosphorous and contains various amino acids that are required for the healthy functioning of your nerve cells and neurotransmitters.
16. Beef Jerky
- 1 serving: 26.1 grams of protein
Beef jerky is primarily made up of proteins and varying amounts of fat. Red meat such as beef jerky also contains high levels of iron which helps in the development of red blood cells and amino acids. For this reason, it is highly recommended for the post-surgery period. In combination with daily exercise, it can help build and maintain muscles as well.
- 1 serving: 25 grams of protein
Eating lamb is associated with muscle building, post-operation recovery, and for cutting down on fat. Since it is primarily composed of protein, it promotes muscle tissue regeneration while providing all the nine important amino acids that the body requires for general growth and maintenance.
High Protein Plant-Based Foods
18. Seed (Squash and Pumpkin Seed)
- 1 cup: 12 grams of protein
It is a shame that most people tend to throw away squash and pumpkin seeds as they do have a unique nutty flavor. Other than being a source of protein, it also contains varying amounts of fiber, iron, and calcium, a combination that should appeal to all fitness freaks.
- 1 cup: 30 grams of protein
Almonds are of particular benefit to the heart as it is a great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Adding 10 pieces of almonds a day is enough to help you meet your daily needs and to maintain healthy body weight.
- 100 grams (3.5 ounces): 16.9 grams of protein
Oats are considered one of the best health foods as it is responsible for lowering blood sugar levels. Furthermore, it is also high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and various antioxidants that protect against heart disease.
- 100 grams (3.5 ounces): 4.4 grams of protein
Quinoa seeds are marketed as a “superfood” for their high nutrient content. Its gluten-free and high fiber properties ensure that people who are sensitive to gluten can enjoy it as well and reduce the risk of diabetes.
22. Pumpkin Seed
- 100 grams (3.5 ounces): 19 grams of protein
Consuming even a small amount of pumpkin seeds can provide one with the recommended intake of protein, calcium, magnesium, and healthy fats. The various health benefits associated with the consumption of these seeds include improved heart and prostate health, and protection against various forms of cancer.
- 100 grams (3.5 ounces): 9 grams of protein
One quarter of Lentils are made up of protein which makes them highly attractive to bodybuilders who are looking for meat alternatives. They’re also an inexpensive way of getting various other nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, potassium, and B vitamins as well.
24. Firm Tofu
- 100 grams: 8.1 grams of protein
Tofu is a versatile food with various health benefits. Other than being high in protein, it also contains zinc, copper, magnesium, and vitamin B1. Additionally, it also provides good amounts of all the nine important amino acids that the body requires for healthy functioning.
25. Black bean
- 1 cup: 15.2 grams of protein
Like many other beans, black beans are a great source of protein, fiber, and are a great meat alternative for vegetarians. They also reduce the rise in blood sugar levels that occur after a meal thereby reducing the risk of weight gain and diabetes.
26. Lima Bean
- 1 cup: 15 grams of protein
Lima beans are an almost fat-free source of protein and their high fiber-content improves gut health. Magnesium and folate found in these beans also contribute to the reduction in the risk of developing heart conditions.
- 100 grams: 26 grams of protein
Peanuts are an amazing source of plant-based protein. The protein accounts for almost 22-30% of its calorie content. However, it must be noted that the most abundant type of proteins found in peanuts can cause allergies in some people.
- 1 cup: 2.6 grams of protein
Eat your green vegetables – especially if broccoli is in there. These are not only high in protein but they also contain high amounts of Vitamin C and K, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, and a welter of other nutrients. All this works to improve cholesterol levels, provide anti-inflammatory properties, and reduce the risk of cancer.
29. Brussels Sprout
- 1 cup: 3 grams of protein
Studies have confirmed that eating Brussels sprouts improves gut health, and makes a great addition to your diet. It is a great multi-nutrient source including protein, fiber, a range of essential metals and vitamins and minerals.
- 1 ounce: 3 grams of protein
There is an abundance of protein in chickpeas which is necessary for bone, muscle, and skin health. This is the perfect meat alternative for vegetarians and a single cup can provide one-third of one’s daily protein requirements.
31. Dried Spirulina
- 1 tbsp (7g): 4 grams of protein
Spirulina is a dietary supplement, which has an excellent nutritional profile. Its protein, vitamin, and antioxidants help improve the immune system and help to reduce weight, improve gut health, and manage diabetes.
32. Edamame bean
- 1 cup: 18.5 grams of protein
Beans, especially edamame beans, are the cornerstone of many vegan diets. Unlike other plant-based protein sources, they contain all the important amino acids that are required by the body in addition to high amounts of protein.
- 1 cup: 3 grams of protein
Pomegranate has various medical properties and health benefits, which are not just confined to their nutrient values. It helps to tackle different forms of cancer, lower blood pressure, and even fight arthritis among other diseases.
- 100 grams (3.5 ounces): 2 grams of protein
Avocados are prized for their high nutritional value and taste. They contain various essential metals, fiber, and vitamins and are low on carbohydrates. They also help absorb fat content from other plant foods.
- 1 tbsp: 1.3 grams of protein
Flaxmeal is one of the oldest crops and is known for its high protein, fiber, and vitamin value. They keep your heart healthy, lower the risk of tumor growth, and improve cholesterol.
- 1 ounce: 6 grams of protein
Pistachios are a great source of essential nutrients including fiber, protein, and antioxidants. They aid in weight loss and improve gut health. They even improve the formation of hemoglobin that carries oxygen in the blood.
- 1 ounce: 5 grams of protein
Tempeh is made by pressing soya bean into a compact cake, which is consumed as a source of protein for vegetarians. They have a nutty taste and provide a high percentage of Reference Daily Intake for various nutrients such as iron, magnesium, manganese, sodium, and calcium.
- 2/3 cups: 1.9 grams of protein
Potatoes contain a moderate amount of fiber and protein but almost no fat at all. They are also a decent source for vitamins and minerals and are eaten all over the world
39. Chia Seed
- 1 ounce: 4 grams of protein
“Chia” means strength in Mayan, and appropriately so as it is a well-known superfood amongst the gym community. It also contains several important nutrients in high amounts that are required for healthy bodily functioning.
- Per 100 grams: 15.23 grams of protein
Though it is high in calorie count, walnuts are also high in protein and fiber content which provides various health benefits. They may also have lower mineral content but are nevertheless considered to be amazing in their overall nutritional value.
41. Hemp Seed
- 2-3 tbsp: 11 grams of protein
Protein content in hemp seeds is incredibly high. In fact, it is as high as the protein amount in lamb and beef. The various other nutrients found in hemp seeds are beneficial for skin and heart conditions.
- Per 100 grams: 18 grams of protein
Natto is made from fermented soybeans and is a delicious Japanese dish. It has a plethora of nutrients and antioxidants and has a wide range of health benefits including making foods easier to digest which makes the job easier for the gut.
43. Guava – the highest-protein fruit
- 1 cup: 4.2 grams of protein
Guava is easily the fruit with the most amount of protein. It is also one of the best fruits that have remarkable health benefits, thanks to being rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, fiber, and potassium.
- 1 ounce: 5.1 grams of protein
Consuming cashews is linked to cancer prevention, weight maintenance, and a healthy heart. It is a powerhouse of various beneficial nutrients, protein, and fiber, especially if you are looking to reduce your weight.
High Protein Seafood
- 1 ounce: 9 grams of protein
Since it is low in fats and carbohydrates, tuna is almost completely full of protein. It is also a good source of B-Vitamins, phosphorous, potassium, and magnesium. Not only does it fight inflammation but it also leads to a healthier heart.
- 1 ounce: 4 grams of protein
Shrimp is high in protein while being low in carbohydrates, fats, and calories. The addition of antioxidants reduces inflammation and damage due to oxidation. It is also an important source of iodine which is required for healthy thyroid functioning.
- 1 serving: 42 grams of protein
There are a variety of nutrients found in halibut. Consuming halibut is good for the heart, helps fight inflammation, and keeps cholesterol levels in check.
- 1 ounce: 7 grams of protein
Salmon is an amazing source of protein that promotes bone and muscle health. It also is linked to the reduction of cancer, inflammation, and blood pressure. There are various antioxidants found in salmon as well that help to lower bad cholesterol, thereby keeping your heart healthy.
49. Canned Tuna
- 1 serving: 11 grams of protein
Canned tuna is an exceptional source of protein, fatty acids, and other essential nutrients. Canned tuna also has a long shelf-life making it highly convenient for people to store this nutritious product.
- 1 serving: 7 grams of protein
The amount of protein found in sardines is similar to the amount found in beef and lamb but without the saturated fat content of the latter. This ensures that you get your recommended daily intake of protein without increasing your chances of heart disease.
- 1 ounce: 18 grams of protein
Dried fish, such as cod, is very high in protein content and is loaded with other nutrients such as Vitamin B12, selenium, potassium, and manganese. It is also very low in fat which makes it a healthy high-protein option.
- 1 serving: 20.8 grams of protein
Mackerel is an excellent source of protein and contains all the nine important amino acids required by the body. It has a delectable nutty flavor and is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- 1 serving: 18 grams of protein
A single serving of mussels is enough to take care of 30% of one’s RDI of protein. It also is loaded with various other nutrients such as Vitamin A which improves eyesight, selenium, and Vitamin B12.
There are various benefits linked with a high-protein diet. Not only is it important for building up muscle and bone mass but it also ensures that various other bodily functions are occurring normally.
Did you like our list? If so, do share this article with your friends and leave your comments down below describing which of these high-protein foods you included in your diet. Until next time, bon appétit!