Advertisement

Top 10 Foods Highest in Protein



Protein is a macro nutrient necessary for the proper growth and function of the human body. There is considerable debate over the amount of protein a person needs to consume per day, the current recommended daily intake (RDI) of protein is 46 grams for women aged 19-70, and 56 grams for men aged 19-70. Any excess protein consumed is turned into energy by the body, and it is controversial whether this excess protein causes a strain on the liver. A deficiency in protein leads to muscle atrophy, and impaired functioning of the human body in general. Below is a list of common foods with the highest protein to calorie ratio, for more information, see the sections on protein dense foods, other protein rich foods, low calorie high protein snacks, and protein isolates.

#1: Turkey Breast (and Chicken Breast)
Protein in 100gHalf-Breast (306g)Protein to Calorie Ratio
30g92g1g protein per 4.5 calories
Chicken: Chicken Breast (58g) provides 17g protein. Chicken Leg (69g) provides 18g protein. Chicken Thigh (37g) provides 9g protein. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#2: Fish (Tuna, Salmon, Halibut)
Protein in 100g3oz Fillet (85g)Protein to Calorie Ratio
26g22g1g protein per 4.5 calories
Other fish high in protein per fillet(3oz or 85g): Tuna (22g), Salmon (22g), Halibut (22g), Snapper (22g), Perch(21g), Flounder and Sole (21g), Cod (20g), Tilapia (17g). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#3: Cheese (Non-fat Mozzarella)
Protein in 100g1oz Slice (28g)Protein to Calorie Ratio
32g9g1g protein per 4.7 calories
Other cheese high in protein per ounce(28g): Low-fat Cottage Cheese (5g), Low-fat Swiss Cheese (8g), Low-fat Cheddar (6g), Parmesan (10g), Romano (9g). *Low or Non Fat Mozzarella and Cottage Cheese provide the most protein per calorie, full fat cheeses typically only provide 1g protein per 20 calories, and are less optimal sources of protein. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#4: Pork Loin (Chops)
Protein in 100g1 Chop (134g,~5oz)Protein to Calorie Ratio
25g33g1g protein per 5.2 calories
Sirloin Roast 3oz (28g) provides 23g of protein, Ham 3oz (28g) provides 18g of protein, 1 slice of bacon (8g) provides 3g of protein. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#5: Lean Beef and Veal (Low Fat)
Protein in 100g3oz Slice (85g)Protein to Calorie Ratio
36g31g1g protein per 5.3 calories
T-Bone Steak 3oz (28g) provides 19g of protein, 1 Piece of Beef Jerky (20g) provides 7g of protein. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#6: Tofu
Protein in 100g3oz Slice (85g)Protein to Calorie Ratio
7g6g1g protein per 7.4 calories
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#7: Beans (Mature Soy Beans)
Protein in 100g1 cup (172g)Protein to Calorie Ratio
17g29g1g protein per 10.4 calories
Other beans high in protein per cup cooked: Kidney Beans (17g), White Beans (17g), Lima Beans (15g), Fava Beans (14g), Black Beans (15g), Mung Beans (14g). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#8: Eggs (Especially Egg Whites)
Protein in 100g1 Large Egg (50g)Protein to Calorie Ratio
13g6g1g protein per 12 calories
1 Egg White (33g) provides 4g protein, 1g protein to 4.4 calories.
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#9: Yogurt, Milk, and Soymilk
Protein in 100g1 cup (245g)Protein to Calorie Ratio
6g14g1g protein per 18 calories
1 cup skim milk (245g) provides 8g protein, 1 cup soymilk (243g) provides 8g protein. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#10: Nuts and Seeds (Pumpkin, Squash, and Watermelon Seeds, Peanuts, Almonds)
Protein in 100g1 Ounce (28g)Protein to Calorie Ratio
33g9g1g protein per 15.8 calories
Other nuts and seeds high in protein (grams proten per ounce (28g)): Peanuts (7g), Almonds (6g), Pistachios (6g), Sunflower Seeds (6g), Flaxseed (5g), Mixed Nuts (4g). Click to see complete nutrition facts.





Advertisement


Click each heading for more info...

High Protein Foods by Nutrient Density (Protein per Gram)
     (Click to expand)

#1: Spirulina (Buy from Amazon.com) 58g per 100 grams4g per tablespoon (7 grams)1g protein per 5 calories Click to see complete nutrition facts for Spirulina
#2: Parmesan Cheese 42g per 100 grams2g per tablespoon (5 grams)1g protein per 11 calories Click to see complete nutrition facts for Parmesan Cheese
#3: Dry Roasted Soy Beans 40g per 100 grams68g per cup (172 grams)1g protein per 11.3 calories Click to see complete nutrition facts for Dry Roasted Soybeans
#4: Lean Veal and Beef 37g per 100 grams31g per 3 ounce serving (85 grams)1g protein per 5.5 calories Click to see complete nutrition facts for Lean Veal
#5: Lamb (Shoulder) 36g per 100 grams20g per chop (55 grams)1g protein per 7.9 calories Click to see complete nutrition facts for Lamb Shoulder
#6: Chicken and Turkey Breast 33g per 100 grams58g in a chicken breast (172 grams)1g protein per 5.6 calories Click to see complete nutrition facts for Dried Cod
#7: Squash and Pumpkin Seeds 33g per 100 grams9g per ounce (28 grams)1g protein per 15.8 calories Click to see complete nutrition facts for Squash and Pumpkin Seeds
#8: Non-fat Mozzarella 32g per 100 grams36g per cup shredded (113 grams)1g protein per 4.7 calories Click to see complete nutrition facts for Non-fat Mozzarella
#9: Fish (Tuna) 30g per 100 grams26g per 3 ounce serving (85 grams)1g protein per 4.6 calories Click to see complete nutrition facts for Tuna Fish
#10: Pork Loin (Chops) 30g per 100 grams23g per chop (78 grams, ~3oz)1g protein per 9.2 calories Click to see complete nutrition facts for Pork Chops

Other Protein Rich Foods (Especially for Pescatarians and Vegetarians)
     (Click to expand)

Almonds21g per 100 gram serving (575 calories)30g per cup (143 grams) (822 calories)6g per ounce (28 grams) (161 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Almonds
Pistachios (Dry Roasted)21g per 100 gram serving (571 calories)26g per cup (123 grams) (702 calories)6g per ounce (28 grams) (160 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Pistachios
Peanuts24g per 100 gram serving (585 calories)35g per cup (146 grams) (854 calories)7g per ounce (28 grams) (164 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Peanuts
Pine Nuts14g per 100 gram serving (673 calories)19g per cup (135 grams) (909 calories)4g per ounce (28 grams) (188 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Pine Nuts
Pecans9g per 100 gram serving (691 calories)9g per cup (99 grams) (684 calories)2.6g per ounce (28 grams) (193 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Pecans
Sunflower Seeds21g per 100 gram serving (584 calories)30g per cup (140 grams) (818 calories)6g per ounce (28 grams) (164 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Sunflower Seeds
Cocoa Powder (Unsweetened)20g per 100 gram serving (229 calories)17g per cup (86 grams) (197 calories)1g per tablespoon (5 grams) (11 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Flax Seeds18g per 100 gram serving (534 calories)31g per cup (168 grams) (897 calories)2g per tablespoon (10 grams) (53 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Flax Seeds
Sesame Seeds18g per 100 gram serving (573 calories)26g per cup (144 grams) (825 calories)1.6g per tablespoon (9 grams) (52 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Whole Dried Sesame Seeds
Vital Wheat Gluten75g per 100 gram serving (370 calories)63g per 3oz serving (85 grams)21g per ounce (28 grams) (104 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Vital Wheat Gluten
Tempeh (Cooked)18g per 100 gram serving (196 calories)15g per 3 ounce serving (84 grams) (165 calories)5g per ounce (28 grams) (55 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cooked Tempeh
Lentils9g per 100 gram serving (114 calories)18g per cup cooked (198 grams) (226 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cooked Lentils
Lobster26g per 100 gram serving (143 calories)43g per lobster (163 grams) (233 calories)22g per 3 ounce serving (85 grams) (122 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Lobster
Crab19g per 100 gram serving (97 calories)26g per King Crab leg (134 grams) (130 calories)16g per 3 ounce serving (85 grams) (82 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Crab
Octopus30g per 100 gram serving (164 calories)25g per 3oz serving (85 grams) (139 calories)8g per ounce (28 grams) (46 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Octopus
Fish Roe (Eggs)29g per 100 gram serving (204 calories)24g per 3oz serving (85 grams) (173 calories)8g per ounce (28 grams) (57 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fish Roe
Abalone20g per 100 gram serving (189 calories)17g per 3 ounce serving (85 grams) (161 calories)6g per ounce (28 grams) (54 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Abalone
Whey Powder13g per 100 gram serving (353 calories)19g per cup (145 grams) (512 calories)1g per tablespoon (8 grams) (28 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Sweet Whey Powder
Zwieback10g per 100 gram serving (426 calories)0.7g per piece (7 grams) (30 calories)3g per ounce (28 grams) (119 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Zwieback
Yeast Extract Spread (Marmite)28g per 100 gram serving (158 calories)2g per teaspoon (6 grams) (9 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Yeast Extract Spread
Quinoa (Cooked)4.4g per 100 gram serving (120 calories)8.1g per cup cooked (185 grams) (222 calories)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cooked Quinoa
To find even more high protein foods, use the nutrient ranking tool.

Low Calorie Snacks High in Protein (50~200 Calories Each)
     (Click to expand)

Serving SizeProteinCaloriesProtein(g) per Calorie
Canned Tuna1 can (165g / 6oz)42 grams191 calories1g per 4.6cal
Dry Roasted Soybeans1/4 Cup (43g)17 grams194 calories1g per 11.4cal
3 Pieces of Cheese (Parmesan)3 cubic inches (30g)11 grams117 calories1g per 10.6cal
Dry Roasted Peanuts1/4 Cup (37g)9 grams214 calories1g per 23.8cal
Almonds1/4 Cup (36g)8 grams206 calories1g per 25.8cal
Pistachios1/4 Cup (31g)7 grams176 calories1g per 25.1cal
Sunflower Seeds1/4 Cup (35g)7 grams205 calories1g per 29.3cal
Non-Fat (Skim) Milk1 cup (245g / 8oz)8 grams83 calories1g per 10.4cal
Soymilk (Unsweetened)1 cup (243g / 8oz)7 grams80 calories1g per 11.4cal
Hard Boiled Egg1 egg (50g)6 grams78 calories1g per 13cal
Toasted Whole Wheat with Yeast Extract Spread (Marmite)1 slice + 1 tsp (48g)6 grams137 calories1g per 22.8cal

Protein Isolates
     (Click to expand)

As obtaining too much protein may have adverse health affects, use of protein isolates should be approached with caution and is best for those looking to moderately boost their protein intake or gain weight/muscle mass. For more information on gaining weight see the article on high calorie foods.
Protein per 100 gramsCaloriesProtein(g) per Calorie
Unsweetened Dry Gelatin86 grams335 calories1g per 3.9cal
Egg White Powder82 grams376 calories1g to 4.6cal
Soy Protein Isolate81 grams338 calories1g to 4.2cal
Vital Wheat Gluten75 grams370 calories1g to 4.9cal
Spirulina (Dried Seaweed)58 grams290 calories1g to 5cal
De-fatted Peanut Flour52 grams327 calories1g to 6.3cal
Low-fat Sunflower Seed Flour48 grams326 calories1g to 6.8cal
Low-fat Soy Flour47 grams372 calories1g to 7.9cal
Non-fat Milk Powder36 grams362 calories1g to 10cal
Dried Whey13 grams353 calories1g to 27.2cal

▼ Recipes High in Protein (Especially for Vegans and Vegetarians)
     (Click to expand)

▼ Further Reading
     (Click to expand)

▼ Comments
     (Click to expand)

comments powered by Disqus

▼ Click to see more comments...

▼ Related Articles
     (Click to expand)

▼ References
     (Click to expand)

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 20.