Top 10 Foods Highest in Protein + Printable One Page Sheet

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN

Protein is a macronutrient necessary for the proper growth and function of the human body. A deficiency in protein leads to muscle atrophy and impaired functioning of the human body in general.

Athletes and those looking to build muscle might benefit from increased protein intake, but they should be aware of the risks. Excess protein is typically processed by the body, but may cause a strain on the liver and kidneys, and may also increase cancer risk particularly for protein from animal sources.

How much protein do you need?

The recommended daily intake for protein is between 46-56 grams for most adults, with pregnant and lactating women needing up to 72 grams of protein per day. Athletes or other people looking to build muscle mass may also want to consume more protein. The Daily Value (%DV) for protein is set at 50 grams per day, this number is meant to help compare foods and is a general number that works for most people.

Foods high in protein per calorie include lean chicken, lean pork, fish, lean beef, tofu, beans, lentils, low-fat yogurt, milk, cheese, seeds, nuts, and eggs. Below is a list of common foods high in protein by common serving size, for more information, see the sections on protein dense foods, other protein-rich foods, and protein isolates.

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Top 10 Protein Food List

A roast chicken1. Lean Chicken Breast
Per 6oz (170g)200 calories (127g)100g
109% DV (54.5g)82% DV (40.8g)64% DV (32.1g)

More Poultry High in Protein (%DV)

  • 3oz (85g) of lean ground turkey (53% DV)
  • 6oz turkey breast (102%)
  • 1 chicken thigh (33%)
  • 1 chicken drumstick (24%)
  • 1 whole chicken leg (Thigh and Drumstick) (53%)

Complete Nutrition Facts.
A pork chop2. Pork Chops
6oz chop (170g)200 calories (103g)100g
105% DV (52.7g)64% DV (31.8g)62% DV (31g)

More Pork Products High in Protein (%DV)

  • 3oz of lean ground pork (54%)
  • 3oz of sirloin roast (53%)
  • 3oz of ham (50%)

Complete Nutrition Facts.
Tuna Fillet3. Fish (Tuna, Salmon, Trout)
6oz fillet (170g)200 calories (109g)100g
102% DV (50.8g)65% DV (32.5g)60% DV (29.9g)

More Fish High in Protein %DV per 6oz (170g) fillet

Canned Tuna (100%), Salmon (94%), Talapia (92%), Trout (90%), Snapper (90%), Mackerel (88%), Pollock (84%), Mahimahi (80%), Swordfish (80%), and Cod (78%).
Complete Nutrition Facts.
Sliced skirt steak4. Lean Beef Steak
6oz steak (175g)200 calories (75g)100g
100% DV (50.1g)43% DV (21.4g)57% DV (28.7g)

More Lean Red Meat High in Protein (%DV)

  • A 13oz (368g) T-bone steak (209%)
  • 1oz of beef jerky (19%)
  • 3oz of lamb stew meat (57%)

Complete Nutrition Facts.
A block of tofu5. Firm Tofu
1 cup (252g)200 calories (139g)100g
87% DV (43.5g)48% DV (24g)35% DV (17.3g)
  • Medium soft tofu provides 40% DV per cup.
  • Soft tofu provides 36%DV per cup
  • 1 cup of tempeh provides 67% DV.
See more plant based vegan protein foods.
Complete Nutrition Facts.
Beans6. Beans and Lentils (Lentils)
1 cup (198g)200 calories (172g)100g
36% DV (17.9g)31% DV (15.6g)18% DV (9g)

More Beans High in Protein (%DV per cup)

Lentils (36%), White Beans (35%), Split Peas (33%), Pinto (31%), Kidney Beans (31%), Black Beans (30%), Navy Beans (30%), Chickpeas (Garbanzo) (29%), and Lima beans (29%).
See more beans and legumes high in protein.
Complete Nutrition Facts.
Plain yogurt with a raspberry7. Non-Fat Yogurt
1 cup (245g)200 calories (357g)100g
28% DV (14g)41% DV (20.5g)11% DV (5.7g)
Low-Fat Milk and Unsweetened Soymilk provide 30% DV per 16oz glass.
See more vegetarian sources of protein.
Complete Nutrition Facts.
Cheddar cheese slices8. Cheese (Non-Fat Cheddar)
1 oz (28g)200 calories (127g)100g
18% DV (9g)82% DV (40.9g)64% DV (32.1g)

Other Cheese High in Protein %DV per oz (28g)

Romano (18%), Parmesan (16%), Swiss (15%), Mozarella (15%), Provolone (15%), Gouda (14%). Cottage Cheese provides 28% DV per 1/4 cup.
See more vegetarian protein foods.
Complete Nutrition Facts.
A bunch of squash seeds9. Nuts and Seeds (Squash Seeds)
1oz handful (28g)200 calories (35g)100g
17% DV (8.5g)21% DV (10.4g)60% DV (29.8g)

Other Nuts and Seeds High in Protein %DV per oz

Peanuts (14%), Almonds (12%), Pistachios (12%), Sunflower Seeds (11%), Flax Seeds (10%), Chia Seeds (9%), and Cahsews (9%).
See more high protein nuts.
Complete Nutrition Facts.
Whole eggs10. Eggs
Per Egg (50g)200 calories (129g)100g
13% DV (6.3g)32% DV (16.2g)25% DV (12.6g)
  • 1 egg white provides 7% DV
  • 1 cup of hard boiled eggs provides 34% DV

Complete Nutrition Facts.
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Printable One Page Sheet

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A printable list for the top 10 foods highest in protein including lean chicken, lean pork, fish, lean beef, tofu, beans, lentils, low-fat yogurt, milk, cheese, seeds, nuts, and eggs.

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Click each heading below for more information from HealthAliciousNess.com

#1 Spirulina115% DV (57.5g) in 100grams8% DV (4g) in 1 tblsp (7g)
#2 Dry Roasted Soybeans87% DV (43.3g) in 100grams81% DV (40.3g) in 1 cup (93g)
#3 Grated Parmesan Cheese83% DV (41.6g) in 100grams4% DV (2.1g) in 1 tblsp (5g)
#4 Lean Veal Top Round73% DV (36.7g) in 100grams62% DV (31.2g) in 3oz (85g)
#5 Lamb Shoulder Roast71% DV (35.5g) in 100grams60% DV (30.2g) in 3oz (85g)
#6 Lean Chicken64% DV (32.1g) in 100grams55% DV (27.3g) in 3oz (85g)
#7 Non-fat mozzarella63% DV (31.7g) in 100grams72% DV (35.8g) in 1 cup (113g)
#8 Pork Chops62% DV (31g) in 100grams53% DV (26.4g) in 3oz (85g)
#9 Tuna60% DV (29.9g) in 100grams51% DV (25.4g) in 3oz (85g)
#10 Squash and Pumpkin Seeds60% DV (29.8g) in 100grams17% DV (8.4g) in 1oz handful (28g)

#1 Vital Wheat Gluten150% DV (75.2g) in 100 grams (100g)81% DV (40.6g) in 200 calories (54g)
#2 Octopus51% DV (25.3g) in 3oz (85g)73% DV (36.4g) in 200 calories (122g)
#3 Crab40% DV (20.2g) in 3oz (85g)83% DV (41.3g) in 200 calories (174g)
#4 Abalone33% DV (16.7g) in 3oz (85g)42% DV (20.8g) in 200 calories (106g)
#5 Lobster32% DV (16.2g) in 3oz (85g)85% DV (42.7g) in 200 calories (225g)
#6 Kamut (Hard Wheat)20% DV (9.8g) in 1 cup (172g)17% DV (8.7g) in 200 calories (152g)
#7 Wheat Germ17% DV (8.3g) in 1oz (28g)30% DV (15.2g) in 200 calories (52g)
#8 Quinoa16% DV (8.1g) in 1 cup (185g)15% DV (7.3g) in 200 calories (167g)
#9 Fish Roe (Eggs)16% DV (8.1g) in 1oz (28g)56% DV (28.1g) in 200 calories (98g)
#10 Oatmeal12% DV (5.9g) in 1 cup (234g)14% DV (7.2g) in 200 calories (282g)
#11 Soba (Buckwheat) Noodles12% DV (5.8g) in 1 cup (114g)20% DV (10.2g) in 200 calories (202g)
#12 Zweiback 6% DV (2.9g) in 1oz (28g)9% DV (4.7g) in 200 calories (47g)
#13 Yeast Extract Spread3% DV (1.4g) in 1 tsp (6g)52% DV (25.8g) in 200 calories (108g)
#14 Cocoa Powder2% DV (1.1g) in 1 tblsp (5g)34% DV (17.2g) in 200 calories (88g)
#15 Dry Sweet Whey2% DV (1g) in 1 tblsp (8g)15% DV (7.3g) in 200 calories (57g)

#1 Soy Protein Isolate12% DV (6.2g) in 1 tblsp (7g)105% DV (52.7g) in 200 calories (60g)
#2 Gelatin12% DV (6g) in 1 tblsp (7g)102% DV (51.1g) in 200 calories (60g)
#3 Egg White Powder12% DV (5.9g) in 1 tblsp (7g)94% DV (47.1g) in 200 calories (56g)
#4 Spirulina (Dried Seaweed)8% DV (4g) in 1 tblsp (7g)79% DV (39.6g) in 200 calories (69g)
#5 Non-fat Milk Powder5% DV (2.7g) in 1 tblsp (8g)40% DV (20g) in 200 calories (55g)
#6 Dried Whey Powder2% DV (1g) in 1 tblsp (8g)15% DV (7.3g) in 200 calories (57g)

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Data Sources and References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.