Eating sufficient protein can help with weight loss while preserving muscle. Print this high protein food list for your fridge or notebook today and get new ideas for dietary protein.
But, I thought a more comprehensive list would be fun to make, organized by how many grams of protein you get when weights are equal (100 grams). (Skip the reading and just print the list here!)
What is protein?
Proteins are large molecules found in living cells. Proteins are like building blocks to build tissues in the human body, such as muscle tissue, bones, blood, and even hormones.
Proteins function as enzymes, antibodies, and they assist in maintaining fluid balance.
Why protein should be included in your diet
While our bodies are capable of making certain amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, there are are others, called essential amino acids, that can only be obtained through food.
Because our bodies are constantly turning over tissue, new proteins are needed to replace degraded existing proteins. Cell growth, repair, and maintenance all require protein.
Eating protein containing foods will consistently be used to replace old tissue, such as skin tissue, with new tissue made by the new proteins. (see how I meal prep for my high protein foods here)
How much protein do you need in a day
The number one question I get on this blog is how much protein do we need. The answer is, if you are eating adequate energy, meaning your calories are enough to maintain your weight), than it’s likely you do not need to worry about the amount of protein you are consuming.
Most foods, even vegetables, contain some amount of protein, so if you are consuming adequate calories, you probably have enough protein.
With that said, the amount of protein you might want to get in your diet, can move towards depends on your goals.
For the average adult however, 1.0-1.6 grams of protein per kg of body weight is a general guideline. Converted to pounds, this means, if you are 100 lbs, you would thrive consuming approximately 50-70 grams of protein per day. (source)
I am close to 100 lbs, and lift some pretty heavy weights. So I’ve chosen to eat more protein, although it isn’t necessary. I’ve increased this amount to 1 gram of protein per pound (so 100 grams of protein per day for me).
What foods are the best source of protein
Ideally, consuming proteins from a variety of sources is the best strategy. When you vary your protein, you are able to get a wide range of nutrients that assist your body in using the protein. (grab this high protein meal plan for ideas on getting variety!) (source)
If you are counting calories however, the proteins with the lowest calories are the foods where there aren’t other macronutrients, such as carbs or fat. For example, nuts have more calories per gram of protein because it also comes with fats. Milk will have more calories per gram of protein because it has carbohydrates in addition to protein.
Lean meats, where there is virtually little fat or carbs, will have the most protein per calorie.
Below you’ll find a full list of calories plus grams of protein for each high protein item listed! Print it here or bookmark this page.
List of protein foods with calories
All the data for grams of protein and calories I searched on the USDA database here. It’s the most comprehensive and trustworthy list I’ve found. If there is a food not on my list, head over to the database and use the search feature.
Print this high protein food list here!
|Protein Rich foods||Protein||Calories||Measurent||Typical Serving|
|Almond butter||21 grams||614 calories||100 grams||2 tablespoons = 7 grams protein|
|Almonds||21 grams||579 calories||100 grams||1 ounce = 6 grams protein|
|Bacon (cooked)||37 grams||541 calories||100 grams||1 slice – 3 grams protein|
|Beans (cooked legumes)||8.7 grams||127 calories||100 grams||1/2 cup = 7 grams protein|
|Beef, ground (cooked 95% lean)||27 grams||174 calories||100 grams||3 ounces = 23 grams protein|
|Beef, steak (sirloin)||27 grams||244 calories||100 grams||3 ounces = 23 grams protein|
|Cashew||18 grams||553 calories||100 gram||1 ounce = 5 grams protein|
|Chia seeds||17 grams||486 calories||100 grams||1 ounce = 4.7 grams protein|
|Chicken breasts||31 grams||165 calories||100 grams||4 ounces = 36 grams protein|
|Chicken thighs||24 grams||177 calories||100 grams||4 ounces = 28 grams protein|
|Cottage cheese (2%)||12 grams||86 calories||100 grams||1/2 cup = 13 grams protein|
|Edamame (cooked)||11 grams||122 calories||100 grams||1 cup = 17 grams protein|
|Egg whites||11 grams||52 calories||100 grams||1 large = 3.6 grams protein|
|Eggs||13 gram||143 calories||100 grams||1 large = 6 grams protein|
|Fish, Cod||18 grams||82 calories||100 grams||3 ounce = 15 grams protein|
|Fish, halibut (cooked)||23 grams||111 calories||100 grams||3 ounce = 19 grams protein|
|Fish, salmon (cooked)||24 grams||178 caloires||100 grams||3 ounce = 21 grams protein|
|Fish, Tilapia||26 grams||129 calories||100 grams||3 ounce = 22 grams|
|Greek Yogurt nonfat (varies by brand)||10 grams||87 calories||100 grams||1 cup = 24 grams protein|
|Hemp seeds||30 grams||567 calories||100 grams||3 tablespoons (30 g) = 9 grams protein|
|Hummus (varies by brand or recipe)||7 grams||250 calories||100 grams||2 tablespoons = 2 grams of protein|
|Peanut butter||22 grams||598 calories||100 grams||2 tablespoons = 7 grams protein|
|Peanuts||25 grams||607 calories||100 grams||1 ounce = 7 grams protein|
|Pine nuts||14 grams||673 calories||100 grams||1 ounce = 4 grams protein|
|Pork chops (lean, cooked)||21 grams||280 calories||100 grams||3 ounces = 18 grams protein|
|Pork, tenderloin||27 grams||154 calories||100 grams||3 ounces = 22 grams protein|
|Protein Powder (whey)||78 grams||338 calories||100 grams||38 grams (1 scoop) = 30 grams protein|
|pumpkin seeds||19 grams||446 calories||100 grams||1 ounce = 5 grams protein|
|Refried beans||5 grams||92 calories||100 grams||1/2 cup = 7 grams protein|
|Ricotta Cheese (part skim)||11 grams||138 calories||100 grams||1/2 cup = 14 grams protein|
|Shrimp (cooked)||24 grams||99 calories||100 grams||3 ounces = 19 grams protein|
|Sunflower seeds||21 grams||584 calories||100 grams||1/4 cup = 6 grams protein|
|Tempeh||19 grams||193 calories||100 grams||1 cup = 31 grams protein|
|Tofu||8 grams||76 calories||100 grams||1/2 cup = 10 grams protein|
|Tuna||28 grams||132 calories||100 grams||3 ounces = 24 grams protein|
|Turkey breast||29 grams||189 calories||100 grams||3 ounces = 26 grams protein|
|Turkey, deli meat||18 grams||98 calories||100 grams||4 ounces = 20 grams protein|
|Turkey, ground (93% lean)||19.5 grams||141 calories||100 grams||3 ounces = 16.5 grams protein|
|Yogurt (lowfat, plain)||6 grams||70 calories||100 grams||1 cup = 11 grams|
NEXT – > Grab the printable list of vegetables here!
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