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.
If you are counting calories however, the proteins with the lowest calories are the foods where there arent 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 youll find a full list of calories plus grams of protein for each high protein item listed! or bookmark this page.
Why Eat High Protein
Strong research evidence shows that eating more protein can help you lose weight, reduce your hunger, and keep your muscles strong without slowing your metabolism. 2
Eating high protein at your first meal sets you up to experience less hunger for the rest of the day. Studies of 116 diets in humans show that people on average may eat almost three times more calories on a low-protein diet than on a very high-protein diet. 3 Called protein leverage, this means when the body gets enough protein, it naturally reduces its appetite for high-energy food. So by consuming high protein at the start of your day, in most cases, you will naturally consume less energy for the remainder of the day.4
Diets with increased protein can prevent or help treat type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, and possibly even reduce the risk of heart disease. 5Higher protein intake also helps prevent a condition called sarcopenia, which is a loss of muscle mass that can occur as you age. Plus, it can help keep your bones strong, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, which is a loss of bone mass.6
Diet Doctor has lots of information and recipes to help you eat a high-protein diet. Check out our other high-protein guides:
Are You Eating Enough Protein Per Meal
Protein fuels the muscle-building process, dulls hunger, and can help prevent obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. And while most of us know about at least some of these benefits, few of us are eating the proper amount. While some of us are eating too much protein , those who adhere to vegan and vegetarian diets may actually be suffering from a protein deficiency.
To help you get at least 20 grams of protein per meal, we’ve rounded up 20 easy ways to hit the 20-gram mark at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To fit in even more protein, you can also munch on these high-protein snacks between meals.
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Protein And Weight Control
Eating protein-rich foods has been shown to increase our feeling of fullness more than foods high in fat or carbohydrate. There is good evidence from short term studies that diets high in protein can help reduce overall calorie intake and prompt weight loss. 5 However, the evidence for long-term weight maintenance is less clear.5 Like all diets, a high protein diet is only effective if it is stuck to, which can be difficult for some people and low adherence may partly explain the limited benefit observed for long term weight maintenance.5
Top 13 Lean Protein Foods You Should Eat
Protein is an essential part of a balanced diet, but sometimes its accompanied by more fat and calories than you want.
Fortunately, there are a variety of lean animal and plant sources of protein that will help you meet your quota.
The protein Reference Daily Intake for an adult who eats 2,000 calories a day is 50 grams, although some people can benefit from eating much more than that. Your individual calorie and protein needs are based on your age, weight, height, sex and activity level .
Beyond proteins essential roles in building and maintaining muscle and tissues in your body and helping regulate many body processes, it also promotes satiety and may help in managing your weight (
Here are 13 lean protein foods you should consider.
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Plant Protein Such As Tempeh Is Considered Lean
A balanced diet is vital for good health and involves the three main macronutrients: fat, carbohydrates, and protein. While fat and carbs have a history of getting a bad rap , protein has long had a so-called health halo.
But what makes protein so beloved and lean protein in particular so salubrious? The answer is far from simple.
Adequate protein intake is vital to overall health. Its the bodys building block, as bones, muscles, skin, and blood are all made up of protein, says Melissa Nieves, RD, who works at Kemtai, a virtual personal trainer company in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. In addition to those functions, protein aids the repair and regeneration of cells in the body, notes MedlinePlus.
For weight loss, protein can be helpful, too, because it helps the brain recognize the hormone leptin, which can keep you full longer and provide your body with energy, explains Rima Kleiner, a registered dietitian who is based in Greensboro, North Carolina, and is the author of Dish on Fish, a seafood recipe blog. Research suggests that consuming protein increases leptin, which promotes a feeling of fullness.
The problem, though, is that some foods high in protein think common animal sources such as steak and pork are high in saturated fat, as the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health points out. In excess, saturated fat can increase your risk for heart disease, notes the American Heart Association . That’s where lean proteins come in, Nieves says.
Daily Protein Foods Table
*These are general recommendations by age. Find the right amount for you by getting your MyPlate Plan.
|Daily Recommendation* in Ounce-Equivalents|
3 to 5½ oz-equiv
5 to 6½ oz-equiv
5 to 6½ oz-equiv
5½ to 7 oz-equiv
5 to 6½ oz-equiv
5 to 6 oz-equiv
6½ to 7 oz-equiv
6 to 7 oz-equiv
5½ to 6½ oz-equiv
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Why Is It Important To Eat A Variety Of Seafood Each Week
Seafood contains a range of nutrients, notably the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Eating about 8 ounces per week of a variety of seafood, the amount recommended for many adults, as part of a healthy diet, can support health. Some types of fish, such as salmon and trout are also natural sources of vitamin D, a nutrient that many people don’t get enough of.
Seafood varieties commonly consumed in the United States that are higher in EPA and DHA and lower in a type of mercury, in the form of methylmercury, include salmon, anchovies, sardines, Pacific oysters, and trout. The amount of recommended seafood varies based on age, weight, and level of physical activity. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provide joint advice to limit methylmercury exposure from seafood for women who might become pregnant or who are pregnant or lactating and young children. See Advice About Eating Fish for more information.
Research On Protein And Health
Available evidence indicates that its the source of protein , rather than the amount of protein, that likely makes a difference for our health. You can explore the research related to each disease in the tabs below, but heres the evidence-based takeaway: eating healthy protein sources like beans, nuts, fish, or poultry in place of red meat and processed meat can lower the risk of several diseases and premature death.
Research conducted at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health has found that eating even small amounts of red meatespecially processed red meaton a regular basis is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, and the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or any other cause. Conversely, replacing red and processed red meat with healthy protein sources such as beans, soy foods, nuts, fish, or poultry seems to reduce these risks. One of the reasons why plant sources of protein are related to lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to protein from red meat and dairy is because of the different types of fat in these protein packages. Plant-based protein sources are more unsaturated, which lowers LDL cholesterolan established risk factor for heart disease. Also, plant sources contain no cholesterol. Other factors are likely to contribute to the lower risk, but this is a key factor.
When it comes to cancer, once again, the seems to matter more than quantity.
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What About Protein Supplements
Some protein powders are plant-based. Depending upon the plants used to make the powders, they may be complete or incomplete proteins.
The position of the American Dietetic Association is that while food supplements can help people meet their daily nutrition goals, eating a wide variety of nutrients rich in protein is usually a better strategy for meeting daily goals.
Some protein supplements may also be high in sugar or sodium to improve the taste, so it is important to read the nutrition labels.
Why You Need Protein
Protein is vital for three major functions. It helps you grow and repair muscles and other soft tissues. It is also a building block of enzymes and hormones, which help regulate processes in your body. Thirdly, protein is a fuel that your body burns for energy.
Your bodys protein requirement depends on your weight. The average adult needs about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day . So, a 140-pound person needs around 50 grams of protein every day. The National Academy of Medicine recommends that protein make up between 10% to 35% of your daily calories.
Protein is the building block of numerous body parts, including:
Fish is also high in protein. Three ounces of Atlantic salmon contain 22 grams of protein, while the same amount of cod contains 19 grams.
Any kind of bird raised primarily for meat and eggs is considered poultry.
Chicken is one of the most common poultry sources of protein. A 3-ounce serving of chicken breast contains an impressive 26 grams of protein. Turkey has slightly less protein, with 25 grams in 3 ounces.
One serving of beans provides the same amount of protein as 1 ounce of meat about 7 grams. Beans also keep you full for longer because, unlike animal sources of protein, they are rich in fiber.
5. Dairy Products
Greek yogurt is another protein-rich dairy product. It contains two to three times the amount of protein in regular yogurt.
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Get Creative With Quesadillas
If you’re a big fan of Tex-Mex eating, you’re sure to love this creative, protein-rich twist on the always-pleasing quesadilla. To make our go-to recipe, place a 6-inch Ezekiel or whole grain tortilla on a skillet and allow it to warm up a bit. Then, add 1-ounce of white cheddar, 3 tablespoons of cannellini beans, and ½ cup shredded kale. Fold the tortilla in half, press down and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. While the quesadilla is cooking on the stove, combine 4 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons of low-sugar barbecue sauce in a small bowl. The combo makes a killer protein-rich dip for your dinner.
Whole Grains Rich In Protein
Whole grains are another staple of a well-balanced, plant-based diet. They provide a wealth of fiber, vitamins, minerals and, you guessed it, protein.
Many grains, as mentioned before, have amino acid profiles that are quite complementary to those of vegetables. Combining the two in a meal is a delicious and nutritionally sound idea.
The table below shows a list of whole grains rich in protein. The numbers are for 100 g / 3.5 oz of raw/dry grains.
|7.50 g||6.22 g|
Of course, many processed foods are made with grains, so youll find that, whole-grain flours, pasta, and baked goods are also plant-based foods rich in protein.
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Easy Ways To Increase Your Protein Intake
Getting enough protein is important for your health.
For this reason, the Daily Value for protein is 50 grams per day.
However, some researchers believe that many people should be eating significantly more than this amount .
A high protein intake offers several potential health benefits and could help increase weight loss, enhance muscle growth, and improve your overall health.
Here are 14 easy ways to eat more protein.
The Complete High Protein Food List
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 .
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The Best High Protein Foods
Facty Staff Writer
Protein is the macronutrient needed for building muscle mass and facilitating many chemical reactions in the body. Two other macronutrients, fats and carbohydrates, are equally important. Proteins are composed of amino acids. While the human body can produce some amino acids, others must come from food. The nine amino acids we cannot produce naturally are known as the nine essential amino acids. They are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. The average person requires about 25% of their daily calories come from protein.
Protein Shakes Powders And Supplements
Protein shakes, powders and supplements are unnecessary for most Australians health needs. According to the most recent national nutrition survey, 99% of Australians get enough protein through the food they eat.
Any protein you eat on top of what your body needs will either be excreted from your body as waste, or stored as weight gain.
The best way for you to get the protein you need is to eat a wide variety of protein-rich foods as outlined in the Australian Dietary Guidelines, as part of a balanced diet. But if you are still interested in using protein shakes, powders and supplements, talk to your doctor.
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Smoked Salmon And Boursin Cheese Frittata
Protein Punch: 16 gramsYou’ll Need: Eggs, 2% milk, light sour cream, kosher salt, pepper, diced red onion, light Boursin cheese, smoked salmon, extra-virgin olive oil, chives
It’s no secret that eggs are the classic protein-packing breakfast many people turn to each day to kickstart their morning. While mastering the art of creating the perfect scramble is always commendable, there are plenty of other ways to cook up eggs for an even more filling meal. That’s where our smoked salmon frittata with Boursin cheese comes into play. This recipe is easy to make and ready in just a few minutes.
Protein Punch: 10 gramsYou’ll Need: Eggs, 2% milk, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, turkey or chicken sausage, salt, pepper, frozen pie crust
Most quiches suffer the burden of excessive amounts of heavy cream and cheese. This quiche dispenses with the heavy dose of dairy fat and instead gets its flavor and substance from antioxidant-dense sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and lean protein-packed chicken sausage.
Get our recipe for Artichoke Feta Quiche.
Protein Punch: 20 gramsYou’ll Need: Canned chickpeas, extra virgin olive oil, yellow onion, rosemary, salt, mushrooms and asparagus
Protein Punch: 12 gramsYou’ll Need: Rolled-cut oats, milk, peanut butter, maple syrup, chia seeds
Get our recipe for Peanut Butter Overnight Oats.
Protein Punch: 22 gramsYou’ll Need: Ezekiel toast, peanut butter, chia seeds, honey, banana
Eat This, Not That!
Peanut Butter And Banana Oatmeal
Protein Punch: 14 gramsYou’ll Need: Oats, salt, bananas, peanut butter, almonds, agave syrup
We love this oatmeal with peanut butter and banana recipe for its good-for-you ingredients. It makes a healthy morning meal you can have ready in minutes. Adding two tablespoons of peanut butter to this recipe gives this oatmeal bowl the protein boost you’re looking for in the morning.
“One tablespoon of peanut butter provides about 90-100 calories, 4 grams of protein, and 8 grams of fat. Much of the fat is the heart-healthy unsaturated kind which also helps you feel full along with the protein,” says Amidor.
However, the quality of your peanut butter will also make a huge nutritional difference. Amidor recommends looking for the real deal made from peanuts and salt and skipping the reduced-fat varieties which tend to have the same calories or contain added sugars and artery-clogging saturated fats.
Get our recipe for Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal.
Protein Punch: 41 gramsYou’ll Need: Eggs, milk, chorizo, black beans, shredded taco cheese, avocado, salsa, burrito shells, hot sauce
Get our recipe for Chorizo Breakfast Burritos.
Protein Punch: 5 gramsYou’ll Need: Cashew butter, maple syrup, whole wheat bread, red apple, ground cinnamon
Get our recipe for Maple-Cashew-Apple Toast.
Protein Punch: 10 gramsYou’ll Need: Chia seeds, coconut milk, nonfat Greek yogurt, maple syrup, salt, fresh mango, coconut chips, macademia nuts
Get our recipe for Overnight Chia Pudding.
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How Much Of Protein Sources Should You Eat
The current Recommended Daily Allowance of protein for adults is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. This translates to 64 grams of protein for a 180lb man. Research shows that protein intakes as high as 0.8 1.0 gram/lb can help those individuals looking to build muscle, or retain muscle while losing fat during a resistance training program. We will cover protein requirements and absorption in more depth in other articles.
A higher protein diet is often recommended during a fat loss program because of proteins high thermic effect and its ability to satisfy hunger.
For your reference: