List of Protein Foods

Protein is a necessary nutrient for the human body. Deficiency of protein results in muscle atrophy and impaired functioning of your body. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein for adult men is 52 grams. For adult women the recommended amount is 46 grams. In case of pregnancy and lactating women this amount is 71 grams. Moreover, protein requirements vary depending on individual’s physical activities and total muscle mass. There are basically two major sources of protein.

  • Animal Protein: Milk, Meat, Fish, Eggs, Cheese
  • Vegetable Protein: Rice, Pulses, Bread, Nuts

No matter, it is Animal Protein or Vegetable Protein, it is responsible for multiple body functions. 2 major functions include:

  • Building your tissue, muscle, and cells.
  • Taking part in producing your body's anti-bodies and hormones.

Therefore, you can realize that a high protein diet can easily meet the requirement of such an important element of good health. And if you are a sportsman or do weight training then your protein intake should be naturally higher compared to a general person. Protein can specially boost your muscle that are particularly beneficial for sportsmen or athletes.


Protein Food List

The following list of foods is prepared based on the amount of protein they hold per portion size. Some of these foods are highly rich in protein and some are particularly recommended for athletes and sportsmen.


Chicken and turkey are protein-rich foods. Chicken, especially chicken breast is one of the most popular food items. Without the skin, chicken breast is a good source of protein-based calories. There are 53 grams of protein in 1 roasted chicken breast (total 284 calories).

Red Meat

Lean beef and low fat veal are good sources of protein. There are other kinds of red meat such as T-bone steak, Beef Jerky. There are 1-gram protein (total 5.3 calories) in 3 oz (85g) of lean beaf. Similarly, we have T-bone steak 3oz (28g) with 19g of protein, 1 Piece of Beef Jerky (20g) with 7g of protein.

Fish and Shrimp

Cod, tuna, salmon are the most protein rich among fish foods. There are many other reasons for which fish is considered a healthy food. Fish is full of important nutrients, and omega-3 fatty acids (helpful for heart-health).

Another item, Shrimp is a common seafood and good source of protein. Though low in calories, it has various nutrients. These include selenium and vitamin B-complex (B12). There are plenty of omega-3 fatty acids in shrimp as well. There are 19 grams of protein per 3 ounce (85 g) serving of fish (total 175 calories). And there are 18 grams of protein per 3 ounce (85 g) serving of shrimp (total 84 calories).


Lentils are the best type of legume in terms of protein values. Lentils contain high fiber, iron, folate, copper, magnesium, potassium, manganese and some other necessary nutrients for the body. This is regarded as the best source among plant-based proteins. If you are a vegetarian then this is the food for you. There are 18 grams of protein in 1 cup (198 g) of boiled lentils (total 230 calories).


Peanuts and butters made of peanuts are rich in protein. You can also find fiber, magnesium and some other nutrients in peanuts. Peanut butter is a common high-protein food that is very popular among consumers. There are 7 grams of protein in 1 ounce of a peanut (total 159 calories).

Nuts and Seeds

Seeds of pumpkin, squash, and watermelon are good sources of protein. There are other nuts and seeds that are high in protein such as Peanuts, Almonds and Flaxseed etc. There are respectively 1-gram protein (total 19.1 calories), 8g protein, 30g protein in 1 seed of pumpkin, squash, and watermelon. Similarly, we have Peanuts (7g), Almonds (6g), Flaxseed (5g), Mixed Nuts (4g), Pistachios (6g) and Sunflower Seeds (6g).


Milk and milk based products such as yogurt, soymilk are sources of protein. Milk is a high-quality protein rich food and considered a highly nutritious drink. It is said that this food contains almost all kinds of nutrients that can help a human body immensely. High in riboflavin (also known as vitamin B2), phosphorus, and calcium this food is the main food source, no matter it is for human children or animal calves. There are 8 grams of protein in 1 cup of milk (total 149 calories).


Within beans, the mature Soy Beans are mostly rich in protein. Other beans are high in protein such as kidney beans, white beans etc. There are 1-gram protein (total 9.6 calories) in 1 cup (172g) of Soy Beans.


The non-fat Mozzarella cheese is rich in protein. You can get most protein per calorie from low fat Mozzarella and Cottage Cheese. On the other hand, 1g protein per 20 calories can be obtained from full fat cheeses. These are less optimal among protein sources. There are other cheese that are high in protein such as Parmesan, Romano. There are 1 gram protein (total 4.4 calories) 1 cup of cheese. Similarly, we have Parmesan (10g), Romano (9g), Low-fat Cottage Cheese (5g), Low-fat Swiss Cheese (8g), Low-fat Cheddar (6g).


More on Protein Food:

  1.  What are the healthy protein foods?
  2.  What are the benefits of eating protein foods?
  3.  What are the high protein vegetables?
  4.  What are the benefits of eating protein powder?

Last update: August 07, 2017 06:15:09 pm

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