Protein is the main nutrient responsible for building muscle and enhancing overall well-being.
Protein is a building block of our body. It plays a key role in maintaining and developing our bones, muscles, skin, nails, hair, red blood cell production, and so on.
Studies show that protein can also help in weight loss and burn fat. Eating enough protein may help lower blood pressure and prevent diabetes. (1, 2, 3)
According to the Dietary Reference Intake report for macronutrients, the average sedentary man should eat about 56 grams of protein per day while women should consume about 46 grams of protein.
Related: How Much Protein Do I Need Per Day?
Here, we’ll go through thirty high protein foods, which will help us meet our daily required protein intake to increase muscle mass and lose fat. So, let’s dive in!
30 High Protein Foods to Eat
Here is the thirty delicious protein food options to include in your diet.
Eggs are one of the best and high-quality protein sources available on the market. It’s packed with protein and fat along with iron, several vitamins, and minerals.
Protein content: One large egg contains 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat, and 78 calories. A 3.5-ounce (100 grams) serving of egg contains around 13 grams of protein.
2. Chicken Breast
Chicken breast is an excellent high-protein source for non-vegetarian. It also provides vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, and cobalamin.
Protein content: A 3.5-ounce (100 grams) skinless and boneless chicken breast offers around 165 calories, 31 grams protein and only 3.6 grams fat.
3. Beef Jerky
Beef jerky is a high protein, low-carb food. But, besides protein, it provides some important nutrients like zinc, vitamin B12, phosphorus, folate, iron, selenium, etc.
Protein content: A 3.5 ounces (100 grams) beef jerky contains about 33 grams of protein along with some fats.
Looking for a vegetarian protein food? Parmesan is an excellent source of protein which also provides you calcium and phosphorus.
Protein content: A 100 grams of parmesan contains about 40 calories and has 32 grams of protein which is pretty huge compared to other vegetarian sources.
Turkey has an impressive nutrition profile. First, of course, it’s rich in protein, and also it offers some vital nutrients like niacin, vitamin B6, B12, selenium, zinc, and phosphorus.
Protein content: A 100 grams turkey provide around 30 grams of protein with 6 grams of fat.
6. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese isn’t only rich in protein but also has an impressive nutrition profile. It contains phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B12, riboflavin, calcium, and of course, protein, carbs and fat.
Protein content: One cup (226 grams) of low-fat cottage cheese provides about 163 calories with 28 grams of protein, a 6.3 grams carb, and 2.3 grams of fat. And a 3.5-ounce (100 grams) cottage cheese contains about 12 grams of protein.
Looking for high protein, low carb and fat food? Tuna fish is a great option. Besides protein, tuna also contain a healthy amount of iron, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, and cobalamin.
Protein content: A 3.5-ounce (100 grams) canned tuna provide around 132 calories along with 28 grams of protein and only 1.3 grams of fat.
8. Whey Protein
Whey protein is one of the best high-quality protein sources and a great option, especially for vegetarians. In addition, it’s a fast-digesting protein, making it perfect for a post-workout protein shake.
Protein content: One scoop of average whey protein powder will provide you around 26 grams of high-quality protein. However, it varies from different brands.
Whether you’re trying to build muscle or lose weight, peanuts can help you achieve both goals. Peanuts are the main source of fiber, protein and healthy fats. So it’s an excellent snack option.
Protein content: One serving (28 grams) of peanuts will provide you about 159 calories along with 7 grams of protein and 14 grams of healthy fats. And per 100 grams, you will get 26 grams of protein.
10. Greek Yogurt
Greek or low-fat yogurt is high in protein and an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, vitamin B12, and iodine. Taking yogurt with fruits can be a delicious snack recipe.
Protein content: A 8-ounce (245 grams) of Greek yogurt provide around 24 grams of protein and a good amount of calcium, and you’ll get 180 calories.
Mackerel is one of the most nutrient-dense foods and also high in protein. In addition, it contains several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, iron, magnesium, vitamin B6 and potassium.
Protein content: A 3.5 ounce of Atlantic mackerel will provide you about 24 grams of protein along with some crucial micronutrients.
One of my favorite food is shrimp. Because it’s not only rich in protein but also loaded with several micronutrients like vitamin B12, iron, phosphorus, niacin, magnesium, and zinc. And due to its low-calorie content, it promotes weight loss.
Protein content: A 3.5 ounce cooked shrimp contains 24 grams of protein and about 100 calories.
Seitan is one of the best protein sources for vegans. It offers nutrients like selenium, iron, phosphorus, copper, calcium, and magnesium.
Protein content: A 3.5 ounce of seitan provides around 22 grams of protein along with a little amount of carbs ad fats.
14. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds have a very impressive nutrition profile. It’s loaded with protein and fiber, along with iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. You can have it with your breakfast or salad.
Protein content: A 3.5 ounces (100 grams) pumpkin seed contains about 20 grams of protein and 18 grams of fiber, making it an excellent nutrient-dense food.
Salmon is another high protein low carb delicious food option. It contains nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, selenium and the antioxidant astaxanthin.
Protein content: A 3.5 ounces of salmon provides about 208 calories, 20 grams of protein and 13 grams of fat.
Chickpeas can be an excellent pre-workout snack option loaded with carbs and protein and also contain dietary fiber, iron, phosphorous, vitamin B6, and magnesium.
Protein content: A 3.5 ounce of chickpeas provides around 19-gram protein, 61-gram carbs, 17-gram dietary fiber, and only 6-gram fat.
Tempeh is another high-protein item for vegetarians. Besides protein, it also contains a handful of nutrients such as calcium, iron, vitamin B6, potassium, and magnesium.
Protein content: A 100-gram tempeh will provide you around 190 calories and 19 grams of protein.
Lentils are loaded with protein, carbs, and fiber, and they’re also a great source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, thiamine, potassium and zinc.
Protein content: One cup (198 g) of boiled lentils contains about 18 grams of protein, 40-gram carbs, and 16-gram dietary fiber, making it an excellent vegetarian food.
Bison isn’t only a good protein source, but also it’s packed with several crucial nutrients, including iron, selenium, vitamin B12, B6, zinc, and niacin (vitamin B3).
Protein content: A 4 ounce (113 grams) serving of cooked bison provides you around 17 grams of protein and 124 calories.
20. Black Beans
Black bean is a high-protein food item for vegetarians, loaded with fiber, protein and folate. It also contains manganese, magnesium, thiamine, and iron.
Protein content: One cup (172 grams) of cooked black beans contains roughly around 227 calories where 15 grams of both protein and fiber.
Looking for a vegetarian protein option? Besides protein, edamame is loaded with nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and fiber.
Protein content: A 100 grams of cooked edamame provides around 122 calories along with 11 grams of protein and 5 grams of dietary fiber.
As we all know, milk itself a complete meal that contains everything need to make a complete meal. In addition, it has some important nutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and cobalamin.
Protein content: One cup (244 grams) of low-fat milk provides about 8 grams of protein and 103 calories. And also a handful amount of carbs, fat, and sugar present in milk.
Almonds are the primary source of healthy fat and fiber and a healthy amount of protein, making them a perfect feeling snack option. It is also loaded with nutrients like vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, vitamin B3, copper and phosphorus.
Protein content: One serving (28 grams) of almonds contains about 6-gram protein, 3.5-gram fiber, 9-gram monounsaturated fat.
Tofu can be a great vegetarian option to get a handsome amount of protein along with calcium, manganese, selenium, and phosphorous.
Protein content: A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of tofu offers about 8-grams of protein and a little number of carbs and fats.
25. Brazil Nuts
Yes, you caught right! Another nuts option. Because nuts are a great option for getting various nutrients from one food, Brazil nuts are packed with selenium, copper, magnesium and calcium.
Protein content: One ounce (28 grams) of Brazil nuts provides around 186 calories and 4 grams protein and 2 grams dietary fiber.
Looking for a healthy feeling meal? Oats can be a great snack option. It’s the main source of complex carbohydrates, protein, and fiber.
Protein content: A 3.5 ounces of oats offers around 390 calories along with 17 grams protein, 66 grams carbs, 11 grams fiber, and 7 grams fat.
27. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are the main source of healthy fat. They are also a great source of protein and contain several nutrients like vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc.
Protein content: A 30 grams (three-tablespoon) of hemp seeds contain 10 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat, and about 166 calories.
Peas is a great nutrient-dense food packed with fiber and protein and contains several micronutrients like vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, and iron.
Protein content: 100 grams cooked peas provide around 8 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, and 118 calories. It can be a great item for weight loss.
29. Kidney Beans
Kidney beans provide a great combination of carbs and protein to build muscle. They are also loaded with fiber, iron, vitamin B6, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Protein content: A 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of boiled kidney beans contain around 9 grams protein, 23-gram carbs, and 6-gram dietary fiber — an excellent food for vegetarians.
Although quinoa is the main carbohydrate source, it also contains a healthy amount of protein and fiber. As a result, it can be a great meal, especially when you feel so hungry.
Protein content: A 3.5 ounce (100 grams) cooked quinoa contains about 120 calories and 5 grams protein, 22 grams carb, and 3 grams fiber.
The Bottom Line
Whether you’re trying to build muscle or lose fat, protein alone can’t be enough to achieve your goals. You have to consume a healthy combination of protein, carbs, and fat to make progress.
Add these above-mentioned high-protein foods to fulfill your daily protein requirement.
So, what are the foods you aren’t familiar with before? Let us know in the comment section below!