Find out all about high protein foods
If you would like to find out which foods are high in protein, you have certainly come to the right page. This is a simple, yet thorough guide to foods with protein in them. We show you what the best dietary sources of protein are, through our comprehensive list of protein rich foods. We explain exactly what protein is and why it is so important to everybody's diet, and what the difference is between the types of protein that make up the foods that you eat, or should be eating.
If you don't know how much protein you should be consuming each day, then don't worry as we highlight this for you here as well.
What is protein and why do we need it?
So what is protein, in plain and simple terms? Proteins are needed in order for your body to produce cells and tissue, and to maintain and fix those that are already there. Proteins are made up of amino acids. They literally make up your whole body, like bricks and mortar make a house. Without protein you would not be able to survive, it is that straight forward.
The cells that we are talking about make your blood, bones, muscles, cartilage, even your skin. If these things were not able to grow, develop, fix themselves when damaged, what sort of state would you be in? Proteins are what allow this to happen, so you see now just why they are so important?
Notice that we said 'proteins'? This is because there are different types of protein, and you need them all in order for your body to use them to the necessary effect.
Unlike with calories and carbohydrates, the body is not able to store protein. This is why it is critically important for you to ensure a constant supply is being fed into it, so it is there when it is needed. The best source of protein is undoubtedly high protein foods, many of which you will find listed on this page.
If the body is not supplied regularly with protein, it will break down the moment that it needs some and there is none there to use. Think of it this way, you consume protein and if the body needs it at that time it will use it, and that which is left over will just pass through you. If the body needs protein and it is not being fed, there is no emergency store for it to go to, and this is where things start to go wrong. It is so easy to make sure your diet includes high protein foods, and doing this will ensure that you get all that you need to stay healthy.
What are the different types of protein?
The two types of protein that your body needs are called 'complete protein', and 'incomplete protein'.
- Complete protein - Comes from animal sources such as meat and fish.
- Incomplete protein - Comes from plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
You require BOTH of these proteins, not just lot's of complete and a little bit of incomplete.
We have already mentioned that proteins are made up of amino acids. Well these are what are so essential to the body. There are 8 amino acids that are fundamental to the body and everything that we have mentioned so far, and these are listed below. The difference in a protein is the amino acids that it contains, and therefore you get all of them by eating a selection of different foods.
List of protein rich foods
So what foods have protein in them? We are now going to run through a list of foods high in protein, and highlight some of the best sources of protein that you are likely to come across in your diet.
Don't worry if there is nothing that you like in this list, we follow it up with plenty more foods with protein in them afterwards.
To make it even clearer the difference between a complete and incomplete protein food, we will mark each entry.
Check out ten of the foods highest in protein:
The whelk is a mollusk that acts as one of the best sources of protein that you will find. You can get almost the entire amount of protein that is needed in a day from a simple portion of this sea food. Whelk is loaded with several other nutrients such as iron and selenium.
100 g of cooked whelk has 47.7 g of protein in it, this is 95% of your RDI (recommended daily intake)
Whelk is a complete protein.
You will gather as you down this list that sea food is a very good source of protein. Halibut is a fine example to use here, and it is also high in magnesium and vitamin B3.
A 159 halibut fillet contains 42.4 g, this equates to 85% of the protein needed in a day.
Halibut is a complete protein.
Cod is another fish that rightly deserves a mention when it comes to foods that contain protein. You can get a huge dose from just 100 grams of Atlantic cod. This fish is also good for providing you with vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.
100 g of Atlantic cod fillet holds 41.1 g, this works out at 82% of the total needed per day.
Cod is a complete protein.
Yet another seafood example of a high protein food is haddock. You can get a very hansom amount from a simple fillet serving, as well as a nice dose of the minerals phosphorus and potassium.
A 150 g haddock fillet has 36.4 g in it, this is 73% of your recommended daily intake.
Haddock is a complete protein.
Here we have our first example of a protein rich food that does not come from the ocean. Pumpkin and squash seeds are highly nutritious, and in addition to providing a wonderful dose of protein, they are also high in vitamin K and manganese.
A 138 g cup of dried pumpkin/squash seeds has 33.9 g, equating to 68% of your RDI.
These seeds are incomplete proteins.
This popular white meat is a great dietary source of protein. You can get well over half of the total needed in a day from a regular portion, and also a nice amount of zinc and vitamin B6.
100 g of roasted turkey breast without skin, contains 30.1 g, this is 60% of the total needed in one day.
Turkey is a complete protein.
This may not be everybody's favorite sea food, but octopus is one of the best sources of protein that you will ever come across.
100 g of cooked octopus has 29.8 g, which is 60% of the total required in a day.
Octopus is a complete protein.
Before we dive back into the ocean with our foods with protein in them, we have an example of a nut source. Salted peanuts offer a very generous supply of protein, as well as fiber and copper.
100 g of salted peanuts have 28 g in them, 56%of your RDI.
Peanuts are an incomplete protein.
Back to the deep sea examples of food sources of protein. The trout is a fish that offers a very nice amount, as well as being full of vitamin B1 and manganese.
100g of cooked trout has 26.6 g, a very helpful 53% of the total needed in a day.
Trout is a complete protein.
The lobster is another seafood that deserves a mention when it comes to high protein foods
100 g of cooked lobster has 26.4 g, 53% RDI
Lobster is a complete protein.
These are not necessarily the ten foods richest in protein, but they are all immense examples of how your diet can easily provide you with the protein that you need. Didn't see anything that you like in that little lot? Well check out several more below, and remember that protein is found in all natural foods, so even those not mentioned on this page can combine to make a positive impact to the total protein in your diet.
More foods with protein in them
Here are load more foods with protein in them for you to take into consideration.
The following information shows the food, the serving size, the amount of protein in the serving size and finally the percentage of your recommended daily intake of protein that this equates to.
- Tilapia - 100 g of tilapia contains 26.1 g / 52%
- Swordfish - 100 g of cooked swordfish has 25.4 g / 51%
- Sesame seeds - A 144 g cup of sesame seeds has 25.5 g / 51%
- Salmon - 100 g of pink salmon, 25.6 g 51%
- Cheddar cheese - 100 g of cheddar cheese has 24.9 g / 50%
- Mozzarella cheese - 100 g of skim milk mozzarella has 24.3 g / 49%
- Sardines - 100 g of canned sardines have 24.6 g / 49%
- Mussels - 100 g of cooked blue mussels have 23.8 g / 48%
- Beef - 100 g of roasted beef medallions contain 24 g / 48%
- Lamb - 100 g of roasted lamb loin, domestic 1/4'' fat has 22.5 g / 44%
- Almonds - 100 g of raw almonds contain 21.2 g / 42%
- Shrimp - 100 g of mixes species cooked shrimps have 20.9 g / 42%
- Pistachio nuts - 100 g of pistachio nuts have 20.6 g / 41%
- Crab - 100 g of cooked blue crab has 20.2 g / 40%
- Pine nuts - 100 g of dried pine nuts contain 18.5 g / 37%
- Flaxseed - 100 g of flaxseed has 18.3 g / 37%
- Lentils - A 198 g serving of boiled lentils has 17.9 g / 36%
- Squid - 100 g of fried squid contains 17.9 g / 36%
- Cashew nuts - 100 g of cashew nuts have 18.2 g / 36%
- Pork - 100 g of cured roast pork shoulder has 17.3 g / 35%
- Boiled egg - A 136 g cup of boiled egg chopped contains 17.1 g / 34%
- Chia seeds - 100g of chia seeds have 15.6 g / 31%
- Kidney beans - A 177 g cup of kidney beans has 15.3 g / 31%
- Walnuts - 100g of English walnuts hold 15.2 g / 30%
- Hazelnuts - 100g of raw hazelnuts contain 15.0 g / 30%
- Granola - 100 g of plain granola cereal has 14.9 g / 30%
- Black beans - A 172 g serving of black beans has 15.2 g / 30%
- Chickpeas - A 164 g cup of cooked chickpeas has 14.5 g / 29%
- Brazil nuts - 120 g of dried brazil nuts have 14.3 g / 29%
- Raw egg - 100 g of fresh raw egg has 12.6 g / 25%
- Baked beans - A 253 g cup of baked beans contain 12.1 g / 24%
- Bacon - 1 oz (3.5 slices) of cooked bacon has 10.7 g / 21%
- Pinto beans - 100 g pinto beans contain 9 g / 18%
- Pecans - 100 g of raw pecans have 9.2 g / 18%
- Lasagna - 100 g of cooked from frozen lasagna 8.3 g / 17%
- Non-fat milk - A 247 g cup of non-fat milk has 8.4 g / 17%
- Whole milk - A 244 g cup of whole milk holds 7.9 g / 16%
- Quinoa - A 185 g cup of quinoa contains 8.1g / 16%
- Oysters - 100 g of cooked eastern wild oysters have 8.2 g / 16%
- Asparagus - A 180 g serving of boiled asparagus has 5.3 g / 11%
- Brown rice - A 195 g serving of boiled long grain brown rice has 5 g / 10%
If you would like to know how much protein is in a food that is not mentioned here, you can find hundreds of others via the menus on the left hand side of the page.
The RDI that has been used in the above examples applies to an average adult male. This RDI may vary due to age, gender, and medical conditions. To get a clearer idea of how much protein you should be consuming per day, please see further down the page.
How much protein is needed per day?
Looking at all of these facts and figures about what foods have protein in them is no doubt going to leave you asking, 'how much protein do I need a day?'. Well here is where that is going to become clear to you.
- Children aged 1-3 - 12 grams a day
- Children aged 4-8 - 19 gram a day
- Children aged 9-13 - 34 grams a day
- Females aged 14 and above - 46 grams a day
- Males aged 14-18 - 50-52 grams a day
- Males aged 19 and above - 50-56 grams a day
As you can see from the information that we have provided on this page, it is easily possible to get all of the protein you need through a range of dietary sources.
Remember that all of the foods high in protein that we have covered on this page are also crammed with plenty of vitamins and minerals. If you are somebody who is thinking about using protein supplements instead of concentrating on dietary sources, you should be aware that they will not do you the nutritional good that these protein foods do.
We hope that our list of high protein foods has been able to successfully highlight some of the best sources of protein to include in your diet. We also trust that you now know there difference between a complete and incomplete protein, and furthermore how much you should be getting through your diet each day.
There is much more to our site than data on protein rich foods though, we have similar information on all of the other nutrients your body requires, and this can be found via our vitamins and minerals menu.
If you are interested in the calories found in the foods that you eat everyday, there is an extensive range of sub menus on the left hand side of the page. These lead to everything mentioned on this page, plus many more.
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