There is a wide range of foods that are high in protein. High protein foods can include various fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat, seeds, and more.

Eating foods high in protein has many benefits, including muscle building and feeling fuller after eating. Although eating lots of protein may be beneficial, eating a balanced diet is essential to staying healthy.

Protein is an essential nutrient that is important in many bodily functions. It provides the building blocks for cells and helps to maintain muscle mass.

Most healthy adults need to consume at least 0.8 grams (g) of protein per kilogram of body weight (or 0.36 g per pound of body weight). However, an individual’s protein goals may vary depending on physical activity level and medical history.

Because protein promotes a sense of fullness, some people choose to adopt a high protein diet when seeking to lose weight.

The following are some of the best high protein foods that a person can consume.

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1. Salmon

Salmon is a fatty fish, meaning it is full of omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is also an excellent source of protein and can help a person feel more satisfied at meals.

One salmon fillet (178 g) contains 39.3 g of protein.

2. Chicken breast

Chicken breast is a lean source of protein. The majority of its calories come directly from protein when served without skin. A 100 g skinless chicken breast provides around 22.5 g of protein.

3. Beef

Beef offers high amounts of protein per serving. A 3-ounce serving (85 g) of ground beef contains about 21.3 g of protein.

There is a range of different types of beef to choose from. It is best to choose lean beef as much as possible to help limit intake of saturated fats to no more than 5–6% of daily calories for optimal heart health.

4. Tuna

Tuna is an excellent and widely available source of protein. It is also a great source of heart healthy unsaturated fatty acids.

One can (107 g) of tuna contains around 20.3 g of protein.

Canned tuna is a helpful pantry staple to keep on hand. It is shelf-stable and relatively affordable compared to many other animal protein sources.

A person can add tuna to salads, sandwiches, and snacks.

5. Bison

Bison meat is another excellent source of protein. Bison is lean meat, offering less fat per serving than beef. Bison is becoming more available, and some people use it as a substitute for beef.

One 3 oz (85 g) of bison contains around 21.6 g of protein.

6. Pork

Lean pork is a good source of protein. Pork roasts and tenderloin are good choices for meals.

People should avoid processed pork products such as bacon because they are higher in saturated fat and sodium.

One 4 oz (113 g) serving of pork contains around 19.1 g of protein.

7. Turkey

Turkey packs a powerful punch of protein. Cooked turkey breast can provide about 25.6 g of protein per 3 oz (85 g) serving.

8. Halibut

Halibut is a type of white fish. It is an excellent source of lean protein, with around 29.3 g of protein in half a fillet (159 g).

Below are some examples of high protein foods that are suitable for people following a vegetarian diet.

9. Eggs

Eggs are an excellent source of protein, nutrients, and healthful fats, with 1 large egg containing about 6.3 g of protein.

They are also incredibly versatile. A person can prepare eggs in multiple ways such as boiled, scrambled, or poached. A person can incorporate eggs into various dishes such as types of stir fry, soup, and sandwiches for a boost of protein.

A hard boiled egg makes a convenient high protein snack.

Not every vegetarian diet includes eggs. A lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs and dairy.

10. Greek yogurt

Plain, low-fat Greek yogurt packs as much as 19.9 g of protein in a 7 oz (200 g) serving.

Flavored Greek yogurts often contain a lot of added sugar, so be sure to read the nutrition label.

For a delicious Greek yogurt breakfast or snack with no added sugars, opt for plain Greek yogurt and top with your favorite fruits, nuts, and seeds.

11. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a dairy product that has an abundance of protein. It also offers a healthful serving of calcium and other nutrients.

A 4 oz (113 g) serving of cottage cheese contains around 12.5 g of protein.

12. Milk

Cow’s milk is an excellent source of protein for people who can tolerate drinking milk. A 1 cup (244 g) serving of milk contains 8 g of protein.

13. Nut butters

Nut butters, including peanut butter and almond butter, are another quick and easy way to add protein to the diet.

Use 1–2 tablespoons of nut butter on whole grain toast, in a smoothie, or as a dip for apple slices and fresh veggie sticks for a protein boost.

The amount of protein per serving can depend on the type of nut butter.

14. Whey protein powder

Whey protein powder is a supplement that is popular among bodybuilders and athletes aiming to increase muscle mass and strength. This powder is made from proteins found in the liquid part of milk, which are left over during cheese production. It can add a substantial amount of protein to a person’s diet.

It is essential for people to read the nutrition labels because whey proteins are often full of added sugar and sweeteners. The nutrition labels can also provide information about how much protein is in that particular whey protein powder.

Learn. more about the benefits of protein powder.

Below are some examples of high protein foods that are suitable for people following a vegan diet.

15. Black beans

Black beans can be an inexpensive source of protein. A person can prepare black beans in a variety of ways, making them a very versatile ingredient when preparing meals.

One cup (172 g) of black beans contains around 15.2 g of protein.

16. Lima beans

Lima beans can add variety to types of salad, stir fry, and rice bowls. A 1-cup (241 g) serving of canned lima beans provides about 11.9 g of protein.

17. Broccoli

Broccoli is higher in protein than many other vegetables. It is not a high protein food on its own, but a person might choose it over other vegetables if they are prioritizing protein intake.

One cup (91 g) of chopped raw broccoli has around 2.57 g of protein and contains a variety of nutrients such as folate and potassium. This vegetable is also low in calories, with around 30.9 calories per cup.

18. Cauliflower

Like broccoli, cauliflower offers a lot of protein compared to its low calorie count. One cup (107 g) of chopped cauliflower has 27 calories and 2.05 g of protein.

19. Chinese cabbage

Also known as napa cabbage, Chinese cabbage is a vegetable that is full of antioxidants.

While it is not as high in protein as some other sources, 1 cup (109 g) of cooked napa cabbage adds 1.2 g of protein to your daily intake.

20. Oats

Oats offer about 10.7 g of protein per cup (81 g). They are also a source of complex carbohydrates. Raw oats are easy to prepare as oatmeal and people can flavor them with a variety of healthful foods, such as fruits and nuts.

People should read the label carefully for instant and prepared oatmeal, as they often contain high amounts of added sugars or sweeteners.

21. Tempeh

Tempeh comes from soybeans, like tofu. However, it has a higher protein count than tofu, offering about 20.3 g of protein per 100 g.

A person can usually find tempeh in the refrigerated produce section at the grocery store, often right next to the tofu.

22. Spirulina

Spirulina is a bacteria that grows in both fresh and salt waters. It offers a variety of nutrients and protein from a small amount of its powdered form.

One cup (112 g) of spirulina contains around 64.4 g of protein.

A person can add powdered spirulina to smoothies, salads, soups, and baked goods. Spirulina is also available in tablet form as a dietary supplement.

23. Hemp seeds

People can use hemp seeds in salads as a substitute for croutons. Hemp seeds offer about 9.48 g of protein per 3 tablespoons (30 g). They are fairly easy to find in most grocery stores but can be expensive.

24. Sun-dried tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are an excellent addition to many dishes and are widely available. They offer protein, as well as additional nutrients and fiber.

One cup (54 g) of sun-dried tomatoes contains about 7.61 g of protein, though a person is unlikely to eat this many sun-dried tomatoes in a single meal or snack.

25. Guava

Guava is a small tropical fruit with a sweet flavor. Guava is one of the most protein-rich fruits available, with about 4.21 g of protein per cup (165 g). It also offers additional nutrients, such as vitamin C.

26. Artichokes

Artichokes are high in fiber and offer a good amount of protein. A half-cup of cooked artichoke hearts (84 g) provides about 2.43 g of protein.

This vegetable is very versatile and is suitable for use in a variety of recipes. Fresh artichokes and canned artichoke hearts are available in most grocery stores.

27. Peas

Peas are high in protein, fiber, and other nutrients. Frozen peas are inexpensive, easy to find, and suitable in a lot of recipes.

Cooked green peas offer about 4.12 g of protein per half cup (80 g).

28. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are high in protein and fiber, and full of nutrients that support heart and bone health.

Some studies have suggested that chickpeas may have a protective effect against certain cancers, such as breast cancer and colon cancer.

29. Quinoa

Quinoa is one of the only complete sources of vegetarian protein. One cup (185 g) of quinoa contains around 8.14 g of protein.

It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it an excellent choice for vegetarians, vegans, and those who do not eat a lot of protein from animal sources.

30. Almonds

Nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats. They make a calorie-dense, protein-rich snack that can help you stay full for longer.

A 1-oz serving, which is around 23 whole kernels or 28.35 g, contains about 6 g of protein.

To cut back on sodium intake, a person can choose unsalted or lightly salted almonds.

31. Lentils

Lentils pack a hefty dose of plant protein and fiber. They are very affordable and may promote heart health.

One cup (198 g) of cooked lentils contains around 17.9 g of protein.

32. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are full of protein and minerals, such as magnesium and selenium.

One cup (46 g) of pumpkin seeds contains around 13.7 g of protein.

In addition to just snacking on pumpkin seeds, this versatile ingredient makes an excellent topping for yogurt and oatmeal. A person can also add pumpkin seeds to granola, smoothies, and soups.

33. Avocado

Avocados not only contain protein and unsaturated fat, but they also contain good levels of fiber and nutrients, such as potassium.

One cup (230 g) of pureed avocado offers 4.51 g of protein.

34. Pistachios

Pistachios contain a big serving of protein while also being lower in calories compared to many other nuts.

A 1-oz (28.35 g) serving of pistachios contains about 5.73 g of protein, and a wealth of other nutrients, including a high dose of B-6.

35. Chia seeds

This tiny seed packs around 4.68 g of protein per ounce, along with omega-3s, fiber, and calcium.

People following a vegan diet often use chia seeds as an egg substitute, and many people enjoy adding them to smoothies or salads for extra health benefits.

36. Asparagus

Asparagus gets over one-quarter of its calories from protein. It is also full of nutrients, including B vitamins, and is low in carbohydrates.

This vegetable provides about 1.44 g of protein per 60 g, which is approximately four boiled asparagus spears.

37. Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are full of protein, fiber, and vitamins. One cup (88 g) contains around 2.97 g of protein.

38. Spelt

Spelt is a type of hulled wheat with a very high protein content. It has risen in popularity and is often available with specialty flours.

Spelt flour contains 14.5 g of protein per 100 g.

39. Teff

Teff is a grass that is often ground down to make flour. This gluten-free food has a fairly high protein content, with about 13.3 g of protein per 100 g serving.

There are many potential sources of protein people can choose from. Many protein sources offer additional nutrients that benefit overall health as well.

Aiming for a balanced diet with a variety of protein sources can help a person maximize healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.