Whether you’re a bodybuilder, training for a marathon, or just living a moderate-exercise lifestyle, high protein foods need to be an integral part of your diet.
For starters, you can’t survive without it.
Your body needs it for a number of day-to-day processes, including muscle breakdown and repair.
If you do happen to be an athlete, or living a fitness lifestyle, you should know that you need more protein in your diet than the average individual.
You can’t recover without it, and you’ll definitely never get stronger without enough of it.
Protein’s role in your body’s metabolism also makes it a great macromolecule for weight loss.
So, basically, you can’t go wrong with taking in more protein.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of 25 high protein foods across various food groups.
They are listed, by category, with their overall macromolecule content, so you can knowledgeably add them into your diet as they so fit.
Note: Each food item presented is listed with their nutritional values in relation to the amount of food presented next to it.
Please take that into account while reading, as not all are the same (you’re not going to eat the same amount of pumpkin seeds as you are chicken, are you?).
All values listed are simply an average.
They do not take into account the various ways you can prepare them, nor do they definitively represent such factors as brand or source.
High Protein Foods: Meat
Chicken (Breast, No Skin)
At some point you’ve probably heard of grilled chicken being the go-to for weight training athletes.
It is one of the best natural sources of protein, and can be high or low fat, as well, depending on if you eat the skin.
Serving Size: 150g – Calories: 228
Macros: Protein (44g), Fat (5g), Net Carbohydrates (0g)
Go for sirloins and rounds for the leanest cuts of steak.
Serving Size: 150g – Calories: 406
Macros: Protein (37g), Fat (28g), Net Carbohydrates (0g)
Turkey (Breast, No Skin)
Very similar in nutritional value to chicken.
Eat the skin if you want to add some fat.
Serving Size: 150g – Calories: 235
Macros: Protein (33g), Fat (10g), Net Carbohydrates (0g)
Go for cuts of pork from the loin for the highest protein concentration.
Serving Size: 150g – Calories: 445
Macros: Protein (39g), Fat (31g), Net Carbohydrates (0g)
Canadian (Back) Bacon
Canadian Bacon is a better alternative to standard bacon when looking at protein content, as it contains about one sixth the fat of its counterpart.
Serving Size: 150g – Calories: 235
Macros: Protein (31g), Fat (7g), Net Carbohydrates (2g)
Beef jerky is a great protein solution, especially if you are on-the-go.
Some brands make versions with close to no carbohydrates, for those going low-carb.
Serving Size: 100g – Calories: 410
Macros: Protein (33g), Fat (26g), Net Carbohydrates (9g), Fiber (2g)
High Protein Foods: Dairy
Eggs are one of the most classic sources of protein.
Egg whites hold most of the protein while the yolk stores most of the fat.
Serving Size: 1 Large – Calories: 78
Macros: Protein (6g), Fat (5g), Net Carbohydrates (<1g)
Cottage cheese is a good source of casein protein, a slow-digesting protein popular among strength athletes.
Serving Size: 100g – Calories: 98
Macros: Protein (11g), Fat (4g), Net Carbohydrates (3g)
Natural greek yogurt is higher protein and lower carbohydrate/sugar than other yogurts while still maintaining the benefits of vitamins, minerals, and probiotics.
Serving Size: 1 Cup or 240g – Calories: 338
Macros: Protein (20g), Fat (24g), Net Carbohydrates (8.4g)
Parmesan ranks toward the top of cheeses when it comes to protein content.
Serving Size: 100g – Calories: 431
Macros: Protein (38g), Fat (29g), Net Carbohydrates (4g)
Standard mozzarella cheese is higher in protein than fat, but buffalo mozzarella is actually higher in fat than protein and with slightly fewer carbohydrates.
Serving Size: 100g – Calories: 280
Macros: Protein (28g), Fat (17g), Net Carbohydrates (3g)
High Protein Foods: Seafood
Salmon is a good protein source from the sea, as well as a good source of healthy fats such as Omega-3s.
Serving Size: 100g – Calories: 208
Macros: Protein (20g), Fat (13g), Net Carbohydrates (0g)
Halibut contains just as much protein as it does healthy fats such as Omega-3s.
It is also a rich source of micronutrients and vitamins.
Serving Size: 100g – Calories: 186
Macros: Protein (14g), Fat (14g), Net Carbohydrates (0g)
Tuna is a high protein, relatively low fat fish containing good amounts of Omega-3s and Vitamin D, all while being low in sodium and cholesterol.
Serving Size: 100g – Calories: 184
Macros: Protein (30g), Fat (6g), Net Carbohydrates (0g)
Unlike the other high protein fish mentioned, tilapia is relatively low in fat, making it a good choice if you are looking for a lean protein source.
Serving Size: 100g – Calories: 129
Macros: Protein (26g), Fat (3g), Net Carbohydrates (0g)
High Protein Foods: Seeds & Nuts
Almonds are one of the higher protein percentage nuts, also containing high amounts of healthy fats, fiber, and are relatively low in carbohydrates compared to other nuts.
Serving Size: 1 Cup or 143g – Calories: 823
Macros: Protein (30g), Fat (71g), Net Carbohydrates (14g), Fiber (17g)
Most nut butters are relatively high in protein, with peanut butter being on the higher end and obviously the most popular.
Peanuts are also another high protein choice.
Serving Size: 2 Tbsp – Calories: 190
Macros: Protein (8g), Fat (17g), Net Carbohydrates (4g), Fiber (3g)
Pumpkin seeds are a higher-protein nut that also contain large amounts of antioxidants.
Serving Size: 1 Cup or 64g – Calories: 285
Macros: Protein (12g), Fat (12g), Net Carbohydrates (24g), Fiber (12g)
Chia seeds are hailed as a superfood because of how nutrient dense they are.
They are also supposed to be a great food for energy levels.
Serving Size: 100g – Calories: 486
Macros: Protein (17g), Fat (31g), Net Carbohydrates (8g), Fiber (34g)
High Protein Foods: Vegetables
Peas are a very high protein vegetable, but also carry a heavy carbohydrate content.
Serving Size: 1 Cup or 145g – Calories: 118
Macros: Protein (8g), Fat (>1g), Net Carbohydrates (14g), Fiber (7g)
As far as vegetables go, broccoli is up there in protein content, and is also a good source of antioxidants and fiber, while being low-calorie.
Serving Size: 1 Cup or 91g – Calories: 31
Macros: Protein (3g), Fat (<1g), Net Carbohydrates (4g), Fiber (2g)
Brussels sprouts are similar to broccoli in protein and macromolecule content.
It is also a great source of Vitamins C and K as well as many other vitamins and minerals.
Serving Size: 1 Cup or 88g – Calories: 38
Macros: Protein (3g), Fat (<1g), Net Carbohydrates (5g), Fiber (3g)
High Protein Foods: Grains & Legumes
Ezekiel bread is a bread made from sprouted ancient grains, making it supposedly healthier all-around.
It has a higher protein percentage compared to most breads.
Serving Size: 1 Slice or 34g – Calories: 80
Macros: Protein (4g), Fat (<1g), Net Carbohydrates (12g), Fiber (3g)
Various types of beans, especially kidney beans, have always been a popular protein source for vegans.
Watch out, though, if you are trying to keep it low-carb.
Serving Size: 1 Cup or 184g – Calories: 613
Macros: Protein (43g), Fat (1g), Net Carbohydrates (64g), Fiber (46g)
Soybeans top the “beans” or “legumes” category in protein content.
Serving Size: 1 Cup or 186g – Calories: 830
Macros: Protein (68g), Fat (37g), Net Carbohydrates (39g), Fiber (17g)