28 best sources of protein

Protein builds your body. It creates muscle. It controls hunger. It's a win! Whether your goal is to lose weight or build muscle, eating enough protein is key, but variety is also very important, because each type has its own amino acid profile. Skip chicken and protein powder with these protein-rich foods.


Eggs are one of the most perfect high-protein foods in the supermarket: cheap, versatile, low in carbs, and full of branched-chain amino acids. Look for eggs fortified with additional omega-3 fatty acids to give your breakfast an extra boost of nutrients.

Boiled eggs are one of the most easy-to-carry protein foods. You can also make a shake with powdered egg protein powder.

A large egg contains 6 grams of protein

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt has become a popular choice because it contains twice the protein as other types of yogurt. It's also rich in bone-building calcium and probiotic bacteria, which is great for gut health. Look for regular varieties to keep your calories — and your weight — in check.

8 ounces of Greek yogurt contains 23 grams of protein


Make cottage cheese your go-to for a healthy late-night snack. It is high in casein, which is a slow-digesting dairy protein. Slow-digesting protein nourishes your muscles throughout the night so they don't get undercooked, and keeps you from waking up hungry at 3am.

Half a cup contains 14 grams of protein

Swiss cheese

Gram for gram, Swiss cheese provides more protein than other varieties commonly available in the supermarket, making it a muscle-friendly option for sandwiches and burgers. And like yogurt, it's also high in calcium. If you're concerned about the calorie density of full-fat Swiss chard, the low-fat versions have a protein-to-fat ratio of about 8 to 1, while providing good flavor.

One ounce contains 8 grams of protein

The milk

You can drink skim or unflavored milk, or you can enjoy 2 percent richer taste while getting a little extra fat to help you absorb the vitamin D in milk and get you closer to your overall goals.

Organic milk has the highest nutritional content, including protein and omega-3s.

One cup contains 8 grams of protein

Whey or casein protein powder

Whey protein powder is clean, fast-digesting, and most of its calories come from protein. It's also convenient - just mix it with water in a mixing bottle. Use it whenever you need a quick off-the-shelf protein, such as after a workout, for breakfast on the go, or alongside a low-protein meal.

If you need something to help you stave off hunger for longer, use slow-digesting casein powder. It won't hit your muscles that fast, but it can keep you full for hours and can help you lose fat without losing muscle mass.

You can also use any type of powder to make high-protein pancakes. They make a great pre-workout or post-workout snack if you need a break from sessions. If you are sensitive to artificial sweeteners, look for an unsweetened powder or a powder sweetened with stevia.

One cup contains an average of 24 grams of protein


Up your protein shake game by blending protein powder into a smoothie with fruit for a higher vitamin content. You can also buy pre-made smoothies, but make sure they contain a large dose of protein (at least 20 grams for a 2-cup bottle) and not just fruit, as too much can lead to a sugar spike. To make a plant-based smoothie, substitute a mixture of rice protein and pea protein

On average, a cup contains 16 grams of protein

Frozen Greek Yogurt

This sweet treat is lukewarm and creamy as ice cream, but contains twice the amount of protein. Compare brands and find the ones with the lowest sugar levels (or make your own). Some brands actually list fruit before sugar in their ingredient list, which is an added bonus.

Half a cup contains an average of 6 grams of protein

Yellowfin Tuna

Tuna provides a large amount of high-quality, easily digestible protein. You'll also benefit from the healthy amount of B vitamins and the powerful antioxidant selenium, which makes it a great food choice. When possible, look for troll-caught or wild-caught tuna, which are the most sustainable options.

Half a cup contains an average of 6 grams of protein


Among the types of white fish, halibut prevails when it comes to the protein you need to build muscle. Each 3-ounce serving also contains 2 grams of fat, which makes halibut a better catch.

3 ounces contain an average of 23 grams of protein


An increasing number of fishmongers are now offering octopus as an option. So if your goal is to gain lean muscle like granite, then protein-packed octopus legs are a great choice. Frozen octopus actually has an advantage over fresh octopus because the freezing process helps soften the meat.

3 ounces contain an average of 25 grams of protein

Red Salmon

Not only does wild salmon taste like sockeyes like its farmed cousin, it also provides more protein. Plus, you'll reap the benefits of a massive amount of fat-fighting, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Look for salmon with its skin on, as it provides extra flavor during cooking.

3 ounces contain an average of 23 grams of protein


Commonly available in most fish markets, tilapia is a mild-tasting fish with a good supply of protein to keep your muscles well fed. Look for farmed tilapia.

3 ounces contain an average of 21 grams of protein


Ounce for ounce, anchovies are a surprising winner when it comes to canned protein. Because of their size, they also do not accumulate toxins in the same way that larger species do. To reduce salinity, soak the anchovies in water for 30 minutes, then drain and pat dry.

3 ounces contain an average of 24 grams of protein

Light Tuna

Frugal shoppers, rejoice! Low-priced canned light tuna actually provides a little more protein than expensive canned white tuna. To save yourself some calories from lackluster vegetable oils, choose water-filled tuna.

Canned tuna is a low-calorie food. Mix it with something greasy, like olives, to keep it plump for longer.

3 ounces contain an average of 22 grams of protein


The humble canned sardine is back! This high-protein fish is full of omega-3 fats and vitamin D, and is relatively low in mercury because it is small and low in the food chain. Try tossing them in mashed potatoes or cauliflower to reduce their strong taste.

3 ounces contain an average of 21 grams of protein


These small cuts of meat provide 1 gram of protein for every 7 calories. On the other hand, ribeye provides about 1 gram of protein for every 11 calories. Plus, round steak is one of the most economical cuts. Less fatty cuts like round loin steak will get drier than desert with overcooking, so cook them quickly over high to medium heat - rare

3 ounces contain an average of 23 grams of protein

Minced Meat

Using 90 percent ground beef provides just the right amount of fat so burgers and meatloaf don't taste like cardboard. In addition to increasing your protein intake, this red meat is also a good source of the almighty creatine. If you have some extra cash, opt for grass-fed beef, which is more nutrient-dense than its industrial farm counterparts.

3 ounces contain an average of 18 grams of protein

Chicken Breast

This bodybuilding and weight loss staple is a better source of protein than other cuts of poultry, which is why it should always be on your shopping list. To save money, stock up on this staple when its price drops.

3 ounces contain an average of 24 grams of protein

Turkey Breast

As with chicken, this large bird can fill your muscles with protein while keeping your calorie count low. Like pork chops and chicken breasts, turkey breast can benefit from brine before cooking. If you are concerned about the widespread use of antibiotics in poultry farming, you can look for turkey breasts that are labeled “antibiotic free.”

3 ounces contain an average of 24 grams of protein

Corn beef

The protein in beef is high quality and tastes great. Try sauteing the beef with chopped vegetables and serving it over rice or a pile on rye with plenty of mustard.

3 ounces contain an average of 24 grams of protein

Roast Beef

A beef roast beef less fat than you think, and the highest in the amino acids compared to other varieties and delicious foods. As with steak, pasture roast beef is more nutritious. Make a roast beef sandwich with spinach and red onions, or eat it as is.

3 ounces contain an average of 18 grams of protein


E n excellent amount of protein in Pepperoni makes it a healthy layer amazingly pizza or salad. Sodium levels can vary widely, so compare brands and look for options with the lowest amount.

3 ounces contain an average of 18 grams of protein

Roasted turkey breast

Turkey steak steaks are an easy way to get plenty of almost lean protein, so stack it up in bulk. Steer clear of flavored turkey and other meats to avoid bringing in things you don't need, such as salt, sugar, and lab-made flavors.

3 ounces contain an average of 18 grams of protein


Heart-healthy beans are a fantastically cheap plant-based protein source, and among the most popular canned legumes, navy beans are leading the way. They are also rich in fiber, which is important for healthy eating.

Mash the beans with garlic and lemon as a substitute for hummus.

One cup contains an average of 20 grams of protein


Inexpensive dry lentils are a surefire way to boost your intake of protein, fiber, and an array of vital minerals. Unlike other dried beans, lentils do not require annoying pre-soaking. Simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. For a nutritious lunch, add cooked lentils with minced chicken breast, chopped vegetables, and lemon vinaigrette.

One-quarter cup contains an average of 13 grams of protein

Peanut Butter

Although not as trendy as other nut butters like almonds, peanut butter still leads the way in the protein department. Be sure to watch the sugar labels. The natural versions made with peanuts are best — some stores even allow you to grind them yourself.

If you're working on controlling your weight, look for powdered peanut butter, which has less fat but the same protein content. You can even use the powder for baking. Fun fact: Peanuts are technically a legume, not a nut.

On average, two tablespoons contain 8 grams of protein


Nuts (and nuts) like peanuts, cashews, and almonds are a crunchy way to add more protein and healthy, unsaturated fats to your diet. Keep a box in the glove box for emergencies of hunger. If you're watching your sodium intake, look for packages labeled "unsalted." On average, 2 ounces contain 6 grams of protein

May 20, 2021 — Netgains DevOps