Food With Protein For Weight Loss

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Are you looking for a way to lose weight that doesn’t involve starving yourself or exercising so much that it hurts?

Maybe you’re just looking for a way to eat more healthy.

Well, I’ve got good news: there are plenty of foods out there with protein that will help you reach your goals.

You can find them in the grocery store, at restaurants and even at home. You don’t have to give up your favorite foods just because they don’t have much protein.

Food With Protein For Weight Loss

Going on a high-protein diet may help you tame your hunger, which could help you lose weight.

You can try it by adding some extra protein to your meals. Give yourself a week, boosting protein gradually.

Remember, calories still count. You’ll want to make good choices when you pick your protein.

If you plan to add a lot of protein to your diet, or if you have liver or kidney disease, check with your doctor first.

The Best Protein Sources

Choose protein sources that are nutrient-rich and lower in saturated fat and calories, such as:

  • Lean meats
  • Seafood
  • Beans
  • Soy
  • Low-fat dairy
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds

It’s a good idea to change up your protein foods. For instance, you could have salmon or other fish that’s rich in omega-3s, beans or lentils that give you fiber as well as protein, walnuts on your salad, or almonds on your oatmeal.

How much protein are you getting? Here’s how many grams of protein are in these foods:

1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese: 12.4g

3 ounces tofu, firm: 9g

1/2 cup cooked lentils: 9g

2 tablespoons natural-style peanut butter (7g) or almond butter (6.7g)

3 oz skinless chicken breast: 26g

3 oz fish fillet (depending on type of fish): 17-20g

1 ounce provolone cheese: 7g

1/2 cup cooked kidney beans: 7.7g

1 ounce almonds: 6g

1 large egg: 6g

4 ounces low-fat plain yogurt: 6g

4 ounces soy milk: 3.5g4 ounces low-fat milk: 4g

Carbs and Fats

While you’re adding protein to your diet, you should also stock up on “smart carbs” such as:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Beans and legumes (both also have protein)
  • Low-fat milk and yogurt (both have protein)

Also try healthy fats such as:

  • Nuts and natural-style nut butters
  • Seeds
  • Olives
  • Extra virgin olive oil and canola oil
  • Fish
  • Avocados

To help manage your appetite, it also helps to split your daily calories into four or five smaller meals or snacks.

top 10 protein foods

Protein is a macronutrient that forms the building blocks of the human body. It is necessary for the growth and repair of all tissues, along with many other functions including forming hormones and enzymes. A deficiency in protein leads to muscle atrophy and impaired functioning of the body in general. (1)

How much protein do you need?

The recommended daily intake of protein is between 46-63 grams for most adults, with pregnant and lactating women needing up to 65 grams per day. (2The daily value (DV) for protein is set at 50 grams per day (3), which is an average that works for most people. Athletes or other people looking to build muscle mass may want to consume more protein.

High protein foods include lean chicken, lean pork, fish, lean beef, tofu, beans, lentils, low-fat yogurt, milk, cheese, seeds, nuts, and eggs.

Below is a list of healthy protein foods sorted by common serving size, use the protein nutrient ranking to sort by 100 gram or 200 calorie serving sizes. For more information, see the lists of vegetarian protein, high protein fruits, and high protein vegetables.

Top 10 Protein Food List

Lean chicken breast

#1: Lean Chicken Breast

Protein
in a 6oz Breast
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
54.5g
(109% DV)
32.1g
(64% DV)
40.8g
(82% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Lean Chicken Breast (Cooked).(Source)

More Poultry High in Protein

  • 62g (124% DV) in a whole chicken leg
  • 53.9g (108% DV) per 6oz of lean ground turkey
  • 51.2g (102% DV) in a 6oz turkey breast
  • 38g (76% DV) in 1 cup of light chicken meat
  • 31.9g (64% DV) in a chicken thigh
  • 24.5g (49% DV) in a chicken drumstick

See all meats high in protein.

A pork chop

#2: Lean Pork Chops

Protein
in a 6oz Chop
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
52.7g
(105% DV)
31g
(62% DV)
31.8g
(64% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Pork Chops (Lean).(Source)

More Pork Products High in Protein

  • 50.8g (102% DV) in 6oz of broiled pork tenderloin
  • 43.7g (87% DV) in 6oz of ground pork
  • 39.7g (79% DV) in 1 cup of diced lean ham
  • 30g (60%) DV in a 6oz rack of pork ribs
  • 19.2g (38% DV) in 3oz of salami
  • 13.8g (28% DV) per 3oz of spam

See all meats high in protein.

Tuna Fillet

#3: Tuna

Protein
in a 6oz Fillet
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
50.8g
(102% DV)
29.9g
(60% DV)
32.5g
(65% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Bluefin Tuna (Cooked).(Source)

More Fish High in Protein

  • 45g (90% DV) in a 6oz salmon fillet
  • 44.5g (89% DV) in a 6oz tilapia fillet
  • 41.4g (82% DV) in a 6oz cod fillet
  • 22.6g (45% DV) in 3oz of canned tuna
  • 19.4g (39% DV) in 3oz of cooked shrimp

See all fish and seafood high in protein.

A steak on a plate

#4: Beef (Skirt Steak)

Protein
per 6oz Steak
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
48.7g
(97% DV)
28.7g
(57% DV)
21.4g
(43% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Skirt Steak.(Source)

More Lean Red Meat High in Protein

  • 60.4g (121% DV) in a 6oz lamb roast
  • 44.8g (90% DV) in 6oz of lean ground beef
  • 28.4g (57% DV) in 3oz of roast beef
  • 24.2g (48% DV) in 3oz of roast buffalo
  • 21.7g (43% DV) in a 3oz beef hamburger

See all meats high in protein.

A block of tofu

#5: Firm Tofu

Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
43.5g
(87% DV)
17.3g
(35% DV)
24g
(48% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Firm Tofu.(Source)

More Soy Foods High in Protein

  • 33.7g (67% DV) in 1 cup of tempeh (fermented tofu)
  • 31.3g (63% DV) per cup of cooked soybeans
  • 14g (28% DV) in a 16oz glass of soymilk
  • 9.2g (18% DV) per cup of soy yogurt
  • 7.9g (16% DV) per tblsp of soy protein powder

Note: The amount of protein in tofu can range between 4.8g (10% DV) to 17.3g (35% DV) per 100 gram serving (or a little less than 1/2 cup). See the nutrition comparison of 10 common tofu brands. To find more, use the detailed nutrient ranking of all vegan foods high in protein.

Looking for a brand with this much protein? Try House Foods Tofu.

Lentils

#6: Lentils

Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
17.9g
(36% DV)
9g
(18% DV)
15.6g
(31% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Lentils (Cooked).(Source)

More Beans High in Protein

  • 17.4g (35% DV) per cup of large white beans
  • 16.3g (33% DV) per cup of split peas
  • 16.5g (33% DV) per cup of cranberry beans
  • 15.4g (31% DV) per cup of pinto beans
  • 15.3g (31% DV) per cup of kidney beans
  • 15.2g (30% DV) per cup of black beans

See the top 10 beans and legumes high in protein.

Plain yogurt with raspberries

#7: Low-Fat Yogurt

Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
14g
(28% DV)
5.7g
(11% DV)
20.5g
(41% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Non-Fat Yogurt.(Source)

More Dairy High in Protein

  • 16.5g (33% DV) per 16oz glass of skim milk
  • 15.4g (31% DV) per 16oz glass of whole milk
  • 8.5g (17% DV) per cup of whole plain yogurt (full fat)
  • 8.4g (17% DV) per 1/4 cup of dehydrated milk
  • 7.9g (16% DV) per 8oz cup of buttermilk

See more vegetarian sources of protein.

Parmesan Cheese

#8: Grated Parmesan

Protein
per Oz
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
10.2g
(20% DV)
35.8g
(72% DV)
18.2g
(36% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Grated Parmesan (Hard).(Source)

More Cheese High in Protein

  • 14.1g (28% DV) per 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 12.6g (25% DV) per 1/2 cup of cottage cheese
  • 9g (18% DV) per oz of non-fat cheddar
  • 8g (16% DV) per oz of low-fat Swiss cheese
  • 7.3g (15% DV) per oz of provolone
  • 6.3g (13% DV) per oz of mozzarella

Squash and Pumpkin Seeds

#9: Squash and Pumpkin Seeds

Protein
per 1oz Handful
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
8.5g
(17% DV)
29.8g
(60% DV)
10.4g
(21% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Roasted Squash And Pumpkin Seeds (Unsalted).(Source)

More Nuts and Seeds High in Protein

  • 6.9g (14% DV) per oz of peanuts
  • 6g (12% DV) per oz of almonds
  • 6g (12% DV) per oz of pistachios
  • 5.8g (12% DV) per oz of sunflower seeds
  • 5.2g (10% DV) per oz of flax seeds
  • 4.7g (9% DV) per oz of chia seeds

Eggs

#10: Eggs

Protein
in 1 Large Egg
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
6.3g
(13% DV)
12.6g
(25% DV)
16.2g
(32% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Hard Boiled Eggs.(Source)

More Eggs High in Protein

  • 22g (44% DV) in 1 cup of scrambled eggs
  • 17.1g (34% DV) in 1 cup of chopped hard-boiled eggs
  • 12.2g (24% DV) in 2 scrambled eggs
  • 10.1g (20% DV) in a duck egg
  • 3.6g (7% DV) in 1 egg white (chicken)

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