Proteins are found throughout our bodies. We eat foods with proteins that are
then digested into amino acids. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20 different
amino acids combine to make proteins. Our bodies cannot make all the types of
proteins we need, so we must get them from our food.
The healthy choice is to choose protein-rich foods that are also low in
saturated fat. The Harvard School of Public Health recommends choosing a 6-ounce
piece of salmon with 34 grams of protein and only 4 grams of saturated fat
instead of a 6-ounce broiled porterhouse steak with 38 grams of protein and a
whopping 16 grams of saturated fat.
The list for the top 10 foods highest in protein only includes protein-rich
foods that are also lower in fat and containing other essential nutrients. The
top five protein-rich foods include seafood and poultry. Seafood is generally a
good source of protein. Of the 22 varieties listed on the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration food chart for cooked seafood, only the oyster had less than
15 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving.
1.Turkey. Turkey tops the list because the
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) searchable database for nutritional information lists turkey
(all classes, meat only, cooked and roasted) as containing 41 grams of protein
per one-cup serving. It is also low in fat and contains essential minerals like
iron and magnesium.
2.Chicken. Easy to find and versatile to
cook, chicken’s protein amount varies depending on the cut of the meat and how
it is cooked. Chicken roasted with no skin has 40 grams of protein per one-cup
3.Scallops. Six large scallops pack a
nutritional punch, with 27 grams of protein and 14 percent RDI of iron.
4.Tuna. Three ounces cooked tuna has only
130 calories but 27 grams of protein. It also contains 14 percent of the
recommended daily intake (RDI) of potassium.
5.Salmon. Depending on the type of salmon,
its protein amount may range from 22 grams to 24 grams per 3 ounces cooked.
Salmon also contains iron, calcium and vitamins A and C.
6.Almonds. While almonds and nuts, in
general, are high in protein, they also are higher in fat. Eat nuts in
moderation. One ounce of almonds has 21 grams of protein.
7.Cottage cheese. A popular diet food, a
one-half cup of low-fat cottage cheese contains 16 grams of protein. That is
roughly the same amount found in a 3-ounce serving of orange or swordfish.
Regular cottage cheese, one-half cup, has 14 grams of protein.
8.Yogurt. Dairy products are a good
protein source, with one cup of nonfat yogurt containing 13 grams of protein.
The same amount of low-fat yogurt has less, just 11.9 grams, but more than one
cup of skim milk, which has 8.4 grams of protein.
9.Edamame. Edamame or soybeans are a
nutritious choice, with 11 grams of protein in each one-half cup cooked serving.
Popular in stir-fry, their nutty flavor pairs well with a variety of foods.
10.Tofu. A versatile food that can be
added to soups, salads and casseroles, tofu offers 10 grams of protein per
one-half cup serving.