Best Sources Of Protein

Best Protein SOurces 1A


Protein is one of the macros nutrients that most Americans have a hard time getting into their diet. Why is that? I have found that with most of my clients,  they don’t even know what a protein source is. They will describe their plate at dinner and the starch (carbohydrate) is always the star of the meal. This is concerning when we need protein to help build muscle, repair the body, maintain strong hair and nails and keep us satiated throughout the day.

It is recommended that the average (sedentary) person take in approximately 0.36g of protein per pound of body weight*. (This will vary for athletes, active people, pregnant women, etc). This would mean that a person weighing 150lbs would need about 54g of protein per day.  (Or calculate your required protein intake HERE)

Below are some of my favorite sources of protein. I recommend getting in your protein from a variety of sources below. Try not to stick with only one group. The more variety that you add to your diet, the greater the range of vitamins and minerals you are taking in and the better your satiety will be. No one wants to eat chicken for every meal each day, do they? :)

Meat Sources (4oz)

  • Ground Beef (28g)
  • Steak (28g)
  • Chicken Breast (34g)
  • White Fish (cod/haddock/tilapia) (25g)
  • Tuna (27g)
  • Shellfish (23g)
  • Ham (25g)
  • Pork (25g)
  • Lamb (29g)

Dairy Sources

  • Eggs -1 large (6g)
  • Milk – 1 cup (8g)
  • Yogurt – 1 cup (7g)
  • Greek Yogurt – 1 cup (22g)
  • Cottage Cheese – ½ cup (15g)
  • Shredded Cheese -1/4 cup (7g)

Beans and Legumes (1 cup cooked)

  • Black Beans (15g)
  • Lentils (18g)
  • Kidney Beans (13g)
  • Chickpeas (12g)
  • Split Peas (16g)

Grains  (1 cup cooked)

  • Quinoa (8g)
  • Brown Rice (7g)
  • Oats (6g)
  • Teff (10g)
  • Amaranth (10g)

Nuts and Seeds

  • Almond Butter – 2tbs (6g)
  • Peanut Butter – 2tbs (8g)
  • Almonds – ¼ cup (6g)
  • Cashews – ¼ cup (5g)
  • Flax Seeds – ¼ cup (8g)
  • Pumpkin Seeds – ¼ cup (8g)
  • Hemp Seeds – ¼ cup (11g)

Here is an example of how a day might look for someone trying to get in about 54g of protein:

Breakfast: 1 cup greek yogurt with granola and berries (22g)

Snack: 1 tbs peanut butter on ½ a pita (4g)

Lunch: Salad of mixed greens topped with ½ cup chickpeas and ¼ cup cheese (6g + 7g)

Dinner: spaghetti squash topped with marinara sauce and 3oz shrimp (17g)

Total Protein: 56g

*This example includes protein from the dairy, meat, bean and seed groups.

My hope is that the delicious sources of protein listed above will help you in incorporating a wide variety of healthy proteins into your diet.  This will also ensure you are getting in your recommended protein intake on a daily basis. If you have questions about your current nutrition and would like to set up a consultation to review your nutrition, please click HERE to schedule an appointment!

*USDA Reference Dietary Intake Recommendation

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