How much protein is in food?

The protein content of foods varies from source to source (as you’ll see in the list below). Generally, animal sources (like meat, poultry and fish) tend to have higher protein per gram of weight when compared to whole plant foods (legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, etc.), but plant foods (while not providing as much protein) are rich in beneficial nutrients like fiber, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, vitamins, minerals and complex-carbohydrates.

How do you know if you’re getting all the protein you need on a daily basis?

Though you can certainly get all your protein from plant foods,  you typically need to eat a higher volume of plant foods to reach your daily protein goal. Once you know approximately how many grams of protein you need each day, the next step is to figure out how to hit that target (or above!*).  *(Some research has indicated that older age groups and those who are trying to lose weight might benefit by consuming more protein than is required).

Below are some common plant and animal foods with the grams of protein found in a typical serving size.  You’ll also see the total calories in each serving, which gives you some perspective on which foods contain the most protein with least calories, and which contain the least protein with the most calories.

Add up the amounts for the foods you consume on a typical day and see if you meet your protein requirement. If a food you eat is not on the list, you can look it up on this USDA database. While it won’t be perfect science, an estimate of what you consume is just as good. If you’re not meeting your daily protein recommendation from whole food sources (especially if you are vegan or vegetarian), you may consider supplementing with Growing Naturals plant protein powders.

Approximate Protein Content of Common Foods

Food Item, serving size Protein (grams) Calories
Plant Sources
Alfalfa, sprouted, raw, ½ cup 0.6 4
Almonds, 10 count 2.5 70
Black beans, boiled, ½ cup 7.5 114
Bread, whole wheat, 1 slice 6-8 60-120
Brown rice, cooked, ½ cup 2 109
Cashews, raw, ¼ cup 5 157
Chickpeas, plain, boiled, ½ cup 7 134
Couscous, cooked, ½ cup 3 88
Edemame, cooked, ½ cup 11 127
GN Pea Protein, all flavors, 1 scoop 15 70-90
GN Rice Protein, all flavors, 1 scoop 24 100-120
Hazelnut, 10 count 2 88
Hummus, 2 tbsp. 2.5 50
Kidney beans, boiled, ½ cup 7.5 112
Lentils, boiled, ½ cup 9 115
Millet, puffed, ¼ cup 0.7 20
Mung beans, sprouted, raw, ½ cup 1.5 16
Oats, cooked with water, 1 cup 6 166
Pasta, cooked, 4 oz. 6 150
Peanuts, dry roasted, ¼ cup 8.5 214
Peanuts, raw, ¼ cup 9 207
Pecans, 9 halves 2.5 196
Pistachios, 10 count 1.5 40
Pumpkin seeds, roasted, 2 tbsp. 4.5 85
Quinoa, cooked, 4 111
Sesame seeds, toasted, 2 tbsp. 2.5 91
Soymilk, fortified, 1 cup 6 104
Sunflower seeds, dry roasted, 2 tbsp. 3 93
Sweet potato, mashed, ½ cup 2 125
Tofu, raw, firm, ½ cup 20 183
Tortilla, corn, 1 medium (6” diameter) 1.5 60
Tortilla, whole wheat, 1 large 4 127
Walnuts, 14 halves 4 185
Animal Sources
Egg, large, 1 7 70
Milk, plain, 1 cup 8 90-120
Yogurt, plain, low fat, 1 cup 13 154
Yogurt, Greek, plain, non-fat, 1 cup 17 100
Ham, cured, 4 oz. 20 151
Beef, flank steak, broiled, 4 oz. 32 220
Chicken breast, no skin, grilled, 4 oz. 35 171
Turkey, no skin, roasted, 4 oz. 33 180
Pork loin, lean, roasted, 4 oz. 31 196
Cheese, cheddar, 1 oz. slice 7 113
Cheese, feta, crumbled, 2 tbsp. 2.5 50
Cheese, cottage, 1% fat, ½ cup 14 81
Cheese, mozzarella, part skim, 1 oz. slice 7 72
Salmon, cooked, 4 oz. 31 209
Tilapia, cooked, 1 fillet 23 111
Tuna, canned in water, 4 oz. 27 145

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2018-09-21T20:31:49+00:00