Foods High In Protein List – Keep Your Muscle

Tips to keep your muscles while you diet. The pounds you are looking to shed while dieting and getting healthy shouldn’t  be sucked out of your muscles, right?! Below is a quick foods high in protein list to utilize for your reference and some other handy ways to get your daily dose. Keep that muscle!

Protein Is Super Important

One thing to remember if you are trying to lose weight on a diet is to get enough protein. You do not want your muscles to be a source of food that your body will start using for energy. The right proteins are important. Are you getting enough protein and if so, are they complete proteins you body needs? This is a quick list to see some great complete proteins as well as ideas for adding some great options with protein to your diet.

RDA and Age

Sudies indicate that to preserve muscle and strength, protein consumption may need to be increased as you get older so be sure you are getting the recommended intake with factoring in your age. RDA for Adult men need around 56g where women need around 46g (unless they are pregnant).

Studies suggest that our bodies may require almost double the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein as we age.

Meat and Dairy

Meats are one of the best sources for complete proteins. Complete proteins contain the 9 essential amino acids acquired by the food we eat, since our body does not produce them. This makes up the whole protein of 20 amino acids in all for healthy support.

Beef – Protein 7.5g to 9g per oz

Chicken – Protein 7.5g to 8g per oz

Turkey – Protein 8g to 8.6g per oz

Pork – Protein 6g to 8g per oz

Halibut — Protein 7.6g per oz

Tilapia – Protein 7.4g per oz

Salmon – Protein 6.3g per oz

Cheese – Protein 7g to 8g per oz [Cheddar, Jack, Fontina, Provolone, Asiago, Gouda]

Cheese – Protein 8g to 10g per oz [Pecorino Romano, Mozzarella, Gruyere, Swiss, Parmesan]

Eggs – Protein 3.5g per oz or apox 6g per egg

Greek Yogurt – Protein 14g per 5.3 oz cup (apx 2/3 cup)

Beans / Legumes

Beans and Legumes are a great source of nutrition and fiber! Plus they are very versatile in recipes from smoothies to soups & salads, these really incorporate into meals nicely!! My personal favorite is the Great Northern Bean and keep a couple cans of them in the pantry at all times in case I need a protein boost in a meal.

Great Northern Beans – Protein 9.7g per half cup

Lentils – Protein 9g per half cup

Split Peas – Protein 8.2g per half cup

Black Beans – Protein 7.6g per half cup

Navy Beans – Protein 7.5g per half cup

Pinto Beans – Protein 7.2g per half cup

Red Kidney Beans – Protein 7.2g per half cup

Garbanzo Beans – Protein 6.3g per half cup – Combine these with Tahini and you have a complete protein.

Soy Beans – Protein 5.6g per half cup – This is also a complete protein, however they also contain plant estrogen

Green Peas – Protein 4.3g per half cup

Grains / Seeds and Nuts

I really eat a lot of these in my diet because I like them. Not just for the nutritional value but the flavor and texture is wonderful. As a side dish for dinner or in your cereal in the morning they are a great break up in the meat fest that can happen in higher protein / less carb diets.

Quinoa – Protein 4g per half cup – This is a complete protein and a personal favorite!

Amaranth – Protein 4.6g per half cup – Complete protein

Hemp Seed – Protein 3.3g per half cup – Complete protein

Chia Seed – Protein 2.5g per half cup – Complete protein

Buckwheat – Protein 3g per half cup – Complete protein

Teff – Protein 14g per half cup

Triticale – Protein 12g per half cup

Pumpkin Seeds – Protein 9g per oz

Almonds – Protein 6g per oz – Weight loss favorite as studies have shown their nutrients support fat loss

Cashews – Protein 5g per oz


Veggies are packed with vitamins and minerals and are always pretty with all the colors that make every meal so inviting and I like to think of them as the love part of my cooking when I make meals for my family. Whether they are big and bold rough cut collard greens, squash or big ears of roasted corn; or hidden out of sight shredded carrot or finely chopped mushrooms that may be hiding in the sauce.

Spinach – lightly cooked, 5.3g protein per cup (lightly cook your spinach to get the most benefit)

Collard Greens – Protein 5g per cup

Hubbard Squash – Protein 5g per cup

Asparagus – Protein 4.3g per 1 cup

Corn – Protein 4.2g per cup

Sweet Potato – Protein 4g per cup baked w/skin

Brussel sprouts – Protein 4g per cup

Mushrooms – Protein 3g to 4g per cup

Broccoli – Protein 3.7g per cup lightly cooked

Avocado – Protein 3g per cup

Kale – Protein 2.5g per cup lightly cooked to get the most nutrition

Cauliflower – Protein 2.3g per cup

Zucchini – Protein 2g per cup

Protein Tips

Protein powders are a great way to get added protein in your favorite foods. I like to add them to breakfast and anytime I want a smoothie for that sweet treat fix. I also like the Almond Flour for a bit of added nutrition to baked goods Just finding a bit more protein in items every day that you can add is always helpful I find. A sprinkle of seeds on the yogurt or in the side dish with dinner. I would be careful of the “protein bar” as these can help you gain weight if you are not careful to read the ingredients to make sure they fit in with your goals. Lots of so called “healthy” snacks and foods on the market are not very healthy indeed. If you can, stick to whole foods and choose a cheese stick or nuts and beef jerky for convenience instead.

These are general protein estimates to use as a broad guide. If you would like more detailed information on the nutrients in your items, there are a lot of great sites and apps out there. I really like using these apps for whole foods and some of them you can actually look up the brand and fast food nutritional information on.

Please let me know you comments and thoughts below and remember to save this page to your favorites for quick reference. I hope you found these tips and quick lists helpful! Wishing you the best of Joy and Happiness!

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