Protein is a nutrient needed by the human body for growth and maintenance. Proteins are the building blocks of life. Every cell in the human body contains protein. The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids. Protein can help you lose weight and keep your belly full. But it’s important to eat the right kind. Protein is found throughout the body, in muscle, bone, skin, hair, and virtually every other body part or tissue. It makes up the enzymes that power many chemicals. All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the Protein Foods Group. Following foods are considered high in protein:-
- Chicken Breast. Chicken tops the list of high protein foods, and can generally be divided into two categories: white meat (breast) or dark meat (thighs and legs). Chicken, it does your body good especially when building muscles. The average serving of chicken breast has between 21g and 40g of protein. A 4-ounce roasted chicken breast gives you more than 35 grams of protein. 4 ounces of cooked chicken thigh meat offer nearly 30 grams of protein.
- Fish(Tuna, Salmon, Halibut). Most fish are good sources of dietary protein while also supplying essential minerals and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna has the highest protein content compared to other types of fish. The blue fin and yellow fin species of tuna are especially high in protein, with blue fin offering up 29.91 g of protein per 100 g of dry-cooked fish, and yellow fin providing 29.15 g. A 3-ounce serving of halibut provides 23 grams of protein. Other fish high in protein per fillet(3oz or 85g) are Salmon (22g), Halibut (22g), Snapper (22g), Perch(21g), Flounder and Sole (21g), Cod (20g), Tilapia (17g).
- Cheese (Non-fat Mozzarella). There are 42 calories in 1 stick of Nonfat or Fat Free Mozzarella Cheese. It has 0% fat, 10% carbs and 90% protein. Non-fat mozzarella cheese in a serving size of ¼ cup usually contains 45 calories, 0 percent fat, iron and potassium, 2 percent cholesterol, 12 percent sodium, 1 percent carbohydrates, 9 g protein, 10 percent vitamin A and 25 percent calcium. Other cheese high in protein per ounce (28g): Low-fat Cottage Cheese (5g), Low-fat Swiss cheese (8g), Low-fat Cheddar (6g), Parmesan (10g), Romano (9g). Low or Non Fat Mozzarella and Cottage Cheese provide the most protein per calorie, full fat cheeses typically only provide 1g protein per 20 calories, and are less optimal sources of protein.
- Pork Loin (Chops). Pork is full of protein, but not all cuts of pork are lean and healthy. Pork tenderloin is one of the leanest cuts of pork. A 4-ounce cut of broiled pork tenderloin has about 160 calories. Nearly 75 percent of the calories come from protein, while only about 25 percent of the calories come from fat. A large grilled pork chop weighing 8 ounces has around 425 total calories. Pork chops are higher in fat than pork tenderloin. Roughly 52 percent of the total calories come from protein, while the remaining amount comes from fat. Pork loin is low in fat and high in protein. Sirloin Roast 3oz (28g) provides 23g of protein, Ham 3oz (28g) provides 18g of protein, 1 slice of bacon (8g) provides 3g of protein.
- Lean Beef and Veal (Low Fat). Eating lean protein helps lower cholesterol levels; Extra Lean Beef has little more than 7 g protein per ounce. Lean Beef and Veal (Low Fat) 100g has 36g protein, 3oz Slice (85g) has 31g Protein and the protein to Calorie Ratio is 1g protein per 5.3 calories.
- Tofu. Tofu is a good source of high quality protein compared to other plant sources. Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. Tofu and soy protein can be industrially processed to match the textures and flavors to the likes of cheese, pudding, eggs, bacon, etc. Half cup serving or 4 ounces of raw, firm tofu has 95 Calories; 10 grams Protein and 3 grams Carbohydrates.
- Beans (Soy Beans). Soybeans are a good source of protein and complex carbohydrates. The protein content of soy foods varies, ranging from about 25 grams for a ½-cup serving. Other beans high in protein per cup cooked: Kidney Beans (17g), White Beans (17g), Lima Beans (15g), Fava Beans (14g), Black Beans (15g), Mung Beans (14g).