Top 18 high protein foods

high protein foods

Looking for a list with high protein foods?

In this article we will talk about the top sources of protein – from animals, fish, plants or synthetic origin. I am going to list the protein content, vitamins, minerals, interesting facts, etc.

So if you’re thinking about hitting the gym or switching to a high protein diet, keep reading.

Table of contents

Whole eggs


Protein (per 100 g): 13 g

The eggs are the best protein source. Period.

Actually, they are so good, that the biological value scale is based on egg protein. 100 gr. contain 12-13 g protein, 11 g fat, 1.1 g carbohydrates and 150 cal.
Ideal for weight loss or lean bulking!

They also contain cholesterol and fat (the foundation of anabolic hormones for raw muscle and sexual power), vitamins (A, D, B2, B6, B12), calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, folate, sodium and more.

Simply put – it’s a superfood.

Important: Eat eggs fried or boiled, not raw. It’s just dumb. First, raw eggs have poor bioavailability¹ Second – the taste is awful. Third – you are begging for salmonella.

And by the way, don’t even think about throwing the yolk away – the most useful stuff is in it

Throwing the yolk should be a criminal offense. The egg has the most beneficial protein, cholesterol, fat and vitamins content. Worried about the calories? Cut calories from other foods and just eat your yolks.




Protein (per 100 g): 29 g

The turkey is one of the most famous meats and a favorite amongst the athletes! Its lean meat (only 7 g fat), low in carbs (0,1 g) and high in protein.

Like all poultry meats, the turkey meat is very low in fat. Of course that depends on where the meat was cut and how the bird was fed (and also how you cook it).

The turkey meat (cold, uncooked) has the great advantages of fueling up your muscle growth after a good workout, it would definitely help you with lean bulking if that’s what you’re looking for.

Another great point of the turkey is that it would help with weight management, meaning its awesome for those trying to include meat in their weight loss plans or just maintain their current weight.

One more benefit of the turkey is that it helps your immune system and heart health. Its also rich in vitamins B3, B6 and B12 and minerals.


Beef liver


Protein (per 100 g): 26 g

The liver is a superfood – chock full of protein, iron, vitamins and whatnots.

100 g of beef liver contains 25-30 g protein (almost 30%!), 4 g fats and 3-4 g carbs. 100 g liver is about 160-170 calories – ideal for lean bulking or weight loss.

Thousands of years ago, the liver from a killed animal (by a human in exotic parts of the world) was reserved for the best hunter or tribe leader. It was thought that once you ate the organs of your enemy you became stronger. People thought you absorbed their energy.

The liver is full of iron and haemoglobin, which are associated with strength and endurance, so they weren’t far from the truth.


The potency of liver is hidden in its vast iron and vitamin content. Just look what 100 g of this bad boy contains…

  • 80% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of iron. The iron is directly correlated to energy levels, explosive power and mood. The iron in the liver is heme iron – the kind most easily absorbed by the body!
  • 3,400% RDI of Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is crucial for high energy levels and the formation of red blood cells and DNA.
  • 860-1,100% RDI of Vitamin A: Vitamin A is associated with good vision and immune system. Helps the heart and lungs work properly.
  • 210-260% RDI of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin). Crucial for cell development. Riboflavin helps convert food into energy. Alleviates muscle cramps, acne problems, etc.
  • 65% RDI of Folate (B9): Folate is involved in cell growth and the formation of DNA. It also contributes to maternal tissue growth (during pregnancy) and normal amino acid synthesis.

It also contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, calcium and magnesium. Basically, if you have to pick one meat to eat for your entire life, pick the liver.




Protein (per 100 g): 25-28 g

Chicken is rich in protein (25-28 g/100 g), low in fat (14 g) and doesn’t consist of any carbohydrates (0 g).

Perfect if you want pure protein!

Chicken is also a very good source of selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, Vitamin A, niacin, magnesium and calcium.


Avoid consuming breaded, fried, etc. chicken from fast foods chains – it’s full of fat and other nasty things

Stay away from fast food meat. In fact, stay away from any fast food.

I have worked in such establishments and if I tell you what I have seen them do with the meat, you will vomit…

  • The meat is full of chemicals and hormones;
  • Before frying, it is covered with flour, which adds tons of calories;
  • The meat is deep-fried, which adds tons of fat (and not of the good kind);

Buy meat directly from farmers. It’ll be both fresh and hormone-free, and you’ll support small businesses.


Cook your chicken as simply as possible – roasted on a skewer, in the oven, on the grill or with spices and a minimum amount of oil

Here is my recipe …

Put the chicken in the pan. Add a little oil, a can of beer, salt, some spices and that’s it. Put the pan in the oven at 250 degrees and after 30-40 minutes it will be ready.

Garnish with stewed/roasted/boiled vegetables and a cold beer.


Beef jerky

beef jerky

Protein (per 100 g): 35 – 40 g

The beef jerky is the perfect high protein snack – 100 g from this bad boy contains 35-40 gr. protein! No need to heat it, cook it, boil it or anything like that. Just eat it.

The beef jerky contains zinc, vitamin B12, phosphorus, folate, iron, copper, choline, selenium, potassium, magnesium, a little manganese and pantothenic acid.

Depending on the brand and canning method, beef jerky may also contain carbohydrates (mostly sugars), spices (black pepper, coriander, vinegar), salt and lots of sodium.

Here lies the problem…

Most often the agent used to preserve the beef jerky (also bacon, deli meat etc.) is Sodium Nitrate. Excessive amounts of Sodium however can lead to heart problems (source).

So the keyword here is “moderation”.

Important: For foods that i love, “moderation” is a word i despise. So take a look at this and this recipes for a homemade beef jerky to take control over the ingredients. Serve with cold beer while you watch the game and enjoy life.


Cow’s milk

cows milk

Protein (per 100 g): 3 – 5 g

A cheap and easy to take protein source. Milk hardly needs an introduction…

100 g milk contains 3 – 5 g protein, 8 g fat and 5 g of carbs. It contains quite a few vitamins and minerals – Vitamin B12, Calcium, Riboflavin, Phosphorus, etc.

Ideal for smoothies, muesli and desserts. The power of milk is that it is easily taken. If you find it hard to get your macros, especially protein, 1-2 litres of milk a day with protein powder solves the problem.


Skyr Yoghurt

high protein skyr-yoghurt

Protein (per 100 g): 11 g

Note: Depending on the brand, Skyr yoghurt can contain up to 17-18 g of protein.

One of my favorite quick high-protein snacks!

When I’m short on time, I grab a cup of Skyr from the store (usually 400g) for a quick 45g of protein while walking down the street. Skyr is low on carbs (5 g) and virtually fat free.

Skyr is akin to yoghurt but has a creamier and thicker texture thanks to the heirloom Icelandic cultures used to make it. One cup of Skyr is made from four cups of milk which in terms of protein and vitamin content makes it vastly superior to other yoghurts.

For example, 100 gr. Skyr contains 10-12 g protein, while Greek yoghurt only 7 g, Bulgarian kiselo mlyako (aka bulgarian yoghurt) – 3.4, and cow’s raw milk – 3-5 g.

In addition to protein, Skyr is brings beneficial vitamins and minerals, like Phosphorus, Calcium, Riboflavin, Vitamin B-12 and Potassium.

So next time when you are in a hurry for a low-calorie and high-protein snack, grab a cup of Skyr!


Cheese (from cow’s milk)


Protein (per 100 g): 25 g

100 g cheese contains 25 g protein, 21 g fat and is almost carbohydrate free – 1.3 g. It is perfect on pizzas, omelets, burgers and salads.

I hardly need to explain about cheeseburgers, right?

Cheese is also rich in calcium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, potassium and other vitamins and minerals.

Some drawbacks, though…

100 g contains 105 mg of cholesterol (35% daily value), so if you’re worried about cholesterol, ask your doc how much to snack on. It also contains 21 g of saturated fats, which can kill your diet if you’re not careful.

For low-fat/cholesterol alternatives, try fat-free cheese (1mg cholesterol per ounce), cottage cheese (2mg), parmesan, ricotta etc.

If you are lactose intolerant, eat aged cheeses such as Cheddar and Swiss. Lactose is very low (or none) and is easily tolerated by the body.


Mozzarella (from buffalo milk)

mozzarella cheese

Protein (per 100 g): 28 g

One of the most popular cheeses in the world. The best addition to pizza, sandwiches and the average American. 100 g contain 28 g protein, 18-20 g fats and its virtually free from carbs – 0.7 g.

Can be used as a quick high protein and low calorie meal. Season 1-2 mozzarella balls with olive oil, tomatoes and parsley for a quick snack at the office or while traveling.

The mozzarela is a southern Italian soft, non-aged cheese made from buffalo’s milk by the pasta filata method. While the fresh mozzarella is white, when seasoned it turns to light yellow depending on the animal’s diet.

Mozzarella is rich in calcium (505 mg, 51% NRV), phosphorus (354 mg, 51% NRV) and sodium (627 mg, 42% NRV).


Cottage cheese


Protein (per 100 g): 10 – 15 g

Another cheap and high quality protein source.

Depending on the brand, 100 g of cottage cheese contains 10-15 g of protein, 4-5 g fat (if skimmed) and 3-4 g carbs.

100 g is only 100 calories (1 calorie per gram), so it’s ideal if you want to get more protein without going overboard on calories. Another advantage of cottage cheese is that it contains 20 amino acids, most of them essential.

Cottage cheese also contains potent amounts of phosphorus, sodium, selenium, vitamin B12, riboflavin, calcium and folate.

The downside? People complain about its taste (or rather lack thereof), but there are plenty of delicious recipes on the internet. Just look it up.


Bulgarian Yellow Cheese (Kaschkaval)


Protein (per 100 g): 25-30 g

We all know about yellow cheese, but have you ever heard of Bulgarian yellow cheese called “kaschkaval”?

The differences?

Yellow cheeses in Western Europe/North America have holes, while Bulgarian kaschkaval does not. In fact, the holes in Bulgarian kaschkaval are a sign of low quality.

Furthermore, kaschkaval has higher protein content (25-30 g per 100 g) than the yellow cheese. Another difference is that kaschkaval has a more smokey and thicker taste, which I personally really like.

As for the macros, 100 gr of kaschkaval contains 28-30 g fats and merely 1-2 g carbs. An interesting fact is that the protein in kaschkaval cheese is almost completely absorbed by the body – 98.5%!

Kaschkaval cheese also contains 1 mcg Vitamin D, Calcium (696 mg), Iron (1 mg), Potassium (168 mg) and Sodium (0.7 mg). So if you want to indulge yourself in yellow cheese, but with a slightly different taste, try the bulgarian kaschkaval.




Protein (per 100 g): 30 g

The tuna is 30% lean protein, 1.3% fats (pretty negligible) and 0 gr. carbs. Chock full of Omega-3 – 228 mg/100 g.

Virtually free from carbs and fats. Perfect if you are on strict weight loss/clean bulk regimen!

Tuna is brimming with vitamins/minerals – Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B3, B6, Choline, Folate, Vitamin C, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, etc. Contains magnesium and potassium which support muscle, nerve and heart function.


Tuna contains cholesterol – 60 mg/100 g. Check with your doc if you’re worried about its levels.

Ditch the canned tuna. Consume fresh. Prepare it as simple as possible – grilled, in a foil, with a side of vegetables, lemon, etc.

And a friendly piece of advice… If you don’t want your co-workers to fantasize about killing you, don’t eat (or even worse heat tuna in the microwave) while you’re at the office 😉


Atlantic cod


Protein (per 100 g): 19 g

100 g contains 19-20 g protein, 1 g fat and 0 g carbohydrate. Perfect for weight loss or building lean muscle mass!

By the way, try this cod recipe –

Cod is rich in vitamins A, E, B3, B6, B12. It is also rich in Choline (folate), selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and potassium.

It also contains iron, manganese, phosphorus, zinc for more energy and muscle strength.

Cod however has poor Omega-3 content – only 1 mg per 100 g. So if you want Omega-3 in your diet, eat “oily fishes” (salmon, tuna).

Important. Always eat fish after it has been cooked. Almost all fish have parasites that can give you diarrhea, abdominal and muscle pain. Unless it is deep frozen, always bake/fry cod before eating.




Protein (per 100 g): 20 g

Salmon is similar to tuna. Rich in protein. Rich in Omega fatty acids. Full of vitamins and minerals. And it’s also quite tasty.

The difference between them is that salmon contains more fat and calories.

Salmon is the perfect source of omega-3 fatty acids – EPA and DHA. In 100 g you have 2.6 grams of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fats are essential. Your body cannot produce them on its own, so you have to obtain them from the food you are consuming.

Just like tuna, salmon is rich in B vitamins – Vitamin B1 (thiamin): 18% of the RDI, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 29% of the RDI, Vitamin B3 (niacin): 50% of the RDI, Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 19% of the RDI, Vitamin B6: 47% of the RDI, Vitamin B9 (folic acid): 7% of the RDI, Vitamin B12: 51% of the RDI.

Like other fish, it is a good source of Selenium, Potassium and Astaxanthin.

Potassium helps control your blood pressure and prevents excess fluid retention. Selenium is a mineral playing a role in protecting bone health and improving thyroid function. Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that benefits the heart, brain, nervous system and skin health.




Protein (per 100 g): 26 g

I adore them because they are:

  • Good for you (unless, of course, you are allergic to them) – contain Biotin, Copper, Niacin, Folate, Manganese, Vitamin E, Thiamine, Phosphorus, Magnesium, etc.;
  • High in calories – peanuts are rich in fats and protein, and provide energy;
  • Cheap – peanuts and peanut butter are a cheap and high-quality source of vegetable protein;
  • You don’t have to do anything. You buy and eat them right away;


A recipe for a pre-workout shake with peanuts

100 – 150 g of peanuts and one yogurt go into the shaker. You click the button 5-6 times and are all done.

The shake contains:

  • 40 – 45 g of protein (about 30-35 g of protein are from the peanuts, the rest is from the milk);
  • 75 – 85 g of fat;
  • 15 g of carbohydrates;

Everything you need to survive a leg workout. If you want, you can also add a scoop (25-30 g) of protein.

Tip: If you add a dose of protein, add a little bit of water. The shake will become less thick and it will be easier to drink.




Protein (per 100 g): 16.9 g

Note: We are talking about raw oatmeal. Not about muesli or pre-made foods with tons of fat and sugar. Stay away from those.

Every fitness influencer’s favourite food.

And for a reason… Among the grains, oats are protein champions. 100 g contains 16.9 – 24 g protein, 66 g slow carbs, 7 g healthy fats and 10.6 g of fibre.

They are super easy and quick to prepare. You pour some warm milk, add honey, some fruit and eat while watching YouTube. They’re also perfect for homemade protein bars, in smoothies for gaining mass or as a quick snack.

The fibres in the oats are crucial for a healthy digestive system and fat metabolism.

The nuts are also rich in vitamins and minerals… Copper (.6 mg, 31% NRV), Vitamin B1 (.8 mg, 51% NRV), Iron (4.7 mg, 26% NRV), Selenium, Magnesium (177 mg, 44% NRV) and Zinc (4 mg, 26%), Manganese (4.9 mg, 246% NRV), Potassium (429 mg, 12% NRV) and more.

Not bad for a grain.




Protein (per 100 g): 22 g

Rich in protein (22 g), fibres (13 g) and healthy fats (50 g). Fantastic source of antioxidants.

Perfect for shakes, smoothies, muesli or homemade protein bars. Grind them up and sprinkle on ice creams or pancakes. A great addition to cold beer. Or whiskey.

Advice: Always take 100-150 g almonds and something sweet with you in the mountains, hiking etc. You never know when you will need some caloric food.

Almond is a real vitamin/mineral bomb…

Contains Vitamin B1 (0.205 mg, 17%), Vitamin B2 (1.138 mg, 88% NRV) and Vitamin B9 (44 mcg, 11%). Rich in Vitamin E (25.63 mg, 171% NRV). Also a good source of Calcium (269 mg, 21% NRV), Iron (3.7 mg, 21% NRV), Magnesium (270 mg, 64% NRV), Potassium (733 mg, 16% NRV), Copper (1.03 mg, 114% NRV) and Zinc (3.12 mg, 28% NRV).

The antioxidants in almonds are mostly in the brown layer, so always buy them with the skin. Keep them airtight, away from moisture and light to preserve them fresher for longer.

Drawbacks? Yes, they are a highly caloric food (100 g = 579 kcal.). But if you calculate your calories correctly, eating 30-40 g while you’re out and about won’t be a problem.


Whey protein powder (as isolate)

protein powder

Protein (per 100 g): 85 – 90 g

Whey protein isolate is chemically engineered to be the best and most convenient way to inject protein into the bloodstream… 90-95% protein content. Has the best amino acid profile. Easiest to absorb. Almost fats and carbs free.

Combine with high protein diet, creatine, multivitamins, Omega-3s and good night sleep for rapid muscle gains. I highly recommend taking 1-2 scoops (50-60 g) 30-40 minutes after workout for faster recovery.


If you suffer from lack of appetite or need to strictly keep your macros in check, you will fall in love with the powder

It’s a convenient meal replacement if you’re lacking the time or appetite to eat. Perfect if you need high protein but low-calorie meal for weight loss. Invaluable for boosting your protein intake to gain lean muscle mass.

Whey protein is derived from milk, but there are also powders based on egg, veal, soy etc. My advice is to stick to whey protein isolate. Trial after trial has confirmed it’s the best.

Vegan? Go for pea, hemp or brown rice protein powder.


Final thoughts

I hope you liked this list.

Over time, I will add more high-protein foods (from plants and animals), so it’s a good idea to come back to the article from time to time. If you think I’ve missed something or have a question, leave a comment below.


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