Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays a critical role in our overall health.
For those who wish to increase their protein intake, this article provides a list of the top 20 highest protein foods.
As you will see, most (but not all) of these options are animal foods such as dairy and meat.
The simple reason: this list is not about finding fruit or vegetables that contain a few grams of protein for balance. Instead, it is about the absolute highest dietary sources of the nutrient.
(All values are before cooking and come courtesy of the USDA food database).
6) Lentils: 28 g Protein Per 100 g
Many plant-based foods that claim to be high in protein are not significant sources.
For example, broccoli is often promoted as a “protein-rich” vegan option. In reality, it contains less than three grams per 100 g.
In contrast, lentils genuinely are rich in protein. They are not a complete protein regarding their amino acid content, but they are one of the best sources for those who don’t eat meat.
A 1/2 cup serving provides around 25 grams of protein.
Lentils are also one of the best foods for people who prefer a higher carb diet, and they offer a good source of essential nutrients like iron, magnesium, and potassium.
11) Cod: 19 g Protein Per 100 g
Cod is a common and affordable fish with a good nutrition profile.
While cod does not have the culinary reputation of salmon or tuna, it can be delicious with proper preparation.
Cod is a protein-dense seafood option, and a typical fillet serving provides 21 grams of the macronutrient.
For a tasty recipe, cod tastes excellent when it is lightly pan-fried in a butter, lemon and parsley sauce.
10) Cocoa: 20 g Protein Per 100 g
Perhaps surprisingly for many people, cocoa contains a significant amount of protein.
While we do not usually eat it in substantial portions, a serving or two of dark chocolate from time to time can contribute some extra protein to the diet.
It is also a decent plant-based protein for those who follow vegetarian or vegan lifestyles.
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