10 Best High Protein Foods, According To Experts – Forbes

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There are many protein-rich foods, derived from both animal and plant-based sources, that are great additions to your diet. Here are a few of the top high-protein foods recommended by experts.

1. Salmon

“Animal protein sources are the most bioavailable, meaning they have the best absorption and a more complete amino acid profile than plant sources,” says Papanos. She recommends salmon, noting that it also provides other important nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, which can enhance heart health. Each 3-ounce serving provides almost 22 grams of protein, plus plenty of B vitamins and selenium.

2. Greek Yogurt

“Creamy and rich, [Greek yogurt] is packed with protein and is great for breakfast with fruit or as a base for smoothies,” says Jennifer Pallian, a Vancouver-based registered dietitian, food scientist and founder of Foodess, a food blog. Plus, besides offering nearly 20 grams of protein per 7-ounce serving, Greek yogurt is also high in calcium and B vitamins.

3. Chicken

“My favorite high protein food is chicken breast, because it’s lean and provides about 24 grams of protein per 4 ounce serving,” says Evink. In addition to protein, chicken is also rich in several other key nutrients, including phosphorus, vitamin B6 and selenium.

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4. Lentils

With approximately 18 grams of protein per cooked cup, lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein. They’re also high in fiber and can be a versatile addition to soups, curries and salads, notes Pallian.

5. Lean Pork

A 100 gram serving of lean pork includes 21.6 grams of protein. “Pork is balanced in all essential amino acids that are among the most bioavailable of the animal-derived proteins and of lower cost,” says Taylor Wallace, Ph.D., principal and CEO of the Think Healthy Group—a food science and nutrition research firm—as well as an adjunct associate professor in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and a member of the Forbes Health Advisory Board. “I like pork because it has a lot of flavor, is pretty versatile in the kitchen, and you can serve it with most any vegetable or fruit,” he says. Dr. Wallace suggests cooking a pork tenderloin in a pressure cooker as one way to prepare it.

6. Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo beans are a great vegan-friendly source of protein, with 14.5 grams of protein per cup. Plus, they are rich in fiber, which can help lower blood sugar, increase feelings of fullness and help reduce cholesterol levels, says Evink.

7. Eggs

Not only does one large egg supply over 6 grams of protein, eggs also contain vitamins and minerals like choline, vitamin D and phosphorus. Soft-boiled eggs are an especially convenient and nutritious option recommended by Papanos. “They taste great, are portable and soft boiling protects the nutrients in the egg so that you reap even more essential vitamins,” she says.

8. Tempeh

Tempeh is a type of fermented soy product that provides about 20 grams of protein in each 3-ounce serving, according to Evink. Tempeh is also a good source of probiotics, a type of beneficial bacteria that may aid in gut health. Although this bacteria is inactivated after cooking, research suggests that it may still help promote digestive health, stimulate immune function and reduce fatigue.

9. Quinoa

Quinoa contains over 8 grams of protein per cooked cup and is considered a complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids, according to Palliano. Furthermore, it’s also a good source of fiber and many essential nutrients like zinc.

10. Cottage Cheese

With nearly 12 grams of protein per half-cup serving, cottage cheese can be an excellent, high protein addition to your diet. Plus, it provides calcium, vitamin B12 and potassium and can be easily incorporated into a variety of dishes, says Evink. “Add it to eggs, smoothies or cream sauces in place of cream,” she recommends.

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