The Protein Content of 230 Common Foods

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We all have different protein needs, but it can be difficult knowing precisely how much protein common foods contain.

For this reason, this guide provides a simple overview of the protein content of 230 common foods.

The source of the data is the USDA’s food composite database, and all foods are per 100 grams raw (1).

Cereal Grains

Raw Oats In a Glass Bowl.

Cereal grains are moderately high in protein.

However, they are not a complete source of protein, which means they do not contain sufficient amounts of all the essential amino acids.

Food Protein Content (Per 100 g)
Amaranth13.6 g
Barley12 g
Bread (brown)11 g
Bread (white)9 g
Buckwheat13.3 g
Corn flour8.8 g
Corn grains9.4 g
Couscous12.7 g
Oats16.9 g
Pasta (dry)13 g
Quinoa14.1 g
Rice (brown)7.5 g
Rice (white)7.5 g
Rye flour10.9 g
Semolina12.7 g
Spelt14.6 g
Wheat flour12.0 g
Wheat (whole grain)13.2 g
Wild rice14.7 g

Dairy Foods and Eggs

Fresh Dairy Foods and Whole Eggs On a Wooden Board.

Dairy products are rich sources of complete protein, and cheese is particularly high in the nutrient.

Food Protein Content (Per 100 g)
Brie cheese20.7 g
Buttermilk3.2 g
Camembert cheese19.8 g
Cheddar cheese24.9 g
Condensed milk7.9 g
Brie cheese20.7 g
Buttermilk3.2 g
Camembert cheese19.8 g
Cheddar cheese24.9 g
Condensed milk7.9 g
Cottage cheese11 g
Cottage cheese (low-fat)12.4 g
Cream2.1 g
Cream cheese6.2 g
Edam cheese25 g
Eggs12.6 g
Feta cheese14.2 g
Gouda cheese24.9 g
Gruyere cheese29.8 g
Milk (1% fat)3.3 g
Milk (whole)3.3 g
Mozzarella cheese22.2 g
Parmesan cheese35.7 g
Provolone cheese25.6 g
Quail eggs13.1 g
Quark12 g
Romano cheese31.8 g
Sour cream2.4 g
Swiss cheese27 g
Whey protein concentrate (Now Foods)72.7 g
Whey protein isolate (Now Foods)89.3 g
Yogurt3.5 g


Red Cherries With Green Stems.

Generally speaking, fruit is a poor source of protein.

However, some fruits do still contain small amounts, with dried goji berries being the most notable.

Food Protein Content (Per 100 g)
Apple0.3 g
Apricot1.4 g
Apricot (dried)3.4 g
Avocado2 g
Banana1.1 g
Blackberries1.4 g
Blueberries0.7 g
Cherries1.1 g
Dates2.5 g
Durian1.3 g
Goji berries (dried)14.3 g
Grapes0.8 g
Grapefruit0.8 g
Guava2.6 g
Kiwi1.1 g
Kumquat1.9 g
Lemon1.1 g
Lime0.7 g
Loganberries1.5 g
Mango0.8 g
Olives1.0 g
Orange1.0 g
Passion fruit2.2 g
Peach0.9 g
Persimmon0.8 g
Pineapple0.6 g
Pomegranate1.7 g
Prune3.7 g
Raisins2.3 g
Raspberries1.2 g
Star fruit1.0 g
Strawberry0.7 g
Tamarind2.8 g
Tangerine0.8 g


Legumes are the highest plant-based source of protein.

Food Protein Content (Per 100 g)
Black beans21.6 g
Chickpeas20.3 g
Green split peas23.1 g
Kidney beans22.5 g
Lentils24.6 g
Lima beans21.5 g
Miso12.8 g
Mung beans23.9 g
Natto19.4 g
Peanuts25.8 g
Pinto beans21.4 g
Soybeans28.6 g
Tempeh20.3 g
Tofu17.3 g


Various Cuts of Meat.

Meat products are a complete source of protein, but the protein density of different meats can significantly vary.

For anyone looking to maximize protein content, leaner meat offers the best protein to calorie ratio.

Food Protein Content (Per 100 g)
Bacon13 g
Beef kidney17.4 g
Beef liver20.4 g
Beef spleen18.3 g
Bottom sirloin20.6 g
Cervelat17.5 g
Chicken breast23.1 g
Chicken liver16.9 g
Chorizo24.1 g
Chuck eye steak19 g
Duck meat18.3 g
Flank steak21.2 g
Ground beef17.2 g
Ground chicken17.4 g
Ground lamb16.6 g
Ground pork16.9 g
Ground turkey17.5 g
Lamb chop18.3 g
Lamb heart16.5 g
Lamb kidney15.7 g
Lamb liver20.4 g
Liverwurst14.1 g
Pancetta9.3 g
Pepperoni23 g
Pork chop20.7 g
Pork kidney16.5 g
Prosciutto24.1 g
Ribeye steak17.3 g
Round steak22.2 g
Skirt steak23.1 g
Soppressata25 g
Strip steak23.1 g
Sweetbread20.4 g
Tenderloin steak20 g
Top sirloin steak20 g
T-bone steak20.3 g

Nuts and Seeds

Various Nuts in Wooden Dishes.

Nuts are another plant source of protein, but the amount of protein varies substantially from nut to nut.

Food Protein Content (Per 100 g)
Acorn8.1 g
Almonds21.2 g
Brazil nuts14.3 g
Cashew nuts18.2 g
Chestnuts5 g
Chia seeds15.6 g
Coconut meat3.7 g
Flaxseeds18.3 g
Gingko nuts10.4 g
Hazelnuts15 g
Hummus8 g
Macadamia nuts7.9 g
Pecans9.5 g
Pine nuts13.7 g
Pistachio nuts21.1 g
Pumpkin seeds18.6 g
Sesame seeds17 g
Sunflower seeds20.8 g
Tahini17 g
Walnuts18 g


Various Different Fish and Shellfish.

In addition to offering lots of omega-3, vitamins, and minerals, seafood is also an excellent source of protein.

Food Protein Content (Per 100 g)
Abalone17.1 g
Anchovy20 g
Bass18.4 g
Bream24 g
Catfish16.4 g
Caviar25 g
Crab19 g
Cod19 g
Cuttlefish16.2 g
Eel18.4 g
Flounder12 g
Halibut20.8 g
Herring18 g
Lobster18.8 g
Mackerel19 g
Monkfish14.5 g
Mussels11.9 g
Octopus15 g
Oyster9 g
Salmon20 g
Salmon Roe21 g
Sardine25 g
Shark21 g
Squid16 g


Numerous Vegetables of Many Colors.

Vegetables are generally low in protein and they are not complete sources. However, their amino acids (protein content) are still beneficial.

Food Protein Content (Per 100 g)
Artichoke3.3 g
Arugula2.6 g
Asparagus2.2 g
Bell pepper1.0 g
Beet greens2.2 g
Bok choy1.5 g
Broccoli2.8 g
Brussels Sprouts3.4 g
Butternut squash0.9 g
Cabbage (green)1.3 g
Cabbage (red)1.4 g
Carrots0.9 g
Cauliflower2.0 g
Celery0.7 g
Chives3.3 g
Collard greens2.5 g
Dandelion greens2.7 g
Eggplant1.0 g
Endive1.3 g
Garlic6.4 g
Green onion1.8 g
Jicama0.7 g
Kale3.3 g
Kohlrabi1.7 g
Leeks1.5 g
Lettuce1.4 g
Mushrooms2.5 g
Mustard greens2.7 g
Okra2.0 g
Onions1.1 g
Parsnips1.2 g
Potatoes2.0 g
Pumpkin1.0 g
Purple sweet potato1.3 g
Radicchio1.4 g
Radish0.7 g
Rutabaga (Swede)1.2 g
Seaweed3.0 g
Shallots2.5 g
Spaghetti squash0.6 g
Spinach2.9 g
Sweet potato1.6 g
Swiss Chard1.8 g
Tomatillo1.0 g
Tomatoes0.9 g
Turnips0.9 g
Watercress2.3 g
Water chestnut1.4 g
Zucchini1.2 g

Final Thoughts

Almost every food provides dietary protein, but some options offer a lot more than others.

For example, see this article on how bioavailability rates differ between animal and plant sources of protein.

While dairy, meat, and seafood are the most complete sources, other foods can also contribute.

Focusing on the higher protein choices in this list could help anyone seeking to increase their intake

For more information on the importance of protein, see this guide to the potential harms of protein deficiency.

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Algy Goosen
Algy Goosen
1 year ago

Great references thank you Michael. It would be nice to see some mention of bio-availability and digestibility of the different sources of protein, since plant based proteins can often be somewhat problematic in terms of available proteins

Sandy De Leo
1 year ago

Thank you for the great at a glance reference lists