To learn exactly how much protein you should aim for, plug your stats into the protein calculator. Then, choose foods from this list that add up to give you the grams you need to hit your weight loss or muscle growth goals.
1. Green Peas
Protein in green peas: 7 g per 1-cup serving
While protein is not abundant in most vegetables, green peas contain enough that you’ll want to keep a bag stashed in your freezer at all times. They’re also high in fiber, so they help manage your weight and cravings.
Protein in tofu: 12 g per 3-oz. serving
If you’re looking to go meat-free, slabs of tofu can fill you up with soy protein. Slices of firm tofu work well in stir-fry, or cook them on the grill to infuse them with some smoky flavor. A good marinade goes a long way. You can even blend plain, uncooked tofu into a smoothie.
3. Mixed Nuts
Protein in mixed nuts: 6 g per 2-oz. serving
Nuts (and honorary nuts) like peanuts, cashews, and almonds make for a crunchy way to add more protein and healthy unsaturated fats to your diet. Keep a can in your glove compartment for hunger emergencies. If you’re watching your sodium intake, look for packages labelled “unsalted.”
4. Bean Chips
Protein in bean chips: 4 g per 1-oz. serving
If you’re craving crunchy chips, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better option than the ones made with protein-rich black beans. For a few extra grams of protein, use them as a delivery vessel for a homemade yogurt dip.
5. Peanut Butter
Protein in peanut butter: 8 g per 2-tbsp serving
Though not as trendy as other nut butters like almond, peanut butter still leads the way in the protein department. Make sure to watch labels for sugar, though. Natural versions made from just peanuts are best—some stores even let you grind your own.
If you’re working to get your weight in check, look for peanut butter powder, which has less fat but the same protein content. You can even use the powder for baking. Fun fact: Peanuts are technically a legume, not a nut.
6. Roasted Turkey Breast
Protein in roasted turkey breast: 18 g per 3-oz. serving
Sliced turkey is an easy way to get a lot of nearly fat-free protein, so pile it high. Steer clear of flavored turkey and other deli meats to avoid bringing home stuff you don’t need, like salt, sugar, and lab-made flavorings.
Protein in pepperoni: 18 g per 3-oz. serving
The stellar amount of protein in pepperoni makes it a surprisingly healthy topping for pizza or salad. Sodium levels can vary widely, so compare brands and look for options with the lowest amount.
8. Canned Chicken
Protein in canned chicken: 21 g per 3-oz. serving
Pop the lid on a can of ground white chicken meat to instantly add a shot of high-quality protein to your sandwiches and salads. Treat it the same way you would canned tuna. Compare brands, looking for those that deliver lower amounts of sodium so you don’t pack on water weight.
Protein in anchovies: 24 g per 3-oz. serving
Ounce for ounce, anchovies are the surprising winners when it comes to canned protein. Because of their size, they also don’t accumulate toxins the same way that bigger species do. To reduce their saltiness, soak anchovies in water for 30 minutes, then drain and pat dry.
10. Frozen Greek Yogurt
Protein in frozen Greek yogurt: 6 g per 1/2-cup serving
This sweet treat is frosty and creamy like ice cream, but contains about twice as much protein. Compare brands and look for those with the lowest sugar levels (or make it yourself). Some brands actually list fruit before sugar in the ingredient list, which is a plus.
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