10 Best Sources of Protein (and how much you really need)

three salmon pieces on a chopping boardAlmost every part of your body benefits from protein: Muscles, bones, blood, skin, hair, cartilage and more. How much? Moderate amounts will do a body good, say nutritionists. Active men, including teenagers can get by with three daily servings seven ounces of protein daily (56 grams), according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Active women (teens here again, too) will do well with two daily servings equaling six ounces (46 grams).

The smartest sources of protein are those that not only provide you with the amounts you need, but also help you maintain a healthy weight or aid weight loss. Here are ten great sources of protein for anyone with those goals:

1. Fish. Particularly Tuna Salmon and Halibut. A 3 oz filet might typically provide you with a whopping 22 grams of protein.

2. Skinless, white-meat poultry. Embrace the breast, which is packed with protein. You’ll find more than 16g of it in a lean, 3oz breast.

3. Tofu. It may not be first on your shopping list but it deserves consideration, not only because it can be surprisingly tasty (when properly prepared) but also as an amazing source of protein. Just 3 oz can offer 6g of protein, almost enough for a man’s daily amount and sufficient for women.

4. Lean beef (including tenderloin, sirloin, eye of round) and veal. Emphasis on lean. If you can avoid the saturated fats the protein benefits are huge, up to 31g for a 3 oz piece.

Dairy products5. Skim or low-fat milk. Besides being a great source of calcium, a cup of skim and low-fat milk may provide with the 8.26g of protein, says the U.S. Depart.of Agriculture.

6. Skim or low-fat yogurt. Greek yogurt, in fact , will provide you with 10g of protein per 5.3 ounces.

7. Fat-free or low-fat cheese. We’re talking low-fat mozzarella, so let’s not go crazy. A 1 oz slice will give you 9g of protein.

8. Eggs. The yolk contains all sorts of good stuff (calcium, iron, calcium, zinc), though egg whites are healthiest. 1 large egg will provide you with 6g of protein.

9. Lean pork (tenderloin). Who doesn’t love a well-prepared pork chop? (Sorry, vegetarians.) Well, it can not only be delicious but with 33g of protein in a 5 oz chop, it’s a win-win for the body.

black-bean-salad10. Beans. If you’re not into soy beans (29g per cup), it’s okay. Almost every brand of bean can boost your daily protein intake, led by kidney and white (17g),lima and black (15g) and Fava (14g)


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