Protein Content of Foods List

How much protein do we need to eat daily?

The commonly recommended amount is around 0.8 – 1 gram for every kilogram of body weight (Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand, Protein. 2014, 09/04.) So for me, at 54kg this equates to about 43 grams of protein per day

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, there are twenty of them that we need to make all of the protein parts of ourselves: muscle, skin, connective tissue, organs, nails, hair, enzymes, hormones.

Protein is an important component of the immune system when you consider that the gut is a major part of our immune system. If our digestive system is not intact and robust then infection has a better chance of invasion.

If you find yourself succumbing to infections easily and regularly, have brittle nails and hair, cracked and dry skin and take ages to heal from a cut, graze or tissue injury, then you may be deficient in protein and ought to asses your diet.

The following list is by no means exhaustive, it’s a quick reference of commonly consumed foods, both animal and plant ~ and their protein content, usually per 100g.

Protein Content of Commonly Consumed Foods


Meat and Fish

  • Chicken, breast, skin off, roasted, 100g: 34 g of protein
  • Lamb, chops, 100g: 28g of protein
  • Beef, 100g: 27g of protein
  • Snapper 1 x fillet (approx. 170g): 45g of protein
  • Salmon 1/2 x fillet (approx. 180g): 39g of protein
  • Tuna, tinned, 85g: 22g of protein
  • Ham, 100g: 17g of protein
  • Bacon whole rasher, grilled, 100g: 22.2g of protein
  • Sausage, beef, grilled, 100g: 13.9g of protein
  • Sausage, pork, grilled, 100g: 16.8g of protein

Dairy and Eggs

  • Eggs, 1 x large, poached: 6g of protein
  • Milk, cow’s, full fat, 100mL: 3.5g of protein
  • Milk, cow’s, skimmed, 100mL: 3.7g of protein
  • Cheese, cheddar, full fat, 100g: 24.6g of protein
  • Fetta, goat/sheep, 100g: 17.4g of protein
  • Ricotta, reduced fat, 100g: 10.1g of protein
  • Cream cheese, full fat, 100g: 11.1g of protein
  • Haloumi, 100g: 21.3g of protein
  • Yoghurt, natural, full fat, 100g: 6g of protein



  • Red lentils, 100g: 6.8g of protein
  • Yellow split peas, 100g: 6.6g of protein
  • Quinoa, 100g: 4g of protein
  • Chickpeas (garbanzo), tinned, 100g: 6.3g of protein
  • Cannelini beans, tinned, 100g: 6.2g of protein
  • Kidney beans, tinned, 100g: 6.6g of protein
  • Tofu, firm, 100g: 12g of protein
  • Tofu, silken, 100g: 8.1g of protein

Nuts and Seeds

  • Almonds, raw, 25g: 6g of protein
  • Walnuts, raw, 25g: 4g of protein
  • Brazil nuts, raw, 25g: 3.6g of protein
  • Cashew nuts, raw, 25g: 5g of protein
  • Peanut butter, no salt or sugar, 1Tbs: 6g of protein
  • Pumpkin seeds, raw, 25g: 6.1g of protein
  • Sunflower seeds, raw, 25g: 6.7g of protein

Bread and Grains

  • Bread, white, 100g (approx 2 slices): 9.7g of protein
  • Bread, wholemeal, 100g: 9g of protein
  • Bread, gluten free, 100g: 9.8g of protein
  • Bread, rye, light, 100g: 9g of protein
  • Oats, whole, raw, 100g: 2g of protein
  • Pasta, white, 100g: 4.2g of protein
  • Pasta, wholemeal, 100g: 4.9g of protein
  • Rice, white, 100g: 2.7 of protein
  • Rice, wholegrain, 100g: 2.9g of protein
  • Pearled barley, 100g: 2.9g of protein
  • Polenta, cooked in water, 100g: 2.6g of protein

Now don’t get all caught up counting protein grams per meal per day and freaking out if you’re short! Just eat a wide variety of protein containing foods, particularly whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds and ensure that you consume lean meat or sustainable seafood a few times per week.

For example:

Breakfast: oats w’ added nuts, seeds and whole milk w’ a dollop of yoghurt OR wholemeal toast w’ peanut butter.

Snack: handful of nuts/carrot sticks w’ hummus/whole grain crackers w’ cheese/a tub of yoghurt  (and some fresh fruit!)

Lunch: salad w’ added tinned beans and cubes of fetta/slice of frittata w’ wholemeal bread/leftover dinner w’ meat/sandwich, roll, wrap w’ lean meat, eggs or tofu and sprouts.

Dinner: Soup or stew with meat or without, with legumes and grains/stir fry with or without meat with cubed tofu, fried egg, sprouts, seeds and nuts/poached eggs on wholemeal toast/pasta with pine nuts and fetta; or chicken and pesto; or tuna, tomato and chilli.

Vegetables contain protein also, but I haven’t included them as the levels are smaller and the list would be too long!

Basically: aim to eat a diet varied in fresh, whole foods, focus on including plant protein sources in meals and select quality animal products to feature on alternate nights (meat doesn’t have to be the star of the meal.)

Personally, 2016 is shaping up to be the year I consciously follow the niggle I’ve had for some time now that meat consumption requires some renewed perspective.

Peas, love and mung-beans, K180, x









  1. ACE! thanks lady!
    SUPER great to have these kinds of references.

    • Katie180 says:

      And now with thanks to your high tech assistance I ought to be able to make these references print-able! x

      • Hi Katie,
        Was looking for a list that would give me the Protein content of the most common foods. I have just found your site & I’m finding it very interesting & helpful.
        I am very keen to loose 20kgs.
        I started the Atkins like diet in November 2014. But my weight loss has been slow & I’ve been very hungry. I don’t think I was having enough Protein.
        But I have been finding it a bit of a challenge to work out the protein content of the food I’m eating.
        Have you made your list printable yet? If so how do I go about printing it.

  2. I’m going to print this off for me and my son. He needs to lose some kgs (as I do many) but he is incredibly active. I have never ever told him that he needs to lose weight – my own experience as a teen with many MANY voices in my family telling me how much prettier/happier/smarter I’d be if I was thinner has made sure of that. In this house it is about being fit and healthy. He’s fit but the healthy part is hard. All 13 year olds want to eat are two minute noodles and as much processed carb loaded crappe as they can fit in. It’s alarming!

    I just realised how much I waffled there.

    • Katie180 says:

      Waffle away, what’s not to love about a waffle? Maple syrup, ice cream…

      Now re your son, be mindful that at 13 it is not uncommon to put on a fair amount of body fat due to puberty. You see fat equates to hormones which are required in greater amounts to set about turning him into a man. It’s not uncommon for 12 – 13 year olds to put on weight at the onset of puberty, adding to the overall miserable state of affairs that it already is.

      It’s a good thing that you haven’t told him he needs to lose weight because this is never effective. Perhaps you could try having a little open-ended questions session with him at some random time like if he’s in the kitchen with you or whilst driving. Something like “Tell me how you feel about your body…” see what he comes up with.

      Two minute noodles are crap of the crap, make your own with good stock and some thin noodles, easy as. And think of ways to substitute the carb loaded crap he loves. MOST important and also most difficult is to axe the soft drink. Especially at “critical” bone mass times such as puberty. The phosphates in soft drinks leach calcium from bones not to mention all the other horrors of soft drinks. From now until he’s 18 he will acquire most of his bone density via calcium loading so the aim is to enable that, not interfere with it.

      Pop to the local chemist or health food store for a bottle of Floradix Calcium Magnesium with Vitamin D and Zinc, which is a purely plant-derived liquid formula, really pleasant tasting and easy to take. Dish it out to all of them one at a time and then take one yourself to show you’re part of the team. It doesn’t keep long owing to no preservatives, so keep it in the fridge and be sure to take every day. Zinc is another important nutrient for hormonal boys, it’s highly concentrated in sperm and as such, teenage boys can be deficient in it (where does all the zinc go?!).

      Now who’s waffling?

  3. Great list Katie. Hope the toddler is up and about soon. Question about ham – do you mean the stuff you can buy from the deli? Thanks Nic

    • Katie180 says:

      Yes Nic, preferably from a free range pig and definitely off the bone. When it’s off the bone at least you know it’s just ham, and not bits and pieces all pressed up to look like ham!
      Usually I don’t recommend deli meats as they’re highly processed but I’m being realistic – heck, I enjoy a ham sanga every now and then!

  4. Totally awesome. What an eye opener! Now I can plan protein packed meals! Thanks, Katie!

  5. Lisa Mckenzie says:

    Thank you Katie I have just realised I do not eat enough protein,my appetite has gone away since my mum passed away but I will be more mindful of what I eat,hope your girl feels better soon xx

    • Awww thanks Lisa, this post is an old one from last year so Scarlett is well and truly better now! It’s not uncommon to lose your appetite whilst grieving, so don’t be too forceful on yourself, maybe a nice big chicken noodle soup is in order? x x x

  6. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for this explanation, lovely!! The slack vegetarian :)