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How much protein does food contain?

Dr. Andrea Pennington, MD
Integrative Medicine
Here is a guide to common protein-rich foods:
  • Cottage cheese (nonfat): 1 cup has 28 grams
  • Milk (nonfat): 1 cup has 10 grams
  • Mozzarella cheese (nonfat): 1-ounce stick has 8 grams
  • Yogurt (nonfat, sugar-free): 6-ounce carton has 5 grams
  • Beef (lean): 3 ounces (cooked weight) has 25 grams
  • Chicken breast: 3 ounces (cooked weight) has 25 grams
  • Turkey breast: 3 ounces (cooked weight) has 25 grams
  • Pork tenderloin: 3 ounces (cooked weight) has 24 grams
  • Turkey ham: 4 ounces (cooked weight) has 18 grams
  • Tuna: 4 ounces (water packed) has 27 grams
  • Ocean-caught fish: 4 ounces (cooked weight) has 25 to 31 grams
  • Shrimp, crab, lobster: 4 ounces (cooked weight) has 22 to 24 grams
  • Scallops: 4 ounces (cooked weight) has 25 grams
  • Veggie burger: 1 burger has 5 to 20 grams (varies by brand)
  • Lentils: 1⁄2 cup (cooked) has 9 grams
  • Beans (black, pinto, etc.): 1⁄2 cup (cooked) has 7 grams
  • Tofu: 1⁄4 block has 7 grams
  • Quinoa: 1⁄2 cup (cooked) has 6 grams      
Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

The amount of protein in foods varies. Meats, poultry, fish, beans, soy, nuts, seeds and lentils, eggs, the whole grain quinoa, milk, yogurt, and cheese are food sources rich in protein. Many grains like cereal, bread, rice, pasta and vegetables contain a small amount of protein. A one ounce serving of meat, fish, poultry or cheese is about 7-8 grams of protein whereas 1 cup of milk is 8 grams of protein. Greek yogurt contains anywhere from 14-18 grams of protein for a 6 ounce serving. One ounce of tempeh, ¼ cup tofu, ¼ cup soybeans, ¼ cup refried beans, ½ ounce of nuts or seeds, or ¼ cup of cooked dry peas or beans are each equal to one ounce of protein in meat. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.