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15 Of The Meats Highest In Protein

Protein is an essential nutrient for human health. This list of meats high in protein can certainly help you reach your daily goals.

By definition meat is “the flesh of an animal” so some options of this list are seafood.

When talking about the nutritional details of meat you have to keep in mind that there will be a lot of nuances. Even if you take meat from the same body part from different animals, let’s say two different cows, you can have nutritional differences. Reasons for this include what the animals eat, and just genetic variability (1, 2).

Even with that in mind examples of nutritional values of meat can be helpful to get a general idea of what you can expect.

Protein is used, among other things, to build and repair muscle and other tissues. You literally can’t survive if you don’t consume enough of this nutrient. Besides other nutrients, meats also generally contain a nice amount of protein.

Is meat a good source of protein?

The amounts of protein in meats per 100 grams vary a lot between different types of meat, the individual animal, and what body part the meat comes from. That being said, even the lowest options on this list contain a lot of protein compared to other types of food.

On top of that meats generally contain high amounts of other valuable nutrients.

Not all protein is the same, it can be made of different amino acids. These are smaller building blocks of protein with varying effects. In general it is a good idea to get nutrients like protein from a variety of food groups.

Below you can find a list of meats ranked from highest to lowest in protein per 100 grams. This ranking does not take into account total calories. If you are interested in a ranking like that you can check out the list of the best meats for weight loss.

Most of these meats are generally high in protein. Even if your favorite type of meat is a bit lower on this list you can consider it. Part of sticking to a food plan is liking what you eat enough.

Lastly, keep in mind that overdoing with protein isn’t optimal either.

1. Rabbit

It is not the first meat choice for most people but rabbit meat can provide you with a lot of protein. Certainly if you lack other sources of vitamin B12, rabbit meat can be a great addition to your diet.

100 grams of cooked rabbit contains (3):

  • Protein: 33 grams
  • Calories: 173
  • Fat: 3.5 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 108% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Niacin: 32% of the DV
  • Iron: 27% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 24% of the DV
  • Selenium: 22% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

One popular way to prepare rabbit meat is stew.

2. Pheasant

A pheasant is a kind of bird you can find throughout the world. This is again not one of the most popular meats but it can be a good addition to your diet to increase your protein intake.

100 grams of cooked pheasant contains (4):

  • Protein: 32.4 grams
  • Calories: 247
  • Fat: 12.1 grams
  • Niacin: 38% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B6: 37% of the DV
  • Selenium: 30% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 24% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 12% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

3. Chicken

Chicken is one of the most popular dietary protein sources around the world. There are more chickens in the world than any other bird (5).

100 grams of cooked chicken breast contains (6):

  • Protein: 31 grams
  • Calories: 165
  • Fat: 3.6 grams
  • Niacin: 69% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Selenium: 39% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 30% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 23% of the DV
  • Vitamin B5: 10% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

The list of preparation methods and recipes for chicken is almost endless. This is great if you are someone who appreciates taste variety in your diet.

4. Tuna

The first and very popular type of fish on this list of meats high in protein is tuna. Fish is a great food addition for most people due to the amount of nutrients in it.

You do have to keep in mind that tuna contains a lot of mercury, a substance that can cause negative side effects if you overconsume it. The recommendations for how much tuna you can eat vary from person to person and type of tuna to type of tuna.

100 grams of cooked tuna contains (7):

  • Protein: 29.9 grams
  • Calories: 184
  • Fat: 6.3 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 181% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Selenium: 67% of the DV
  • Niacin: 53% of the DV
  • Vitamin A: 50% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 33% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Like most fish, tuna finds its way into many recipes. You can also just enjoy a tuna steak on its own.

5. Turkey

Turkeys are a type of bird popular around thanksgiving but available to eat year round. You should certainly consider eating more turkey if you want to increase your protein intake.

100 grams of cooked ground turkey contains (8):

  • Protein: 27.4 grams
  • Calories: 235
  • Fat: 13.1 grams
  • Selenium: 53% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Niacin: 24% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 20% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 20% of the DV
  • Zinc: 19% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Like chicken, turkey is a very versatile meat. Depending on your goal you may want to eat turkey prepared in a “clean” way and with healthy ingredients. Something like a turkey sandwich is generally not great for goals like weight loss and health.

6. Deer (Venison)

Deer meat, also called venison, can be a nutritious addition to your diet. The availability of this meat varies a lot from location to location.

100 grams of cooked ground deer contains (9):

  • Protein: 26.5 grams
  • Calories: 187
  • Fat: 8.2 grams
  • Niacin: 46% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B12: 39% of the DV
  • Zinc: 35% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 34% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 23% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

7. Ostrich

Ostrich is not the most popular kind of meat on this list but it can be a great lean source of protein with valuable nutrients.

100 grams of cooked ostrich contains (10):

  • Protein: 26.1 grams
  • Calories: 175
  • Fat: 7.1 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 96% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Selenium: 48% of the DV
  • Niacin: 33% of the DV
  • Zinc: 29% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 25% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

8. Salmon

Salmon is high in protein but also especially great for helping you reach your daily omega 3 fat goals.

100 grams of cooked salmon contains (11):

  • Protein: 25.4 grams
  • Calories: 182
  • Fat: 8.1 grams
  • Selenium: 67% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B12: 51% of the DV
  • Niacin: 50% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 47% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 29% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

9. Beef

Beef is one of the more popular meats on this list. The definition of beef is meat from cattle so depending on the animal and body part the nutritional values will vary.

That being said, seeing an example of nutrition info can get you a general idea of what you can expect from beef.

100 grams of cooked ground beef contains (12):

  • Protein: 25.4 grams
  • Calories: 273
  • Fat: 18.2 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 48% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Zinc: 41% of the DV
  • Selenium: 31% of the DV
  • Niacin: 23% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 19% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

The list of preparation methods and recipes with beef is extremely long. One typical way to eat beef is as beef jerky.

10. Lamb

The next meat high in protein is lamb which is the meat of a sheep that is under one year old. Even though lamb is a bit lower on this list it still has the potential to be a great addition to increase your protein intake.

100 grams of cooked ground lam contains (13):

  • Protein: 24.7 grams
  • Calories: 283
  • Fat: 19.7 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 43% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Selenium: 40% of the DV
  • Niacin: 34% of the DV
  • Zinc: 31% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 20% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

11. Buffalo

The buffalo, also called American bison, is an animal of which the meat is available for consumption in some places like the United States. In many other parts of the world finding buffalo meat can be more of a challenge.

100 grams of cooked buffalo contains (14):

  • Protein: 23.8 grams
  • Calories: 238
  • Fat: 15.1 grams
  • Selenium: 43% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B12: 38% of the DV
  • Zinc: 34% of the DV
  • Niacin: 28% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 20% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

12. Pork

The next meat to increase your protein intake is another very popular one. You can find pork basically in stores basically anywhere around the world.

100 grams of cooked ground pork contains (15):

  • Protein: 23.5 grams
  • Calories: 265
  • Fat: 18.2 grams
  • Selenium: 51% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Thiamin: 40% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 38% of the DV
  • Zinc: 24% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 23% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Bacon is one of the most popular ways to eat pork but there is no shortage of other delicious ways to eat this meat.

13. Cod

Cod is a popular kind of fish with different species that live in different areas. The liver of this fish can be processed into cod liver oil, a kind of fish oil consumed for its health benefits.

100 grams of Atlantic cooked cod contains (16):

  • Protein: 22.8 grams
  • Calories: 105
  • Fat: 0.9 grams
  • Selenium: 54% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B12: 18% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 14% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 14% of the DV
  • Niacin: 13% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

You can easily implement cod in a wide variety of recipes. It can for example be your protein source of choice in salads.

14. Shrimp

Shrimp are another kind of sea creature popular all around the world.

100 grams of cooked shrimp contains (17):

  • Protein: 20.9 grams
  • Calories: 99
  • Fat: 1.1 grams
  • Selenium: 57% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B12: 25% of the DV
  • Iron: 17% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 14% of the DV
  • Niacin: 13% of the DV
  • Zinc: 10% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

If some of your goals include losing weight and getting healthier you want to avoid deep-fried shrimp, shrimp marinated in a sugary mix, and consuming them with high-calorie dips.

15. Oyster

Oyster is a type of seafood that can be eaten both boiled and raw. There are even oysters specifically for harvesting pearls. Oysters are the lowest-calorie meat on this list which makes them a great option when trying to lose weight.

When consuming oysters you do have to keep your selenium intake in mind. There is a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) of selenium. In simple words that means that too much selenium can cause negative side effects (18).

100 grams of cooked oyster contains (19):

  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Calories: 79
  • Fat: 2.1 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 405% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Zinc: 301% of the DV
  • Selenium: 111% of the DV
  • Copper: 72% of the DV
  • Iron: 43% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.