High Protein Foods List to Curb Your Appetite

salmonCheck out our high protein foods list to help curb your appetite. 

If you’re trying to add protein to your diet to help you lose weight, the goal is to enjoy protein-rich foods in place of carby options, not in addition to what you’re currently eating. Eating more lean protein and fewer carbohydrates is one way to feel fuller while you’re following a calorie-reduced eating plan.

How Much Protein Do You Need?

cracked_eggThe National Academy of Sciences has set the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for protein at 10 to 35 percent of their daily calories from protein or 45 grams per day for women and 52 grams for men. Most experts these days believe that a diet with that amount of protein and having much more carbohydrates may be less effective for losing and maintaining weight loss.

A lot of experts now recommend about twice as much protein as the DRI. Others suggest that we should try to get 1 gram of protein per pound of lean tissue. In either case, eating more protein doesn’t mean that you can just add more meat, milk, yogurt and chicken to your diet; it means you need to reduce the amount of carbohydrates and fat to achieve an energy balance.

The body best uses protein when it’s divided into 25-30 gram servings. If you eat more than 30 grams protein at one time, your body can’t process that much and it’s likely to be stored as body fat. I suggest obtaining 25 grams at breakfast and lunch and up to 30 grams at dinner. That how we create our breakfast, lunch and dinner options in our monthly meal plans.

For some of my favorite go-to protein-rich recipes, try these:

Baked Eggs in Canadian Bacon

Protein Pancakes


10 Ways to use Greek yogurt

Best Sources of Quality Protein

The best way to meet your protein needs is to consume a variety of protein-rich foods. As a general rule, you don’t need to seek out protein-fortified foods to meet your requirements. If you do choose protein-fortified options, be sure to make sure it’s a healthy choice and not rich in added sugars.

Food Serving Size Protein Content (grams)
Chicken 3 oz 26
Beef 3 oz 26
Lamb 3 oz 25
Turkey 3 oz 25
Greek yogurt 1 cup 24
Fish 3 oz 22-25
Tofu ½ cup 20
Barley 1 cup 19
Lentils 1 cup 18
Beans 1 cup 15
Veggie Burger 1 patty 15
Cottage cheese ½ cup 14
Regular Yogurt 1 cup 12
Milk 1 cup 8
Soymilk 1 cup 8
Cheese 1 oz 7
Egg, medium 1 whole 6
Peanut butter 1 T 4
Nuts 1 oz 6



  1. Martha Filipic says

    I’m curious about what you think of the recent study in Cell Metabolism (Levine et al) indicating that lower protein intake in middle-aged people is associated with 4x less risk of cancer. Any insight?

  2. says

    This is really helpful, Julie. Even we RD’s don’t always think to counsel clients about breaking up their protein intake throughout the day. Thanks for a great post!

  3. says


    This is an interesting new study. I have heard various other reports that suggest that the study design wasn’t the best. I do think as long as you keep total calories in check and choose the unprocessed meats (rather than deli meats, hot dogs, etc) that lean proteins are great for overall health. I would much rather see people shift calories to have a bit more protein and fewer simple carbs (added sugars, overly refined grains) for overall health.

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