Top High Protein Foods

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that 10 to 35 percent of the calories you consume come from protein sources. Considering variables such as age and activity level, it estimates that the average woman needs about 46 grams of protein daily and men should get approximately 56 grams per day. If you exceed the number of grams recommended or more than 35 percent of your calories are from protein, the CDC considers your protein intake high.

Most of the disadvantages to consuming large amounts of protein are due to problems with meat consumption. Replacing these foods with plant-based proteins such as beans and legumes reduces your risk associated with the saturated fat and cholesterol content of animal-based protein. Because plant-based sources are not as rich in protein, you would have to eat large amounts of them to maintain a high-protein diet; this may prevent you from getting adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals found in other foods.

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[one_third] higher-powers-wheyWhey protein is one of the two proteins found in dairy products, the other being casein. Whey makes up 20% of the protein found in milk, but it’s the superior protein for muscle building because it’s absorbed quickly and causes a large and fast spike in blood amino-acid levels, which is exactly what you want when your body is looking to repair and build muscle fibers after exercise[/one_third]
[one_third]higher-powers-caseinCasein makes up 80% of the protein found in milk. It’s found in higher concentrations in cottage cheese and Greek yogurt. Casein’s unique effects arise from how it’s absorbed and digested. Unlike whey, casein is absorbed slowly, increasing but not spiking blood amino-acid levels.[/one_third]
[one_third_last]higher-powers-peasThis popular plant-based protein is easily digested and contains high levels of essential muscle-building compounds such as glutamine and branched-chain amino acids. One cup of peas contains nine grams of protein. Unlike many other plant protein sources, pea protein doesn’t contain anti-nutrient compounds that can inhibit the uptake of vitamins and minerals during digestion[/one_third_last]

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[one_third]higher-powers-chickenChicken is the go-to muscle-building protein. It’s a lean source of all necessary amino acids and can be prepared in myriad ways. A six-ounce chicken breast yields 54 grams of protein and four grams of leucine, the amount needed to max out protein synthesis in a given meal. Chicken breasts and thighs have similar protein contents but different flavor profiles due to differences in their fat contents[/one_third]
[one_third]higher-powers-soySoy protein is one of the few plant-based proteins that contains all the essential amino acids. Some research studies have found soy protein to be equally as effective in building muscle as whey protein. However, soy protein contains around 15% less leucine, the primary driver of protein synthesis, than whey protein. Common sources of soy protein include tofu, edamame beans, and soy-protein supplements.[/one_third]
[one_third_last]higher-powers-beefBeef is an excellent source of total protein and key amino acids such as leucine. Beef’s protein content is also complemented by other muscle-building nutrients such as creatine and zinc. Grass-fed beef is generally leaner, but that withstanding there’s no difference in terms of protein quality. Grass-fed beef is also touted for having more omega-3 fats when compared with conventional beef.[/one_third_last]

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