How to Eat Enough Protein

Mark tries to eat about 1 gram of protein per pound of body mass each day and suggests many others do the same to maintain lean body mass. But what does 100-150 grams of protein look like in terms of actual food? Do you know how much protein is in a single chicken breast? How about a six ounce steak? Fish, nuts, eggs, even vegetables? We’ll shoot for a picture of 150 grams of protein and break this down to what it could look like in a given day.

Beef (6 oz.) – 54 grams
Turkey, breast (6 oz.) – 51.4 grams
Pork Chop (6 oz.) 49 grams
Turkey, dark meat (6 oz.) – 48.6 grams
Hamburger (6 oz.) – 48.6 grams
Chicken, dark meat (6 oz.) – 47.2 grams
Tuna (6 oz.) – 40.1 grams
Broiled Beefsteak (6 oz.) – 38.6 grams
Chicken, breast (6 oz.) – 37.8 grams
Ham (6 oz.) – 35.4 grams
Salmon (6 oz.) – 33.6 grams

Cottage cheese (1 cup) – 28.1 grams
Yogurt, low fat (1 cup) – 10.7 grams
Skim milk (1 cup) – 8.3 grams
Whole milk (1 cup) – 8 grams
American cheese (1 oz.) – 7 grams
Soymilk (6 oz.) – 6.7 grams
Egg (1 large) – 6.3 grams

Meat Substitutes, Beans and Legumes, Nuts
Veggie Burger (6 oz.) – 51.4 grams
Tofu (6 oz.) – 13.8 grams
Peanut Butter (2 Tbsp.) – 8.1 grams
Almond Butter (2 Tbsp.) – 7 grams
Lentils (1/2 cup) – 9 grams
Split Peas (1/2 cup) – 8.1 grams
Kidney Beans (1/2 cup) – 7.6 grams
Sesame Seeds (1 oz.) – 7.5 grams
Black Beans (1/2 cup) – 7.5 grams
Garbanzo Beans (1/2 cup) – 7.3 grams
Green Peas (1/2 cup) – 4.1 grams

Fruits and Vegetables
Orange (large) – 1.7 grams
Banana (medium) – 1.2 grams
Green Beans (1/2 cup) – 1 gram
Carrots (1/2 cup) – .8 gram
Apple (large) – 0 grams

Obviously, the meats among the group are the best bet for protein. In looking at this list with the context of the 150 gram goal, it’s important to eat good protein sources at every meal. Check out our recipe posts for some ideas. We’d suggest giving a “protein” diary a shot if you’re concerned about protein intake.

So, tell us how you get your protein in each day and any other thoughts.

llerne Flickr Photo (CC)

Further Reading:

Pondering Protein: How much protein should I be eating?

How much protein should Apurva be eating?

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124 thoughts on “How to Eat Enough Protein”

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  1. I pretty much eat meat, fish, or eggs at every meal, with dairy as a protein supplement and variety. I do eat nuts, too, but more as a garnish or snack.

    Despite all the earnest and helpful suggestions from vegetarians and vegans about plant proteins, there is no way I could get a tolerable amount of high quality protein from plant sources, let alone an optimal amount, because I also have to limit starches to keep my blood glucose in the normal range (to avoid going from prediabetic to diabetic). I also avoid soy (except occasional condiment sized servings of fermented soy, as in natural soy sauce and miso) because it is not good for my thyroid function. Even if that wasn’t a problem, I think there are a lot of other excellent reasons to avoid a high consumption of soy.

    1. YOu must be a bit slow. No vegetarian has ever keeled over and died by not getting enough protein.In fact its hype. Your body doesnt even need half of the amount of protein you think you do. There is major health issues with consuming too much protein aswell.educate yourself. Life expectancy is alot less for meat eaters than vegetarians because of all the saturated fat which will eventually line your arteries with plaques. Milk is for calves not humans Look at the damage you are doing with a massive carbon footprint you leave by eating a piece of meat every day.its not economical, not environmentally friendly and especially not kind to the animals either! You savage cannibal. Anyway Legumes are a poor source of protein

      1. Why are you on this website, if these are your beliefs? The PB focuses on a high protein diet, the scientific benefits of grass fed, hormone free saturated fat (like omega-3’s) over grain-fed, hormone saturated commercial meat (omega-6’s), and eating locally grown meats and produce – extremely environmentally friendly. Just read the many articles available on this website, and their citations. There are ways to live vegan and Primal, but eating local generally means supporting small farms that treat animals more humanely (in life and death). It also means better produce. Commercial produce/grain production leaves a larger carbon footprint than pastured beef, you should know.,9171,1953692,00.html

        The MDA community welcomes polite, scientifically-backed arguments, but yours has neither of those elements. It does have a lot of terrible grammar, however. Also, a cannibal is someone who eats their own species, and Anna didn’t say anything about snacking on human meat. When you troll a website to point the education finger, just remember – there are three pointing back at you.

      2. To say that legumes are a poor protein but not suggest a good source is unhelpful, as is name calling. With such poor grammar, punctuation, and propaganda spewing, no point can be well made. Maybe you are the one who needs an education?

      3. Go troll somewhere else and look up the definition of what cannibalism means.

      4. I’m sorry, I was a vegetarian (and a very health conscious one at that) for 12 years. I ate a balanced diet with lots of beans, lentils and fresh vegetables. I avoided processed foods and eggs and dairy due to allergies.
        I had a severe protein defiviency which the doctors tell me has given me osteoarthritis all through my body. I wish that a vegetarian diet was the best thing for us but from my experiences this s not the case. I have been eating red meat (I don’t really like chicken and fish) for 3 weeks now and all if a sudden the debilitating exhaustion that has plagued me my whole adult life has gone. If vegetarianism suits you then that’s great, I’m happy for you. But it doesn’t suit everyone and misinformation spread around by otherwise vegetarians about the significance if protein has resulted in me having a debilitating disease in my 20s

        1. Does anyone ever wonder how equines and bovines reach such incredible size and mass. Do people ever think to apply critical thinking to an obvious problem.

          Nothing can be built without protein. End of discussion. So our four chambered stomach friends actually feed enormous colonies of echoli. That’s all protein, which they cultivate by feeding them fermented grass from their first chamber.

          So they at not technically vegitarian, they are massively symbiotic with huge bacteria colonies.

          Some peeps are well meaning and all, but very misinformed. And some even in the face of unassailable evidence will cling to an ideology. Almost all other animals are omnivore and consume as much protein as possible.

      5. You should talk about being slow, and education! Fat is good for you! Vegetarians get sick, if they don’t get B12-Vitamins, which is why most Vegetarians take B12 Supplements, which is ironic, as it comes from Meat 😛 Just like most Vegetarians love Candy, but forgets the food colours, and Gelatine, also comes from Bugs and Cows 😉

        And saying Legumes is a poor source of Protein, is quite stupid, as Lentils, Mung Beans and Soy Beans ( Just to mention a few ) are respectfully 26, 25 and 36 gr per 100 gr.

      6. Your diet doesn’t seem to be helping your mood. Go eat a steak, and you’ll feel better.

        (I recently switched to paleo after being a vegan and gaining 40 pounds and feeling like crap. I was diagnosed with a mood disorder. So I’m serious. Eat a certified humane and grass fed steak.)

        1. I’m late to this party, but man, being vegetarian made me depressed and fat as well.

      7. I would just like to point out that in almost every dietary class on the planet, protein is one of the base needs of the human body. To add to that, EVERY biology class that you can take will also state that cells, hair, nails, skin, organs, hormones, and fluids produced by the human body are made primarily out of PROTEIN.
        As a side-note, I would advise for you to spell and grammar check your cynical rants before you call another person “a bit slow”. By doing so, you may not be viewed as a complete asshole by the rest of the world. People like you are the reason for “the carbon footprint” and while it is true that there is a massive problem, if there weren’t so many leeches to society such as yourself, the footprint wouldn’t be nearly as large. You are acting as a weight on the rest of the world’s shoulders and it doesn’t take a 12 year-old child to see that. Don’t “keel” the planet.

      8. who wants to eat rabbit food all the time? The one who does is the slow(read IGNORANT) one

      9. Trusted that kind of thinking myself for a very long time…. because I liked the taste of the stuff I ate, because I could eat a lot of it, etc. – self-deception and epic fail.

        Anna is correct I now believe but not moving to meat… I can work out enough protein using grass fed whey concentrate, eggs, brewer’s yeast… and other sources offering smaller. When do you learn the most? after experiencing the failures when you are older… the muscle reduction being a big one, and digestive changes making all the fiber one tends to eat as a vegetarian and worse vegan so hard to eliminate… the body changes; digestion changes – its efficient handling of fiber deteriorates THANK GOODNESS. Lessons learned and upping my protein now IS having a very positive effect YAY! And I love those eggs… the first one I had after a huge long time caused my body to practically become a huge smile. Being vegetarian and relying on seeds is going to cause an epic fail later. Forewarning you now; I have been down the road a bit farther than you – referring to all those who are loving vegetarian low protein diets and reading all the stuff justifying it while ignoring any counter evidence. Just like you was I!

  2. Anna–

    Have you looked at plant proteins in supplement form? Like rice protein or hemp protein? They’re typically much less processed than soy or whey protein, and dont contain the GMO’s or other weird chemicals that most protein supplements have.

    1. Interesting, however much of these don’t provide the amounts of protein I’m looking for, but thanks!! 😀

      1. I’ve gone from a meat eater to vegan. Health issues forced me to. You can get plenty of protein being vegan or even vegetarian.

        Tofu, homemade seitan, tempeh, lentils, beans and other legumes. Just google vegan bodybuilders and you’ll have more than enogh sources to make sense of it all.

  3. Meat…Eggs….Meat….limit seafood for less Mercury intake….chicken I don’t like too much, as I crave now more fat with my meat…and chicken is too lean.

    I used to waste tons of money on Whey protein shakes….no longer.

    1. And you think the air is lovely and clean, the water is from heavens gates. Contaminants in just about every single item of food on this planet!!!!!Mercury in fish??>> thats the least of your problems!

  4. “Have you looked at plant proteins in supplement form? ”

    No, I haven’t. Rice or hemp protein would be preferable to whole food animal-origin protein because…?

  5. Kyle,

    I just read my reply to your suggestion and realized I might have sounded too flippant. Sorry, that wasn’t my intent, and you probably wouldn’t know about my goal to reduce my consumption of industrially processed & packaged foods. Nor would you know how much I really appreciate many forms of meat protein.

    I just googled rice protein and hit on NutriBiotic brand rice protein powder, if only because I recognized the brand as sold at nearby stores. 1 heaping tablespoon (15 gm) serving = 12 grams protein.

    Also, since rice is usually consumed with legumes or some other protein source to make a complete protein because it is lacking in some essential amino acids, I’m not sure it would contain all the amino acids in the right ratios for me.

    I also tend to avoid hydrolyzed vegetable proteins.

    I suppose it could work as a supplement or to fill in some protein gaps in a pinch, but I doubt it would be a good major source of protein for any length of time.

    But thanks for the suggestion.

    1. you are TRYING to reduce your consumption of pre-packaged foods??!! how is that difficult. just buy real food, just grow real organic food, just go hunting for real food or have your own chicken/rabbits/ etc., on your property. i grew up in the suburbs and this was possible.

  6. Mike OD,
    I still waste tons of money on protein shakes. Half my friends say “don’t do soy” the other half say “don’t do whey.” Obviously natural sources are best, but I’m not Rocky, I can’t swallow 6 raw eggs for breakfast, and I don’t have enough time to scramble them up. Anyone want to “whey” in?

    1. I am an Olympic athlete and have tried lots of protein powders and supplements. Vega Whole food optimizer is the BEST protein, plus, plus, plus powder on the market. Plus it is all natural. With minimal processing making it easy to digest and assimilate.

  7. Hi,

    I was wondering about this recently – I’ve often been trying to cram as much protein as possible into my diet, but sometimes as a result I end up stuffing down far too many total calories, seemingly more than than I could possibly burn on the 1-mile swim I typically do. Is this okay? Is it better to hit the protein quota, even if I feel overfull?

    1. Here is the best diet advice I was given – eat real food, mostly plants, and not to much. Protein is essential to life, but try not to go overboard on animal proteins.

    2. overdoing protein is VERY HARMFUL for your health.
      Complex carbs is a crock of shit. You shouldnt be eating any carb no wheat grains etc . Veges are the best source

  8. For the meats, are the weights listed cooked weight or precooked weight?

  9. Hi Mark-

    Few questions-

    * Back in my weight lifting days, it was generally known to consume 1g/lb body weight/day. Is 150g your target because you weigh around that much and lift weights, or is that what the ‘average’ person should consume?

    * I will admit, I am totally buying into your primal blueprint theory (only been reading for a few months). Maybe I should do some more research (send me a link if that’s the case), but in terms of Gork’s availabile animal protein – do you think he had that much animal protein available to consume that much everyday? Or is your current/recommended protein intake based on other theories/facts?

    Thanks a bunch!


    1. there were millions upon millions of animals back then and many millions fewer humans. yes, there was animal protein available.

      1. Yes, but how many animals would Grok have killed and eaten in a day?

        Granted, if six ounces of beef is 50g of protein, well you do the math on one, 800lb wild cow. 😉


    2. Supposedly the Huns would kill a deer and gorge on pounds and pounds of meat in one sitting. And they were big, strong men, and excellent warriors. Not to mention, all of our ancestors would eat the organs, too!

  10. I eat 1.5 grams per pound of body weight. Right now I am eating around 250 grams of protein per day. This comes from chicken, fish, cottage cheese, whey protein, milk, eggs, ground beef (grass fed!), as well as from other sources like beans.

    Of course, I lift weights, as should EVERYONE.

    1. Howdy Barry,

      I know it’s an old comment, but do you still eat this much protein each day? I’m curious what your diet has evolved into. I’ve been moving my level up,and i’m just shifting up to 250ish but getting pretty bored of the same stuff and thought we might compare notes.


  11. Stan – the problem with any whey based powder is it gets absorbed and is gone out of your system in an hour…hence you need like 10 shakes a day. Eating whole foods that have protein and fat (like steak and eggs) can take 4-6 hours to digest. You want that slow steady stream of amino acids all day long feeding those muscles. So eating more real food you actually need less protein overall…there are tons of people who can gain on 1g/lb of bodyweight with only real foods….but if you make it all powders then they need like 1.5g or higher. All our demands are different but hands down the whole food trumps any supplement…oh yeah since it provides other things like EFAs that actually increase nitrogen retention….hence less muscle loss. Funny how whole foods just work and supplements can’t compete…and cost 10x more. Eat more fat in your diet and you spare more muscle…so less dietary protein is needed. That and excessive protein oxidation will only lead to increase free radicals and accelerated ageing (I did a thing on about the dangers of high protein here:

    1. I don’t really care how late I am to this thread. Since this is my first time reading it, it’s new to me. But I am curious as to where people are getting their numbers for whey protein costing 10x more than the meat. 18 bucks gets you a 2 lb container of whey protein at kroger. About 27 scoops per container and 20 grams of protein per scoop. That’s 540 grams for 18 bucks. Chicken breast costs around 3 bucks per pound, 2.66(how many 6 oz servings in a lb) X 37 = roughly 98. Round up to 100 to make things simple. 18 bucks of chicken will get around 6 lbs so then 600 grams of protein for the same price. Now the cost per gram of the protein in whey protein is marginally higher. Keyword is marginally. Not 10x or even extremely higher. But whey protein is easier to keep, as well as easier to prepare. Just keep on a shelf and add water. I am not against one side or the other, except for the ignorant fool who keeps calling non vegans cannibals. But the point is that whey protein is not extremely expensive compared to meats. I don’t get the reasoning behind saying you need less protein from meat since it takes longer to digest. If it’s not enough protein then it’s not enough. If it’s too much then it’s too much. The body can store excess amino acids in the muscle for around 24 hours. So saying that you need less protein from meat doesn’t make sense. Also to imply that someone using protein shakes only consumes the shakes is absurd. It is not possible to get all you need from protein shakes, and anyone who drinks them will tell you the same. Just like it’s not possible to get all you need from eating just meat. To imply shakes are idiotic, but then include other variables on your point, doesn’t provide a fair argument.

  12. Transitiong from veganism to omnivorism has been difficult, and I still find myself rarely getting 1g protein per lb. of body weight. On those days that I actually track my protein consumption, it comes in somewhere around 80 to 90g, and that’s including one protein shake (pea or soy protein, which contains roughly 30g protein).

    The amount of protein the the plant sources seems simply dismal, and my body, suffering from IBS as it is, can’t handle large amounts of tofu, tempeh, gluten or processed soy meat analogs.

    It seems that, for now, at least, I’ll be stuck not getting enough protein until I can figure something else out. I’m reluctant to start eating red meat, poultry, fish, etc., and am currently limited to the occasional serving of Greek yogurt, eggs or scallops, my only sources of animal ingredients, other than infrequent use of honey.

    I wish it were simpler to make the transition, but, since I was vegan for so long (roughly 10 years), it’s difficult to break from it completely all of a sudden. In light of MDA and Art’s blog, as well as Michael Pollan’s books, I no longer think veganism is the way to go, and am now of the opinion that humans probably should eat meat, as it is seemingly part and parcel of our design. However, I don’t think my family’s onboard with this platform, and it’s difficult to be the odd man out in such situations.

    What’s had me more concered about getting enough protein lately, other than my research, is my beginning lifting weights. I started about a month ago and now lift 2 or 3 times per week, steadily increasing the weight each week. I’ve noticed a lot of improvement in strength since I began. Delayed onset muscle soreness has been minimal, as I think I’m still trying to learn to do the lifts properly, not going for very heavy weights. Most of the time, I notice that ancillary muscles are sore, not the main targets for my lift. I have yet to feel my quads fatigue from squats, mainly it’s my groin (abductors? adductors?), and I’ve noticed that just keeping my core tight throughout the lifts seems to cause more soreness than the targeted muscle groups, such that it’s mainly my posterior chain and butt that’s feeling fatigued. I guess that’s what you get for slouching at a desk for years.

    I’m wondering if the lack of soreness and seemingly speedy recovery means my body is doing okay with the work load and my current protein consumption. If I required more protein than I’m getting now, wouldn’t I be sore longer and have difficulty recovering? Could it be I’m not getting enough but my body is not showing tell-tale signs of protein deprivation? I’m not sure, and, as such, I haven’t switched fully back into omnivorism (including the red meat, poultry, fish, etc.)

    1. i stopped being a vegetarian when i had a heart attack. 7 reasons to eat beef you are not aware of on allwomenstalk website

  13. What veggie burger are they using that has 51 g of protein in it??? I’ve never seen a veg burger with more than 15. Is it a homemade veg burger? Can you post the recipe? Is it made with soy protein?

    1. Yeah, that number is way off. The highest ones have about 19-22 grams of protein. Moophrey (by Ezekiel), the gardein beef-less burger, and the Amie’s quarter pounder are in that range.

      – Matthew

  14. Mike Drew,

    Have you ruled out a hernia causing that ancillary weight lifting discomfort? Just a thought.

  15. Clearly one needs to eat meat to obtain satisfactory amounts of natural protein.

    I side with whey over soy and do have a low-carb shake for breakfast on weekdays. It tides me through until lunch.


      1. That was the average life expectancy, which took into account infant mortality, accidental death, and untreated infections and diseases. Genetically paleo man had the same lifespan we do. Put Grok into a suit and tie, give him the medical care we get today, and he’d live to be 80. Your shouting and screaming falsehoods and nonsense is tiresome.

      2. You dont look happy. Life expectancy in paleolithic times has little to do with diet dumbass. Life was hard and times dangerous. If you are happy being vegetarin cool. I was vegetarian for 12 years and i was fat and prediabetic unhappy so let us eat our grassfed steak in peace.

  16. I’ve had a physical recently, and everything was fine. I think I’m just not used to performing the movements. The soreness was most intense a month ago, when I first started lifting. I just don’t think my body enjoyed using all these muscles it probably never has to use, being as I sit at a desk for 8 hours a day, admittedly, with poor posture. I find that when I lift, I’m forced to have good posture and forced to keep everything tight so that my form doesn’t degenerate, causing me to squat or deadlift with a hunched back. It’s training these seldom-used muscles that’s been more of a pain (literally) than training the target muscle groups.

  17. My converter says 6 ounces is 170g. Not sure how this relates to the posts above

  18. Mike OD,
    Wow man, thanks for the info. I had a feeling powder protein didn’t whey out right (okay, done with the puns). I recently bought some stuff called Nitro Xtreme 92(Xtreme!!!!!!!!!…!). The bottle has a little chart showing the four different types of whey included and how they nourish your body for up to four hours, but it doesn’t have any breakdown of the types of whey. I’m starting to feel like the label is pretty much hype.

    1. eat real food. eat real meat. eat real fruits, vegies, nuts. REAL, ORGANIC, GRASS-FED FOOD!!!!

  19. Mike Drew, did it ever occur to you that maybe the gluten is causing your IBS? I am in the process of being tested for celiac/gluten intolerance and didn’t want an IBS diagnosis w/out ruling out other possibilities (I don’t know that I believe “IBS” is an actual disease, I think it means “I don’t know so I’ll pick some BS name and call it a disease”). Anyway, just thought I’d throw that out there for you to consider since you mentioned IBS and gluten. Gluten can do a number on a sensitive person.

  20. To Nancy S: Yes, I’ve thought about the gluten angle before, and have had both a blood test for celiac disease and a biopsy of my small bowel during an endoscopy. Both tests were negative. I almost wish I were allergic to gluten, as the seemingly simple solution of eliminating wheat from my diet would be much easier than dealing with whatever phantoms haunt my digestive system.

    I actually just met with my gastroenterologist last week, and he said that, by all the tests they’ve done so far (colonoscopy, endoscopy, small bowel series, blood tests [anemia, thyroid issues]) I’m perfectly healthy. Apparently my stomach and intestines just hate me.

    I still try to stay away from seitan though. A piece of toast here and there doesn’t bother me at all, but seitan gives me serious indigestion.

    1. I’m in the same boat as you. I have very sensitive intestines. I was diagnosed as having IBS many years ago, which, like Nancy said, I think is the medical establishment’s term for “I don’t know what’s wrong with your bowels.” I’ve had all those tests — except the biopsy — and like yours, they were all negative. However, my chiropractor said that one can be sensitive to gluten without it showing up in both the blood and stool tests for celiac disease or gluten allergy. She suggested that I avoid gluten for a couple of weeks and see what happens. Sure enough, there was a distinct improvement. However, it only lasted for about 3 months, after which, even though I avoided gluten, I was back to where I started. However, I think it would be worthwhile for you to try eliminating gluten from your diet for 2 or 3 weeks to see what happens. I am now trying out the Primal diet, and am having good days and bad days. Can’t pin down what may be causing the bad days. Good luck to you!

      1. Hi Mel Practice

        Perhaps an antibodies test is what you’d like to ask for. It was once called the Shilling Test and could shed some light on your digestive problems?

    2. FYI, blood tests for celiac disease and intestinal biopsy’s are notorious for giving false negatives. It depends on how severe the damage is to the intestines as to whether or not they will come back with a positive result. You can also have what is known as Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity which can have much of the same symptoms as celiac disease without the autoimmune response. There is test for IgA or IgG antibodies (different than the blood test that looks for chemical markers of celiac disease) that CAN come back positive for someone with NCGS but even that’s not guaranteed. Finally, there is a gene test that is offered by Enterolab that can determine if you have either of the genes for celiac disease or the gene for NCGS. Not a determining factor in having active celiac or NCGS but it will let you know if you are susceptible. Bottom line, the only REAL way to determine if you are gluten sensitive is to go off gluten for 1-2 months (recommended only after having the blood, biopsy and antibody tests as those are affected by the lack of gluten in the diet).

    3. TOAST IS THE WORST THING TO EAT >> ITS A CARB AND CONVERTS INTO GLUCOSE. DONT EAT ANY PROCESSED FOODS AT ALL, NO CEREALS, NO RICE, NO BREAD, NO CARBS AT ALL. too much carbs create HAVOC in your digestive system . Eat only fresh organic fruit and veges

      1. Elaine-

        Chill out a bit, and knock off the ALL CAPS. Insulting & dogging people isn’t helping making your points.

        fyi fruits, veggies & legumes all contain CARBS!

        Perhaps you mean to condemn “refined” carbs?

        Show me the research that says too much (how much?) protein is bad.

        Also show me record of purely vegetarian societies…

        1. Thank you Bob!! It feels like she’s yelling at everyone, do this , do that, but I give you no facts, you just must believe me, cuz I know better!! Who are you Elaine? And what’re your credentials?
          Please don’t tell me you’re an English teacher? Lol…
          If you want people to listen, help them understand and be nice about it!! I thought you said you were happy Elaine, it sure doesn’t come off that way!!
          Best of Luck ?

  21. Oops. I didn’t realize my wife was still logged in, so that Mel Practice post above is really from me.

  22. This was really useful! I was surprised to see how little protein eggs have by comparison. Good to know as I often rely on one or 2 eggs to provide the protein at breakfast or in a salad.

  23. I would like to know why 6 oz. of tuna is saying it’s only 13-15g of protein on the label, but posted on this site as having 40.1g?? Are you not speaking of canned tuna?? Another thing, this site says peanut butter is 8.1g, but, again, the label reads 7g. Are you speaking of regular peanut butter, or natural peanut butter(in which you have to mix the oil on top by stirring) One more thing, I thought the chicken breast contained more protein than its dark meat. Is what’s posted accurate, and if it is, why do most bodybuilders recommend chicken breast and not its dark meat??

    1. It’s 13-15g per servings but there are several servings in a can. For example I just had one can which said 4 servings, 15g each so 60g of protein in one shot. Pretty sweet. I would need 10 eggs to get that. Well, I also had 10 raw eggs, 5 beaten with the tuna, 5 in a fruit smoothie. And I’m still below 150g.

    2. Obsessed with protein > too much is harmful ! you dont need as much protein as you think

      1. My pointy teeth are for eating animal parts. My molars are for plant pieces. Digestive tract, bacteria, enzymes, etc. inside me let the nutrients from both be utilized by my body… blah blah blah. I’m just reiterating info from all over this site and the internet (not broscience, try Google Scholar and pubmed). Your comments, though, Elaine, and damn entertaining.

  24. Deakon-

    See the links to Harvard School of Public Health and Northwestern University above. They are the sources of the figures. You may find answers to all of your questions there.

  25. I eat beef everyday, 12-16 ounces, which pretty much takes care of my protein requirements. I could happily scarf a NY every night, and most nights I do. Other times it’s jerky or grass fed ground beef from my friend’s ranch. A lot of almonds, too. That’s a great list of protein amounts. Sometimes I think I should eat more chicken, but I’d have to buy the organic kind since I react badly to that sugar/chemical stuff they inject into most poultry and pork, and beef has more protein and calories anyhow. Does anyone who visits this site ever check out They have an interesting blog on there about statins and that new report. But the main thing is that you can build a virtual pantry and then let their software analyze your micro- and macro- nutrients. It would get tedious if done often; I’m at the point where I know how to feed myself. But it’s nice for a “spot check” once in a while, since my diet is regularly [slowly] “evolving” (like Grok!) and it’s good to write down what I eat in a day once in awhile get a check-up on how it’s all adding up.

  26. Mark,

    I find it disconcerting that you eat consume so much protein. Especially since you are an advocate of an alkalizing diet. Are you not concerned about the harmful effects excessive animal protein can cause such as kidney damage and osteoporosis?

    Now I’m not saying you derive the majority of your protein intake from animal sources, but I will venture to say that you consume a more than adequate amount. You of all people know that humans only need about 5-10% of caloric intake from protein. Do you subscribe to the popular trend, partly propagated by fitness media, that a highly physical individual must consume at least their body weight per pound in protein? Or is there real truth behind this?

    Much of animal food is acidic in nature, isn’t it? Some more than others. Fish and whey are on the lower end of the acidic spectrum. Is not excessive protein counterproductive in maintaining a balances acid/alkaline environment as well as sustaining a proper bone-building environment?

    Do you consume the majority of your protein from whey, nuts, legumes, and vegetables?

    Please educate me.

    Brian K

    1. “Are you not concerned about the harmful effects excessive animal protein can cause such as kidney damage and osteoporosis?”

      That’s internet broscience. Please provide one study showing excessive (what is excessive anyway?) amounts of protein harm healthy kidneys.

    2. grains and legumes can cause acidosis as well. the only thing that doesn’t is fruits and veggies. so eat plenty of those to balance out the pH. animal protein intake does not have a negative effect on kidneys in healthy individuals. I can’t remember where I read it, but I believe a serious amount of animal protein is only detrimental in those with CKD.

  27. I think if you feel kind of heavy and tired ,slow but not sleepy, you’ve eaten too much protein, and if you collapse into a nap you’ve had toomuch sugar andstarch. If you feel cold it may be gluten, bread pasta guesses, not science. My experiences only. Breathing tensely left me shaky. One can be craving your spouses nicotine and not know it if you dont smoke, so eat a snack to calm yourself.

  28. I am not a healthy woman had 14 feet of intestine out also gerd disease and arthritis in my back
    get urinary tract infections all the time
    on allot of medication stupid doctors are killing me with there pills
    I am anorexic due to bowel disease I need to get allot of protein from a drink can’t digest food.
    Can anyone suggest something to me
    tried hungry miserable frustrated
    everything I eat goes wright through me
    weight is 85 Pd’s

  29. I think I’m getting around 180g of protein per day, but I wouldn’t bet on it. It’s certainly not all from whole foods.

    Currently eat 100g sardines for breakfast with a 40g protein shake as a chaser (incl cacao & stevia).
    Lunch is an unknown quantity.. maybe a burger pattie or leftover chicken.
    Dinner’s usually a big load of meat & veg. Plus I have a protein shake after training if it’s not mealtime. Definitely *up* there, but I plan on doing better.

  30. I’ve been battling obesity for years now. I started eating primal 4 mos. ago and have actually gained weight. At 5’10” and 260 pounds, I have a hard time wrapping my head around eating 260g of protein a day! What am I missing here???

  31. Thanks Chris. I’ve been a rock star on the plan when it comes to grains. Crackers and breads used to be my trigger foods, but I’ve been shocked at how easily I’ve been able to give them up. As far as sugar, I’m about 85% there — only fruits have been blueberries and strawberries, I’ve switched to Stevia when I need a sweetener, but I do still love me some dark chocolate every now and that — but no processed sugars. Amazingly, I just had bloodwork done (testing thryoid, lypids, etc): since I’ve been eating primal, my cholesterol is down from 223 to 173, and my tricyclerides down from 224 to 178!
    I’m just so stymied about the lack of weigh loss.

  32. Wow, reading this site has opened my eyes.

    Though I am obese, I have 200 pounds of lean mass. (Nifty they can now tell you that) In an effort to lose the excess fat my Dr sent me to a dietitian who says I should be eating a maximum of 100g of meat a day, roughly 3.5oz. Preferably lean beef or skinless chicken breasts.

    No wonder I have HUGE cravings for meat!!!

    Reading this post makes me realize just how much I am under eating protein and why my poor body is screaming for it!

    The dietitian’s response to me saying “I’m ready to rip and arm or leg off anything that walks by!” was “Well you need to fill up on healthy whole grains.” AGH!!!

    So glad I found this site, now I won’t feel guilty when I go against CW and actually eat the meat my body is craving and ditch the icky grains that make me feel ill.

    Yay for Primal!

  33. How can I consume 250 grams of protein per day without breaking my budget? What is the smartest solution to this problem?

  34. Protein + Budget

    I’ve been into weight lighting etc for quite some time now and have managed, with ease over 300 grams of Protein a day.

    The first and best way for easy protein is definitely Protein Shake… myprotein do great protein only shakes for the cheapest in the uk.

    Secondly – EGG’s …. my budget does not allow me to have morals, I buy 30 battery farmed eggs at a time, hard boil them all and consume 5 a day… easy 30 grams of protein for roughly 30p its not bad!

    Thirdly -Oats oats oats (with protein shake as milk topper) very easy protein

    Every country has the cheap store (lidls, nettos), I personally buy a huge bag of ham each week, very easy protein for roughly £2.00 for a couple of KG’s of good ham.

    Turkey vs Chicken (Turkey Wins) whenever you have the option go for turkey…you get 2x more meat for your money and its got nearly 50% more protein.

    From there with good fruit, nuts, milk (beef jerky if your looking to treat yourself) you’ve got many cheap, low fuss options to keep that protein craving at a minimum…its kept my 6ft 8 a*s in shape for the last year or so!

    Just remember for all you tuna lovers… don’t go overboard, I used to go for 2-3 cans a day for easy protein and started losing my mind! Dont poison yourself with the mercury, stay under 4 cans a week!



    1. 2-3 cans? Wow, Dave, I don’t know how you could eat that much of one thing without your taste buds revolting!

  35. I don’t understand why a high protein diet is recommended when most amino acids are converted into glucose for energy which means protein is a carbohydrate. It also yields ammonia as a byproduct which is toxic. It would be an expensive source of energy compared to fats and carbohydrates especially now that the food prices are high.

    Studies showed that those with impaired kidneys slowed their deterioration by eating less protein. Kidney disease is quite common and is silent in the early stages. Those with healthy kidneys are not affected by a high protein intake.

  36. Do I calculate grams of protein for my IDEAL weight. I am over weight and certainly should not eat that many grams of protein. I am doing 50-100 carbs per day and am confused about how many grams of protein to eat. I have the 21 day transformation but I couldnt find that info.

  37. please help anyone. I am having to have GB due to the effects of GERD on my esophogus. I have to prove I eat enough protein and I truly need to, to counter act the effects of the surgery. Where can I find a list of grams of protein in foos. The internet only gives me websites selling product and I am committed to staying health.

    Please lead me to a site that gives me this info.

    Thank you from someone who does not want to be malnurished!!

  38. What veggie burger has 51g of protein? I don’t eat meat (only fish) and I’d like to know because I’m trying to eat more protein. All of the major brands are around 15g which is not even close.

  39. Greetings! I’ve been following your web site for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the fantastic job!

  40. I’m 6’8″ and about 280 lbs. Do you have any idea how to eat 280 grams of protein? I simply cannot physically eat 3 lbs of meat per day.

  41. hi Mark,
    I just finished my analysis and found out that my protein is too high,what will be the effect in my health,can u suggest foods that low in protein that i will include in my diet?thank u very much.

  42. Please keep in mind that the protein recommendation of 0.7 to 1.0 grams is per pound Lean Muscle Mass, not your scale weight. There is a big difference.

  43. Just wondering why Quinoa was not included on your protein list. I am wondering just how much protein is available in Quinoa.


  44. I would like to know how much protein a 6 year old child should eat a day. My six year old son is small – almost the smallest child in his class – and my husband worries it is because he doesn’t eat enough protein. He does not like meat or fish so items on your meat list he eats none of and he does not like eggs. I do make sure he eats a very balanced and healthy diet. At every meal he eats fruits, vegetables, beans, wholewheat carbs, as well as proteins that he likes – tofu, peanut butter, yogurt. And he will eat a little ground beef in pasta or chili so we do that too. But now I see from your list that the amount of tofu he eats certainly doesn’t equal a hamburger! Can you please give guidance for how much is enough for healthy growth? Let me add that I am short and my father is very short so I think this is likely just small genes but I want to do everything I can!!

  45. A few points I see here maybe I can help with. These are just things ive learned over the years, feel free to correct me.

    1) Liquid (powdered) protein is optimal after a workout because you need fast delivery. There’s a lot of information to support and discredit every different source of powdered protein. So, I’d say choose whatever fits your program best.

    2) Bodybuilders recommend white meat over dark post-workout because fats slow the delivery process.

    3) Nobody’s mentioned collagen. From all I gather it is an extremely bioavailable protein source, which is something these raw numbers completely neglect.

    Not all proteins are created equal.

  46. 1 gram per lb of lean mass, not per pound of body weight. Some can get away with 1 gram per 2 lbs of lean mass, and some can get away with between the 2 numbers. All depends on your activity. If you’re tearing your muscles 2-3 times a week via lifting heavy things, make sure to get your 1g/lb of lean mass in the 24 hours after your workout, but personally i don’t hit that every day. There’s days where i only get 100g of protein and my lean mass is about 145lbs.

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  48. Because of c. diff., and secondary IBD, I have to eat a large amount of protein to prevent serious weight loss. The problem is, I’m allergic to dairy, soy, and gluten. I’m fine eating meat and eggs, but the consensus is that IBD folks should not eat beans. Plus I would rather not eat a huge amount of red meat. I’m eating peanut butter, but too much peanut butter or almond butter triggers flares. The only protein powder I can use is Rice. Any other suggestions on how to (a) get enough protein, and (b) prevent further weight loss?


  49. Money money money…
    I eat between 300 and 350g each day from Whey, chicken breast, egg whites, lean pork, tuna and salmon. It’s like having a full time job

  50. The way I learned it is bodyweight minus body fat percentage =fat free mass. That number (in grams) is how much protein the individual should have/ day. Definitely not total body weight.

  51. Hi. Well i also try vegan/vegetarian diet (not for liking animals and all that animal right wich i found stupid) because all the hype the diet as around and the “health benefits”. Vegetarian was ok (dairy, eggs), vegan was awfull ( i think my reserve of b12, omega3 and the abundance of phitic acid was a bad idea). I eat the whole grain propaganda, and all that stuff. Also with wheight lifting.
    Then i try something more agressive, lots of animal protein and i feel like crap.
    Then i follow the FDA recommendation (something around 0,5g per pound of bodyweight for weight lifting) and eat the things never make me feel bad before i enter this “healthy quest”, even some white bread. SO i eat more carbs (little to none process sugar a bit honey) little phitic acid, the only grains i eat are process white rice, white bread, etc), moderate fat and vegetables, and some animal protein (salmon for fish you can eat it all week if you want and never have any issues with mercury) with some dairy. I feel a lot better and i keep building muscle. In fact i recover faster with less protein.
    If you think it carefully why eat that much protein. The body can not process and absor more than 20-30 grams per meal. There are good evidence that any number over it the body will start oxideze and turn into glucose. And obiously carbs is a less expensive way to get that glucose for the body; in order to oxidize protein and fats the body need more oxigen, more minerals and vitamins than with carbs, and also it leaves more damage to the body, more free radicals, therefore you need more antioxidants in your diet. Ofcourse it is a lot better a piece of chicker or meat for protein source than a cup of bean, and anyone that do not agree on that must be out of his mind. But carbs is a better fuel for the body than protein and also over fat. In fact the body burns body fat on cardio and not on wheight lifting because there is more oxigen in the body for the fat to be burned (it consume more oxigen to for it to be transform in ATP, and more oxigen consuption = more free radicals = you get old faster).
    I always read on bodybuilding forums and all other places that the best to do is eat tons of protein and that the recommendation from scientific research are not good, that the fitness industries know a lot more and all that crap, but at the end of the day is just crap. I will admit that using protein as fuel makes you burn more calories than other macronutrient but and therefore is easier to get leaner. But that have a cost and make the body do extra work.

    1. Animal welfare is stupid? What a strange comment.

      I’d rather be called stupid by an idiot, than be ignorant about the suffering of living things.

  52. Also other animals who dont eat meat such as rhinos, gorillas, bison, and elephants are quite big and strong. Just keep that in mind.

  53. Hi, I enjoy working out and need about the amount of amino acid in 40 grams of protein after a workout.
    I saw the veggie burger has plenty, however most of these are made of soy and more than 80% of the soy is GMO, so my question is which source can provide the most protein?
    Another question is, if you eat too many beans could be stressful to your intestine, maybe just as beef?
    please give your take…
    Thank you!!

  54. Hi Mark I’m kinda new to this although I did paleo a bit before. I’ve been back in the gym and looking at food again since January. I’m 16st at the moment and a bit on the porky side should I still be eating a gram of protein in my weight or should I cut it down until I am lean?

    1. Elaine is perfectly correct in EVERYTHING she said ….. 95 % of the masses are practically brain dead when it truely comes to FACTUAL nutrition…. This world is run and controlled by multi billion $ corporations that keep reinventing a way of HOW TO GET ALL THESE BRAIN DEAD IMBICILES to CONSUME more of their products…. The U.S. government spends $ 500,000,000 per year advertising for YOU TO EAT MORE MEAT …. WTF is that ?? For your sakes and especially that of your children I STRONGLY URGE you to watch ” COWSPIRICY ” and LEARN the HORRIFIC TRUTHS that surround and control us, it’s PROFOUNDLY LIFE CHANGING( that is unless you’re too AFFRAID OF THE TRUTH..) ….. Oh and just as a little aside , I AM A TEN TIME MR AUSTRALIA , 4 time WORLD CHAMPION including OVERALL WORLD BODYBUILDING CHAMPION and MR UNIVERSE ….. And hey this is the kicker for all you absolutely brain washed indoctrinated UNQUESTIONING souls…. I AM VEGETARIAN , AND WAS WHEN AT MY COMPETITIVE BEST….. Bottom line … ALL THIS FOCUS AND ENCOURAGING OVER CONSUMPTION OF PROTEIN ( ESPECIALLY ANIMAL PRODUCTS ) IS ABSOLUTE BULLS….T … waky wacky people of the world …..

      1. Are you Elaines Husband. Do all non meat eaters call every one names that don’t agree with you!
        What government served the cavemen? We’re not all brain dead, just because we choose to eat meat!
        And do you drink any dairy products, do you eat yogurt, eggs, ice cream and cheese? Because if you eat any of those , you’re not a vegetarian!! They don’t eat any products coming from animals, just vegetation and fruits!!

  55. you neglect to mention that greek yogurt is 24 gramd protein for a cup, a better choice then plain yogurt, no?

  56. Vegetarian for almost 2 years. Almost 40 years old with a body of 21 year old athlete and I’m constantly confused with being the brother of my son… working out is 1000% easier on an all vegetable diet, as well.
    I enjoy my diet. No vaccines since I was age 18 and zero medical issues…. I have no experiences with any flu germ the last 25+ years.
    We all respond to food in different manners. Eliminating animals from my diet have given me an additional burst of energy. Wish I went vegan 15 years ago…..