Top 5 Protein Sources

단백질보충제 Protein is an essential nutrient that helps support muscle growth and repair. You can get it from lean meat (such as skinless chicken breast), fish, beans and nuts.


Animal proteins provide all nine essential amino acids, and plant-based options — such as quinoa, soybean products, lentils and beans — offer a good mix of amino acids, too.

1. Eggs

Eggs are a versatile and affordable protein source. One large egg provides 6.3 grams of complete, high-quality protein, plus 13 essential vitamins and minerals, including eye-healthy lutein and zeaxanthin and brain-healthy choline.

However, it’s important to eat the whole egg—including the yolk—to get all of the benefits of this nutrient. Nutritionists used to recommend limiting or eliminating eggs because of their cholesterol content, but now that dietary cholesterol is no longer considered a heart disease risk factor, there’s zero reason to avoid this protein powerhouse.

Besides offering up an impressive amount of protein, eggs also provide other health benefits such as increasing satiety and supporting muscle health and recovery. They’re also inexpensive and can be prepared quickly (think: omelets, frittatas, shakshuka, etc.). But, as a dietitian, I always suggest pairing them with other protein sources to help achieve balanced meals. These other affordable proteins include lean meat, dairy, beans and soy products like tofu and tempeh. They’re also great options for vegetarians.

2. Lean Meat단백질보충제

Lean meats are a staple of fitness-friendly and weight loss diets. They offer the protein your body needs while providing fewer calories than higher-fat meats. Plus, they’re a good source of zinc, vitamin A and protein-rich fats.

To find lean meats, look for cuts of poultry without skin, beef round or sirloin and pork tenderloin. You can also choose leaner fish such as cod, flounder, tilapia or trout. And, if you enjoy shellfish, go for shrimp. These foods are rich in B vitamins and the brain boosting omega-3 fatty acids.

You can also add beans and lentils to your protein intake. These plant-based proteins are rich in fiber, too, which helps with digestion and can aid in weight loss. Per the USDA, a half-cup serving of canned garbanzo beans offers 120 calories, 7 grams of protein and 2 grams of total fat (0 grams saturated). Add them to salads, sandwiches or bowls. You can also boil, roast or bake them for a tasty treat. They’re an affordable option, too. Per the USDA, a cup of cooked lentils delivers 210 calories, 16 grams of protein and 5 grams of total fat (0 grams saturated).

3. Dairy Products

For many people, dairy is an essential nutrient that helps support muscle growth and strong bones, as well as providing calcium, Vitamin D and other important nutrients. It’s also a known source of protein, however consuming too much dairy can lead to digestive upset and can be high in sugar and saturated fat.

Luckily, there are plenty of healthy alternatives to dairy that can provide you with the same great protein punch like pea milk which has about eight grams of protein per serving or black-eyed peas which contain 26 grams of protein per two cups. And for those who are lactose intolerant, try soy milk which has a similar consistency to cow’s milk with around ten grams of protein per serving.

For dairy products such as drinkable yogurts and shakes, ice cream and cheese, protein fortification is an easy and cost-effective way to increase nutrient density and enhance product functionality. But adding too much protein can have adverse effects on viscosity, color and mouthfeel. That’s why formulators are using protein blends that rely on multiple high-quality ingredients to reduce off notes and achieve an optimal sensory experience.

4. Nuts & Seeds

Nuts and seeds provide protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are easy to add to foods and offer a protein boost for both meat eaters and vegans. A half-ounce of nuts or a tablespoon of nut butter counts as a serving. They are an excellent source of soluble fiber and are high in magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin E, folate and plant omega-3 fatty acids called alpha linolenic acid. They are a good addition to salads and can be sprinkled on protein French toast or added to oatmeal or smoothies.

A diet that includes nuts and seeds can help prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. However, they are a rich source of calories and should be eaten in moderation. It’s a good idea to choose a variety of nuts and seeds, and to try to get them unsalted or lightly salted (if you can). This way, you can control the amount of sodium in your diet. A recent study found that people who eat more nuts and seeds may lower their risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory illness, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

5. Vegetables

Although often overlooked when it comes to protein sources, certain vegetables can pack a healthy punch. While they may not contain as much as meat, dairy or beans, these veggies — such as spinach, asparagus, green peas, broccoli and brussels sprouts – still provide an important source of protein.

These veggies can also be combined with other vegetable proteins (like tofu, tempeh or beans) to create a complete protein that provides all the essential amino acids your body needs. Alternatively, you can also combine these protein-rich vegetables with grains like barley, quinoa or oats to help meet your protein goals.

Leafy vegetables, such as watercress and mustard greens, are packed with protein per calorie. A cup of cooked spinach contains nearly 8 grams of protein and is a good source of vitamin K, folate, calcium and dietary fiber. Other dark leafy greens, such as kale and Swiss chard, are also good choices. These are a great source of fiber, as well as iron and antioxidants. Try adding them to your next salad.