Top 5 Foods With the Highest Protein Content

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Between 10 to 35 percent of your total daily calories—depending on your activity level—should come from protein. For an average 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, that amounts to between 50 to 175 grams of protein daily. Any types of animal food and a handful of plant-based foods are rich in protein, which help you build body muscle and tissues. Five foods in particular can help you get closer to meeting the daily recommendation.

5 Beans

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If you are a vegetarian or limit meat consumption, pile on the beans to add protein to your diet. One cup of cooked soybeans has nearly 29 grams of protein; prepared white beans contain 19 gram of protein per cup; and a cup of cooked navy, pinto, black or kidney beans each give you between 15 and 16 grams of protein. Soak dry beans overnight and change the water frequently to reduce the gassy effects of legumes. Thoroughly rinse the beans several times to remove gas-producing sugars. Canned beans are another way to go, because beans lose some of their flatulence-causing compounds during processing.

4 Chicken

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Chicken breast is a classic and healthy way to get protein into your diet. The extremely lean food—once the skin is removed—is versatile and easy to attain. A 3-ounce roasted chicken breast provides nearly 27 grams of protein. Dark meat offers somewhat less protein. Three ounces of broiled thigh meat contains 22 grams of protein.

3 Crab

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All types of crab contain abundant amounts of protein. A 4.75-ounce portion of canned blue crab meat contains almost 28 grams of protein. Splurge on Alaska king crab for 32 grams of protein from 6 ounces. Skip the melted butter to keep from adding fat and calories to your relatively lean entrée. If you must have some kind of dipping sauce, use olive oil seasoned with freshly chopped dill and fennel. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from olive oil help to protect your heart.

2 Clams

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Clams are perfectly delectable steamed in just a bit of seafood broth, making them a light and healthy way to get more protein in your diet. Three ounces of drained clam meat provides nearly 22 grams of protein. If raw clams are more your thing, you’ll get about 11 grams of protein from three 1-ounce clams in the shell.

1 Salmon

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If fish is your preference, stick to salmon. You can gain more than 42 grams of protein from a 5.5-ounce broiled salmon fillet. As a bonus, salmon is jampacked with specialized polyunsaturated fats called omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats stabilize your cholesterol, lowering your overall risk of developing cardiovascular disease, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. For optimal heart health, aim to get at least 8 ounces of salmon and other types of seafood in your diet each week.

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