which is why I personally think that a diet higher in high quality fats and protein is helpful for weight management.
A protein source of food is either “complete” or “incomplete” - meaning it either contains all or some of the essential amino acids we need for our bodily functions. Complete proteins are mostly found in animal products.
Some non-animal foods (particularly beans, grains, and nuts and seeds) contain a number of the amino acids our bodies need, but not all of them. These are called “incomplete” protein sources.
You can combine certain incomplete proteins with others to make a complete protein source. But if you eat a variety of foods generally, you likely don’t have to worry about this.
For the purposes of this blog post
I’m listing proteins that are more made of protein than carbohydrate (i.e. so I’m not including grains and beans) - for the reasons I mentioned at the top of this page!
However! If you are want more variety or are vegetarian and feel like you need additional options, use quinoa, buckwheat, or beans (including legumes, lentils, hummus and falafel) as a protein source :)
Ok! So -
Here is a good list and what 1 “normal” serving of different proteins includes. By “normal”, I mean the amount one could add to a meal or snack.
1 “normal” serving = ~150 calories
Poultry (Chicken & Turkey)
Chicken breast: one 4oz skinless chicken breast
Chicken thigh: one 4oz skinless chicken thigh
Grilled chicken strips: 4oz grilled chicken strips
Deli slices: 4-5oz deli slices
Ground turkey/ chicken: 4oz ground turkey
Turkey burger patty: 1 burger
Turkey meatballs: depends on the size of meatballs!
Sausage: 1 link
Pork tenderloin: 4oz tenderloin
Deli slices (e.g. ham): 4oz slices
Ham: 4oz slices
Uncured prosciutto or salami: 2oz slices
Uncured bacon: 3 slices
Pork meatballs: depends on the size of meatballs!
Uncured pork hot dog: 1 hot dog
Turkey jerky: depends on the type!
Ground beef: 3oz cooked
Steak tips: 4oz cooked
Burger patty: 1/2 patty
Beef hot dog: 1 hot dog
Beef jerky: depends on the type!
Fish & Seafood
Tuna: 1 regular-sized can or 1 packet
Smoked salmon: 5oz
Salmon filet: one 5oz filet
Shrimp: 30 medium cooked
Lobster: meat of 1 medium lobster
Canned salmon: 4oz
Nuts & Seeds (includes some non-dairy substitutes)
Tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts, walnuts, etc.): 1/8-1/4 cup
Peanuts: 1/8-1/4 cup
Nut butters: 2 Tbsp
Seeds (e.g. pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.): 3 Tbsp
Unsweetened nut milk (e.g. almond milk, cashew milk, etc.): 1 cup is a “typical” serving - but only 25-30 calories; you may need to add additional proteins if you choose this one
Soy-Based/ Meat Substitutes (includes some non-dairy substitutes)
Edamame: in shell 2/3 cup; shelled 3/4 cup
Seitan: depends on the product!
Unsweetened soy milk: 1 cup
Other meat substitute (e.g. “chicken”, meatballs, sausage, etc.): depends on the product!
Yogurt: 6-8oz yogurt (3/4 to 1 cup) - from a to-go container or measure out of a big container!
Cheese: 1 slice of cheese; 1 string cheese; 1/3 cup shredded cheese; 1/3 cup crumbled cheese
Milk: 8 ounces
Eggs: 2 eggs