Protein is integral in the human body, so much so that every cell in your body contains it. In fact, the major component of your skin, organs and muscles is protein. You also need to eat protein because your body needs it to make and repair cells. Many foods contain protein, including all fish, seafood, meat and poultry, dairy products, eggs, and beans and legumes.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
Protein is so readily abundant in the typical American diet that deficiencies are unlikely, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports. The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults eat at least 0.8 g of protein each day for every 1 kg of body weight. If you weigh 160 lbs., that equates to roughly 64 g of protein daily. Increasing protein intake can make you healthier and even contribute to weight loss if the additional protein replaces refined carbohydrates in your diet and you cut your overall calorie intake, the Harvard School of Public Health reports.
Protein in Fish
Fish is one of the best dietary sources of animal protein because it gives you a healthy amount of protein but has less saturated fat than red meat has. The amount of protein varies by type. For example, 6 oz. of salmon contains 34 g of protein, while 6 oz. of cod contains 32 g of protein. Meanwhile, 6 oz. of yellowfin tuna contains about 50 g of protein, while the same portion of trout has 46 g of protein.
Protein in Eggs
One large egg contains about 6 g of protein. However, few foods contain more cholesterol than eggs -- 212 mg per egg. Before adding eggs to your diet to help boost your protein intake, check with your doctor if you are at risk for or are being treated for high cholesterol. In healthy people with no cholesterol problems, eating eggs poses no serious risks, particularly if you cut down on your saturated and trans fat intake, the Harvard School of Public Health reports.
Protein in Yogurt
The precise amount of protein in yogurt varies from product to product, but an 8-oz. serving typically contains between 8 g and 13 g, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports. If you eat a lot of dairy products to help meet your protein needs, choose low-fat offerings when possible because of the added health benefit of a lower fat intake, MedlinePlus advises.