What Deli Meats Have the Most Protein?

The body needs protein to build new cellular tissue, restore damaged tissue and prevent tissue breakdown during physical activity. All meat products contain protein, and most deli meats supply a fair amount of this nutrient per serving. Protein content varies based on the type of meat and how it is prepared, although most deli meats contain fairly similar amounts.

An assortment of deli meats. Credit: VvoeVale/iStock/Getty Images


Beef-based deli meats tend to contain more protein than other varieties. One serving of a leading brand of roast beef contains 14 grams of protein per 50-gram serving. Similarly, a 50-gram serving of French dip roast beef contains 10 grams and a 50-gram serving of beef salami contains 8 grams of protein.

Ham and Bologna

Different varieties of ham deli meats tend to contain about 8 to 9 grams of protein per 56-gram serving. A slice of pork bologna, weighing 28 grams, contains 4.28 grams of protein, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. Bologna can also be made from various combinations of chicken, beef, turkey and pork. For example, a blend of pork, turkey and beef contains 3.05 grams of protein per 28-gram serving.

Chicken and Turkey

Chicken breast is also high in protein. One 51-gram serving of a typical brand of chicken breast contains 9 grams of protein. A typical brand of turkey breast contains slightly less protein with about 8 grams per serving. Turkey and chicken breast vary in protein content depending on the serving size, with a 48-gram serving of turkey breast containing about 6.5 grams of protein, according to the USDA.

Protein Recommendations

According to the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, protein should comprise 10 to 35 percent of your total daily caloric intake. A moderately active adult man, requiring about 2,600 calories each day, would need about 585 calories, or 146 grams, of protein daily. A typical serving of roast beef would therefore supply about 8 percent of an adult man's daily protein needs.

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