How Much Protein Does Meat Have?

Meat is one of the riches sources of dietary protein. Since meat contains all of the essential amino acids your body requires daily to build proteins, it is also classified as a high-quality, complete protein. The amount of protein present in one portion of meat, about 3 ounces, varies by type and cut. Choose lean meats when possible because they are lower in unhealthy saturated fat than fatty meats are.

A bar-B-Q chef cooks many different kinds of meat, poultry and fish for this outing. Credit: OlafSpeier/iStock/Getty Images

Beef, Pork and Lamb

The leanest cuts of red meat are round, loin or flank cuts -- or 95 percent lean ground beef, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For example, 3 ounces of lamb loin contain 25 grams of protein, a 3-ounce portion of pork loin provides 24 grams, 3 ounces of bottom round beef steak contain almost 29 grams of protein and a 3-ounce portion of 95 percent lean ground beef contains about 25 grams of dietary protein.

Game Meats

Many types of game meat -- such as bison, rabbit, deer and elk -- are also excellent sources of dietary protein. In general, the leaner the game meat is, the higher its protein content. For example, a 3-ounce portion of elk round contains 26 grams of protein, 3 ounces of bison provide 24 grams, a 3-ounce portion of top round venison contains 27 grams and 3 ounces of rabbit provide about 25 grams of dietary protein.

Processed Meats

Processed meats not only are generally higher in sodium and often added sugar, they are lower in protein than fresh or frozen, nonprocessed meats. For example, 3 ounces of prepackaged, deli-sliced turkey breast contain 20 grams of protein, a 3-ounce portion of beef salami contains just 11 grams of protein and one hot dog provides about 10 grams of dietary protein. Replace processed meats with fresh or frozen nonprocessed meats when possible.

Poultry and Fish

Although poultry -- such as chicken, turkey and duck -- and fish are not classified as red meat, they do provide about the same amount of high-quality, complete protein as red meat. For example, a 3-ounce portion of grilled chicken breast contains about 26 grams of protein, 3 ounces of roasted turkey provide 25 grams and a 3-ounce portion of sockeye salmon contains about 22 grams of dietary protein.

Load Comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.