You need protein to help you heal and to maintain your muscle mass. High protein foods don’t have to be high in calories. Try some of the foods on this list to increase your protein intake.

Meat and Meat Alternatives

  • *Meat—lean pork, lean beef, fish, poultry (7 grams per 1 ounce)

  • *Beans—including black beans, chickpeas-hummus, kidney beans, refried beans and pinto beans (7-9 grams per ½ cup cooked)

  • Lentils (9 grams per ½ cup cooked)

  • *Tofu (13 grams per 3 ounces)

  • *Boca Burger (14 grams of protein per burger)

Eggs and Dairy­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

  • *Eggs (6 grams per egg-the whites contain the protein)

  • *Milk (8 grams for 1 cup—choose skim to keep the calories down)

  • *Soy milk (8 grams for 1 cup)

  • *Greek yogurt (15 grams per 6-ounce)

  • Low-fat yogurt (6 grams per 4 ounces)

  • Soft cheeses—Mozzarella, Brie, Camembert (6 grams per ounce)

  • *Medium cheeses—Cheddar, Swiss (7 or 8 grams per ounce)

  • Hard cheeses—Parmesan (10 grams per ounce)

  • *Cottage cheese (13 grams per ½ cup)

Nuts, Seeds, Grains

  • *Nut butters including almond and peanut butter (8 grams for 2 tablespoons)

  • Almonds (8 grams for ¼ cup)

  • Peanuts (9 grams for ¼ cup)

  • Cashews (5 grams for ¼ cup)

  • Sunflower seeds (6 grams for ¼ cup)

  • Pumpkin seeds (8 grams for ¼ cup)

  • Flax seeds (8 grams for ¼ cup)

  • *Quinoa (8 grams per 1 cup)

  • *Kashi bar (8 grams per bar)

*Food options you can find at UW Hospitals and Clinics

Teach Back

  • What is the most important thing you learned from this handout?

  •  What changes will you make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?

If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions please contact UW Health at one of the phone numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at

Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) can be reached at: (608) 890-5500.

Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at: (608) 287-2770.