10 High Protein Fish and Seafood
September 19, 2023
On the surface, it may seem a little silly to have a list of high-protein fish and seafood. But not all seafood is created equal! Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or simply eat more healthy foods, you’ve probably heard some advice about your protein intake.
While the amount of protein required is still up for debate (and varies depending on all kinds of factors), health authorities recommend having a variety of lean, protein-dense meats in your diet.
Fish and seafood are particularly high in protein and usually very low in fat. These protein-rich foods can help you build new muscle and repair torn muscles – and if you’re looking to emphasize protein in your diet, it makes sense to wonder which fish is highest in protein.
This post shares the highest protein fish and seafood you should add to your diet to increase protein intake. Each is based on a 100-gram serving, so you can easily compare them and use this knowledge when planning your meals.
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Fresh tuna has the most protein per gram of any of the seafood on this list. With 30.7g of protein in a 100-gram serving, fresh tuna has the most protein by weight and is at the top of the list of commercially available, high-protein fish. It’s easy to enjoy seared, baked, or even raw in sushi or sashimi.
Even canned tuna, a more convenient option, contains 25.5g of protein per serving. Canned tuna is budget-friendly, has an incredibly long shelf life, and can be used in a variety of recipes (often with no cooking required!).
However you enjoy this protein-dense fish, it’s also loaded with vitamin D and other essential nutrients like potassium, iron, and iodine. However, since tuna are incredibly large as well as high in the aquatic food chain, they tend to have high mercury levels due to bioaccumulation. Limit your consumption of this high-protein fish as recommended by health authorities such as the FDA and USDA.
Believe it or not, octopus is very high in protein. Although it may sound unappetizing to some, the octopus has more protein than virtually any other edible marine life! It offers 29.8g of protein per serving, and it’s rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
Octopus is also naturally low in fat – a benefit that’s best enjoyed by steaming or boiling the meat rather than frying it. While perhaps a bit unusual at first, octopus is a delicious, protein-rich option that is often served with wonderfully flavorful sauces. If it’s your first time trying it, you may want to order this high-protein seafood in a restaurant rather than preparing it at home.
High protein doesn’t necessarily mean expensive. There are lots of protein-packed fish products that fit any budget: for example, canned anchovies are very cheap and boast 28.9g of protein per 100 grams.
While this protein-rich food can have a high sodium content, they also offer plenty of omega-3 fatty acids – a nutrient many of us don’t get enough of. As long as you keep sodium levels in mind, anchovies are an effective way to get more protein into your meals (or on your pizza).
Trout is a delicious fish that is relatively low in fat and contains 26.6g of protein. Trout are colorful, common, and found naturally scattered throughout rivers and ponds in North America and Europe.
This high-protein seafood is rich in minerals, vitamins (including B3, B5, B6, and B12), and omega-3 fatty acids. Unlike tuna, it’s low in mercury – which means it’s safe to enjoy multiple times a week. Whether you serve this lean fish fried or baked, it’s also an excellent source of potassium, selenium, phosphorus, and niacin.
Cooked lobster has less saturated fat, fewer calories, and lower cholesterol than equivalent portions of chicken, pork, or beef. It also has 20.3g of protein.
As a delicious, lean-protein seafood, lobster is loaded with vitamins, phosphorus, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids. However, this high-protein meal can also be expensive, difficult (or upsetting) to prepare, and tricky to eat.
Steaming or baking this high-protein fish is the best way to prepare lobster. Just try to limit the butter dipping sauce if you’re trying to lower your fat intake.
Like lobster, snapper is not an inexpensive seafood choice. It makes up for its cost with 26.3g of protein and several other nutritional benefits: it’s high in selenium, vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, and potassium.
Eating more snapper can support your immune system and even reduce your chances of contracting eye disorders and other diseases. Baking, marinating, and grilling snapper are ideal methods to enjoy this protein-rich fish while keeping fat and calories low.
Tilapia has 26.2g of protein and is high in vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. As one of the cheapest seafoods by weight, it’s also a great way to increase your protein intake without breaking your budget.
However, tilapia is also high in omega-6 fatty acids, which can increase inflammation. Health experts suggest eating farm-raised tilapia no more than two or three times a week to avoid the adverse effects of these acids and to benefit from the protein and nutrients.
By itself, tilapia can be somewhat bland – so don’t be afraid to spice it up! Try using it in place of beef to enjoy delicious tacos with higher protein and less saturated fats.
With a sweet, mild flavour and 24.8g of protein, grouper is an exceptional fish to add to your diet. It’s also loaded with potassium, selenium, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and phosphorus. However, just like tuna, this fish can have high mercury levels and should not be eaten more than twice a week.
Whitefish isn't technically a particular species of fish, but instead a variety of fish species that all have similar meat. Whitefish meat is white in colour (surprise, surprise) and is commonly used interchangeably in dishes such as fish and chips. Common types include cod, haddock, hake, pollock, and whiting.
Whitefish are low-fat fish with 24.5g of protein and are typically a good source of selenium, iodine, and vitamins B6, B3, and B12. Adding whitefish to your diet can boost your immune system and reduce your chances of heart conditions. If you're looking for something a bit healthier than fish and chips, baking and grilling are great ways to enjoy whitefish.
In addition to being high in omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and potassium, mackerel is packed with 24.1g of protein. Adding this tasty fish to your diet can help maintain your weight, protect your immune system, and aid in muscle recovery. Fresh-caught and grilled mackerel is the ultimate way to enjoy protein-packed seafood.
Add more protein to your diet with ease with fish
Consuming low-fat, protein-rich seafood supports your immune system, protects you from disease, and helps manage your weight. If you’re struggling to increase your protein intake and enjoy a variety of foods, why not try the Prospre app? Our personalized meal plan makes it easy to build a meal plan that sticks to your macros (or any other health goal). Try it today: Prospre
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