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Protein Quality of Foods

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Food NameHisIleLeuLysSAAAAAThrTrpValProtein
Butter, salted1502401781551362051662022100.85
Butter, whipped, with salt1502401781551362051662022100.85
Butter oil, anhydrous1592431751541432131722042120.28
Cheese, blue19721016317012923713620822721.40
Cheese, brick19719617617912021514119919823.24
Cheese, brie19219616917513624213422220220.75
Cheese, camembert19219616917513624213422220219.80
Cheese, caraway19524817416312521513218420925.18
Cheese, cheddar19524817416312521513218420924.90
Cheese, cheshire19524817416312521513218320923.37
Cheese, colby19524817416312521513218320923.76
Cheese, cottage, creamed, large or small curd16321318216512122616718921011.12
Cheese, cottage, creamed, with fruit18323318615815722616315819210.69
Cheese, cottage, nonfat, uncreamed, dry, large or small curd16321218216512022616718921010.34
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About Our Unique Protein Quality database

Our nutrient database has protein quality ratings for nearly 5,000 foods. There are some other databases with protein quality ratings of individual foods (displayed one food at a time), but none allows user to search, sort and compare protein quality as conveniently as ours.
Our search, sort and browse features make it easily to find foods with complementary protein profiles which is especially useful to those on restrictive diets, such as vegetarian or vegan.
Furthermore, arguments such as whether animal proteins are better than plant proteins can be easily settled by directly comparing the precise protein profiles and protein quality ratings of different animal and plant foods.

Usage Note

  • Foods with Complete Protein are those with protein quality score in green.
  • Those with Incomplete Protein are items with protein quality score in red.
  • The protein quality score of a food is the lowest essential amino acid score in its profile highlighted in red or green.
  • Essential Amino-Acid Scores:
    Abbreviations:
    • His: Histidine
    • Ile: Isoleucine
    • Leu: Leucine
    • Lys: Lysine
    • SAA: Sulfur amino acids (methionine + cysteine)
    • AAA: Aromatic amino acids (phenylalanine + tyrosine)
    • Thr: Threonine
    • Trp: Tryptophan
    • Val: Valine
    • The score is the ratio of the amino acid in the food's protein over the same amino acid in the reference protein expressed in percentage.
    • This score is for determining the limiting amino acid in a food item. A score below 100 indicates that a food's protein is incomplete. However, a score higher than 100 for a particular amino acid does not necessarily mean that a food's protein is complete. Scores of other essential amino acids of the food also have to be 100 or higher for its protein to be considered complete.
    • The limiting amino acid of a food is defined as the essential amino acid present in the lowest amount compared to a reference protein or to human requirements.
  • Protein values are in grams and measured per 100g of food weight.
  • Click on column header to sort foods by name or by column's content.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. When proteins are digested, amino acids are left. The human body requires a number of amino acids to grow and breakdown food.

Amino acids are classified into two groups: essential and nonessential amino acids.

  • Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body and must be supplied by food. They do not need to be eaten at one meal. The balance over the whole day is more important. The nine essential amino acids are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
  • Nonessential amino acids can be made by the body from the essential amino acids or normal breakdown of proteins. They include aspartic acid, glutamic acid, and glycine, etc.

Complete Protein

A complete protein (or whole protein) is a source of protein that contains an adequate proportion of all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for the dietary needs of humans or other animals. Some incomplete protein sources may contain all essential amino acids, but a complete protein contains them in correct proportions for supporting biological functions in the human body.

Our Protein and Amino Acid Online Databases

See our most complete directory of Protein and Amino Acid Online Databases with nutrient databases from the US, UK, Canada, France, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, etc.


Health benefits and risks of plant proteins

Plant proteins have a reduced content of essential amino acids in comparison to animal proteins. A significant reduction of limiting amino acids (methionine, lysine, tryptophan) means lower protein synthesis. In subjects with predominant or exclusive consumption of plant food a higher incidence of hypoproteinemia due to significant reduction of methionine and lysine intakes was observed. On the other hand, lower intake of these amino acids provides a preventive effect against cardiovascular disease via cholesterol regulation by an inhibited hepatic phospholipid metabolism. Vegetarians have a significantly higher intake of non-essential amino acids arginine and pyruvigenic amino acids glycine, alanine, serine. When plant protein is high in non-essential amino acids, down-regulation of insulin and up-regulation of glucagon is a logical consequence. Read more...

Proteins are not created equal

Disclaimer: information in this section is from the Beef Nutrition Organization

Not all foods contain the same type of protein. Lean meats, eggs and dairy products are considered complete high-quality sources of protein that provide the full package of essential amino acids needed to stimulate muscle growth and improve weight management. Plant proteins such as grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are incomplete proteins in that they do not provide sufficient amounts of essential amino acids. In fact, research indicates that increasing consumption of high-quality complete proteins may optimize muscle strength and metabolism, and ultimately improve overall health. Read more...


Vegetables and Vegetable Dishes High in Protein

List of vegetables and vegetable dishes richest in protein. Protein contents are in grams per 100 grams of food weight.



High-Protein Vegetables Protein

Seaweed, spirulina, dried 57.5

Parsley, freeze-dried 31.3

Chives, freeze-dried 21.2

Peppers, sweet, green, freeze-dried 17.9

Peppers, sweet, red, freeze-dried 17.9

Leeks, (bulb and lower-leaf portion), freeze-dried 15.2

Tomatoes, sun-dried 14.1

Soybeans, mature seeds, sprouted, cooked, stir-fried 13.1

Soybeans, mature seeds, sprouted, cooked, stir-fried, with salt 13.1

Soybeans, mature seeds, sprouted, raw 13.1

Soybeans, green, raw 13.0

Tomato powder 12.9

Soybeans, green, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 12.4

Soybeans, green, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 12.4

Peppers, pasilla, dried 12.4

Shallots, freeze-dried 12.3

Peppers, ancho, dried 11.9

Winged bean tuber, raw 11.6

Potatoes, mashed, dehydrated, granules with milk, dry form 10.9

Edamame, frozen, prepared 10.9

Peppers, hot chile, sun-dried 10.6

Edamame, frozen, unprepared 10.3

Beans, pinto, immature seeds, frozen, unprepared 9.8

Mushrooms, shiitake, dried 9.6

Drumstick leaves, raw 9.4

Beans, pinto, immature seeds, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 9.3

Beans, pinto, immature seeds, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 9.3

Fungi, Cloud ears, dried 9.3

Cowpeas (blackeyes), immature seeds, frozen, unprepared 9.0


High-Protein Vegetables Protein

Lentils, sprouted, raw 9.0

Onions, dehydrated flakes 9.0

Potatoes, au gratin, dry mix, unprepared 8.9

Lentils, sprouted, cooked, stir-fried, without salt 8.8

Lentils, sprouted, cooked, stir-fried, with salt 8.8

Peas, mature seeds, sprouted, raw 8.8

Kanpyo, (dried gourd strips) 8.6

Cowpeas (blackeyes), immature seeds, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 8.5

Cowpeas (blackeyes), immature seeds, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 8.5

Soybeans, mature seeds, sprouted, cooked, steamed 8.5

Soybeans, mature seeds, sprouted, cooked, steamed, with salt 8.5

Potatoes, mashed, dehydrated, flakes without milk, dry form 8.3

Potatoes, mashed, dehydrated, granules without milk, dry form 8.2

Carrot, dehydrated 8.1

Beans, fava, in pod, raw 7.9

Radishes, oriental, dried 7.9

Spinach souffle 7.9

Potatoes, scalloped, dry mix, unprepared 7.8

Lima beans, immature seeds, frozen, baby, unprepared 7.6

Pigeonpeas, immature seeds, raw 7.2

Beans, navy, mature seeds, sprouted, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 7.1

Beans, navy, mature seeds, sprouted, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 7.1

Peas, mature seeds, sprouted, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 7.1

Peas, mature seeds, sprouted, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 7.1

Winged beans, immature seeds, raw 7.0

Potato flour 6.9

Lima beans, immature seeds, raw 6.8

Lima beans, immature seeds, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 6.8

Lima beans, immature seeds, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 6.8

Lima beans, immature seeds, frozen, baby, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt 6.7

Lima beans, immature seeds, frozen, baby, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 6.7

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