Good sources of protein

Vary your meals so you don't rely too much on red meat

Published: August 24, 2015 06:00 AM

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Ground beef is a great source of protein, but eating too much red meat can increase your risk of heart disease, colon cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Grass-fed beef can be leaner and slightly lower in artery-clogging saturated fat and slightly higher in healthy polyunsaturated fats than grain-fed beef is. But even so, you want to keep your portions small (about 3 to 4 ounces) and swap out beef at least a few times per week with other protein sources. Check out the protein substitutes below, which are lower in total fat and saturated fat. You also might want to consider going meatless one day per week to help lower your disease risk (and save money—beef is generally more expensive than many alternative sources of protein).

Nutrition information in the table below is based on 4 ounces, raw.

Read our special report on ground beef safety, "How Safe Is Your Beef?," and our report on the high-protein snack craze.


Grass-fed burger



Chicken breast


22 grams

18 grams

15 grams

26 grams

Total fat

14 grams

10 grams

1 gram

3 grams

Saturated fat

6 grams

1 gram

0 grams

1 gram

Share your protein power tips.

Tell us how you meet your protein needs by adding a comment below.

Editor's Note:

Funding for this project was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Any views expressed are those of Consumer Reports and its advocacy arm, Consumers Union, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

This article also appeared in the October 2015 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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