Which foods have more or less protein than you thought?

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These days, many people are seeking out more protein...whether they need it or not. But we may be looking in the wrong places. Here's a handful of foods with more (or less) protein per serving than you might expect.

MORE than you thought

Barilla red lentil pasta

Lentil pasta. A cup of white pasta has 7 grams of protein. Whole wheat has 8 grams. But pasta made from red lentil flour has a whopping 12 to 15 grams. Try Barilla (13 grams) or Tolerant (14 grams).

Pea milk. A cup of most plant milks has 0 to 3 grams of protein. Exceptions: soymilk (6 to 8 grams) and milks with added pea protein like Ripple (8 grams) and Silk Protein (10 grams).

Pumpkin seeds. Most nuts and seeds range from 4 grams of protein per ounce (hazelnuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts) to 6 grams (almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds). But peanuts hit 7 grams, and pumpkin seeds pump it up to 8 or 9 grams.

Edamame. A half cup of most beans offers a perfectly fine 6 or 7 grams of protein. Edamame does a bit better (9 grams).

LESS than you thought

Hummus. Don’t confuse hummus with chickpeas. The hummus’s tahini and oil crowd out some of the beans. A two-tablespoon serving of hummus (70 calories) has just 1 to 2 grams of protein and fiber. A half-cup serving of chickpeas (130 calories) has about 6 grams of each.

Eggs. A large egg has 6 grams of protein (and 70 calories). While that makes it a “good source” of protein, eggs are no bargain among animal foods. Just 3 oz. of chicken breast, for example, have 26 grams of protein (for only 140 calories).

Plant-based cheese. An ounce of dairy cheese has 5 to 8 grams of protein. Dairy-free cheeses like Daiya, Field Roast Chao, Violife, and Follow Your Heart are nearly protein-free. That’s because they’re largely water, oil, and starches. The exception: nut cheese. Treeline Treenut Cheeses, for example, get 3 to 5 grams of protein from cashews.

Photos: Barilla, stock.adobe.com: Denira (hummus).