Fish and Seafood Protein

July 19, 2020

Fish and Seafood Protein

Protein in Fish and Seafood

With so many registered nutritionists, dieticians, and doctors touting the benefits of eating high protein foods, many people wonder what constitutes a protein-rich food, and WHY is protein so important. And for that matter, why would we, a seafood company, be publishing an article about protein? 

Here at Global Seafoods, we want to be a valuable resource for buying seafood and fish, but we also want to be a high-quality source of seafood information for you. We all know that the choices for the foods you eat are (and should be) different for everyone. We also know that protein is high on the must-eat list for most people. Join us while exploring what protein does in our bodies and discussing how much protein is in fish

What is Protein? 

Protein Definition:  The US National Library of Medicine defines proteins as:

 "Large, complex molecules that play many critical roles in the body. They do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body's tissues and organs."

In other words, protein is essential. Protein helps our bodies function by supporting much of our body's cellular structure. Protein helps our body build our blood, hair, nails, skin, bones, and muscles. 

Protein Helps:

  • Support our immune systems
  • Our body send itself signals to support hormone production. 
  • Support the structure of our bodies so we can move.
  • And more! 

Without enough protein, all of these functions within our body would suffer. 

How Much Protein Per Day?  

Every human body is different in terms of their protein needs. A bodybuilder who is continually building more and stronger muscles needs much more protein than the average person. A pregnant mother growing a human being inside of her will require more protein to support their body during pregnancy.  

There is no ideal protein diet for everyone, but we do know some general guidelines.  

The RDA (Recommended Daily Amounts) of protein is the amount of protein your body needs to sustain its functions. It’s the minimum amount of protein your body needs without getting sick or unhealthy. Eating more than your RDA of protein can help your body maintain and even increase muscle mass, even during times when your muscle mass naturally decreases. (menopause, aging, etc.)

The RDA or minimum amount of protein needed to survive means about 10% of your daily calories should come from protein. The Harvard Medical School recommends that a person eats closer to 15% to 25% of your daily calories in protein. If you eat 1600 calories a day, you should be eating anywhere from 70-100 grams of protein per day. More if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or building muscle.  

The bottom line is that most people do not eat enough protein, and the Recommended Daily Amounts (RDA) is the minimum amount your body needs to survive, not thrive. 

 

Types of Protein:

Eating protein is important, but so is the source of your protein. Many sources of protein are high in fat and processed carbohydrates. Most registered dieticians recommend that we seek out lean sources of protein that are also high in vitamins and minerals.

So, while NY strip steak is delicious and full of protein and B vitamins, it's also high in fats and cholesterol. Ideal proteins come from lean sources of protein full of nutrients and complex carbohydrates (lean animal and plant proteins).  

High protein meals can come from plant and animal sources (think fish, meat, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, and legumes). Processed meats such as cold cuts, hot dogs, and sausages are not ideal, but they are a protein source. 

A balance of all of these categories will get you closer to balanced nutrition while meeting your protein goals. When eating meats, look for lean sources of protein such as chicken, lean ground meat, and fish (our favorite) with the occasional strip steak to satisfy those cravings! 

Protein Food List:

  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Crab and Lobster
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beans

Foods high in protein are known to keep you fuller longer, helping you maintain a healthy weight. The complex protein structure causes your body to take a long time to digest high protein foods. The slow digestion of protein keeps you full and satisfied. A high protein diet is especially helpful if you are trying to lose weight and avoid high-calorie snacks. 

Plant-based proteins will include complex carbohydrates (fiber) in addition to some vitamins and minerals. 

Dairy-based proteins will contain some fats and carbohydrates as well. Meat and fish contain little to no carbs and will include vitamins and minerals as well. 

The protein in seafood contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins and minerals. 

Does Seafood have Protein? 

Food and nutrition are a complex and growing science. It can be confusing to know what's best to feed yourself and your family. We love all things seafood and want to help you navigate why we think seafood is one of the best things you can feed your family. 

You may be wondering, "does fish have protein?"

The answer to that is, yes!  

Protein in Fish: 

Seafood is a complete source of proteins that includes all of the necessary amino acids that people need. Amino acids play an essential role in building and maintaining muscle.  Seafood is high in protein, low in fat, and contains many vitamins and minerals (B Vitamins, Potassium, Magnesium, Selenium, and more!). 

Compared to other sources of protein such as poultry, nuts, seeds, legumes, beef, and pork, fish protein is lower in calories. The protein in fish contains antioxidants, omega-3 fish oils, and trace minerals. 

Seafood protein is a nutrition powerhouse! 

The World Health Organization recommends that people eat high protein seafood at least twice per week to meet your recommended amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids.  

Highest Protein Fish:

Like any protein source, certain types of fish have higher amounts of protein and healthy fats than others. 

Fish Type

Amount of Protein in 3oz Serving

Tuna

26g

Crab

20g

Cod

20g

Haddock

21g

Flounder

19g

Halibut

23g

Lobster

17g

Ocean Perch

21g

Rockfish

21g

Salmon

24g

Scallops

27g

Shrimp

21g

Swordfish

16g


Most seafood contains between .05 and 2 grams of fat per 3oz serving. Salmon and Rainbow Trout are higher in fats, but the fats in salmon and trout supply you with excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids that benefit your body in many ways. 

Tuna and scallops are two of the highest sources of protein in seafood. 

Protein in Tuna Fish: 

One 3oz serving of tuna contains 26g of protein. Our large tuna steaks weigh 8oz. One of our large tuna steaks gives you 69g of protein in one meal! 

Protein in Lobster:

Lobster is an excellent source of lean protein. Believe it or not, lobster is also low in fat. Lobster meals tend to be heavy because lobster is served with high-fat sauces and butter. 

How much protein is in lobster?

Lobster Protein per Ounce:

One 3 oz serving of lobster contains 17 grams of protein. 

Lobster Protein Content:

A two-pound lobster contains anywhere from 6-9 ounces of lobster meat, which means you're getting between 34 and 54 grams of protein in one lobster dinner. 

The average amount of protein in a lobster tail ranges anywhere from 17g-34 grams of protein depending on the lobster tail's size.  

Lobster Nutrition: 

The lobster protein itself is relatively low in fat, with only 0.5 grams of fat per 3oz. You run into trouble when you dip all that lobster in delicious melted butter! But it's ok to splurge every once in a while!  

Protein in Crab 

There is 20oz of protein in about 3oz of Dungeness crab meat. 

Protein in Crab Legs:

3oz of king crab meat contains 16g of protein and only 1 gram of fat. 3lbs of king crab legs contain about 2lbs of crab meat. 

Crabmeat is a little trickier to calculate the crab protein because you have to account for the shell's weight, which you don't eat. Like lobster, crab meat protein is low in fat until you start dipping it in loads of butter. You can always explore lower calorie yet still flavorful alternative dipping sauces for lobster and crab meat. 

Ordering from Global Seafoods

While we may be partial to seafood as an excellent protein source, we also know that seafood is one of the healthiest and most delicious things you can eat. When you order from Global Seafoods, you are buying high-quality and wild-caught sources of seafood protein to feed yourself the very best. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

How much protein is in fish? 

The amount of fish can vary depending on the type of fish you are eating. We've created this handy chart to give you a quick view of how much protein is in some of your favorite types of seafood.  

Fish Type

Amount of Protein in 3oz Serving

Tuna

26g

Crab

20g

Cod

20g

Haddock

21g

Flounder

19g

Halibut

23g

Lobster

17g

Ocean Perch

21g

Rockfish

21g

Salmon

24g

Scallops

27g

Shrimp

21g

Swordfish

16g

 How much protein in Cod?

Three ounces of cod contains 90 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 20 grams of protein. With so many delicious ways to cook cod, it makes a fantastic and healthy meal! 

How much protein in a can of tuna fish?

Canned seafood is an excellent source of protein and calcium. One can of tuna contains 42g of protein! 

How much protein in crab legs?

Three ounces of crab leg meat contains 16 grams of protein. Dungeness crab contains 20g of protein in three ounces of crab meat.  

How Much Protein in Lobster?  

Three ounces of lobster meat contains 17g of protein. One 2lb lobster contains between 6 and 9 ounces of lobster. 





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