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I think a lot of the time, people eat the same small number of proteins over and over. Whatever diet you’re doing (Keto, Paleo, Mediterranean, etc), there’s a vast number of proteins that you could be enjoying.
Nutritional information came from nutritiondata.self.com and includes the calories, fat, carbs, protein and the largest three vitamins and minerals (% DV).
% DV (daily values) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Fish & Seafood
This is not an exhaustive list of fish and seafood options. It’s a list of 10 very popular seafood options – there are a ton more options you could be eating.
On the Mediterranean Diet, you should enjoy fish and seafood once, twice, or three times a week.
Clams can be eaten baked, boiled, fried, raw, or steamed. Clams are popular along coastal regions of North America, Japan, Italy, and India.
100g of cooked (moist-heat) Mixed Species Clams
Carbs: 5.1g total (0g Fiber)
Vitamin B12: 1,648%
Cod is a flaky and dense white fish. It has a mild flavor. The two most common species are Atlantic Cod and Pacific Cod.
100g of cooked (dry-heat) Atlantic Cod
Vitamin B12: 18%
Phosphorus & Vitamin B6: 14%
Crab is eaten all over the world. There are many different species and cooking methods. Imitation crab (which is actually minced fish) is a popular alternative in some places.
100g of cooked (moist-heat) Alaska King Crab
Vitamin B12: 192%
Fresh lobster is best local. Lobsters that can be air-shipped have a coarser and less-consistent flavor. If you can’t get fresh local lobster, go for frozen (or canned).
100g of cooked (moist-heat) Northern Lobster
Carbs: 1.3g total (0g Fiber)
Vitamin B12: 52%
Perch is a freshwater or ocean-water fish. It is a white fish with a very mild taste.
100g of cooked (dry-heat) Mixed Species Perch
Vitamin B12: 37%
Salmon is one of the most popular varieties of fish. It is a rich and oily fish.
Almost 99% of Atlantic salmon is farmed. More than 80% of Pacific salmon is wild. If you can afford it, go for wild salmon. It has a better nutritional profile than farmed.
100g of cooked (dry-heat) Sockeye Salmon
Vitamin B12: 97%
Sardines are a great, inexpensive fish option. They're a rich and oily fish. Canned sardines are the most nutritious choice because you're eating everything (bones, skin, etc).
100g of canned in oil (drained) Sardines
Vitamin B12: 149%
Vitamin D: 68%
Scallops have two parts - the meat and the roe.
The meat is referred to as a scallop and it’s the part typically sold and eaten in North America. The roe is called the coral.
100g of steamed Bay & Sea Scallop
Vitamin B12: 22%
Shrimp are one of the most common food allergens (along with other shellfish). However, that doesn’t stop them from being extremely popular.
Shrimp are usually sold frozen whole.
100g of cooked (moist-heat) Mixed Species Shrimp
Vitamin B12: 25%
Rainbow trout is the most common varieties of trout. Trout are a bony fish, but rich and tasty.
Unlike salmon, farmed trout is safer than wild.
100g of cooked (dry-heat) Farmed Rainbow Trout
Vitamin B12: 83%
Tuna is commonly eaten canned, although fresh tuna is increasing in popularity.
There are many varieties of Tuna. Avoid yellowfin, albacore, and ahi because they contain high mercury content. Choose skipjack or "light" tuna, instead.
100g of canned in water (drained) Light Tuna
Vitamin B12: 50%
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Poultry & Eggs
Again, this list isn’t exhaustive but it covers a variety you can find in grocery stores.
On the Mediterranean Diet, you should enjoy poultry and eggs as often as you’d like.
Chicken is the most commonly eaten poultry in the world. A chicken has white meat and dark meat. It’s a less fattier option than other types of poultry.
100g of roasted Chicken Breast (skinless)
Vitamin B6: 30%
Duck is only dark meat. It is a fatty, but not gamey, poultry. Duck has lot of bone and fat. A duck the same weight as a chicken, will serve half as many people.
100g of broiled White Pekin Duck Breast (skinless)
Quails are small, usually one person can eat an entire quail. The meat is dark and juicy, with a somewhat gamey flavor.
100g of cooked Quail
Vitamin B6: 31%
Squab (aka Pigeon)
Don’t worry, nobody is serving you street pigeons! Squab has dark and tender meat with a minimal amount of fat.
100g of cooked Squab
Niacin & Copper: 38%
Iron & Phosphorus: 33%
Turkey is the most similar to chicken. It’s the second most popular poultry. It has white meat and dark meat and a fairly small amount of fat.
100g of roasted Turkey Breast (skinless)
Vitamin B6: 28%
Like the poultry they come from, chicken eggs are the most commonly eaten eggs around the world. They have a mild taste.
1 whole, large (50g) Chicken egg (raw)
Vitamin B12: 11%
Duck eggs have a larger yolk than chicken eggs. They have a rich and smooth taste.
1 whole (70g) Duck egg (raw)
Vitamin B12: 63%
Quail eggs are a tiny and delicate egg. They have a light flavor. They’re often considered a delicacy.
1 whole (9g) Quail egg (raw)
Phosphorus, Iron, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid: 2%
Red meat comes in a variety of cuts that you can eat and enjoy. The nutritional values given here are for ground meat. Different cuts will have slightly different nutrition.
On the Mediterranean Diet, you should enjoy (red) meat no more than once a week.
Beef is the poster child for red meat. Humans consume beef in a large variety of ways, including as hamburgers, roasts, steaks, and more.
100g of 80% lean Ground Beef
Vitamin B12: 48%
Lamb / Mutton
Lamb and mutton are often used interchangeably but they aren’t quite the same. Lamb is from a young sheep (younger than one-year). Mutton is from an adult sheep (older than one-year).
Lamb and mutton are eaten in a variety of ways with lamb chops being the most popular.
Lamb is a healthy choice compared to other red meats, however, it’s also generally more expensive.
100g of cooked Ground Lamb
Vitamin B12: 43%
Pork is one of the most popular meats in the world. Humans eat a large variety of different types of pork, including bacon, deli meats (prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, etc), ground pork, shoulder, tenderloin, and more!
Pork is usually much cheaper than other types of red meat. However, it’s also more susceptible to contamination and food-borne illnesses.Make sure you cook it fully.
100g of cooked Ground Pork
Venison comes from deer. It’s a very lean red meat. Since deer are wild and not raised, venison meat is very expensive.
100g of cooked Ground Venison
Vitamin B12: 39%
Try More Proteins
Stop making the same boring proteins over and over. Experiment with some alternatives. It doesn’t have to be scary and you’ll enjoy more variety.
Share your favorite protein recipe in the comments.
Ready for more? Check out these 29 Vegan Proteins (with 4 recipes each) next.
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