How much protein can you digest from your food?

Average protein content (g per 100 g of food), protein digestibility (%) and bioavailable protein (g per 100 g of food) for each food group

  Food Group Protein Content on average (g for 100 g of food group) Protein Digestibility (%) Bioavailable protein on average (g for 100 g of food group)
Animal Protein        
Cow’s Milk 3.8 90 3.4
Dairy products excluding milk (e.g. cheese yoghurt, ice cream) 13 92 12
Chicken (cooked) 25.9 88 22.9
Eggs (100g approx. 2x Size 6) 12.3 86 10.6
Beef (cooked) 27.2 95 25.9
Pork (cooked) 27.5 88 24.3
Lamb (cooked) 25.5 88 22.5
Venison (cooked) 30.1 88 26.6
Cold cuts and cured meats (e.g. sliced ham, salami, bacon) 20.3 93 18.7
Sausages (all types including frankfurter) 15.1 91 13.7
Fish and shellfish 21.6 89 19.2
Plant Protein        
Legumes/Pulses (e.g. chickpeas, canned baked beans, lentils, split peas, soya beans) 6.9 77 5.3
Nuts and Seeds (e.g. all nuts, peanut butter, almond milk, coconut milk, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds) 15 82 12.3
Breakfast cereals (all commercial retailed ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, oatmeal) 7.3 75 5.5
Yeast breads (e.g. white bread, rye bread, multi-grain bread, baguette, focaccia, ciabatta, hamburger buns, hotdog rolls, naan) 10.6 93 9.8
Tortillas (e.g. corn tortillas, wheat flour-based tortillas, taco shells) 7.6 90 6.9
Rice (cooked rice e.g. white rice, brown rice, short-grain rice, long-grain rice, glutinous white rice) 2.4 79 1.9
Pasta (cooked pasta, all types including pasta made with egg, whole-wheat pasta, spinach-based pasta) 5.4 83 4.5
Noodles (cooked noodles, all types including wheat flour-based noodles, rice noodles, noodles made with egg) 4.2 83 3.5
Other grains (cooked e.g. couscous, quinoa, bulgur, pearl barley) 3.4 80 2.7
Vegetables (all vegetables including cooked mixed vegetables from frozen, potatoes, cooked oven potato chips, tomatoes) 2.1 65 1.3
Fruits (all fruit including canned pineapple, squeezed citrus juices such as lemon juice, orange juice, dried raisins) 0.8 65 0.5


Note: For an equal amount of food (100 g), animal-based foods provide on average 19.1 g of protein versus 6.3 g protein from plant-based foods. But in reality, because of the differences in protein digestibility and the availability of the protein from the foods to be utilised by the human body, for the same amount of food consumed (100 g), animal-based foods provide on average 17.1 g of bioavailable protein versus 4.7 g bioavailable protein from plant-based foods.

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