Top 10 Grains Highest in Protein

Top 10 Grains Highest in Protein

Grains are a staple source of calories, carbohydrates, B-vitamins, and protein. Whole unrefined grains provide more protein for each carb because the bran and germ of grains contain the most protein per carb.

The current daily value (DV) for protein is 50 grams per day, and is a target meant for most people. Grains high in protein include cornmeal, kamut (wheat berries), teff, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta, wild rice, millet, couscous, oatmeal, and buckwheat. One cup of cooked whole grains provides between 6-20% of the DV for protein.

For more grains high in protein see the extended list of protein rich grains, and complete vegetarian protein foods.

List of High Protein Grains

Kamut

#1: Kamut (Khorasan - Wheat)

Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
9.8g
(20% DV)
5.7g
(11% DV)
8.7g
(17% DV)
Teff

#2: Teff

Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
9.8g
(20% DV)
3.9g
(8% DV)
7.7g
(15% DV)
A bowl of quinoa

#3: Quinoa

Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
8.1g
(16% DV)
4.4g
(9% DV)
7.3g
(15% DV)
Whole Wheat Spaghetti

#4: Whole Wheat Pasta

Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
7g
(14% DV)
6g
(12% DV)
8g
(16% DV)
Wild Rice

#5: Wild Rice

Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
6.5g
(13% DV)
4g
(8% DV)
7.9g
(16% DV)
Millet

#6: Millet

Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
6.1g
(12% DV)
3.5g
(7% DV)
5.9g
(12% DV)
Couscous

#7: Coucous

Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
6g
(12% DV)
3.8g
(8% DV)
6.8g
(14% DV)
A bowl of oatmeal with blueberries

#8: Oatmeal

Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
5.9g
(12% DV)
2.5g
(5% DV)
7.2g
(14% DV)
Buckwheat

#9: Buckwheat

Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
5.7g
(11% DV)
3.4g
(7% DV)
7.3g
(15% DV)
Cornmeal

#10: Cornmeal (Grits)

Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
4.4g
(9% DV)
1.7g
(3% DV)
4.8g
(10% DV)

See All 34 Grains High in Protein

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Printable list of grains high in protein.

More Protein Rich Grains

FoodServingProtein
#1 Spelt1 cup21% DV
(10.7g)
#2 Amaranth1 cup19% DV
(9.3g)
#3 Oat Bran1 cup14% DV
(7g)
#4 Soba Noodles1 cup12% DV
(5.8g)
#5 Bulgur1 cup11% DV
(5.6g)
#6 Brown Rice1 cup11% DV
(5.5g)
#7 White Rice1 cup9% DV
(4.6g)
#8 Pearled Barley1 cup7% DV
(3.5g)

About the Data

Data for the curated food lists comes from the USDA Food Data Central Repository.

You can check our data against the USDA by clicking the (Source) link at the bottom of each food listing.

Note: When checking data please be sure the serving sizes are the same. In the rare case you find any difference, please contact us and we will fix it right away.

About Nutrient Targets

Setting targets can provide a guide to healthy eating.

Some of the most popular targets include:
  • Daily Value (%DV) - The %DV is a general guideline for everyone and takes into account absorption factors. It is the most common target in the U.S. and found on the nutrition labels of most products. It is set by the U.S. FDA.
  • Reference Dietary Intake (%RDI) - The Reference Dietary Intake (RDI) accounts for age and gender. It is set by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. The RDI for amino acids is set by the U.N. World Health Organization. The daily value (%DV) builds on the reference dietary intake to create a number for everyone.
  • Adequate Intake (%AI) - Sets a target for Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats. The Adequate Intake is also set by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. It represents a number to ensure adequacy but lacks the same level of evidence as the Reference Dietary Intake. In short, the number is less accurate than the RDI.
  • See the Guide to Recommended Daily Intakes for more information.

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View more food groups with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.

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Data Sources and References

  1. U.S. Agricultural Research Service Food Data Central