Top 10 Foods Highest in Leucine

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN
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Top 10 Foods Highest in Leucine

Leucine is an essential amino acid used in the liver, fat tissue, and muscle tissue. Leucine is also suspected to be the only amino acid that can stimulate muscle growth and can also help prevent the deterioration of muscle with age.

High leucine foods include chicken, beef, pork, fish (tuna), tofu, canned beans, milk, cheese, squash seeds, and eggs. The recommended daily intake for leucine is 39mg per kilogram of body weight, or 17.7mg per pound. A person weighing 70kg (~154 pounds) should consume around 2730mg of leucine per day.

Below is a list of the top 10 foods highest in leucine with the %RDI calculated for someone weighting 70kg (154lbs). For more high leucine foods see the extended list of leucine-rich foods.


List of High Leucine Foods

A Roast Chicken

#1: Chicken Leg

Leucine
per Roasted Leg (Thigh And Leg)
Leucine
per 100g
Leucine
per 200 Calories
5160mg
(189% RDI)
2000mg
(73% RDI)
2174mg
(80% RDI)

More Poultry High in Leucine

-165% RDI per 6oz roasted chicken breast
-163% RDI per 6oz of lean ground turkey
-116% RDI per 6oz of roasted turkey breast

See all meats high in leucine.
A steak on a plate

#2: Beef (Skirt Steak)

Leucine
per 6oz Steak
Leucine
per 100g
Leucine
per 200 Calories
5007mg
(183% RDI)
2945mg
(108% RDI)
2198mg
(81% RDI)

More Red Meat High in Leucine

-85% RDI in 3oz of lamb roast
-84% RDI per 3oz of beef roast
-62% DV per 3oz beef hamburger
A pork chop

#3: Pork Chops

Leucine
in 1 Pork Chop
Leucine
per 100g
Leucine
per 200 Calories
4501mg
(165% RDI)
2185mg
(80% RDI)
1714mg
(63% RDI)

More Pork High in Leucine

-117% RDI per cup of lean ham
-88% RDI in a rack of pork ribs
-68% RDI in a bratwurst sausage
Tuna Fillet

#4: Tuna

Leucine
in a 6oz Fillet
Leucine
per 100g
Leucine
per 200 Calories
4133mg
(151% RDI)
2431mg
(89% RDI)
2642mg
(97% RDI)

More Fish High in Leucine

-136% RDI per 6oz salmon fillet
-127% RDI per 6oz tilapia fillet
-125% RDI in 20 small clams

See all fish high in leucine.
A block of tofu

#5: Firm Tofu

Leucine
per Cup
Leucine
per 100g
Leucine
per 200 Calories
3508mg
(128% RDI)
1392mg
(51% RDI)
1933mg
(71% RDI)
-85% RDI per cup of boiled soybeans (edamame)
Navy Beans

#6: Canned Navy Beans

Leucine
per Cup
Leucine
per 100g
Leucine
per 200 Calories
1674mg
(61% RDI)
639mg
(23% RDI)
1131mg
(41% RDI)

More Beans and Lentils High in Leucine

-51% RDI per cup of large white beans
-49% RDI per cup of kidney beans
-47% RDI per cup of lentils

See all beans and lentils high in leucine.
A glass of milk

#7: Milk

Leucine
per 16oz Glass
Leucine
per 100g
Leucine
per 200 Calories
1563mg
(57% RDI)
319mg
(12% RDI)
1876mg
(69% RDI)
-52% RDI per cup of yogurt
-28% RDI per cup of low-fat buttermilk
A bowl of Cottage Cheese

#8: Lowfat Ricotta Cheese

Leucine
per 1/2 Cup
Leucine
per 100g
Leucine
per 200 Calories
1531mg
(56% RDI)
1235mg
(45% RDI)
1790mg
(66% RDI)

More Cheese High in Leucine

-43% RDI per 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese
-36% RDI per grated oz of parmesan
-31% RDI per oz of Swiss cheese
-27% RDI per oz of gouda

See all dairy foods high in leucine.
Squash and Pumpkin Seeds

#9: Seeds (Squash and Pumpkin Seeds)

Leucine
per 1oz Handful
Leucine
per 100g
Leucine
per 200 Calories
678mg
(25% RDI)
2388mg
(87% RDI)
832mg
(30% RDI)

More Nuts and Seeds High in Leucine

-17% RDI per oz of pistachios
-16% RDI per oz of peanuts
-15% RDI per oz of almonds

See all nuts and seeds high in leucine.
Eggs

#10: Eggs

Leucine
in 1 Large Egg
Leucine
per 100g
Leucine
per 200 Calories
538mg
(20% RDI)
1075mg
(39% RDI)
1387mg
(51% RDI)

See All 200 Foods High in Leucine

More Leucine Rich Foods

FoodServingLeucine
#1 Processed Meats (Kielbasa Sausage)
(Source)
per large link123% RDI
(3356mg)
#2 Whelk (Cooked)
(Source)
per 3oz119% RDI
(3236mg)
#3 Cooked Eel
(Source)
per 5.6oz fillet112% RDI
(3056mg)
#4 Canned Sardines
(Source)
1 cup (drained)109% RDI
(2981mg)
#5 Canned Shrimp
(Source)
per cup79% RDI
(2152mg)
#6 Soy Based Protein Powder
(Source)
per 2oz scoop76% RDI
(2071mg)
#7 Bacon
(Source)
per 3 slices37% RDI
(1013mg)
#8 Hemp Seeds
(Source)
per oz23% RDI
(614mg)
#9 Chia Seeds
(Source)
per oz (~2 tblsp)14% RDI
(389mg)
#10 Flax Seeds
(Source)
per oz13% RDI
(351mg)

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Data Sources and References

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

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