Food Groups - Proteins

Food Groups Continued...

steakThis page gives an overview of the proteins group.

While proteins make up the smallest portion on the MyPlate graph, it is an important component to every meal.

When you think protein you generally think meat, poultry and fish.

However, you can get proteins from nuts, eggs and processed soy products as well.

So even if a person is a vegetarian, there are sources of protein they can get from non meat meals.

When picking your protein portion of your plate, make them lean cuts to help reduce fats and calories.

Proteins Food Group

The protein food group are those foods that come from meats, poultry, fish and seafood.

Additional sources include processed soy products, eggs, nuts / seeds and beans and peas.

Beans and peas are also part of the vegetable food group.

If you typically get your protein from meat, poultry etc., then you can count the beans and peas within the vegetable group.

If you are a vegetarian or you seldom eat meat, poultry or fish, then you would count some of the beans and peas into the protein food group.

Here are some examples of each of the different types of protein groups.


Lean cuts of beef, ham, lamb, pork and veal.
Game meats such as bison, rabbit, venison.
Lean ground meats of beef, pork and lamb.
Lean luncheon meats.
Organ meats such as liver and giblets.

Nuts and Seeds

Mixed nuts
Peanut Butter
Pumkin Seeds
Sesame Seeds
Sunflower Seeds


Chicken Eggs
Duck Eggs

Ground chicken and turkey

Processed Soy Products

Veggie Burgers
Texurized Vegetable Protein (TVP)

Fish / Seafood

Fresh Water Fish (catfish, cod, salmon, trout, tuna)
Shellfish (clams, shrimp, scallops,lobster, calamari)
Canned Fish (anchovies, clams, tuna, sardines)

As with the other food groups, the protein recommended serving is based on your age and gender.

Here are the guidelines for less than 30 minutes of moderate activity per day in addition to your normal daily activities.




Children 2 - 3 Years Old 2 oz equivalents
Children 4 - 8 Years Old 4 oz equivalents
Girls 9 - 13 Years Old 5 oz equivalents
Girls 14 - 18 Years Old 5 oz equivalents
Boys 9 - 13 Years Old 5 oz equivalents
Boys 14 - 18 Years Old 6 1/2 oz equivalents
Women 19 - 30 Years Old 5 1/2 oz equivalents
Women 31 - 50 Years Old 5 oz equivalents
Women 51 + Years Old 5 oz equivalents
Men 19 - 30 Years Old 6 1/2 oz equivalents
Men 31 - 50 Years Old 6 equivalents
Men 51 + Years Old 5 1/2 oz equivalents

Here's more on the recommended portion sizes based on the food pyramid food groups.

Additional Articles

Parmesan Tilapia Recipe
Get in some healthy proteins with this recipe. This fillet is broiled, not fried, and is such a light yet flavorful entree.

Tips for Eating Healthy
Use these tips to build your plate into a healthy meal.

Eating healthy can ensure you get all the vitamin and minerals your body needs.

Diabetic Diet
If you have diabetes the you know how important it is to pick the right foods. Check out this article to help you eat healthier for your needs.