Top 10 Foods Highest in Lysine

Lysine is an essential amino acid involved in the creation of collagen and absorption of calcium. Lysine may also help alleviate herpes simplex infections. A deficiency of lysine can lead to anemia, blood shot eyes, and fatigue. High lysine foods include lean beef, cheese, turkey, chicken, pork, soy, fish, shrimp, shellfish, nuts, seeds, eggs, beans, and lentils. The recommended daily intake for lysine is 30mg per kilogram of body weight, or 13.6mg per pound. A person weighting 70kg (~154 pounds) should consume around 2100mg of lysine per day. Below is a list of the top 10 foods highest in lysine with the %RDI calculated for someone weighting 70kg (154lbs). For more high lysine foods see the extended list of lysine rich foods.

#1: Lean Beef & Lamb (Roast Beef)
Lysine 100g Per piece (296g)Per 3oz (85g)
3582mg (171% RDI)10603mg (505% RDI)3045mg (145% RDI)
Other Beef & Lamb Cuts High in Lysine (%RDI per 3oz, cooked): Beef Ribs (137%), Rib-Eye Steak (135%), Sirloin Steak (132%), Beef Tenderloin (131%), Lamb Shoulder (127%) Australian & New Zealand Lamb (122%), and Stewing Lamb (120%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#2: Cheese (Parmesan)
Lysine 100g Per ounce (28g)Per cubic inch (10g)
3306mg (157% RDI)926mg (44% RDI)331mg (16% RDI)
Other Cheeses High in Lysine (%RDI per ounce): Romano (39%), Gruyere (36%), Edam & Gouda (35%), Swiss Cheese (34%), Reduced-fat Mozzarella (33%), Hard Goat's Cheese (29%), and Monterey (27%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#3: Turkey & Chicken (Turkey Wing, cooked)
Lysine 100g Per wing (375g)Per 3oz (85g)
3110mg (148% RDI)11663mg (555% RDI)2644mg (126% RDI)
Other Turkey & Chicken Meats High in Lysine (%RDI per 3oz, cooked): Chicken Breast (125%), Turkey Breast (123%), Turkey Drumsticks (117%), Fat-Free Ground Turkey (115%), Chicken Wing (104%), Ground Turkey & Chicken Drumsticks (99%), and Turkey Wing (98%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



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#4: Pork (Lean Chops, cooked)
Lysine 100g Per chop (180g)Per 3oz (85g)
2757mg (131% RDI)4963mg (236% RDI)2343mg (112% RDI)
Other Pork Cuts High in Lysine (%RDI per 3oz, cooked): Bacon (140%), Pork Tenderloin (111%), Low Fat Ground Pork (110%), Pork Sirloin (109%), Ham (107%), and Spare Ribs (106%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#5: Soya Foods (Roasted Soybeans)
Lysine 100g Per cup (93g)Per ounce (28g)
2634mg (125% RDI)2450mg (117% RDI)738mg (35% RDI)
Other Soya Foods High in Lysine (%RDI per ounce): Dried Frozen Tofu (Koyadofu) (42%), Soy Flour (31%), Soy Chips (22%), Fried Tofu, Natto (Fermented Soybeans) & Boiled Soybeans (15%), and Tempeh (12%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#6: Fish (Tuna, cooked)
Lysine 100g Per 1/2 fillet (154g)Per 3oz (85g)
2590mg (123% RDI)3989mg (190% RDI)2202mg (105% RDI)
Other Fish High in Lysine (%RDI per 3oz, cooked): Salmon (100%), Snapper (98%), Mackerel (97%), Halibut (94%), Pollock (93%), Sea Bass (88%), Haddock (86%), and Cod (85%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



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#7: Seafood (Shrimp, cooked)
Lysine 100g Per 4 large shrimp (22g)Per 3oz (85g)
2172mg (103% RDI)478mg (23% RDI)1846mg (88% RDI)
Other Seafood High in Lysine (%RDI per 3oz, cooked): Cuttlefish (98%), Lobster (93%), Octopus (90%), Crab (83%), Clams (77%), Mussels (72%), Crayfish (62%), Oysters (57%), and Squid (53%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#8: Seeds & Nuts (Pumpkin Seeds)
Lysine 100g Per cup (64g)Per ounce (28g)
1386mg (66% RDI)887mg (42% RDI)388mg (18% RDI)
Other Seeds & Nuts High in Lysine (%RDI per ounce): Pistachio Nuts (16%), Chia Seeds & Sunflower Seeds (13%), Watermelon Seeds (12%), Cashew Nuts & Flaxseeds (11%), Sesame Seeds (9%), and Almonds (8%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#9: Eggs (Whole, raw)
Lysine 100g Per cup (243g)Per egg (50g)
912mg (43% RDI)2216mg (106% RDI)456mg (22% RDI)
Cooked Eggs are also High in Lysine (%RDI per egg, cooked): Fried Egg, Hard Boiled Egg, Poached Egg, & Omelette (22%), and Scrambled Eggs (20%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#10: Pulses (White Beans, cooked)
Lysine 100g Per cup (179g)Per tablespoon (11g)
668mg (32% RDI)1196mg (57% RDI)73mg (3% RDI)
Other Pulses High in Lysine (%RDI per cup, cooked): Lentils (59%), Split Peas (56%), Cranberry (Roman) Beans (54%), Yellow Beans (53%), Pinto Beans & Kidney Beans (51%), Black Beans (50%), and Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) (46%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



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Dried Fish (Cod) 5769mg (275% RDI) per 100 gram serving 4904mg (234% RDI) per 3oz (85 grams) 4615mg (220% RDI) per piece (80 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Dried Fish
Gelatin 3460mg (165% RDI) per 100 gram serving 969mg (46% RDI) per 1oz package (28 grams) 242mg (12% RDI) per tablespoon (7 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Gelatin
Baker's Yeast 3280mg (156% RDI) per 100 gram serving 394mg (19% RDI) per tablespoon (12 grams) 131mg (6% RDI) per teaspoon (4 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Baker's Yeast
Spirulina 3025mg (144% RDI) per 100 gram serving 3388mg (161% RDI) per cup (112 grams) 212mg (10% RDI) per tablespoon (7 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Spirulina
Veal (Cooked) 3025mg (144% RDI) per 100 gram serving 8077mg (385% RDI) per piece (267 grams) 2571mg (122% RDI) per 3oz (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Veal
Game Meats (Venison, cooked) 2914mg (139% RDI) per 100 gram serving 8538mg (407% RDI) per roast (293 grams) 2477mg (118% RDI) per 3oz (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Game
Canned Fish (Tuna) 2675mg (127% RDI) per 100 gram serving 4574mg (218% RDI) per can (171 grams) 2274mg (108% RDI) per 3oz (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Canned Fish
Goose & Duck (Goose, cooked) 2480mg (118% RDI) per 100 gram serving 14657mg (698% RDI) per 1/2 goose (591 grams) 3546mg (169% RDI) per 3oz (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Goose & Duck
Protein Powder (Soy Based) 3551mg (169% RDI) per 100 gram serving 1598mg (76% RDI) per scoop (45 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Protein Powder
Whelks (Cooked) 2930mg (140% RDI) per 100 gram serving 2491mg (119% RDI) per 3oz (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Whelks
Bratwurst 2460mg (117% RDI) per 100 gram serving 2091mg (100% RDI) per link (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Bratwurst
Wheat Germ 1468mg (70% RDI) per 100 gram serving 1688mg (80% RDI) per cup (115 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Wheat Germ
Oats 701mg (33% RDI) per 100 gram serving 1094mg (52% RDI) per cup (156 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Oats
Buckwheat (Groats, roasted) 595mg (28% RDI) per 100 gram serving 976mg (46% RDI) per cup (164 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Buckwheat
Quinoa (Cooked) 239mg (11% RDI) per 100 gram serving 442mg (21% RDI) per cup (185 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Quinoa

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Data Sources and References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27.