4 oz Tilapia Protein & Nutrition

By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPTUpdated: March 28, 2024

Doctors and health officials encourage people to eat a 4 oz serving of fish at least twice a week. And tilapia is a versatile seafood option that is packed with protein and other essential nutrients.

So this article is your guide to tilapia nutrition, including the protein, fat, and calorie content of tilapia compared to other protein sources.

4 oz Tilapia Protein

What Is Tilapia?

Tilapia is a type of freshwater fish that is commonly farmed for sale in supermarkets. It is a mild-tasting fish with a firm, white flesh that can be prepared in various ways, such as grilling, baking, or frying.

Although tilapia is native to Africa, it is now widely cultivated in many parts of the world, including Asia, South America, and the United States. In addition, it’s a popular seafood choice due to its relatively low cost and versatility in cooking.

4 oz Protein Tilapia Protein (Raw)

A typical 4 oz tilapia fillet contains around 23 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat, 0 carbs, and 109 calories. This nutrition profile makes tilapia an excellent choice for those who want to increase their protein intake without getting too many calories or fat.

In addition, tilapia is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and several other vital vitamins and minerals.

These nutrition facts apply to a raw piece of tilapia before cooking. But what if you’ve already baked or grilled your tilapia? In that case, you may wonder how much protein a 4 oz tilapia fillet has after cooking.

4 oz Tilapia Protein (Cooked)

When weighed after cooking, a 4 oz tilapia fillet has about 30 grams of protein. But how does cooked tilapia have more protein? Well, technically, it doesn’t!

A tilapia fillet shrinks by about 25% during cooking due to water loss. So if you start with 4 oz of tilapia, it only weighs 3 oz after cooking.

However, that 3 oz of cooked meat would still have the original 23 g of protein since the weight lost is from water evaporation, not meat degradation.

Therefore, a 4 oz piece of cooked tilapia would have more protein than 4 oz of raw tilapia. And the amount of protein in cooked tilapia is 1.33 times greater than in raw tilapia.

Furthermore, knowing the protein content of cooked chicken breast is beneficial when preparing large quantities to divide up later. But remember that the exact protein amount can vary depending on the cooking method, temperature, and duration.

4 oz Tilapia Protein Cooked

Is Tilapia Better Than Salmon or Cod?

When comparing tilapia to salmon and cod, there are several differences to consider:

  1. Protein: Tilapia has slightly less protein per 4 oz than salmon. But it has almost 3 grams more protein than 4 oz of cod.
  2. Calories: Cod has the lowest calories thanks to its minimal fat content. But tilapia is a close second, while salmon is calorie dense due to its high fat content.
  3. Omega-3: Salmon is often considered healthier than tilapia and cod due to its higher omega-3 fatty acids, essential for heart and brain health.
  4. Micronutrients: Tilapia is a better source of iron and selenium, essential minerals for healthy blood and immune function. However, salmon and cod are better sources of phosphorus and potassium.
  5. Flavor: Tilapia has a milder flavor than salmon and cod, making it more versatile in cooking. Salmon has a more robust, richer flavor and a softer texture, while cod has a firmer texture and a somewhat sweet flavor.
  6. Price: Tilapia is generally less expensive than salmon and cod, making it a more affordable option for those on a budget.

While tilapia can be a good source of protein and nutrients, salmon is generally considered a healthier option. Also, tilapia is more similar to cod than salmon, with a little more protein.

Overall, each fish has unique qualities and can be enjoyed as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

Table 1. 4 oz Tilapia vs Salmon & Cod
Type Protein Fat Calories Omega-3 (1-10) Cost
Tilapia 22.8g 1.9g 109 1 $
Salmon 23.2g 15.2g 236 10 $$$
Cod 20.2g 0.8g 93 2 $$

How To Measure 4 oz Tilapia

Of course, most tilapia fillets don’t weigh precisely 4 oz. So how do you measure a 4 oz serving? I have a few different ways to do it – with or without a scale.

With No Scale

First, you could try buying tilapia packages in 4 oz increments such as 8, 12, 16, 20 ounces, and so on. However, tilapia is usually sold by the pound, which would be 0.50, 0.75, 1.00, and 1.25 lbs.

Next, cook all the tilapia and divide it into equal portions. For example, if you bought 0.75 lbs (12 oz), you would divide it into three equal portions after cooking (12oz / 3 servings = 4oz per serving).

Don’t worry about being perfect. Like if one portion is 3 oz and another is 5 oz, that’s okay! Because, over a few days, it all evens out.

As you can see, with some math, you never have to weigh anything!

With Scale

If math isn’t your thing, you can measure tilapia with a kitchen scale. And you can do this before or after cooking.

First, you can weigh 4 oz of uncooked tilapia on your scale. Or you can weigh multiples of 4 oz to divide up after cooking (8, 12, 16, 20, etc.)

You can also wait until after cooking to weigh the tilapia. That way, you don’t have to mess with raw fish. Remember that any meat or fish loses about 25% of its weight during cooking.

After cooking, weigh 5.3 oz portions for the same protein content as 4 oz of raw tilapia.

bodybuilding meal plan

Custom Meal Plan

Get a personalized meal plan designed specifically for your body and lifestyle. Including custom recipes formulated to fit your macros and calories – no counting required!

All this for just $13.99/mo! Click here to choose your plan.

Tilapia Compared to Other Protein Sources

While tilapia is an excellent source of protein, you would probably get sick of eating the same meal every day! So the table below shows the protein, fat, and calories in other popular protein sources.

I’ve sorted the table below by the ratio of how many calories come from protein, so you can see which food gives you the most protein per calorie. It turns out that tilapia is the second-best low-calorie source of protein behind chicken breasts!

Table 2. Protein, Fat, & Calories In 4 oz of Tilapia vs Other Meat
Protein Source Protein Fat Calories Protein:Calorie
Chicken Breast 26.0g 1.5g 120 0.867
Tilapia 22.8g 1.9g 109 0.837
93% Ground Turkey 21.3g 9.3g 169 0.504
Pork Chop 23 .3g 10.8g 189 0.493
Atlantic Salmon 23.0g 15.3g 229 0.402
Sirloin Steak 22.8g 16.3g 236 0.386
85% Ground Beef 21.3 17.0 238 0.358

How Much Protein Do You Need Per Day?

At this point, it’s clear that tilapia is a nutritious, low-calorie food and an excellent protein source. But how much protein do you need in a day?

Well, your ideal daily protein intake depends on your body size, exercise habits, and fitness goals. Try my free Protein Intake Calculator to determine how much protein you need.

More High Protein Food Nutrition Facts

Now you know how much protein is in 4 oz of tilapia. And you’ve seen how it compares to other protein sources regarding calories and nutrition.

You also got a snapshot of the nutrition facts for some other high-protein foods. But the protein content can vary depending on the type of meat you purchase and how you cook it.

So check out these related articles to learn more about the nutrition in your favorite foods.

Chicken Breast Protein With & Without Skin

Steak Protein by Cut of Meat

Salmon Protein by Species

Pork Chop Protein per Ounce

Chicken Thigh Protein Boneless vs. Bone-In

Ground Beef Protein by Percentage

With this information, you’re on your way to being a meal prep master! But why stop learning now? Check out some of my other informative content below.

Share with your community and get the conversation started!

By |April 21, 2023|Nutrition|0 Comments
Go to Top