How To Have A Healthy Vegetarian Pregnancy
If youre pregnant, or trying for a baby, and eat a vegetarian diet, make sure you read this post on how to have a healthy vegetarian pregnancy.
It includes advice on what vegetarians should eat and avoid eating during pregnancy, and where you can source the vitamins and minerals you might be deficient in when youre expecting a baby and eat a meat-free diet.
What Is A Vegetarian Diet And How Many Vegetarians Are There In The UK?
- Vegetarians eat a diet that excludes meat and meat by-products.
- There are several different types of vegetarian diets that might also exclude all of, or a combination of, fish or shellfish, dairy products and eggs.
- It is estimated that around 6% of the UK population is vegetarian, which is more than 3.1 million people.
- A vegetarian diet is becoming increasingly popular. Almost 500,000 people gave up eating meat in 2020, which is double the figures for 2019.
Is A Vegetarian Diet Safe During Pregnancy?
It is important for all women to eat a healthy diet during pregnancy. Eating a healthy diet during pregnancy can help support your own health and the development and growth of your baby.
You can read more about a healthy diet when youre expecting a baby and what to eat and avoid eating in our post on pregnancy foods.
What Should Vegetarians Eat During Pregnancy?
Here Are The Vitamins And Minerals You Might Be Deficient In During Pregnancy If You Are A Vegetarian
How Do I Get Enough Iron In My Pregnancy Diet If Im A Vegetarian?
- Pregnacare Conception
Guide To Plant Based Protein
Looking for how to eat enough plant based protein? Heres how to make filling, protein-packed meatless meals.
Eating protein is key for staying satiated and full. But how can you add protein to plant based meals? Alex and I have been eating mostly vegetarian and vegan meals for years. And weve run into the problem at restaurants where well order a vegetarian or vegan entree. It will be absolutely beautiful, but have no plant based protein. Sadly, well be hungry just hours later!
Chickpeas And Most Varieties Of Beans
Kidney, black, pinto and most other varieties of beans contain high amounts of protein per serving.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are another legume with a high protein content.
Both beans and chickpeas contain about 15 grams of protein per cooked cup . They are also excellent sources of complex carbs, fiber, iron, folate, phosphorus, potassium, manganese and several beneficial plant compounds .
Moreover, several studies show that a diet rich in beans and other legumes can decrease cholesterol, help control blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and even reduce belly fat .
Add beans to your diet by making a tasty bowl of homemade chili, or enjoy extra health benefits by sprinkling a dash of turmeric on roasted chickpeas .
Beans are health-promoting, protein-packed legumes that contain a variety of vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds.
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How To Get Complete Protein As A Vegetarian Or Vegan
A complete protein is;a food that contains the nine essential amino acids that we humans cannot make on our own. A lot of animal products happen to be complete proteins, leading some to worry that vegans and vegetarians are nutritionally deficient. But the good news is, it’s much easier than some might think to consume complete proteins on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Plant-based complete protein sources include quinoa, chia seeds, and soy products. It’s also possible to consume all nine essential amino acids at once if you’d like to by combining complimentary proteins; for example, rice and beans. However, arguments claiming that it is necessary to do so have been refuted, according to Nutrition Facts.
“Contrary to what many people believe, vegetarians do not need to carefully combine foods to meet their protein needs, and no particular meal planning approach is required,” says the North American Vegetarian Society. “Just consume enough calories to maintain your ideal weight and include a variety of plant foods in your diet.”
Top 16 Sources Of Plant Based Protein
Plant based Protein food is healthy and easily accessible. Vegans and vegetarians have a wide variety of vegan protein sources to choose from. What are the best vegan protein foods? What are the Top 16 Sources Of Plant Based Protein?
The first foods you might think of include vegetables, beans, and nuts. But dont you have to eat like a huge amount of those things to get enough? No you do not, just implement the proper plant based protein diet foods and you will receive all the nutrients you need!
Pumpkin seeds have 5 grams of protein in 1 oz Hemp seeds have 10.78 grams of protein In 1 oz. Almonds have ;6 grams of protein in 1 oz. Pistachios have 6 grams of protein in 1 oz. Flaxseeds have 5.19 grams of protein in 1 oz. Tofu has 10 grams of protein In 1/2 cup. Oatmeal has 8 grams of protein in 1 cup cooked. Lentils have 8 grams of protein in One half cup of cooked. Chia seeds have 4.7 grams protein in 1 oz. Spirulina has 4 grams of protein in 1 tablespoon. Nutritional Yeast has 3.8 grams of protein in 1 tbsp. Soybeans have 11 grams of protein in 1/2 cup. Peas have 8 grams of protein in 1 cup. Kale has 2.9 grams of protein in 1 cup . Broccoli has 2.6 grams of protein in 1 cup chopped. Brussel Sprouts have 3 grams of protein in 1 cup chopped
Tofu is another 1 of the Top 16 Sources Of Plant Based Protein
Lentils are a healthy vegan protein food
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Protein Per Cup: 4 Grams
With more than 1,400 quinoa products currently on the market, it’s safe to say that the ancient grain is here to stay. Quinoa is higher in protein than most other grains, packs a hefty dose of heart-healthy unsaturated fats and is also a great source of fiber, a nutrient that can help you feel fuller, longer. It gets better: The mild-tasting grain is also a good source of the amino acid L-arginine, which has been shown to promote muscle over fat gain in animal studies, explains Gina Consalvo, RD, LDN, Eat Well with Gina. Though we can’t be sure findings will hold true in people, it can’t hurt to add more of this healthy grain to your plate.
Eat This! Give quinoa bowls a try or pair the ancient grain with veggies beans to create a well-balanced meal, use the grain to make a veggie burger or up the flavor and nutrient content of a green salad with a scoop.
How Much Protein Does A Vegan Need
As a vegan, your protein needs are the same as a non-vegan with the same training goals. However, you need to consider the quality and variety of your food sources, including the bioavailability of amino acids.
If your goal is muscle gain, you should aim for 2g-2.2g protein per kilogram of bodyweight, to compensate for the lower essential amino acid levels in vegan food.
The main challenge facing vegans lies with separating protein from other macronutrients. Animal sources of protein are much higher in protein than vegan foods. It is therefore easier for a meat-eater to drill down into their macronutrient numbers and get specific.
Vegan foods tend to be combinations of proteins and fats , or proteins and carbohydrates . This isnt a problem, it just means youll need to get more creative and pay closer attention to your macronutrient numbers if you track your nutrition.
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This Is How Much Protein I Aim To Eat Every Day
If we take the above recommendations into mind, at 130 pounds and fairly active, I aim to get 65-70g per protein per day.
- 20-25g at dinner
- 15-20g at lunch
- 10-15 at breakfast
- 10-15 divided up among my snacks
Everyone is different so make sure you take into account everything that was mentioned in this post when calculating how much protein you should include in your daily diet.
Will Soy Affect Testosterone Or Estrogen
Soy increasing estrogen is an old myth that refuses to die.
Soy contains;phytoestrogens, which are processed by our bodies very differently than the hormone estrogen.
I did a;detailed summary of studies looking at if soy raises estrogen levels. The gist of that review is that unless youre eating a ridiculous amount of soy, it wont affect your hormones at all.
You can have a block of tofu a day with 0 worry .
One study from that post that I will highlight is a meta-analysis of 15 controlled studies that concluded :
No significant effects of soy protein or isoflavone intake on T, SHBG, free T, or FAI were detected regardless of statistical model.
Where T is testosterone.
In other words, theres no particular reason to worry about soy consumption on a typical vegetarian or vegan diet.
Soy has no statistically significant effect on testosterone or estrogen levels.
Wait Do I Need Protein
Before getting into how to get it, youll want to know if it is that important. Its one food group out of four. Surely your body can do without.
Well, protein is essential. All four food groups are necessary, just in different amounts. Protein is one of the most important, next to carbohydrates.
Protein helps with the building of your whole body. It strengthens the tissues and ligaments while helping to bulk out, grow, and tone muscles. Without it, your body can end up taking calories from the muscles, making you weaker and skinnier in a bad way.
This is the food group that helps you feel full, too. Youre more likely to need less throughout the dayor at least feel satisfied throughout the dayso you eat fewer calories. This will help you with your weight loss efforts.
But just because you need to get protein into your diet, doesnt mean you need to get it from meat. As said, there are lots of vegan-friendly options out there. You just must be willing to take steps to add them in. And do add them in! You may feel fine without the protein now, but your body isnt going to get everything that it needs.
Just how much should you get a day? This will depend on your weight. The recommended daily amount is 0.8g of protein for each kilo that you weigh. If youre working in pounds, then its about 0.8g for each 2.2lbs that you weigh.
So, lets look at your best options for protein in your vegan diet.
How Does Vegan Protein Powder Compare To Whey
There are quite a few vegan protein powders these days. Most are made from peas or a blend of protein isolated from a few different sources .
Are they as good as whey protein powder?;You bet:
- Pea protein was as effective as whey;in a 12 week study of 161 males
- Vegan protein powder are free of antinutrients and just as digestible as animal proteins
- Young men using brown rice protein gained the same amount of muscle as the whey protein group in an 8 week study
I did an extensive test of over 35 of them. If youd like to see which ones I thought were best, heres my page of the best vegan protein powders. Or, if you live in Canada, see my page of the best vegan protein powders in Canada .
While its typically good to focus on getting nutrition from whole foods, vegan protein powder are one of the best vegan protein sources and can be a helpful tool on a plant based diet if you are struggling to get enough protein.
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The 17 Best Protein Sources For Vegans And Vegetarians
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A common concern about vegetarian and vegan diets is that they might lack sufficient protein.
However, many experts agree that a well-planned vegetarian or vegan diet can provide you with all the nutrients you need (
That said, certain plant foods contain significantly more protein than others.
And higher-protein diets can promote muscle strength, satiety and weight loss (
Soybeans Tempeh And Tofu
Soybeans are considered a “complete” protein , and you can consume soy by eating foods like tempeh , tofu , or edamame . Contrary to rumors, soy does not contain any estrogen or hormones. The only foods that do contain hormones that can negatively affect human hormone levels are meat, dairy, and eggs, since they come from animals who have hormones in their bodies just like humans do.
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A Handy Vegan Protein Sources Chart
If youre a new vegan, you wont remember all this right away.
So i made this chart that you can save directly if youd like or even print out.
Just right click it and select save image as if youd like, or click to open a larger version.
Alternatively,;;with all the data that you could bookmark if you prefer that instead.
Note that the data is in the form of cooked foods. For example, cooked lentils have 9 grams of protein in a 100 gram serving.
Vegan Foods That Are Crazy High In Protein
Have you been told that animal flesh is the only viable source of protein? Lots of us have been but now we know its a lie. Theres protein in just about everything: even a simple bread roll has 11 grams of it. Plus, over half of the calories in the Vegemite on your roll also come from protein! Google it right now. Yep, youd have to eat some kind of weird apples-and-jelly-beans diet to avoid getting enough protein.
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Base Meals On Starchy Carbohydrates
Starchy foods such as potatoes, bread, cereals, rice and;pasta should make up just over a third of the food you eat. Where possible, choose wholegrain varieties.
You should eat some starchy foods every day as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Starchy foods are a good source of energy and the main source of a range of nutrients in our diet. As well as starch, they contain fibre, calcium, iron and B vitamins.
Eat Beans Pulses Eggs And Other Sources Of Protein
Pulses include beans, peas and lentils. They’re a low-fat source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals, and count as a portion of vegetables. Nuts and seeds are also a source of protein and other nutrients.
Pulses are particularly important for people who don’t get protein by eating meat, fish or dairy products.
Other non-dairy sources of protein include eggs and meat alternatives, such as;tofu, mycoprotein , textured vegetable protein and tempeh.
You need to eat a variety of different sources of;protein to get the right mixture of amino acids, which are used to build and repair the body’s cells.
Nearly Complete Protein Sources For Vegetarians And Vegans
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Despite what some people may think, there are many ways to get enough protein on a vegan or vegetarian diet.
However, not all plant-based proteins are complete proteins, meaning protein sources that contain adequate amounts of all nine essential amino acids.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. While your body can make some of them, nine have to be obtained through your diet. These are referred to as essential amino acids and include (
Animal products like beef, fish, dairy, and eggs contain enough of every one of these essential amino acids. Thus, theyre considered complete proteins .
However, many plant sources of protein are too low in or missing one or more of these essential amino acids. Theyre considered incomplete protein sources.
Still, given that plant foods contain varying amounts of amino acids, you can manage to get enough of each essential amino acid throughout the day by eating a varied diet and combining complementary plant proteins .
For example, grains like rice are too low in lysine to be considered a complete source of protein. Yet, by also eating lentils or beans, which are higher in lysine, throughout the day, you can be sure to obtain all nine essential amino acids .
Vegan Macaroni And Cheese
Everyone deserves to have mac and cheese in their lives, and nutritional yeast provides the creamy, cheesy flavor that replaces actual cheese. What makes this dish even better is the addition of broccolia great source of protein and the cherry on top to this meal. Get our Vegan Macaroni and Cheese recipe.
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Getting Protein From Plant Sources