How To Get Protein On Plant Based Diet

Nuts And Seeds To Add Get Enough Protein On A Plant Based Diet

Plant-based Protein – How to get enough protein on a plant-based diet

Nuts and seeds are are a great source of protein too and are super versatile. To give you an idea, Chia Seeds contain roughly 5g of protein in a 30g serving, and are packed with healthy fats and rich in antioxidants.

Whether youre planning to add them on top of your salad, into your porridge or into your smoothie, they are a no brainer. Nuts are a good all-rounder in my books as not only do they contain a decent amount of protein, they are also relatively low in carbs as most of the carbs in nuts comes from fibre which means that the net carbs are pretty low. If youre looking to avoid the carbs, then stay away from the cashews as these have higher carb content. Nuts also contain good amounts of fats: brazil nuts, macadamias and pine nuts have some of the higher levels.

Ensure you dont have too many nuts though as the calories can creep up try and stick to a handful If you want to know which nuts are the lowest in carbs, then look no further.

Nearly Complete Protein Sources For Vegetarians And Vegans

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.

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 (

  • tryptophan
  • valine

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 .

Hemp Seeds May Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide .

Interestingly, eating hemp seeds may reduce your risk of heart disease.

The seeds contain high amounts of the amino acid arginine, which produces nitric oxide in your body .

Nitric oxide is a gas molecule that makes your blood vessels dilate and relax, leading to lowered blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease .

In a large study in over 13,000 people, increased arginine intake corresponded with decreased levels of C-reactive protein , an inflammation marker. High levels of CRP are linked to heart disease (

17 ).

Summary Hemp seeds are rich in healthy fats. They have a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which may benefit skin diseases and provide relief from eczema and its uncomfortable symptoms.

Recommended Reading: Lack Of Protein Headache

One Size Doesnt Fit All

Just as you have choices for workouts, there are a variety of approaches to a vegetarian diet. Some options:

Vegans: follow the strictest form of vegetarianism, avoiding all animal-basedfoods as well as products such as leather sneakers or bags.

Lactovegitarians: follow a mostly plant-based diet, but they alsoconsume dairy products like milk, cheese, and eggs.

Pescatarians: expand their diets to include fish and seafood along with dairy products.

Flexitarians: dont fit a strict vegetarian ideal since they still occasionally have red meat, poultry, or pork. If you arent ready to commit to a nonmeat diet, it might be the right approach for you.

2 of 7

Dragon Images / Shutterstock

Hemp Seeds Are Incredibly Nutritious

Can You Get Enough Protein From Plant Foods? PLANT

Technically a nut, hemp seeds are very nutritious. They have a mild, nutty flavor and are often referred to as hemp hearts.

Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat. They are exceptionally rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid .

They also contain gamma-linolenic acid, which has been linked to several health benefits .

Hemp seeds are a great protein source, as more than 25% of their total calories are from high-quality protein.

That is considerably more than similar foods like chia seeds and flaxseeds, whose calories are 1618% protein.

Hemp seeds are also a great source of vitamin E and minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc .

Hemp seeds can be consumed raw, cooked or roasted. Hemp seed oil is also very healthy and has been used as a food and medicine in China for at least 3,000 years .

Summary Hemp seeds are rich in healthy fats and essential fatty acids. They are also a great protein source and contain high amounts of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.

Don’t Miss: Diets For Fat Protein Efficient

How Do Vegans Get Enough Protein From Their Diet

With many consumers opting to ditch meat and dairy products for the sake of the environment, their health, or for the animals, where do vegans get their protein from? is one of the most asked questions of the moment. This often is closely followed by can they get enough of it? and is it the same quality as animal-based protein?

The short answers to the above questions are: from a variety of sources, yes they can, and yes it is. For longer, more detailed explanations on why protein isnt an issue for vegans, weve put together a comprehensive guide, starting with what protein does for the body.

Ok What About Iron Can You Only Get It From Meat

Iron is abundant in plant-based diets. Beans, dark green vegetables, dried fruits, blackstrap molasses, nuts and seeds, and whole grain or fortified breads and cereals will easily provide you with adequate iron. Just remember to have some vitamin C at the same time as your iron rich food as this enhances iron absorption, for instance, eat tomatoes with your spinach salad.

You May Like: Protein Foods Besides Meat

Ways To Get Started With A Plant

Here are some tips to help you get started on a plant-based diet.

  • Eat lots of vegetables. Fill half your plate with vegetables at lunch and dinner. Make sure you include plenty of colors in choosing your vegetables. Enjoy vegetables as a snack with hummus, salsa, or guacamole.
  • Change the way you think about meat. Have smaller amounts. Use it as a garnish instead of a centerpiece.
  • Choose good fats. Fats in olive oil, olives, nuts and nut butters, seeds, and avocados are particularly healthy choices.
  • Cook a vegetarian meal at least one night a week. Build these meals around beans, whole grains, and vegetables.
  • Include whole grains for breakfast. Start with oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, or barley. Then add some nuts or seeds along with fresh fruit.
  • Go for greens. Try a variety of green leafy vegetables such as kale, collards, Swiss chard, spinach, and other greens each day. Steam, grill, braise, or stir-fry to preserve their flavor and nutrients.
  • Build a meal around a salad. Fill a bowl with salad greens such as romaine, spinach, Bibb, or red leafy greens. Add an assortment of other vegetables along with fresh herbs, beans, peas, or tofu.
  • Eat fruit for dessert. A ripe, juicy peach, a refreshing slice of watermelon, or a crisp apple will satisfy your craving for a sweet bite after a meal.
  • Best Plant Protein Sources

    How To Get Over 160g Protein A Day On A Plant Based Vegan Diet & What I Eat For High Protein

    If youre a vegetarian but not a vegan, you might incorporate these other protein sources into your diet:

    • Eggs or egg whites: Eggs are a low-cost and nutritious source of protein. Each egg provides 6 to 8 grams. If you use egg whites, youll get fewer calories, but youll miss out on vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins housed in the yolk.
    • Dairy products: Milk, cheese and yogurt are excellent sources of protein and calcium. To get the most protein bang for your buck, choose cottage cheese or plain Greek yogurt. Both pack 13 grams of protein or more per serving, and you can dress them up with fruit, nuts or granola for a filling breakfast or snack.

    Read Also: Are Special K Protein Bars Good For You

    How To Determine How Much Protein You Need

    The amount of protein you need each day depends on your age, gender, and activity level.

    The current US recommended dietary allowance is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight per day . However, this estimate does not account for active people, whose bodies need a little bit more to support training and recovery.

    If youre active, youll need a little more than the RDA…but contrary to what you may have heard, you dont need that much more. Studies suggest that 0.55 grams per pound of body weight per day is the maximum level from which most people can benefiteven athletes.1

    So, in order to calculate your daily needs, all you need to do is multiply your bodyweight by .55.

    Thats about 82 grams per day for a 150-pound personnot nearly as much as most people think they need!

    Once you know what your daily needs are, you can use a combination of these three simple methods to meet them.

    What Is A Plant

    Plant-based or plant-forward eating patterns focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. It doesnt mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy. Rather, you are proportionately choosing more of your foods from plant sources.

    You May Like: Are Special K Protein Shakes Healthy

    Lean Sources Of Protein

    Whats most important is making sure to keep your sources of protein very lean, and very low or devoid of cholesterol and saturated fat. Otherwise, the benefits of more protein could easily be outweighed by the protein sources saturated fat and/or cholesterol content. This would be the case for most beef, pork, lamb, whole eggs, whole milk, and even most low-fat dairy products, warns Gomer.

    All the above, plus poultry with the skin or dark meat and even too much fish can raise blood cholesterol levels and promote atherosclerosis, or plaque build-up in the arteries, and so are best avoided.

    The Pritikin Eating Plans guidelines for animal flesh like seafood, white poultry, and lean game meat are no more than 3½ to 4 ounces a day.

    Vegetarian diets decrease muscle mass? We think not.

    Hemp Seeds Are A Great Source Of Plant

    How to Get Enough Protein in a Plant

    About 25% of calories in hemp seeds come from protein, which is relatively high.

    In fact, by weight, hemp seeds provide similar amounts of protein as beef and lamb 30 grams of hemp seeds, or 23 tablespoons, provide about 11 grams of protein .

    They are considered a complete protein source, which means that they provide all the essential amino acids. Your body cannot produce essential amino acids and must obtain them from your diet.

    Complete protein sources are very rare in the plant kingdom, as plants often lack the amino acid lysine. Quinoa is another example of a complete, plant-based protein source.

    Hemp seeds contain significant amounts of the amino acids methionine and cysteine, as well as very high levels of arginine and glutamic acid .

    The digestibility of hemp protein is also very good better than protein from many grains, nuts and legumes .

    Summary About 25% of the calories in hemp seeds come from protein. Whats more, they contain all the essential amino acids, making them a complete protein source.

    Don’t Miss: Premier Protein Sugar

    How Much Protein Do We Need

    According to the British Nutrition Foundation, most adults require 0.75 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily . It notes that protein requirements increase in pregnancy by 6g per day and lactation by 8-11g, depending on the infants age.

    The Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise adults to consume 10-35 percent of their daily calories as protein, 46g for females and 56g for males.

    Its important to note that the amount of protein that someone requires may vary depending on their activity levels and the type of exercise they do.

    For example, the International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends 1.4-2 g/kg/d protein for building and maintaining muscle mass. However, they also note that there is evidence that higher protein intakes of over 3 g/kg/d may have positive effects on body composition in resistance-trained individuals.

    However, a 2016 study advises that although long-term consumption of 2 g/kg/d protein is safe for healthy adults, long-term intakes of higher than this may result in digestive, renal, and vascular abnormalities. Harvard Health also agrees that until experts are conclusive about safe amounts, untrained individuals should aim for no more than 2 g/kg/d.

    How To Get More Protein On A Plant

    Getting enough protein can be a struggle for anyone, but vegetarians and vegans may find it especially difficult.

    Coming up with a game plan requires some high-level strategizing, which can feel daunting, but given a proper strategy, vegetarian and vegan athletesor even omnivores simply looking to limit their meat intakecan meet their protein requirements with relative ease.

    So, if youre new to a plant-based diet or just looking to step up your plant-based protein game, keep readingbecause in this article, you’ll discover the nuances of the plant-based protein problem and, more importantly, how to get more protein on a plant-based diet the simple way.

    Also Check: Isagenix Protein Ingredients

    How Much Protein Do I Need

    According to Harvard Health Publishing, the recommended daily allowance for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36 thats how many grams of protein you should be getting each day at a minimum. Therefore, if you weigh 150 lb, youd aim for 54 g of protein daily. To think of it another way, protein should make up between 10 and 35 percent of your daily calorie intake, says Shira Sussi, RDN, the founder of Shira Sussi Nutrition in Brooklyn, New York.

    Thats not a difficult ask for most Americans. We are not terribly worried about getting enough protein most Americans are meeting or exceeding the recommended intake, Sessions says. In many cases that Ive seen working with clients and patients, they are overdoing protein intake while also underdoing the recommended intakes of the nutrient-rich vegetables, fruit, and whole grains.

    Sussi suspects its because people are raised with the idea that protein specifically animal protein needs to be the center of the meal, and that a meal without protein is not satisfying or fulfilling. She challenges this thinking and says it doesnt need to be all about a large piece of meat at dinner. You could get your fix by incorporating high-quality protein to meals and snacks throughout the day, such as by adding a serving of beans to a salad or stacking grilled tofu steaks in between slices of bread for lunch, Sussi says.

    Is Plant Protein As Good As Animal Protein

    How much PROTEIN do I need? plant based vegan diet

    Some people wonder if humans need animal protein to be healthy. And the truth is, plant and animal proteins are different in some ways.

    All proteins are made up of amino acids, which are sort of like different colored Legos. They can be put together in different ways to serve different purposes in the body.

    In all, your body uses 20 different amino acids.

    Seven of those are non-essential amino acids. Thats because your body can create them on its own.

    There are also four conditionally essential amino acids, which your body can make, but not always. For example, your body might have a harder time making enough of them when youre sick or after a really tough workout.

    The other nine amino acids are known as essential amino acids . Your body cant make these, so you have to get them from food.

    This is important, because EAAs play key roles in building and repairing tissuelike musclebut also in building hormones, enzymes, and neurotransmitters.

    Branched-chain amino acids , a subcategory of EAAs, are especially important for their role in muscle protein synthesis.

    Muscle protein synthesis is the process your body uses to repair and build muscle after exercise. While muscle protein synthesis is much more complicated than just one amino acid, leucine plays an integral role in triggering the process, which makes it probably the most well-known BCAA.

    These terms refer to whether a food has enough of all nine EAAs to meet your protein needs if you only ate that food.

    You May Like: Can Collagen Supplements Cause Headaches

    Certain People Should Avoid Seitan

    Since seitan is made from wheat flour, it must be avoided by people who cannot eat wheat or gluten.

    This includes people with allergies, sensitivities or intolerances to wheat or gluten and especially those with celiac disease, a serious autoimmune disease that is triggered by gluten .

    Since seitan is essentially just wheat gluten and water, consuming it could cause a particularly intense reaction in anyone who cannot tolerate gluten.

    It should also be noted that pre-packaged seitan can have high levels of added sodium.

    Those who must monitor the amount of sodium in their diets should read labels carefully or make their own seitan at home to reduce their sodium intake.


    Seitan must be avoided by anyone who cannot tolerate wheat or gluten. Pre-packaged varieties can be high in sodium, too.

    Popular Articles

    Related Articles