How Much Protein Do Vegans Need
Whether you are looking to lose fat, gain muscle, or just improve your health, protein is one of the best macros to eat more of. Higher protein intakes are associated with decreased appetite, reduced food cravings, and better body composition . Not to mention it plays a major role in building and maintaining just about every cell in your body – including your precious lean muscle mass!
Protein needs are most strongly determined by the amount of lean body mass you have.
You should aim to get about one gram of protein per one pound of muscle mass.
For a 200 pound adult with 20% body fat, that would equal out to be roughly 160 grams of protein each day .
Of course, this estimate also includes your bone mass, water, weight, and organs, so it is not a perfect calculation. The best way to find your exact muscle mass is through body composition testing.
Moreover, if you are cutting calories for weight loss or increasing calories for muscle gain, you may need even more protein – anywhere from 1 to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight.
Here Are 21 Easy Alternative Ways To Add Protein To Your Diet:
- 1 cup peanuts: 41 grams of protein.
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds:39 grams.
- 1 cup cheese :36 grams
- 1 cup tempeh:34 grams
- 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese:28 grams
- 1 cup oats:26 grams
- ½ cup tofu:22 grams
- 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt:22 grams
- 1 cup kidney beans:21 grams
- 1 cup white beans:19 grams
- 1 cup pinto beans:19 grams
- 1 cup lentils:18 grams
- 1 cup edamame:17 grams
- 1 cup lima beans:15 grams
- 1 veggie burger:11 grams
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter:9 grams
- 1 cup tofu yogurt: 9 grams
- 1 cup cooked quinoa: 8 grams
- 1 cup skim milk:8 grams
- 1 cup soymilk:7 grams
- 1 tablespoon miso:2 grams
Sprinkle On Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast is the best-kept secret of the vegetarian and vegan community. One-and-a-half tablespoon of this flaky seasoning contains 8 grams of protein, Nutritional yeast has a cheesy flavor and can be used to season anything from scrambled eggs to salad to pesto, says Mashru. Its also an amazing source of B vitamins, doubling as a perfect vegan alternative for cheese. Here are some complete protein foods that dont contain any meat.
Substitute Fatty Lunch Meats For Lean Ones
Put away the fatty and sodium-filled deli meats like salami, ham, and roast beef. Instead, swap them out for low-sodium turkey and canned tuna, both of which are extremely rich in protein and will keep you full way past the 3 p.m. afternoon slump. Salty deli meats can also make you puff up bookmark these 42 Foods to Deflate Your Belly Bloat for some quick fixes you can eat!
The Best Veggie Protein Sources
If you’re cutting out certain food groups such as meat and fish, you might think your protein options are somewhat limited, but there are lots of options for packing in the nutrients.
Grains and pulses
Lentils, pulses and beans are an excellent storecupboard staple source of protein 100g of boiled lentils contains around 9g of protein and are a hearty way to bulk up soups, stews and casseroles. Chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans and even baked beans are an easy way to power up your protein intake. There are also a range of grains such as oats, barley, rice and quinoa that can add protein to a super-simple recipe. Quinoa in particular is a valuable veggie ingredient as it’s one of the few plant sources classed as a complete protein. This means it contains all nine of the essential amino acids. Learn more about the health benefits of quinoa.
And it’s well worth having that bowl of porridge in the morning 50g of oats made with milk contains around 2g of protein.
Try our milk-based super berry smoothie to kick off your day.
Eggs are an easily available, cheap source of nutrients. A single hard-boiled egg contains around 7g of protein and makes a nutritious, filling breakfast or lunchtime meal. They’re also easily digestible and low in calories. Try our protein-rich scrambled egg and feta hash.Read up on the benefits of eggs in our ultimate egg guide.
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Eat Your Protein First
When eating a meal, eat the protein source first, especially before you get to the starches.
Protein increases the production of peptide YY , a gut hormone that makes you feel full and satisfied .
In addition, a high protein intake decreases levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and increases your metabolic rate after eating and during sleep .
Whats more, eating protein first can help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels from rising too high after a meal.
In one small study, people with type 2 diabetes were served identical meals on different days. Blood sugar and insulin rose significantly less when they consumed protein and vegetables before eating high carb foods, compared with when the order was reversed .
Eating protein first at meals can help you feel full and keep your blood sugar and insulin levels from rising too high.
Best Plant Protein Sources
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.
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Have Snack Bars For Travel
On the go, running late, running early or just um, runningand you find yourself hungry ? To solve the dilemma of drive-through or bust, Berndt says to keep protein-packed bars in your glove compartment. I keep a box of protein-packed bars in my car to refuel right! Try these 10 great recipes for homemade protein bars.
Soy Or Pea Protein Crumbles
Protein is extracted from peas or soy in the form of a protein isolate , similar to how protein powder is made. This protein is then blended with other plant based ingredients and cooked into small crumbles that can be used just like ground meat!
A 1/2 cup scoop of pea protein crumbles provides:
- 90 calories
Protein crumbles are also typically gluten-free and can replace ground meat in many recipes.
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Here Are 27 Of The Best Natural Protein Sources For A Vegetarian
You are either a vegetarian or considering the switch. What now? How do you make sure you get all the nutrients you need to stay healthy?
Everyone is different. Some people have trouble processing the more fibrous plant-based foods, such as kale and broccoli, through their digestive systems. Others have specific palates that endear them to certain plants and not others. You have to figure out how to keep your plate balanced.
Focusing on high-protein plants as well as sources of healthy fats will help you remain healthy. You should also add small amounts of carbs to your plate for fuel. Carbs get a bad rap, but theyre not dangerous to your health or your waistline if you choose them carefully and eat them in moderation.
With that said, what are the best natural sources of protein for a vegetarian? And for extra healthiness all protein sources we picked here are actually vegan, too completely free of any animal products.
Health Benefits Of Vegetarian Protein
A proper vegetarian diet offers numerous health benefits. Diets with animal protein tend to contain higher levels of fat, calories, and sodium. Following a vegetarian diet lowers your risk of health problems such as obesity, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
But vegetarianism doesnt mean healthy unless you take the right steps. A diet full of soda and candy is vegetarian but not healthy. A healthy vegetarian diet requires thoughtful planning and a well-rounded intake of nutrients.
If youre wondering how to add more protein to your vegetarian diet, talk to your doctor or a nutritionist.
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Vegan Protein Powder Prices
An average tub of vegan protein powder costs between $10 and $50. Tub size and the quality of the powder affect price. That said, it’s best to compare the price by weight since package sizes vary.
- Inexpensive vegan protein powder costs between $.50 and $1 per ounce.
- Mid-priced vegan protein powder costs between $1 and $2 per ounce.
- Expensive vegan protein powder costs roughly $2 to $2.5 per ounce.
If you try a low-cost vegan protein powder and arent satisfied with the taste, we suggest you try a powder from the mid-priced or expensive category. Taste often, though not always, correlates with price.
Try Some Ancient Grains
For days when youre not swapping quinoa for pasta, experiment with other ancient grains, such as teff, spelt, and amaranth, which are surprisingly packed with protein. Chewy spelt has over 5 grams of protein per half-cup, and nutty, buttery Kamut has more than 4.5 grams. Teff, which is slightly sweet, also has 4.5 grams of protein per half-cup, as does amaranth , which has a slightly earthy flavor. Sorghum, which is a bit bitter, comes in at 10 grams of protein per half-cup. These easy strategies can help you eat more whole grains.
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No Meat Doesnt Mean No Protein
Protein is an important dietary element, and meat isnt essential. If you eat pulses and dairy youll be powered by protein, despite what well-meaning relatives may say.
Even if you cant give up meat entirely, you could try replacing it a few times a week. Regular pulse and vegetable based meals can improve your health and help build a more sustainable planet.
Its worth making the effort to go vegetarian so why not give it a try?
Spread the Word
Becky Mathews is a British freelance writer with years of experience in the health and wellbeing niche.
Tips For Increasing Your Protein Consumption
Our beans page offers advice about how to prepare beans in ways that maximize digestibility. You may find that tofu, tempeh, and soy-milk easier to digest than other bean-based foods. Alternately, nuts, seeds, and quinoa are all rich in protein, and easily digested.
If you dont how beans taste or you have trouble digesting them, you should seek out other high-protein foods. Nuts, seeds, and nut butters are all delicious and abundant in protein. Oatmeal and whole wheat bread are also among the most protein-rich vegan foods.
Protein powders can be a godsend to anyone who cant tolerate beans or nuts. They provide a big dose of protein, in a form thats more digestible than bean-based meals. Most brands of protein powder deliver about 20 grams of lysine-rich protein per serving. Orgain makes an all-organic vegan protein powder that sells for half the price of other brands. Buy a shaker cup and you wont have to clean your blender each time you prepare a serving.
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Simple Vegetarian Protein Filled Meals
Vegetarians dont need expensive, complicated meals. You can cook up plenty without meat, fuss or expense. And the whole family will enjoy eating them with you!
Try popping some seeds or nuts on your cereal in the morning, or a few slices of peanut butter on toast. Early risers with plenty of time can enjoy scrambled or boiled eggs which are full of protein.
If youre heading out for lunch grab a baked potato with beans, a panini with cheese, or a spicy bean filled burrito. If you have time to make a lunchbox, fill it with hummus, peanut butter, egg or sliced Quorn in a sandwich.
Pre-prepared pea, bean and avocado salads are great. As are chickpea or butter bean soups with seeded bread.
Its dinnertime and youre automatically reaching for the chicken, stop! How about a vegetarian shepherds pie? Simply substitute mince with pulses and peas and pop in a few cubes of frozen spinach for extra iron. Make lots and freeze it for on-the-go dinners.
Other options are a vegetarian chili made with beans or tofu or a Quorn-based bolognese. You could try meat-substitutes with veggies or tofu in a blackbean sauce. Or how about a chickpea dhal and pea fritter with quinoa?
Quick dinners can be pulled together with no fuss. Scrambled eggs on toast with sunflower seeds. A cheese omelette. Black-eyed beans in a curry sauce. All full of protein!
Replace Cereal With Eggs
Many breakfast foods are low in protein, including toast, bagels, and cereals.
Although oatmeal contains more protein than most cereals, it still only provides about 5 grams in a typical 1-cup serving .
On the other hand, 3 large eggs provide 19 grams of high quality protein, along with important nutrients like selenium and choline .
Whats more, several studies have shown that eating eggs for breakfast reduces appetite and keeps you full for several hours, so you end up eating fewer calories later in the day .
According to one older study, eating whole eggs can also modify the size and shape of your LDL cholesterol particles in a way that may even decrease your heart disease risk .
Replacing cereal with eggs boosts protein consumption, makes you feel more full, and helps you eat fewer calories.
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Vegetarian Proteins That Are As Good As Meat
Submitted by Alexandra Bozanis on Thu, 22/12/2016 – 22:01
How do you get enough protein if you dont eat meat? It sounds hard at first but there are plenty of great vegetarian proteins that taste amazing and don’t require you to eat a bucket full to get the nutrition you need to stay strong.
There are many alternatives to meat that have similar amounts of protein and we’ve put together a list of the 49 best vegetarian proteins that are as good as meat.
All the vegetarian options we have listed have at least 10g of protein per 100g when raw, putting them right up there with a meat lovers favorites.i
13 of them have as much as or more protein than chicken.
How much protein is there in meat anyway? Here are some popular choices:
Type of Meat
Skinless and boneless chicken breast
Source: Nutrient data provided by USDA SR-28.i
There are plenty of reasons to eat more meat-free meals:
Theyre on average cheaper.
You’ll be helping to save the planet with each bite.
The health benefits which include a happier and longer life.
You probably know and love a few of the ones on our list already.
For each vegetarian protein we’ve included three delicious recipes so you can try any of them out today.
With so many tasty vegetarian options now you have plenty of variety to chose from, enjoy!
Maybe youve decided to go meatless from time to time. Maybe you’ve adopted a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, either way you need to keep nutrition on the front burner.
Have A Protein Shake For Breakfast
Many smoothies contain a lot of fruit, vegetables, or juice, but very little protein.
However, a shake or smoothie can be a great breakfast option, especially if you choose nutritious ingredients.
Whey protein powder has been studied the most and seems to have an edge over the others when it comes to helping you feel full (
Heres a basic whey shake recipe:
Whey Protein Shake
- 8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 scoop of whey powder
- 1 cup of fresh berries
- stevia or another healthy sweetener, if desired
- 1/2 cup of crushed ice
Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
Having a protein shake for breakfast helps you start the day off right. Whey may be the best type to use.
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But Isnt Meat The Only Source Of Protein
When you ask someone how to get more protein in your diet, youll likely hear answers like steak, fish fillets, chicken breasts, and shrimp. Thats likely why people think that meat is the only source of protein.
But no. Its not.
Protein is an organic compound composed of amino acids. Just like animals, we need protein to maintain muscle health, get sufficient calories, grow stronger, and maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails.
But heres what most people miss. The protein that you eat doesnt directly go into your muscle building. Instead, it is broken down during digestion to form peptides. These are then propelled through the liver to the muscles that need them. Any extra is the body attempts to throw away because too much protein is harmful to your health.
For example, recent large-scale research among middle-aged men found that high-protein diets increased risk of heart failure by 49%. And they were tracked from the early 1980s, so yes, they could really figure this out among the group of 2,400 men.
The 1960s theory that we need increased amounts of animal-based protein was debunked already in 1972, but that hasnt stopped the animal agriculture industry from forcefully telling us otherwise for decades. And that thinking has unfortunately stuck, to the point where many fast food restaurants call their meat items proteins.
If nobody buys meat products, factory farming cant survive.