Can You Get Enough Proteins on a Vegetarian Diet?


Can You Get Enough Proteins on a Vegetarian Diet?

So what’s the fuss about proteins? They are involved in many important structural reactions in our body, such as the production of certain hormones and enzymes, and of course, for building and repair of body tissues – including muscles – thus the fascination of body builders with them!  But do we need them in such large quantities?

Animal (food) products are the best sources of protein. For vegetarians, there was a concern few years back about a deficit of protein sources in their diet, specifically the vegans, who exclude even eggs and dairy products in their diet.  It was thought that to get the highest quality proteins from plant origin, you needed to combine food items in a specific way. It turned out to be a myth and the process of getting proteins in your diet was much simpler than that.

So to answer your question, it’s a “YES!” You certainly do not need to gulp whey protein shakes, have loads of meat at every meal, or eat raw eggs (yikes!) to get enough. As a vegan, when you eat different plant-originated foods, grains, seeds, and nuts in a day, in all their forms, you can get adequate proteins to support all your bodily functions.

Some good sources of plant proteins are soybean-based like tempeh, tofu, and edamame; nuts and seeds; lentils; beans; grains like quinoa, brown rice and buckwheat; and certain vegetables like peas, broccoli and artichokes.  In order for you to know your protein better, here’s a guide about some popular vegetarian items and their protein content:

Source

Serving

Grams per serving

Edamame

1 cup, cooked

17

Lentils

1 cup, cooked

18

Kidney Beans

1 cup, cooked

15

Almonds

¼ cup

4

Peanut Butter

2 tablespoons

8

Pumpkin Seeds

¼ cup, dried

9

Quinoa

1 cup, cooked

8

Brown Rice

1 cup, cooked

5

Peas

1 cup, raw

8

Artichoke

1 medium

4.2

Spinach

1 cup, cooked

5

 

How much protein per day you ask? Not much, believe it or not! It does vary from one person to another but the requirements for an average healthy active person weighing 60 kg are anywhere between 48 - 60 g of protein per day. This is just a general value, it is always best to consult your dietitian prior to starting any dietary plan.

So if you make sure over the course of the day that you eat a variety of plants, grains, nuts and seeds, your protein needs will be pretty much covered. Vegans rejoice!

Call 800-HEALTHY for more information on Right Bite’s personalized meal plans and to book an appointment with our expert dietitians who can help customize a meal plan that fits your dietary requirements.  Sign up online to get Right Bite’s wholesome and balanced meals delivered right to your door step!

 

Author:

Zeina Soueidan

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