Protein Sources for Vegetarians!07:00:00
I am in the process of limiting meat in my diet as I discussed in one of my previous entries (available here). It's very difficult at home, especially when you have two brothers with Cystic Fibrosis who require a lot of calories and protein in their diet. A lot of people who do undertake the life style choice of vegetarian are a bit skeptical of their decisions because they think they may not be getting enough protein because of it. In this post, I am going to explain ways of getting alternative protein sources into meat-free diets.
Firstly, I truly believe that there is a total misunderstanding about how much protein we need. According to the daily recommendations of the U.S., we need about .8g of protein per kg of body weight. I weigh 50 Kg. .8 multiplied by 50 is 40. I only need 40g of pure protein. When I say pure protein, it really sounds like a lot more than it actually is. We forget that there is protein concealed within food that isn't known for having protein in it, like bread as it is made with eggs. Anyways, I shall proceed to enlighten you on how you can add protein to a meat free diet.
Ways to add protein to a vegetarian (NOT VEGAN) diet!
- Eating more eggs! - Eggs have 100% protein, meaning they contain all of the essential amino acids. These are the amino acids in which the body cannot produce and hence they are required from food. Eggs are already in a variety of things like pancakes, bread etc. But if you are a bit concerned on how much protein you are getting, this is definitely a great option!
- Remembering that there is a lot of protein in sources of calcium - Although meat is known for having a lot of protein, there is also a high biological value of protein in sources of calcium such as milk and cheese. There is about 3.4 g of protein per 100 grams of milk and there is 18g of protein per 100 grams of cheese. This is great news for me as I love cheese so much!
- Taking Supplements - Although in the case of a vegetarian, I don't really think this is necessary, I felt the need to include it. There are a variety of protein powders available to you and they can add up to 20g of protein to your body. You can also take an abundance of super foods like flaxseed or quinoa or anything available to you in your local health store. There's no harm in asking one of the the assistants in the store if you are unsure. I am not fully sure on a lot of these super foods yet as I haven't started taking any yet!
- Eating Vegetable proteins - Protein is available in many vegetables such as peas and beans as well as green vegetables. There is 5g of protein in peas per 100g, 6g/100g in beans, 2.9g/100g in spinach, 4.3g/100g in kale etc. These are a great way of adding protein to the diet without eating meat products.
- Eating TVPs - TVPs are better known as textured vegetable proteins. These are the proteins made of soy. Examples of this include tofu and quorn meat products. These are great meat substitutes.
Some meat-free foods with protein: Quinoa, Grains, Tofu, Nuts and nut butters i.e almond butter, lentils, peas, beans, kale, spinach, broccoli, tempeh, black beans, chickpeas.
I really hope that you guys learnt something from this post. Also let me know if you would like me to do more of these informative food posts. I was considering doing a post on Vitamin B12 and Calcium. I'll definitely do it if it is recommended. :)
As always, I'll see you soon,
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