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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Protein for Vegetarians/Vegans

Ever since becoming a vegetarian in July of 2012, the most common question that I get is "but, how do you get your protein." It is such a predictable question now that I probably need to include, when I tell people that I'm a vegetarian - "and..I get plenty of protein."  Here are some examples of sources of protein that vegetarians and vegans get - not even including eggs, milk, and cheese (that most vegetarians eat but vegans do not.)

  • Vegetables themselves - for example cooked spinach, french beans, cooked kale, and boiled peas have a fair amount of protein in them
  • Non-Dairy Milk - soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk - often have more protein (and in some cases QUITE ABIT more) than regular milk
  • Nut Butter like peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew butter
  • Quinoa - one half cup has 8 grams of protein
  • Tofu - one half cup contains 10 grams of protein
  • Lentils  - one cup packs 18 grains of protein
  • Beans - one cup of garbanzo beans, black beans or kidney beans has 15 grams of protein
  • Tempeh - one half cup has 15 grams
  • Sprouted Grain Bread
  • Some Cereals - I like Kashi's Go Lean and the new Grape-Nuts FIT - Go Lean has 13 grams per cup; FIT has 6 grams
  • Greek Yogurt - 13 to 18 grams of protein
  • Nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, etc.) - Nuts are all good sources but peanuts have 7 grams of protein in one ounce
  • Seeds like sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
  • Flax seed
  • Protein Powder (Vegan versions are available)
NOTE: The USDA recommendation for protein is 46 grams of protein a day for adult women and and 56 grams of protein a day for adult men.  So, with many or even all of the above as staples of a vegetarian's or vegan's diet - it doesn't take a Rocket Scientist to see that we easily get enough protein - or at least we should if we are eating healthy and know our available protein sources.

But....thanks for asking :-).

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