Saturday, March 16, 2013

Protein for Vegetarians/Vegans

The question that I always get asked when the topic arises that I am a vegetarian is - "How do you get the necessary protein?"  Well, the recommended daily allowance for protein is between .36 to .45 grams of protein per pound of body weight.  So, for example, for me that equates to between 78 and 97 grams of protein per day.  The top sources of protein for vegan vegetarians are:

1.  Vegetables (particularly avocados, broccoli, spinach, kale, peas, sweet potatoes, french beans, asparagus, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, watercress, sweet corn, and artichokes) - Avocados are particularly high in protein.

2. Beans/Legumes - Soybeans (they make up tofu and tempeh) are loaded with protein but other sources that are high in protein are lentils, refried beans, garbanzo beans/hummus, pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans and peanuts (which are actually a legume and not a nut.)

3.  Nuts/Seeds - Cashews, sesame seeds/tahini, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, the various nut butters, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flax seed.

4.  Non-Dairy Milk like soy milk and almond milk.

5.  Grains - Quinoa is particularly high but amaranth, bulgur, brown rice, wheat germ, oat bran, oatmeal, and sprouted grain bread products are high also.

6.  Protein Powders - Hemp powder is a Vegan friendly protein powder that is very high in protein content.  There are others too but hemp powder is particularly high in protein.  The THC content of hemp powders is barely measurable.

Also, if you are a breakfast cereal eater like me - the leading source of protein that I have found among the cereal family is Kashi GoLean.  Special K Cereal Plus Protein is a close second in terms of well known cereals that are high in protein.

So after seeing the above list, It Does Not Take a Rocket Scientist to see that there are plenty of sources for adequate protein for vegetarians/vegans.

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