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  • Maddy Belaustegui


Whether you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, do not eat meat for cultural reasons, or just do not enjoy meat in your diet - you still need to get adequate protein from other sources. It is absolutely possible to get protein from plant sources, you will just have to work a little bit harder. Here are a couple things to remember:

  • Plant-based proteins contain a different form of iron than animal protein, which is harder for your body to absorb and use. They are also incomplete - meaning they contain less essential amino acids. So if you get most of your protein from plants, you will need to consume more protein to achieve the same muscle growth and maintenance as someone who eats animal protein. One exception is quinoa which contains all the essential amino acids!

  • If you follow a strictly plant-based dietary pattern, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider to ensure if supplementation of certain nutrients, including iron vitamin B12, may be necessary.

  • Plant protein can be valuable for everyone to add into their diet. Whole grains and legumes are sources of many vitamins and minerals, as well as excellent sources of fiber, a component that animal protein lacks. Decreasing red meat and increasing fiber consumption is important for cardiovascular health especially for those with high cholesterol and blood pressure.

  • Here are some of the common sources of plant protein and how many grams of protein they contain!

Tempeh, 100 grams - 18 grams

Lentils, 1 cup cooked - 18 grams

Black beans, 1 cup canned - 15 grams

Almonds, 1/2 cup - 15 grams

Black-eyed peas, 1/2 cup - 13.5 grams

Edamame, 1/2 cup shelled - 13 grams

Kidney beans, 1 cup canned - 13 grams

Firm tofu, 100 grams - 12 grams

Chickpeas, 1 cup canned - 12 grams

Spirulina, 3 tbsp - 12 grams

Hazelnuts, 1/2 cup - 10 grams

Hemp seeds, 3 tbsp - 10 grams

Chia seeds, 3 tbsp - 6-9 grams

Flaxseed, 3 tbsp, 6-8 grams

Nutritional yeast, 2 tbsp - 8 grams

Peanut butter, 2 tbsp - 8 grams

Quinoa, 1 cup cooked - 8 grams

Potato, 1 large - 8 grams

Plain soy milk, 1 cup - 8 grams

Roasted peanuts, 1/4 cup - 7 grams

Wheat berries, 1/2 cup - 6 grams

Rolled oats, 1/2 cup - 5 grams

Peas, 1/2 cup - 4 grams

Broccoli florets, 1 cup - 3 grams

Steamed kale, 1 cup - 3 grams


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