Health/ News

Vegan Protein

*The RDA recommends that we take in 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram that we weigh (or about 0.36 grams of protein per pound that we weigh)

In beans, 25% of the the calories comes from protein and 5% from fat, while in steak, 20% of the calories is from protein and %80 from fat.

Protein is found in abundance in plant foods, and scientific studies consistently show that vegetarians get plenty of protein.
Great vegetarian sources of protein include legumes and foods made from them (e.g., beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, peanut butter, tofu, tempeh, soy milk, and soy-based mock meats), nuts, seeds, nutritional yeast, and whole grains. It was once thought that various plant foods had to be eaten together in order to get their full protein value, but research has shown that this is not the case; a varied diet of nutritious plant foods provides all the protein that you need, plus lots of health-boosting vitamins and minerals.

Unlike animal protein, plant-based protein sources usually also contain healthy fiber and complex carbohydrates. Animal products are often high in artery-clogging cholesterol and saturated fat, and consumption of animal protein has been linked to some types of cancer.
According to the American Heart Association and the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians have lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and some types of cancer. Plus, it’s suspected that the high sulfur content of animal protein weakens people’s bones. For example, a study by researchers at the University of California found significantly less bone formation in meat-eating women than in vegan women.

There are plenty of processed proteins and meat replacements on the market these days, including tofu, tempeh, seitan, and veggie chicken, beef, turkey, sausages etc… to name a few.

Bryanna Grogan posts a rather extensive list of vegan meat, egg and dairy substitutes on her site: www.bryannaclarkgrogan.com
Tofurky makes an amazing stuffed faux-turkey, and a Kielbasa sausage that I can’t get enough of and Yves veggie chicken strips are a delicious addition to any salad or pasta but I try not to eat substitutes more than a couple of times a week because as delicious as they are, they are still processed foods and not nearly as healthy as whole or real foods are.

A cup of cooked brown rice has 5 grams of protein. Two tablespoons of peanut butter has 8, a cup of baked beans has 12 and a cup of Tempeh has 41!

Plant, fruit, vegetable nut, seed and legume sources of protein include:

Garbanzo beans, Kidney beans, Lentils, Lima beans, Navy beans, Soybeans, Split peas, Barley, Brown rice, Buckwheat, Millet, Oatmeal, Quinoa, Rye, Wheat germ, Wheat, hard red, Wild rice, Artichokes, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Green peas, Green pepper, Kale, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard green, Onions, Potatoes, Spinach, Tomatoes, Turnip greens, Watercress, Yams, Zucchini, Apple, Banana, Cantaloupe, Grape, Grapefruit, Honeydew melon, Orange, Papaya, Peach, Pear, Pineapple, Strawberry, Tangerine, Watermelon, Almonds, Cashews, Filberts, Hemp Seeds, Peanuts, Pumpkin seeds, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds, Walnuts, Hemp seed and many many more.

Spirulina and chorella (blue-green algae) contain all of the essential amino acids and are over 60 percent protein!

*Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2002.

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Jane
    October 30, 2010 at 3:17 am

    Doesn’t it drive you nuts the way people (one’s non-vegan friends) obsess about how, as a vegan, you’re getting your protein? I’ve found that the only people who actually know how much protein you need are veg*ns. And it’s very, very hard not to get enough protein, even as a vegan (assuming you eat enough calories and they’re not just from junk food) and very, very easy as a meat eater to get way too much. The average American eats more than twice as much protein as they need, which is at least as bad for you as not enough. And yet do we go around asking people if that steak’s not maybe pushing their daily protein intake over the edge? It’s all I can do sometimes to remain civil and not just spit “Quit worrying about MY health. YOU’re the one’s who’s going to die of a heart attack!” or kidney failure or colon cancer…

    That’s my little rant for the day…

    • Reply
      Jennifer-June
      October 30, 2010 at 3:42 pm

      Seriously!

      Do you ever walk up to meat eaters and ask them…

      “But HOW are you getting enough vitamin C? What if you get scurvy??”

      “So, how many poops do you take in a day? How long does it take you?”

      “I’m not judging you, I’m just worried about your leafy green intake and…”

      • Reply
        Jane
        October 30, 2010 at 4:32 pm

        We totally should do that, though! I’m going to, seriously.

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