*The RDA recommends that the average adult 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)
25% of the the calories comes from protein
5% from fat.
20% of the calories is from protein
80% from fat.
Protein is found in abundance in plant foods, and scientific studies consistently show that vegetarians get plenty of protein.
Most people believe that you can only get protein from meat, eggs, and dairy products but there are plenty of plant-based sources of protein, many of which may surprise you! For example,
1 cup of cooked brown rice has 5 grams of protein.
2 tablespoons of peanut butter has 8 grams of protein
1 cup of baked beans has 12 grams of protein
1 cup of Tempeh has 41 grams of protein!
Spirulina and chorella (blue-green algae) contain all of the essential amino acids and are over 60 percent protein!
Other plant-based sources of protein include:
- macadamia nuts
- brazil nuts
- hemp Seeds
- flax seeds
- chia seeds
- pumpkin seeds
- sesame seeds
- sunflower seeds
- nutritional yeast
- whole grains
- peanuts & peanut butter
- soy milk
- wheat germ
- wild rice
- brussels sprouts
- green peas
- green pepper
- mustard green
- turnip greens
- honeydew melon
and many many more...
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 just be mindful of the ingredients in these products. They can often be high in sodium and/or saturated fats like tropical oils, for example.
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.
*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.