Meat-Free Diets: Vegetarian & Vegan protein
As more people move towards veganism, or at least away from eating meat, it’s important to understand how to still achieve adequate daily protein levels for optimum health.
The key to getting enough vegetarian or vegan protein, is to know your options. Obviously these are reduced but it’s still more than possible; it just requires a little more thought and knowledge!
Sources of Vegetarian Protein & Vegan Protein
Proteins are divided into complete sources (usually animal derived) and incomplete (plant based). The difference is that incomplete sources are missing some vital amino acids needed for our body, so eating the same incomplete protein all the time will lead to your body missing out. We therefore recommend ensuring you prioritise the complete proteins and eat additional incomplete proteins as well. It is also possible to use combinations of incomplete proteins to make up complete proteins in a meal.
Here are a few examples of plant-based protein sources and meat-free protein sources for vegetarian and vegan diets (protein per 100g):
Complete Protein sources:
1. Tofu (33g)
2. Fat Free Greek Yogurt (8g)
3. Cottage Cheese (9g)
4. Eggs (6g per medium egg)
Incomplete Protein sources:
1. Black Beans (9g)
2. Peas (6g)
3. Peanut Butter (6g per tbps)
4. Chick Peas (6g)
Combinations of incomplete proteins that make a complete protein:
1. Rice & Beans
2. Hummus & Pitta Bread
3. Peanut butter on toast
4. Lentil Daal with Rice
Vegan Protein Powder
If you’re following a vegan diet but are struggling to achieve your daily protein goal, we would recommend taking a vegan protein powder every day. Just be sure to look for one that is labelled as a complete source of protein so that it contains all nine of the essential amino acids.
We’ve got plenty of healthy vegan recipes on our blog like this Black Bean Salsa, or these Vegan Chocolate Truffles, which all contain the nutritional information, including protein content, so you can ensure your vegan diet is tasty, as well as nutritious!
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