Getting Enough Protein on a Vegetarian Diet

According to Meatless Mondays, Americans eat 100-200% of the recommended daily allowance of  protein.  Too much protein can cause liver disease and osteoporosis. 

Here are some easy ways to get the protein you need:

  • Enjoy animal products other than meat (in moderation).  One egg has 6 grams of protein, an ounce of cheddar cheese has 7 grams, and a cup of 2% milk contains 8 grams.  Watch out, though–many dairy products are high in fat, and some cheeses cost more than meat.
  • Use whole-grain products.  Barilla Plus pasta contains 17 grams of protein per serving–10 more grams than regular pasta.  A cup of whole wheat flour has four more grams of protein than white flour.
  • Think beans.  Add chickpeas (21 grams of protein per cup) to salads or blend them into hummus.  Throw some black beans in salsa or into a burrito.  Edamame–soybeans still in their pods–make a high-protein snack at sushi bars, and they’re available frozen in many supermarkets.
  • Go nuts.  Add to salads and stir-fries or eat a handful.  One cup of almonds boasts 27 grams of protein!
  • Don’t discount tofu, seitan, and other vegetarian staples.  A pound of firm tofu has 72 grams of protein and costs just a dollar or two.

Yes, it is possible to get enough protein without biting into a cow or pig.  Do you have any other ideas for beefing up (heh heh) the protein in your meat-free diet?  Let us know!

Comments

  1. Too many people worry about vegetarians not getting enough protein, and the truth is most people in America aren’t getting enough of everything else! Whenever I say we hardly eat any meat at all people look scandalized and ask about protein. I ask about other nutrients and how much they’re getting and of course they have no idea.

  2. VeggieMomma says:

    I have the same issues with people as Cam (above). People always ask me about protein and iron–I turn around and ask them about fibre and vegetable/fruit servings (since most meat eaters don’t get enough). These factors of diet are as much or more important than protein and iron–which I definitely get enough of–even while nursing (I keep track on fitday.com).

    Other protien sources that I use are Quinoa (a complete protein), brown rice, wheat germ, and hemp seed protein which contains 35g protein in 100g! Don’t underestimate grains!

  3. wicked! you have some interesting ideas. i’ll be spreading this on my blog

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