Help! Where do I get my protein from on a plant-based diet?
A common concern from vegans, vegetarians or people on a plant-based diet is that they are afraid they won’t have enough protein intake in their diet. This argument is also used a lot by omnivores, “I won’t cut back on my meat intake because I need my protein” is an often-heard argument.
When I started VegMeUp a plant-based food-kit service I was well aware that we did not only get our protein from meat intake. There are plenty more sources to get our proteins from. However, I was not always sure about which plants and or beans would give you the quantity that you need for you daily protein intake.
Is it really true that vegans or people on a plant-based diet really struggle to get enough proteins in their diet? For your piece of mind, protein deficiencies among vegetarians, vegans and people on a plant-based diet are far from being the norm. 99% of Australians get enough protein through the food they eat. This includes people on a plant-based and or vegan diet.
How much protein does a human body need?
This question can be a bit hard to answer since it will depend on your weight and if you are big on your sports/fitness or not. Sporters and especially sporting on a high level need greater tissue-repair and require more protein in general. So, would a plant-based diet be ok for people that frequently sport? This would include myself.
It turns out that it is perfectly possible to live a life full of sport and still enjoy a fully or partial plant-based diet without being short on proteins. Some famous sporters on a plant-based diet are: Novak Djokovic (Tennis), Ben Brown (AFL), Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1), James Wilks (MMA fighter) and there are many more examples.
The average adult needs around 40-60 grams of protein a day. That amounts to 0.8g protein per kilogram of body weight. This is regardless what diet you follow. Vegan, Plant-based or Omnivore.
I have sourced this information mainly from nutritionfacts.org from doctor M. Greger which I find to be a reliable source of information.
Why do we need protein?
We use it for building and maintaining muscle mass, but also for producing hormones, and even sometimes as a source of energy. “The main thing a lot of people don’t realise, is that every part of us is made from protein. Our skin, our muscles, our hair, everything, so if we don’t have enough protein then those body organs aren’t going to work properly”. Says Dr Luliano from the University of Melbourne.
Where can I find protein when I am on a plant-based/ vegan diet
We all know that we can find protein in meat, fish and dairy. But what if I am on a plant-based/ vegan diet? And how does that compare to the above options. The good news is there are plenty of great plant-based options to get you proteins from. And remember *the average person only needs somewhere between 40 and 60 grams of protein per day.
40-60 grams is not that much… is it? No, it is not especially if you know 100 grams (less than half a cup) of soybeans (tofu, tempeh, edamame) consists of between 10 – 19 grams of protein. This would already be a quarter of your daily intake.
What plant-based products consist a lot of protein?
- Seitan 25 grams of protein per 100-gram servings
- Tofu and tempeh between 10-19 grams of protein per 100-gram servings
- Peanut Butter 25 grams of protein per 100-gram servings
- Lentils 9 grams of protein per 100-gram servings
- Chickpeas and other beans 7 grams of proteins per 100-gram servings
- Nutritional yeast 14 grams of proteins per 25-gram servings
- Spelt and Teff 5 grams of proteins per 100-gram servings
- Green Peas and Quinoa 4 grams of proteins per 100-gram servings
- Soymilk 5 grams per 100 ml serving
Other good sources are: Chia seeds, Flaxseeds, Oats, Wild rice, Nuts, Broccoli, Spinach, Sweet Potato
As you can see there are plenty of options to get your proteins into your plant-based/ vegan diet. At VegMeUp a fully plant-based meal kit service we always make sure to place several well-balanced dishes on the menu, this includes dishes that cover your proteins.
It is fairly easy to stay on top of your protein intake by following a plant-based or vegan diet. If you are a fanatic sporter or athlete it might be worth looking into some professional guidelines around food intake. There is a big variety of food available that can help you stay on top of your protein intake. Play around and try different things that work for you.
If you are interested in what VegMeUp has on the menu please click here