Do Vegans get enough protein?

veganYes, I am VEGAN.  I have been now for 5 years.  I don’t miss eating dairy and meat.  People often ask me how I get enough protein.  My quick answer is from beans, nuts, seeds and veggies.  And yes, I get enough.  Most people are getting way too much protein daily.

This clip below from nutritionfacst.org clearly shows that vegans and vegetarians get enough protein.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2m4p8s7xskQ&feature=player_embedded

 

It is easy for vegans to get enough protein as long as they are eating a varied diet throughout their day.    Our society is obsessed with protein.  We have been programmed to think we need a piece of animal protein at each meal.  Don’t get me wrong, protein is a vital element of healthy nutrition but we don’t need large amounts of it which most people are consuming.

The “Recommended Daily Allowance” or “RDA” of protein is 0.36 grams of protein for every pound that we weigh. (or in metric we need 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram that we weigh)  A good rule of thumb for vegans is to try and get 10% of there calories from protein.    For the most part vegans are getting 10% of their calories from proteins from consumption of grains, nut milks, protein powders in smoothies, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, nut butters, lentils, tempeh, quinoa, maybe tofu, whole grain breads, and surprise…. veggies contain protein.  The amount of whole foods in a vegan diet definitely reach the mark for protein requirements.

Many people think that animal protein is the only way to get the complete package of nutrients, protein and amino acids.  BUT soybeans, quinoa and spinach are considered high quality proteins.

So as you can see….you don’t need to eat all of those artery clogging animal fats to live a healthy life.

My favorite sources of protein in my diet are from:

Chickpeas – 12 Grams of protein per cup

Tempeh – 41 Grams per cup (I only buy organic versions of this fermented soy cake great as a meat substitute in any ground meat recipes such as pasta sauce, chile etc.)

Tofu – 11 Grams per 4 ounces (I only buy organic sprouted tofu due to the fear of Genetic Modification of soy products and I only eat it in small amounts as soy has an effect on female hormones)

Quinoa – 9 Grams per cup – (This is so versatile.  Make main dishes with it mixed with beans or makes a great salad addition.  Uses are endless)

Nuts, Grains, Legumes – protein varies in all but is definitely abundant and adds to my daily protein intake.

Protein Powder –  I add a great protein powder to my smoothies which is complete with all minerals, essential amino acids etc.  Great nutrition profile.  I use SunWarrior Brand.  Awesome.

I do get enough daily and some of the ways to get it  are protein powder in breakfast smoothie, nut butter on my toast or with an apple, I snack on nuts, I put sunflower or pumpkin or pine nuts on my salad, I eat a lot of hummus.  I love chickpeas so I carry a little baggy of those in my purse to add to a salad at a restaurant.  I love cooking with tempeh.

I don’t even worry about my protein intake.  I just know I eat the right things and it all adds up.  At the end of the day, I know I’ve fed my body the nutrition it needs without all of the saturated animal fat of the Standard American and Canadian Diet.

 

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