A Happy, Healthy Family

8.10.2016

A Guide to Plant-Based Protein



When people find out that our family is, for the most part, vegetarian, one of the first questions is usually, "But what about protein??!!" People are especially concerned about the children's protein intake.

Yes, protein is essential for overall health, but Americans seem to have an obsession with protein that other countries do not, which reflects a basic lack of understanding about why we need it and where to get it.

What Protein Does
Protein is a "macronutrient," which means that the body needs large amounts of it. It is the building block for bones, muscles, and blood, and it helps create hormones and repair damaged cells and tissues.

How Much Protein Do We Need?
In the most basic terms, protein should account for about 15-25% of your daily caloric intake. If you want to get specific, use this equation:

0.8-1.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight
Body weight in kilograms = body weight in pounds/2.2

Here's why you don't need to be too concerned about your protein intake, though: many scientists believe that most Americans eat as much as twice the daily recommended amount of protein. 

Regardless of your stance on how much protein you need each day, you absolutely don't have to equate protein with meat or milk.


Plant-Based Sources of Protein
Here are some of the best plant-based sources of protein, and many of them contain more protein than meat or dairy!

Beans
lentils
black beans
cannellini beans
chickpeas

Nuts
almonds
cashews
brazil nuts
walnuts
pistachios
peanuts
macadamia nuts
nut butters

Seeds/Grains
hemp seeds
chia seeds
flaxseeds
quinoa
sunflower seeds
pumpkin seeds
sesame seeds
oatmeal
wild rice

Soy-Based Foods
tofu
tempeh
edamame

Miscellaneous
spirulina
nutritional yeast


Learn More
Here is the url for an excellent article on protein and a chart containing the protein content of just about any plant source you can imagine.

http://yumuniverse.com/plant-based-protein-information-chart/


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