Protein - How much do you need and where to get it
One question most people ask when they find out that I'm a vegan is, "Where do you get your protein?" It is difficult to convince people that, if the majority of the calories you eat in a day come from a variety of vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds, you won't have difficulty getting enough protein. People just are not used to thinking of protein coming from anything but animals and animal products.
How much do you need?
First, it's good to know how much protein you need. The general equation for determining how much you need is as follows:
weight x .4 = the grams of protein you need daily.
Applying this formula to someone who weighs 150 pounds is 150 x .4 = 60 grams of protein needed daily.
If you doubt the assertion that you can get enough protein from vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fruit; it's good to test it out by calculating your intake for a few days. Just write down what you eat and how much protein is in each item you eat. A food record such as this will convince you that you are getting enough. And, after a while, it'll also become second nature to you to eyeball the food you are eating and intuitively know that you are doing okay.
The book I'm reading, Vegan for Life by Jack Norris, RD and Virginia Messina, MPH, RD, spells it out simply. The book recommends that vegans should eat 3 to 4 servings of legumes per day to get the majority of their protein.
Here are some examples of a serving of protein
1/2 cup tofu or tempeh
1/2 cup beans
1/2 cup peas
2 tablespoons flaxseeds
1/4 cup peanuts
2 T peanut butter
vegetables vary, so you'll have to check a nutritional guide online for protein per serving of vegetables
Great Sources of Information:
I was going to write a longer post today giving you all the ins and outs of plant-based protein, but I have found two wonderful articles for you that go far beyond what I could hope to cover.
The first is a chart of vegan sources of protein. I have it bookmarked so I can refer to it often. Very simple to read and very simple to apply. Here's the link for it.
Click this link and scroll down a bit for A Vegan Sources Protein Chart
Guide to Protein
The second contains a great article and charts about protein. It is The Definitive Guide to the 12 Best Vegan Protein Sources
Click this link https://yurielkaim.com/vegan-protein-sources/
There's plenty of protein out there for plant eaters; and as a general rule, if you eat quality legumes, nuts, seeds, and vegetables to meet your caloric needs, you won't have difficulty getting enough protein. Enjoy your veggies!!!
be kind - be the change
be the healthiest version of yourself