Are you getting enough protein?
Yes. Yes you are getting enough protein. With the fitness boom that's been going on in the last few years every person from grandma to your athletic cousin began wondering if he or she gets enough protein. Proteins are found in almost all foods, and therefore you're likely to get enough of it if you're not starving yourself or eating a very limited diet. It's only recommended to add supplemental protein intake if you're an pro athlete or if your exercise is very intense. But that's another topic!
When we became a vegetarians a few years ago the number one question we got from everyone not familiar to vegetarianism was Where do you get protein?, Will you get all nutritions you need?, How will you survive?!?!!
Ok, the last one might be a slight exaggeration but you get my point.
Nobody is ever as concerned about your health as when you decide to go vegan/vegetarian/on a new diet. In a way it's nice, since it shows they care, but mostly it's really irritating and condescending. But I must admit, I was a like those people before becoming a vegetarian. I too thought the best and only way to get protein was through meat. But that's where I was wrong, and I think it's time we forget about the outdated notion that humans need meat to survive.
(Disclaimer: Even though there are of course good sources of protein in animal protein, a high intake of those increase your risk for cardiovascular disease; and in Sweden the official recommendation is to eat only 500g of meat per week.)
That said, here are some of our favorite vegan sources of protein for you to eat instead of meat:
1. Soybean 36g protein / 100g
Okay so there is no competition out there, soybean has the most protein of them all. This miracle bean is not only green, healthy and packed with nutrition it's also easy to cook with. We always have a pack of frozen soybeans at home incase we feel that we need a hearty snack.
2. Green peas 5g protein / 100g.
The number one summer snack is filled with protein, so keep snacking away and don't worry if you're getting your protein because yes you are! Your also getting Vitamin A and C, calcium, magnesium and iron.
3. Tofu 8g protein / 100g
Every vegetarians first friend and if you're like me you bought 10 packs of tofu the day you became a vegetarian. But never mind that, tofu is delicious and a given ingredient in our everyday food. It can be varied in so many ways, it's healthy and full of protein.
4. Oats 17g protein / 100g
The easiest breakfast out there - overnight oats is naturally packed with protein. Oats have lots of fiber that will keep your metabolism going all day. Oats are so versatile, you can bake with them, add them in your smoothie, bake some bliss balls or make yourself some snickers bars.
5. (Black) beans 21g protein / 100g
What kind of blog would this be if I wouldn't mention beans when our name is Cake and beans. You knew it was coming. Beans (all kinds) might be, in my opinion, the best ingredient out there. They can transform into almost any type of dish and are extremely versatile in taste and consistency. You can make burgers, vegan ceviche, chocolate cake and of course a hearty stew. And the list goes on. So if you're new to beans, or you think they're boring stop immediately and try our hamburgers, I guarantee you'll love them!
And just for comparisons sake, regular beef has 26g of protein per 100g, which is a solid number, but as you can see, nothing compared to the soybean —which, by the way, is all too often used to feed cows and wasted, we should just eat the soy ourselves and skip the middle-man (or well, cow)!—and beans and oats compare perfectly fine with beef. So enough with the myth about having to eat meat to get enough protein, it's bullshit.
This list was really hard to write when there were so many ingredients to choose between. But it doesn't really matter how many ingredients I list — my point is that you shouldn't be afraid that you're not getting enough protein if you eat a vegetarian/ vegan or non-vegetarian diet. As long as you eat a normal varied diet you'll be more than fine. So if that's been your excuse for not eating vegetarian food — gotcha, no more excuses!
Have a great week!
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