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  • Melissa McLane

Vegetarian & Vegan Proteins



Vegetarian: Animal muscle, fat and flesh (including fish) is not consumed. Dairy and/or eggs are usually consumed. Vegan: Only 100% non-animal sources are consumed. This includes dairy, eggs and sometimes honey.


Why Eat Vegetarian & Vegan Proteins?


Protein is an essential macronutrient to help every part of your body grow, develop, function properly as well as build and repair tissues. Making sure you consume quality protein is just as important as ensuring you get enough protein. Numerous studies have shown that animal sources of protein can increase the risk for health concerns such as cancer and heart disease.


Industrial factory farms, where non-organic meat is produced, are notorious for pumping the animals with antibiotics and hormones as well as feeding them 'food' that is not natural for their digestive systems, such as grain instead of grass, with the goal to fatten the animals and speed up their growth to increase the industry's profit margins. This industrial standard greatly undermines the quality and nutrient content of commercial meat products.


Environmental and ethical factors are also compelling motives that many people choose plant-based protein over animal protein. For example, raising animals, especially cows, utilizes a huge amount of water. Also, cows' flatulence emits methane, which is a significant contributor to global warming. Consuming less animal protein or none at all is a sure way to decrease your carbon footprint and take a stand against the inhumane handling of today's industrial livestock.


How to Incorporate Vegetarian & Vegan Proteins?


The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is approximately 45g for women and 55g for men or 0.8g of protein per kilo (2.2lbs) of body. Incorporating 1-2 servings of plant-based proteins from this guide at each meal will help you to meet your daily protein needs.


Add seeds on top of your salads or into your nut butters

Blend or mash cooked beans to make into a dip for your veggies ie. Hummus

Start your day with a plant-based protein smoothie, and add nuts & seeds

Explore a vegetarian or vegan restaurant for creative meal ideas

Incorporate protein into each meal and snack

Substitute tofu, tempeh, seitan (vegan protein powerhouses) in meat recipes

If you’re not vegan, eating eggs and dairy provides big protein boosts.


Vegetarian & Vegan Proteins Quick Reference Guide


  • Vegetables 1 pound - 10grams of Protein

  • Plant protein powder - 1-serving 15-20grams of Protein

  • Quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice - 1 cup 5grams of Protein

  • Hemp, chia, pumpkin seeds 2T 5-10grams of Protein

  • Nut butters 2T 5-15grams of Protein

  • Lentils 1 cup (cooked) 15-20gram of Protein

  • Beans 1 cup (cooked) 15-30gram of Protein


Nuts & seeds & butters: Almonds / Beechnuts / Brazil nuts / Cashews / Chestnuts / Chia seeds / Filberts (Hazelnuts)/ Flaxseeds / Hemp seeds / Hickory nuts / Macadamia nuts / Pecans / Pine nuts / Pistachios / Pumpkin seeds / Safflower seeds / Sesame seeds / Sunflower seeds / Walnuts


Legumes: Adzuki beans / Black beans / Black-eyes peas / Cannellini (White kidney beans) / Carob / Edamame / Fava beans / Garbanzo beans / Great Northern beans / Green beans / Lentils / Lima beans / Mung beans / NattŌ / Navy beans / Peanuts / Peas / Red kidney beans / Snap peas / Soybeans / Tempeh / Tofu / Seitan


Plant protein powder: Vegan Protein Smoothie / Sunwarrior Blend / Orgain Vegan Protein / Thorne Research VegaLite / RAW Protein / Amazing Meal (Powders are usually combinations of rice, pea, hemp or soy)


Vegetarian (not vegan): Chicken, duck or quail eggs / Egg protein powder / Whey protein powder / Cottage cheese/ yogurt Semi-hard cheeses: Cheddar; Colby; Havarti; Feta; Asiago; Gouda; Monterey Jack; Mozzarella; Provolone / Soft cheeses: brie / Whole, raw and organic milk

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