Vegans & Protein Myth

The myth that vegans don’t get enough protein never gets old. Even now, in the age of the internet, some people truly believe that animal flesh has to be a part of a well-balanced healthy meal. True, french fries could be substituted with broccoli, but meat gotta stay. And if we remove meat, we at least gotta add some eggs, right?

Being a part of the meat-eating household for the majority of my life, I also believed these myths until 3 years ago – when I decided to cut out all animal products from my life and become a vegan. And then, after a couple of weeks on bread, hummus, and veggies (my body wasn’t grateful for that), I knew I gotta expand my options. So I found out about a whole new world that was hidden from me before (just like the majority of vegans, probably) – the legumes!

Now, legumes in various forms are a staple in my diet. I try to vary them regularly, combining with whole grains and veggies, to make sure I get all the nutrients and amino acids my body needs. So how does my diet looks like on an average day and how much protein do I manage to get?

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with Chia & Flaxseeds, Soy milk and a Banana – 15.6 g
  • Lunch: Red Lentil Bolognese with Whole-grain pasta and fresh salad – 27.6 g
  • Dinner: Lazy Sushi with Tofu and Avocado – 27.5 g
  • Snack: banana with peanut butter – 5 g

This rather simple menu makes up about 76g of protein with a 1500 calorie intake. That’s over 1,5 times the recommended minimum for my weight (based on 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight RDA). That said, with 2000 calorie intake daily one could easily reach 100g of plant-based protein.

Photo by Ogan Weaver on Unsplash

What if your goal is to further increase protein intake? These simple steps could help you get there:

  • use the plate method in planning your meals – have a quarter of the plate filled with protein sources (legumes)
  • top meals with some nuts and seeds
  • opt for protein-rich dressings (e.g. based on tofu)
  • add a scoop of plant-based protein powder in your smoothie, oatmeal, pancakes, etc. – if the above are not an option on some of the days
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is for information purposes only,  and should not be considered as a treatment plan for any individual situation. Please consult a physician for individual advise on any health-related topic.

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