Happy Herbivore Blog

February 9, 2012

Plant-Based Protein Sources

I received an email from my Dad the other day, asking where he was going to get his protein from now that he was plant-based. This question never goes away! I hear it all the time. 

As long as you eat whole foods, you will get protein. In fact, you could eat nothing but potatoes all day and still meet your minimum protein needs. (Heads up: too much protein can be harmful read more here). 

Remember: All whole foods have protein, even bananas and carrots!

Many plant foods also have more protein than meat, per calorie. For example, a cheeseburger contains .05 grams of protein per calorie compared to spinach which has .12 grams of protein per calorie. (Thanks for the stats Mark Bittman!)

And Don't forget soy beans are one of the best sources of protein, having more protein per calorie than all dairy products, eggs and most meats. 

Other protein-rich plant foods include quinoa, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, whole wheat foods, seitan, bulgar, broccoli and potatoes. You can read my earlier post for more vegetable sources of protein.

One of my favorite quotes comes from T. Colin Campbell in Forks Over Knives "You can’t be protein deficient unless you are calorie deficient.”

Every meal that we eat at HH, has some level of protein in it. Even the Blueberry Crisp we had for breakfast has some protein in it! 4.1g per serving, to be exact!

For whatever reason, we've become a protein-obsessed society and unnecessarily so. Keep eating those vegetables!

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