How to get protein without meat?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “How to get protein without meat?” We will also discuss the different plant-based foods rich in protein and the differences between plant protein and animal protein.

How to get protein without meat?

You can get protein without meat from different plant-based protein sources like legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetables, eggs, and dairy products. Most people might believe that you don’t get enough proteins from plant sources, however, that is not true at all. 

Although meat is indeed the best protein source you can find, these plant-based protein sources are enough to fulfill your daily protein needs. You can get enough proteins from plant sources even if you don’t consume meat.

What are the different plant-based foods rich in protein?

Legumes 

Different types of beans and lentils are the best sources of plant protein. Almost any type of meat protein can be substituted with beans. About 15 grams of protein are present in most types of beans per cooked cup. They are also great sources of fiber, iron, folate, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, complex carbohydrates, iron, and several healthy plant compounds.

Soybean especially is a very popular and versatile plant protein. All the nine essential amino acids that we must obtain from food are found in soybeans, along with B vitamins, calcium, fiber, iron, and zinc.

Nuts and seeds 

Different types of nuts and seeds like Peanuts, Almonds, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Pecan, Pistachios, Walnuts, Pumpkin seeds, Sesame seeds, and Sunflower seeds are high in proteins. Peanut has the most protein contents which are about 9 grams per serving of ¼ cup.

The best way to add protein and satiating fats to your diet is by adding them to your morning oats. Topping them with a tablespoon of nut butter also works just as well. You can use these protein-rich seeds in the same way. They can be consumed alone as snacks or sprinkled in some of your favored foods.

Vegetables 

Although they don’t have a lot of protein, a few vegetables can still provide a decent amount of protein if you consume them in high quantity. Leafy greens are the best sources of proteins among vegetables. 

For instance, a cup of cooked Brussels sprouts and sweet yellow corn provides your meal with 4 grams and 5 grams of protein respectively. Tomatoes and mushrooms also provide you with a decent amount of proteins.

Dairy products 

Whey protein is the protein found in dairy products. It’s a popular dietary supplement that can also be used as a protein source. Vegans will not benefit from dairy protein, but vegetarians can incorporate many dairy products into their diet.

Whey protein is found in a variety of dairy products, including milk, cheese, and yogurt. Yogurts and cheeses can contain added sugars and carbohydrates, so consider cottage cheese and plain Greek yogurt as healthier alternatives.

What is the difference between plant proteins and animal proteins?

The only difference between plant proteins and animal proteins is the number of essential amino acids present in these sources. Amino acid chains are the building blocks of protein. Your body requires 20 different amino acids for the synthesis of proteins. These are either produced by the body itself or are obtained from food. 

Nine of these 20 amino acids are regarded as essential, meaning that your body cannot produce them on its own and that you must obtain them from food. The body can make the remaining 11 amino acids from the 9 essential ones, so they are regarded as non-essential.

All nine of the essential amino acids are present in sufficient amounts in animal protein. All nine of the essential amino acids are also present in plants, though most only provide a small amount of at least one of them, with a few notable exceptions.

The amounts of amino acids like cysteine and methionine present in many vegetables, beans, lentils, and peas are typically low. Conversely, grains, nuts, and seeds typically contain little lysine.

As a result, plant-based foods are often considered incomplete sources of protein. But this shouldn’t be a problem if you consume a variety of plant-based proteins. You can still obtain all the essential amino acids your body requires if you consume different varieties of plant foods in sufficient amounts.

Conclusion 

In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “How to get protein without meat?” We have also discussed the different plant-based foods rich in protein and the differences between plant protein and animal protein.

Citations 

https://www.webmd.com/diet/types-of-vegetarian-protein-sources

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/protein-for-vegans-vegetarians

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