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How to Meet Your Protein Needs without Meat

A Guide to Vegetarian Protein Sources

112 Comments



  • Good article!

    Something I recently learned is that PER CALORIE, broccoli has more protein than steak, not to mention all the good nutrients besides protein. Worrying about protein and not paying attention to other nutrients is like checking your car tires all the time but not looking at the oil or the gas gauge or... (you get the picture)

    Eat lots of veggies and live long and healthy!

    By the way, you can avoid using quite a bit of oil and fat by cooking them in some of those nice prepared soups that come in boxes. If you chose ones that are organic and low-fat (and sometimes low-sodium), you can saute your veggies in some of the soup, and then add some of your own creative seasoning. It's easy, healthy, quick, and good! - 2/23/2010 7:48:29 PM
  • Many thanx for all of this incl.the comments - I have a Veg.houseguest for 17weeks and have started to run out of protein ideas altho using Lentils, Chickpeas, Beans, Dairy and eggs. Feel healthier than ever myself too - 10/31/2009 12:37:45 PM
  • COACH_NICOLE
    NELLIEC-
    That's because the old rule of "food combining" is outdated. You don't need to eat various proteins in a single meal to make complete proteins. A varied diet in general (eating different types of amino acids at different times) works. - 10/27/2009 2:51:58 PM
  • What I find endlessly amusing is that no one is EVER concerned about nutritional content till you mention that you're a vegetarian or.. (gasp) a vegan. Then all of a sudden everyone is a nutritionist. BUT, the only thing they're concerned about is if you, as a vegan, get enough protein. Most often, my response is, "Did you?". I ask if they've gotten enough vitamin A? The point is, that there are so many nutrients out there that no one ever asks themselves about, till you come out of the vegetarian closet. So far, not one person who as asked me how I get my protein has had any clue as to how well they've balanced their nutritional scale. Funny. - 10/18/2009 8:45:58 PM
  • Can you research and write an article on the protein and fat content of nuts and seeds that have been sprouted? They are much easier to digest when you soak and rinse them to remove the enzyme inhibitors. - 10/11/2009 11:41:32 AM
  • What about corn, beans, and rice. You didn't say that if you eat any two of them, you get a complete protein meal! - 10/4/2009 10:46:28 AM
  • My husband is always trying out vegetarian recipes to appease our daughter, which taste good but are the "anti-food" for me-- tons of pasta carbs and very little protein, which is a nightmare for my hypoglycemia. One recipe had 11g of protein and 66g of carbs!

    I'd love to make split pea/lentil soup for the family, but I'm still in dieting mode and I have no idea how to judge the calories involved.

    The most valuable information here-- a real shocker-- was the difference in egg-whites vs. whole eggs. I'd always assumed most of the protein was in the yolk, but it's just the opposite-- most of it's in the whites! If it weren't so wasteful, I'd try living off of those-- lots of protein, no real cholesterol, and not many calories. No wonder Hollywood types swear by egg-white omelets! - 10/1/2009 8:55:10 PM
  • NPAUL929
    I find this article to be very informative and a great reminder that we do not have to always eat meat or soy to meet our requirement for protein. - 9/21/2009 9:54:14 AM
  • MerryLiza - Moosewood Cookbooks offer tons of wonderful recipes for cooking with different grains. And, you can also just use your imagination - if a recipe calls for rice, substitute millet or quinoa for the rice. I make a wonderful millet stuffed pepper recipe. Instead of meat, I use corn and instead of rice, I use millet. I have been vegetarian for almost 16 years and I have never worried about my protein intake and never had any issues. I highly recommend Moosewood cookbooks though - especially the lowfat one for the grain recipes. Good luck! - 9/14/2009 10:16:23 AM
  • I would love to try some of the different grains, but don't have recipes for them.
    For instance. I am not supposed to eat bread, potatoes, rice or pasta, nor am I supposed to have any dairy products - Alergies and Diabeties. When I remove these items from my diet my blood sugars remain constanat without medicine.
    Unfortunately I am not sure how to use Spelt, or any other flours to make things I can eat and I am not sure whether they would affect me the same way that wheat does. Has anyone got any ideas? - 9/14/2009 1:54:26 AM
  • COACH_NICOLE
    Thanks, MARASCA. I fixed that typo! - 9/9/2009 3:56:56 PM
  • There's a typo in the section about dairy. It says: Fat-free cottage cheese, 1 oz 31 g protein, 160 calories, 1 g fat. Pretty sure that should be per cup, not oz. - 8/30/2009 10:18:12 PM
  • Very useful info since I find myself leaning more and more towards the vegetarian ways. Sometimes I forget to eat meat and don't miss it. - 8/28/2009 11:05:55 PM
  • To LIZTHEIG -
    Try Spectrum brand canola-based mayonnaise, in full fat or light. I've only had the light, but it tastes exactly like Hellmann's brand, and is vegan. - 8/24/2009 2:19:06 AM
  • LISATHEVEGAN - soy DOES contribute to cancer and diabetes. Here's another book you can read in addition to the previous poster's book:

    The Whole Soy Story by Kaayla T. Daniel (http://www.thewholesoystory.com/)

    Also, if you want a quick overview of the Myths and Truths About Soy, go to this link: http://www.westonaprice.org/mythstruths/mt
    soy.html

    Soy grown and processed in North America is about as bad for you as it gets. Traditionally fermented Asian soy (tempeh, natto, miso) is not bad for you in very moderate amounts. - 7/8/2009 4:01:17 PM

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