Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vegan Protein Sources

A common question any vegan is asked, is where do you get your protein?  In our American culture, protein is rivaled as the king of macronutrients and it is expected that we should all just wither and die without sufficient protein.  While this is true, it is also true that we need all macronutrients in order to survive, not to mention the vitamins and minerals--and therefore I wouldn't be too far off base if I turned around and asked my protein-inquisitive friends where they receive there Vitamin C and or A?  It is also well known that we as a people group do not eat nearly enough fruits and vegetables as we should. 

All smart-aleck comments aside, it is a pretty relevant question to wonder where exactly is my protein coming from.  I did a little google research today to answer that questions for you.

While the recommended daily protein intake is widely debated, for a vegan it is recommended that 10% of your daily calories come from protein.  For a woman my age and size I shoot for about 45-60 grams of protein a day.  Of course right now I am not following any rigorous training schedules and as an athlete you may want a little more, but you do not need to up this amount considerably.  source

*All of these points are based on my personal research as well as my opinion.  I am not a dietician or trained in anyway.  Please seek guidance from your doctor before changing or altering your eating styles*

It can be easy to find 45-60 grams of protein in plant-based sources.  Let's take a look at a table of common places to find protein.
                                                           serving        protein(g)   protein (g/100cal)

I like this table even better which shows us sample menus for the day.  Here you can achieve up to 80 grams of protein each day!

It also should be noted that plant-based proteins are in many ways better for you.  Less fat, no saturated fat, easier for your body to digest and the proteins are better absorbed into your body.  Almost all plant foods contain some protein and a vegan with a varied diet can easily achieve the recommended protein needed in a day.

As I mentioned, I am no expert, but I have been navigating this vegan lifestyle rather successfully for many years.  Sure there is a potential for protein-deficiency, but as long as you are not a vegan living off of bananas, white bread, hard candy and diet sodas, you should be fine with a varied diet!

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