Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How Do You Get Enough Protein?

I have received many questions about being vegetarian over the years. One of the most common has been "How do you get enough protein?".

According to Kristen Rindress, R.D., "The average American eats twice as much protein as they need. The DRI for protein for a healthy adult is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram per day, which translates to 54 g/day for a 150 pound person*." Plant protein foods more often are naturally low in saturated fat and high in fiber. Try beans, peas, soy products, nuts, and seeds in recipes such as Chili Con Tofu, Candied Walnuts with Herb Salad and Paprika Spiced Hummus.

Here is a list of vegetarian protein sources: [1]

Soy Products:
Tempeh 1 cup 30
Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 22
Tofu, firm 4 oz 11
Tofu, regular 4 oz 9
Textured Vegetable
Protein (TVP), cooked 1/2 cup 8
Soy milk, plain 1 cup 7

Lentils, cooked 1 cup 18
Black beans, canned 1 cup 15
Kidney beans, canned 1 cup 13
Chickpeas, cooked 1 cup 12
Pinto beans, canned 1 cup 12

Peas, cooked 1 cup 9
Spinach, cooked 1 cup 5
Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 4
Potato 1 med. 6 oz 4

Nuts and Seeds:
Peanut butter 2 Tbsp 8
Walnuts 1 oz 7
Almond butter 2 Tbsp 5
Sunflower seeds 1/4 cup 6

Seitan(kind of a grain)4 oz 26
Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 9
Spaghetti, cooked 1 cup 8
Bulgur, cooked 1 cup 6
Whole wheat bread 2 slices 5
Brown rice, cooked 1 cup 5

You can see, it is actually quite easy to meet your protein needs with a well-balanced vegetarian diet.

Remember to sign up on Find us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, View our videos on YouTube and Visit our blog. Currently, we are pairing each That's Vegetarian recipe with wines from the BevMo 5 Cent Sale. It makes sense for those of us in California and parts of Arizona. For my Buffalo peeps, I could do the same when Premier is having their sale. Let me know when "that" store in your neck of the woods has their wine sale and Sherrie Smith, TVeg's Official Sommelier, and I can pair those wines for you with our recipes.

Go to That's Vegetarian and watch one (or all) of the recipe videos, print the recipe(s), and prepare any one of the dishes. You'll find yourself saying"That's Vegetarian?!"

* 0.8 grams/kilogram is approximately 0.36 grams/pound
[1] USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23, 2010

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