If you are researching a plant-based diet and are curious about how you could actually give up meat and dairy, one of your first questions may be, “How can I get enough protein without eating meat?” Well, we’re going to give a few facts on how plants provide protein that will do more than convince you, they will blow your mind!
Did you know that most Americans eat 1 ½ times more protein than they need? There are dangers linked to eating too much protein; impaired kidney function, osteoporosis and colon and breast cancers are linked to certain proteins found in meat, poultry and fish after they have been cooked.
So how much protein do you really need each day? Take your body weight (lbs) x .36 = how many grams of protein you need daily. This is a baseline; hard-training athletes and nursing mothers may need more. It is always good to consult a doctor or nutritionist. But know that it is easier than you think (and healthier) to reach your protein goals with plants.
To settle the first misconception about plants; they do have protein! All plants, even fruit contain protein. Of course, differing levels depending on the veggie, grain or legume. Check out a few surprising plants that offer more protein than you may have expected.
Plant-based options pack in the protein but they also offer something that meat protein does not; fiber. Did you read about fiber in our previous blog? It’s something that most Americans lack. So adding more plants as a protein source also boots your fiber intake.
Complete Plant Power
You may be wondering, “Do I have to eat a certain combination of plants to get complete protein?” Plants have all the essential amino acids in varying degrees. Your body stores them and does the complementing. You don’t need to worry about actively pairing foods together. Here is a great video on this topic. And don’t worry about feeling “full” on plant-based protein, all that fiber is going to keep you full and happy, beyond what meat can do!
Power to the Plants!