Someone posted a very interesting question on my facebook page. What are the best ways to get enough protein as a vegetarian? When many people are trying to put on muscle they eat a lot of chicken breast, and tuna. So what if that’s not an option in your diet?
The good news is you still have a lot of other high protein choices!
According to the CDC women need at least 46 grams of protein and men need at least 56 grams. Generally when you are trying to put on muscle you want about 1 gram of protein per pound of your goal bodyweight. The only known danger of a high protein diet is for those with kidney disease. New evidence is showing that diets that are high in protein may be useful in treating obesity and preventing osteoporosis (Carter, et al. 2006).
So what are some good protein sources? Here are some good options for vegetarians, vegans, and carnivores. This list is not comprehensive, but is meant to give you some ideas.
Tofu: ½ cup has 20 g (Faux Beef Stew Recipe)
Soy Milk: 6-10 g
Beans: 7-10 g per ½ cup
Soy Beans: 14 g per ½ cup
Split Peas: 8 g per ½ cup
Peanut Butter: 8 g per 2 tablespoons (Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake Recipe)
Almonds (1/4 cup): 8 g
Peanuts (1/4 cup): 9 g
Cashews( ¼ c): 5 g
Pecans (1/4 c): 2.5 g
Sunflower seeds (1/4 c): 6 g
Pumpkin seeds: 8g
Flax Seed: 8g
Oatmeal (1 c): 6 g
Bagel: 9 g
Broccoli: (1 c) 4 g
Brown Rice: 5 g
Soy Yogurt: 6 g
Veggie Burger: 13 g
Spaghetti: 8 g
Spinach (1 c): 5 g
Lacto-ovo vegetarians: (no meat, fish or poultry, but eggs and dairy are allowed).
Egg (large): 6 grams of protein per egg (Egg “Muffins”)
Milk: 1 cup, 8 g
Cottage Cheese: 15 g
Yogurt: 8-12 g
Greek Yogurt: 23 g (Try my Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt recipe)
Cheese: 6-10 g
Chicken Breast: (3.5 ounces) 30 g. (Healthy Feta Stuffed Chicken Recipe or Chicken Vegetable Soup Recipe or Multi-Grain Chicken Wrap)
Tuna: (6 oz can) 40 g
Most Fish Fillet: (3 ½ ounces) 22 g
Hamburger: (4 oz) 28 g
Steak: 6 oz 42 g
Pork Chop: 22g
Ham (3 oz): 19 g
There are many sources of protein out there. Hopefully this has given you some ideas. This is another great resource: http://www.highproteinfoods.net/
Enjoy, and make sure you get enough protein today!
Carter, J., Vasey, F. Valeriano, J. (2006). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16718399?dopt=Abstract