Wednesday, 20 August 2008

What about Protein!

What about it? What is the big obsession with protein? When I tell people I am vegan it is usually the first thing they say to me, followed by 'What about Calcium', usually followed by a disapproving glance or two.

I thought it would be useful to share with you foods which have a high protein value. If you are a vegan you can rest assured you are getting enough protein if you are eating a varied and healthy diet and if you are not vegan you can read this and put your minds at rest that we are not all going to waste away from protein deficiency. Infact although protein is essential to our diets, most people eat far too much which can interfere with our ability to absorb calcium. We only need protein to account for 1 of every 10 calories we consume. The average vegan male needs to be consuming around 55-70 grams each day and the average female around 45-60 grams. After each food I have listed how many grams of protein are in a typical serving.

Lentils (1 cup cooked - 18g), Soyamilk (1 cup - 7g), Brown Rice (5g), Jacket Potato (4g) Wholewheat bread (1 slice - 3g), Spinich (5g), Baked beans (12g) oatmeal (1 cup - 6g), Broccoli (4g), Peas (9g), Peanut Butter (8g), Tofu (11g), Bagel (9g), Spaghetti (8g), Almonds (4g), Cashews (5g), Soya Yogurt (6g), Sunflower seeds (6g), Black beans (1 cup - 15g), Soya beans (1 cup - 29g), Kidey Beans (1 cup cooked - 13g), Chickpeas (1 cup cooked - 12g)

So you can see that a vegan diet is not devoid of protein. If you are a vegan and still concerned just make sure you have some of the above list in you home ready to use. We usually make up a batch of hummus (chick pea dip) which we snack on regularly with pitta bread, tortilla chips or raw carrots. I also make up nut mixes to have as snacks (which Heidi, my 3 year old loves - almonds, cashews, walnuts (for omega 3) and dried fruits). If you make salads or breads, throw in some sunflower seeds and linseeds (for omega 3 also). Marinade some tofu in soy sauce and add to a veggie stir fry, add spinich to your favourite pasta recipe, have baked beans for breakfast on a saturday morning - maybe experiment making veggie sausages - I came up with some great ones last week made with cooked red lentils and soya pieces mixed with soy sauce and breadcrumbs. Just experiment!

Ok, that's today's post. It won't stop people asking the question but at least you have some facts at your disposal!

Cashews 1/4 cup 5 2.7
Almond butter 2 Tbsp 5 2.4
Brown rice, cooked 1 cup 5 2.1
Spinach, cooked 1 cup 5 13.0
Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 4 6.8
Potato 1 med.
(6 oz) 4 2.7

Sources: USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 18, 2005 and manufacturers' information.

The recommendation for protein for adult males vegans is around 56-70 grams per day; for adult female vegans it is around 46-58 grams per day (see text).


That's my story and I'm sticking to it, at least for now. said...

I love your blog. I would love to become vegan but seem to crave meat and dairy when i eliminate it..any tips?
At the moment I try to be vegetarian about 4 days a week.

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