Protein is an important element of a well-balanced and healthy diet. But did you know that it is possible to meet your protein requirements without eating meat?
To meet your protein needs, it is important to eat small amounts of protein for the rest of the day, to make sure the body has enough supply whenever needed. The quality of protein is also very important.
Dairy foods and eggs are complete proteins, as these foods contain all of the essential amino acids. Most plant-based proteins, on the other hand, except some grains and soy beans, are considered to be incomplete proteins.
Therefore you should try to consume a variety of different protein sources for the rest of the day to provide all of these essential amino acids.
Lentil, beans and peas all belong to the food group, know as legumes. Legumes are rich in protein, iron and fiber as well. You can add legumes into your meals to replace meat, while still getting your much needed protein.
|Legumes, 1 cup cooked||Protein||Calories||Fiber|
|Soybeans||29 g||298||10 g|
|Lentils||18 g||230||16 g|
|Split peas||16 g||231||16 g|
|Navy beans||16 g||258||12 g|
|Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)||15 g||269||12 g|
|Black beans||15 g||227||15 g|
|Kidney beans||15 g||225||11 g|
|Lima beans||15 g||216||13 g|
|Pinto beans||14 g||234||15 g|
Nuts are an excellent source of protein. Almonds, peanuts, cashews, pistachios and pine nuts. While halzelnuts and chestnuts contain the lowest protein. Also nuts provide fiber, antioxidant (vitamins A and E) and heart-healthy fatty acids.
|Nuts, 1/4 cup||Protein||Calories||Fat|
|Peanuts, raw||9 g||207||18 g|
|Almonds, dry roasted||8 g||206||18 g|
|Pistachios||6 g||171||14 g|
|Hazelnuts||5 g||212||21 g|
|Pine nuts||5 g||229||23 g|
|Cashews, raw||5 g||197||16 g|
|Walnuts||4 g||164||16 g|
Seeds contains phytochemicals and unsaturated fats, that helps a lot in fighting heart disease and preventing cancer. You can use sunflower seeds in salads and pasta and sesame seeds on steamed vegetables.
|Seeds (1/4 cup)||Protein||Calories||Fat|
|Hemp seeds||15 g||232||18 g|
|Pumpkin seeds, roasted||9 g||187||16 g|
|Flaxseed||8 g||191||13 g|
|Sunflower seeds, roasted||8 g||205||18 g|
|Sesame seeds, roasted||6 g||206||18 g|
Soy’s protein content are comparable to that of animal proteins. It is considered to be nutrition’s utility player. Between soy milk, tofu, tempeh and vegetable burger, take your pick!
|Soybeans, 1 cup cooked||29 g||298||10 g|
|Tempeh, 4 oz cooked||21 g||223||13 g|
|Edamame, 1 cup shelled||20 g||240||10 g|
|TVP, 1/4 cup dry||12 g||80||0 g|
|Soy nuts, 1/4 cup roasted||11 g||200||1 g|
|Tofu, 4 oz raw||9 g||86||5 g|
|Soy nut butter, 2 tablespoons||7 g||170||11 g|
|Soymilk, 1 cup sweetened||7 g||100||0.5 g|
|Soymilk, 1 cup unsweetened||7 g||80||0.5 g|
Dairy products include cheddar, cottage cheese, etc. Other dairy products include eggs, ice cream and milk which can also provide an adequate amount of protein, while also providing the added benefit of high calcium content.
|Fat-free cottage cheese, 1 cup||31 g||160||1 g|
|2% cottage cheese, 1 cup||30 g||203||4 g|
|1% cottage cheese, 1 cup||28 g||163||2 g|
|Fat-free plain yogurt, 1 cup||14 g||137||0 g|
|Low-fat plain yogurt, 1 cup||13 g||155||4 g|
|Parmesan cheese, 1 oz grated||12 g||129||9 g|
|Whole milk yogurt, 1 cup||9 g||150||8 g|
|Goat’s milk, 1 cup||9 g||168||10 g|
|1% milk, 1 cup||8 g||102||2 g|
|Swiss cheese, 1 oz||8 g||106||8 g|
|2% milk, 1 cup||8 g||121||7 g|
|3.25% (whole) milk, 1 cup||8 g||146||8 g|
|Low-fat cheddar/Colby cheese, 1 oz||7 g||49||2 g|
|Part-skim mozzarella cheese, 1 oz||7 g||72||5 g|
|Provolone cheese, 1 oz||7 g||100||8 g|
|Cheddar cheese, 1 oz||7 g||114||9 g|
|Blue cheese, 1 oz||6 g||100||8 g|
|American cheese, 1 oz||6 g||106||9 g|
|Goat cheese, 1 oz||5 g||76||6 g|
|Feta cheese, 1 oz||4 g||75||6 g|
|Part-skim ricotta cheese, 1 oz||3 g||39||2 g|
Grains are very high in protein and are great for muscle-building and source of whole-grain carbohydrates.
|Amaranth, 1 cup cooked||9 g||238||9 g|
|Quinoa, 1 cup cooked||9 g||254||4 g|
|Whole wheat pasta, 1 cup cooked||8 g||174||6 g|
|Barley, 1 cup cooked||7 g||270||14 g|
|Spelt, 4 oz cooked||6 g||144||4 g|
|Oats, 1 cup cooked||6 g||147||4 g|
|Bulgur, 1 cup cooked||6 g||151||8 g|
|Buckwheat, 1 cup cooked||6 g||155||5 g|
|Brown rice, 1 cup cooked||5 g||216||4 g|
|Whole wheat bread, 1 slice||4 g||128||3 g|
|Sprouted grain bread, 1 slice||4 g||80||3 g|