+ Sources Of Vegan Protein And Their Calorie Content
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain muscle or just maintain a healthy bodyweight, calorie consumption is going to be the key factor in determining your success. Naturally, as a health supplements company, we wanted to understand the relationship between vegan products that claim to be high protein and the amount of calories they contain. In the table below you can see that, for each product, we have recorded the amount of calories and grams of protein per 100g/ml, together with the primary source of protein . We have also calculated the ratio of calories per gram of protein and ranked the table in ascending order of the number of calories that need to be consumed for each gram of protein.
In our list, the top 10 products with the lowest number of calories per gram of protein are:
What Are The Benefits Of A Low
While most people associate a vegan diet with a healthy one, it doesnt always necessarily mean so. There are also vegan version of fast and junk food as well as vegan substitutes of dairy and meat that cant be considered healthy.
In this scenario, a low-fat vegan diet offers many benefits since it requires choosing whole foods over processed ones as well as avoiding calorie-dense foods with low nutritional value like oils.
Protein Per Cup: 8 Grams
It’s enough to make Popeye do a spit take: Peas might seem wimpy, but one cup contains eight times the protein of a cup of spinach. And with almost 100% of your daily value of vitamin C in a single cup, they’ll help keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
Eat This! Add peas, onion, garlic and some low-sodium chicken stock to a greased saute pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook until veggies are wilted and warm and serve as a side dish.
Recommended Reading: Is Six Star Whey Protein Good
Finding High Protein Vegan Products
A few years ago conducting our research would have been a lot more difficult. In fact, when we were founded in 2018, the shelves of supermarkets rarely had much variety and often the plant-based products were buried in amongst the rest of the range – this meant that the time spent shopping often took a lot longer than non-vegan shopping. Nowadays many supermarkets have dedicated sections of frozen, chilled and packet foods, making it much easier to find the products you’re looking for.
Each of the main supermarkets even have dedicated vegan and/or vegetarian sections of their websites:
For the purposes of our analysis we have also included The Vegan Kind website which features hundreds of vegan products with the convenience of online shopping.
Given that there are now thousands of plant-based products available we sought to focus on those that have the highest protein content. But that’s not all we looked at.
Where Do Calories Come From
A calorie is a unit of energy in food. The body uses this energy to function, and if not used, it is stored in the body as fat. Calories come from only three nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Each provides slightly different calories per gram of mass, but as an approximation, carbohydrates and proteins have about 4 calories per gram, and fat has about 9 calories per gram.
- Carbohydrates are about 4 calories per gram
- Proteins are about 4 calories per gram
- Fats are about 9 calories per gram
As an example, lets look at the nutrition label for Naked Pea protein powder. We see in a serving there are 120 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbohydrates, and 27 grams of protein. Using the figures above we get:
0.5 grams fat x 9 calories = 4.5 calories2 grams carbohydrates x 4 calories = 8 calories27 grams protein x 4 calories = 108 calories4.5 + 8 + 108 = 120.5 calories total
This is an example of a food that has very little carbs or fat. 90% of the calories are from protein.
You May Like: Traces Of Protein In Urine
Protein Per Cup Cooked: 5 Grams
One cup of spinach has almost as much protein as a hard-boiled eggfor half the calories! Maximize its nutrition by steaming spinach instead of eating it raw: That helps retain vitamins, facilitate absorption of calcium and wards off the veggie’s bloating effects.
Eat This! Add spinach to your salads, stir-fries and omelets. It’s super versatile.
Where Do Vegans And Vegetarians Get Their Protein 100+ Top Vegan Protein Sources
One of the most common questions vegans and vegetarians are asked is “Where do you get your protein?”. Given traditional thinking has been that you need meat, fish, dairy or eggs if you are to get enough protein, this is not an entirely suprising question. Whether it’s for sports, body-building, weight-loss diets or general health, our society is aware of the importance of consuming enough protein. Therefore, given the perceived disparity between the need to consume protein and the lack of meat or dairy in a plant-based diet, it’s understandable that some people might be confused.
As initiatives such as Veganuary gain awareness and mainstream programming reflects the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle an increasing number of people are seeking information about where they can obtain their protein while following a plant-based lifestyle.
Recommended Reading: Protein Shake Without Protein Powder
Who Should Eat High Protein Low
The best thing about high protein low-fat foods is that everyone benefits from eating them. However, people with a high daily protein count who are keeping their fat grams low benefit the most.
The one downside to eating a lot of protein is the calories can add up fast if you are not careful. You don’t want to hit the gym hard tackling your 7-day split only to not see any new definition because you’re overeating. Many high-protein foods also contain a lot of fat. By focusing on the 15 foods listed above, you won’t have to worry about that.
What The Experts Say About Plant
Before we move onto good vegan and vegetarian protein sources for getting this amount, lets take a look at what some well-known and credentialed vegans say about protein.
- In the documentary Forks Over Knives, China Study author Dr. T. Colin Campbell says that you need 8 to 10 percent of your calories to come from protein.
- Vegan Ironman Brendan Brazier, in his appearance on No Meat Athlete radio, says he eats about 15 percent protein when training for short events, and close to 20 percent protein during periods of heavy training for long endurance events.
- Tim Ferriss writes in The 4-Hour Body that ultrarunner Scott Jurek gets 15 to 20 percent of his calories from protein.
- Matt Ruscigno, in the post he wrote for No Meat Athlete about protein for vegetarians, says he recommends that his athlete clients get 10 to 15 percent of their calories from protein.
Notice that everybody expresses things in percentage protein instead of grams, in order to more easily account for different body masses.
How does our 83 grams of protein, for a 140-pound female endurance athlete stack up in terms of percentage of total calories?
Well, the first thing to note is that a gram of protein contains four calories. So:
83 grams * 4 calories/gram = 332 calories of protein
322 calories of protein / 2375 total calories = 13.6% of calories from protein
Read Also: Iso 100 Protein Powder Cocoa Pebbles
Nearly Complete Protein Sources For Vegetarians And Vegans
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.
Despite what some people may think, there are many ways to get enough protein on a vegan or vegetarian diet.
However, not all plant-based proteins are complete proteins, meaning protein sources that contain adequate amounts of all nine essential amino acids.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. While your body can make some of them, nine have to be obtained through your diet. These are referred to as essential amino acids and include (
Animal products like beef, fish, dairy, and eggs contain enough of every one of these essential amino acids. Thus, theyre considered complete proteins .
However, many plant sources of protein are too low in or missing one or more of these essential amino acids. Theyre considered incomplete protein sources.
Still, given that plant foods contain varying amounts of amino acids, you can manage to get enough of each essential amino acid throughout the day by eating a varied diet and combining complementary plant proteins .
For example, grains like rice are too low in lysine to be considered a complete source of protein. Yet, by also eating lentils or beans, which are higher in lysine, throughout the day, you can be sure to obtain all nine essential amino acids .
Here are 13 nearly complete protein sources for vegetarians and vegans.
Plants That Provide Protein
Some plant-based foods are high in protein but low in calories. To put this another way, high-protein, low-calorie means few carbohydrates and fats. Eating plenty of these foods, especially leafy green vegetables and legumes, or beans, will help fill you up with plenty of protein and vitamins, but with few calories.
High-protein, low-calorie means few carbohydrates and fats.
Most raw foods have a combination of all three calorie generators. A food with very few fats and carbs would be close to 4 calories per gram, the amount produced by the protein. The more calories per gram over 4, the more there is a combination of fats and carbohydrates in the food. Other nutrients, such as water, minerals, and vitamins, although very useful to the body, do not have calories, but they do add to the mass. Also to note is that plant-based protein is sometimes calculated as less calories per gram. Although there are numerous benefits from plant protein, there is somewhat of a difference between these and milk, dairy, and egg proteins. Unlike many animal-based proteins, those found in plants are not always complete, with all the nine essential amino acids that the body needs from proteins. For this reason, its good to eat a variety of plant-based protein vegetables, legumes, and nuts. Soy is somewhat the exception, being a complete protein.
How to read this chart:
Don’t Miss: Does Protein Give You Energy
Vegan Protein: A Simple Guide To Getting What You Need
Where do you get your protein?
Its question vegans and vegetarians get asked more than any other. We hear it so often, in fact, that we tend to forget that some people really do want to know the answer, and arent just asking it with the aim of poking holes in our silly, granola-crunchy plant-based diet plan.
And when it comes to supplements for vegans, protein is the big one people want to know about .
First, the short answer to the question Where do you get your protein?
You dont need as much protein as most people think, and its easy to get what you do need from beans, nuts, seeds, grains, and even greens.
Then, a longer answer: in my new book, The Plant-Based Athlete, we devote an entire chapter to protein, where we really dive in and cover our preferred sources, amino acid considerations, and sample meal plans that show just how easy it is to get what you need on a plant-based diet.
And finally, a medium-sized answer this blog post.
The 22 Best High Protein Low Carb Vegetarian Foods For Bodybuilding
Protein is king in the world of bodybuilding, and getting enough of it on a plant-based vegetarian diet can be challenging. Making gains in the gym doesnt need to come at the cost of missing out on the health benefits of a plant-based vegetarian diet though. In this post well be covering 23 of the best high protein low carb vegetarian foods for bodybuilding and strength gains.
Also Check: Plant Based Sources Of Protein
More Protein Rich Foods For Vegans
Data for the curated food lists comes from the USDA Food Data Central Repository.
You can check our data against the USDA by clicking the link at the bottom of each food listing.
Note: When checking data please be sure the serving sizes are the same. In the rare case you find any difference, please contact us and we will fix it right away.
Protein Reduces Appetite And Hunger Levels
Among all macronutrients, protein is known to be the most filling, even if you consume less food. The macronutrient tends to reduce the ghrelin levels in the body while boosting levels of the peptide YY, which further helps an individual feel full.
If youre looking to lose weight, try replacing some of the carbs and fats in your diet with protein. You can simply add a few extra bites of meat while making your rice serving smaller.
Don’t Miss: What Are Functions Of Proteins
When To Eat High Protein Low
For most people, the amount of protein at the end of the day is most important for lean muscle. Ensure you consistently hit your daily protein requirements before worrying about anything else.
Next up in importance is protein distribution throughout the day. Try to evenly divide your protein throughout three to five meals. For example, if your goal is 200 grams of protein per day, you could have four meals consisting of 50 grams of protein.
Lastly, protein intake around workouts. Although not as critical as daily protein or meal distribution, workout nutrition can still make a difference. Aim to have a protein-rich meal within a few hours pre and post-workout. As far as when to take a protein shake goes, post-workout and protein before bed are both great times.
Diet Tip: Prioritize Low-Fat High-Protein Foods
Although protein intake is only one aspect of a well-constructed diet, it’s the most challenging part for many people.
You now have a list of the 15 best high-protein and low-fat protein foods to prioritize in your diet. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list. Please do not feel you need to restrict yourself to only the protein sources listed below. Use the list as a reference, not a prescription.
Kyle Hunt, Hunt Fitness
Leave a comment
Food Allergies And Intolerances
Because vegan proteins are becoming more manufactured, this often leads to increased concerns around allergies and food intolerance – specifically those looking to avoid soy, or opt for gluten-free proteins. Luckily, even options that were traditionally made with soy or wheat, like tempeh and seitan, are now emerging with brown rice and lentil-based ingredients to satisfy this need.
To find options that meet your food preferences, be sure to check the label for gluten-free certification and the ingredients for anything that might impact your diet.
Read Also: High Protein Smoothies For Weight Gain
High Protein Low Fat Vegan Meals For Aspiring Athletes
| While it isnt always given an accurate representation, optimal health, nutrition, and fitness go hand in hand with choosing a plant-based diet. Due to the fact that a plant-based diet is naturally anti-inflammatory, it may help quicken recovery times and even improve mental clarity, allowing many top athletes to stay focused.
Whether youre already an athlete in training, fitness fanatic, health-conscious, or just want to feel like onekeep reading for 11 high-protein, vegan meals that will have you feeling energized to do your gym-thing.
The Secret To Low Carb High Protein Vegan Recipes
When compiling these recipes we have made sure to pick recipes with a very specific nutritional profile.
Each recipe has at least 15g of protein and less than 20g of carbohydrates.
We have also made sure that the fat content is low . None of these recipes have any more than 25g of fat, of which no more than 10g are saturated fats!
Don’t Miss: Whey Protein For Weight Gain
Complete Vs Incomplete Proteins
Complete proteins are those that contain all of the essential amino acids your body needs in balanced quantities. Whereas an incomplete protein is lacking in one or more essential amino acids.
Plant based proteins can often get snubbed because many are considered “incomplete”. While the naming alone is unfair, to say the least, the research suggests that whether a protein is complete may not actually matter for most people .
You can get all the amino acids you need by eating “complementary proteins” – two incomplete proteins that balance each-other out, or by getting all the essential amino acids throughout the day.
What About Vegetables
The case for vegetables is similar to the case of protein. While a low-fat diet doesnt say anything about vegetables, it still promotes a whole food varied diet that logically includes vegetables and fruits.
Some types of low-fat diets like The Starch Solution put a lot more emphasis on starches and avoiding fats that in including nutrients so people following them can fail to include enough vegetables in their diets.
Vegetables are an essential part of any diet so if you want to follow a low-fat vegan diet make sure to include lots of them to get all those important nutrients.
You May Like: Protein Powder That Doesn’t Make You Bloat
What Is A Low
A low-fat vegan diet is based on the premise that we only need a small amount of good fats in our diets to get our necessary vital nutrients.
The proponents of low-fat vegan diets claim that outside of this amount, fats are not essential and can on the contrary be a source of weight gain and some diseases, especially when talking about unhealthy sources of fat.
While there are different recommendations when it comes to a low-fat vegan diet, most of them coincide with an intake of 15%-20% of daily calories coming from fats.