Non Meat Sources Of Protein


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Kids Dont Need That Much Protein

How to Get Enough Protein as a Vegetarian

First off, I want to acknowledge that protein is obviously important for children, as it is the building block of muscle but the fact of the matter is, youre probably getting enough without even thinking about. In fact, most children are probably consuming too much protein. Excess protein doesnt make children any stronger, it is broken down by the body and stored as fat. So, while active children dont have a lot to worry about, sedentary children may be at risk of weight gain if they consistently eat too much protein.

For children ages 4-8yrs the recommendation is 5 servings of protein a day. This means if your child eats two eggs, a tablespoon of peanut butter, and a handful or two of nuts, which is approximately 28 grams of protein, theyre golden. If you really want to get into the nitty-gritty, you can calculate the protein needs of your individual child/children. I did.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics spokesperson , children only need about .4 grams of protein per 1 lb of body weight. So my 8.5 yr old, who is approximately 61lbs, only needs about 25 grams of protein a day my 4.5 yr old, who is approximately 41lbs, only needs about 16 grams of protein a day and my toddler needs less than 10 grams of protein a day. You can see just from the non-meat food example above, its pretty easy to hit the protein requirements without even having dinner which, as I mentioned, typically contains a serving of meat.

Meeting Nutritional Needs On A Vegetarian Diet

If you choose to be vegetarian or vegan, plan your diet to make sure it includes all the essential nutrients. This is even more important if you are pregnant, planning a pregnancy, breastfeeding or have young children following a vegetarian diet. Eating a wide variety of foods will make it easier to meet your nutritional requirements. Essential nutrients that are harder to obtain in a vegetarian diet, if not carefully planned include protein, some minerals , vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

What Is Seitan Made Of

To make seitan, wheat flour and water are mixed and kneaded until a sticky dough develops into strands of gluten protein. Then, the dough is rinsed to remove the starch, leaving only the mass of pure gluten protein.

That protein can then be flavored and cooked to be used as a meat substitute in a variety of plant-based dishes.


Seitan is a plant-based meat substitute made out of wheat gluten. Its made by rinsing prepared wheat dough to remove the starch, leaving a sticky mass of protein that can be flavored, cooked, and used in a number of dishes.

Seitan is easy to buy premade in most grocery stores today. Its generally found near the tofu and other plant-based meat alternatives.

However, you can also make it at home using just a few ingredients.

All you really need is vital wheat gluten, which is a dried powder usually sold in the baking section with the nontraditional flours, and a liquid, such as water or vegetable broth.

However, many recipes also call for small amounts of other ingredients such as nutritional yeast, liquid aminos, or soy sauce, as well as herbs or spices like garlic and onion powder to add more flavor to homemade seitan. Some recipes also include chickpea or soy flour.

Youll simply mix all the ingredients together to form a dough and then slice the dough into pieces and simmer them in liquid to cook them. From there, your homemade seitan is ready to use in any dish.

Below is a basic recipe you can use to make seitan at home.

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Statistics Are Based On 100 Grams Of Food

1. Kale 1.9g

Kale is an example of a natural vegan protein rich food. Kale is also known as leaf cabbage that have green or purple leaves that do not form a head. This leafy green vegetable contains one of the highest amount of antioxidants of any vegetable. Kale is great in salads, stir frys, and smoothies. Its a healthy plant based protein diet food.

100 grams of kale also has 28 calories, 0.4g total fat, 0.1g saturated fat, 0.2g 1% Polyunsaturated Fat, 23mg 7% Sodium, 228mg 7% Potassium, 5.6g 2% Total Carbohydrates, 2g 8% Dietary Fiber, 1.3g Sugars, 272% Vitamin A, 68% Vitamin C, 5.5% Calcium, and 5% Iron.

2. Broccoli 2.4g

Broccoli is a high protein vegetarian food. It is the edible flowering head of a plant that is part of the cabbage family. The word broccoli comes from the Italian plural of broccolo, which means the flowering crest of a cabbage. Broccoli has large flower heads that are usually green in color and arranged in a tree-like structure that branches out. The mass of flower heads is surrounded by leaves.

100 grams also provides 35 calories, 0.4g 1% Total Fat 0.4g, 0.1g 0% Saturated Fat, 0.2g Polyunsaturated Fat, 41mg 2% Sodium, 293mg 8% Potassium, 7.2g 2% Total Carbohydrates, 3.3g 13% Dietary Fiber, 1.4g Sugars, 31% Vitamin A, 108% Vitamin C, 3.1% Calcium, and 3.7% iron.

3. Oatmeal 2.4g

Oatmeal is used to make porridge and overnight oats. They take a little longer to prepare than instant oatmeal . Its one of the most versatile vegan protein foods.

Grains Nuts And Seeds

Non Meat Protein Sources

Most people have no idea how much protein theyre actually supposed to get in a day , but non-vegans always seem to wonder how vegans get enough protein. *Eye roll*

Heres the real question: if dead animals are your main protein source, where do you get your riboflavin, niacin, lutein, zinc, phosphorous, thiamine, selenium, magnesium, folate, calcium, potassium, manganese, and vitamins A, C, and K huh?

100 Per Cent Whole Wheat Pasta 8 grams of protein per cooked cup: Great source of B vitamins and iron

Almonds 21 grams of protein per 100 grams: Great source of vitamin E, manganese, biotin, copper, magnesium, molybdenum, riboflavin, and phosphorus

Amaranth 7 grams of protein per cooked cup: Great source of iron, B vitamins, and magnesium

Buckwheat 24 grams of protein per cup: Great source of antioxidants, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, niacin, zinc, iron, folate, and vitamin B6

Chia Seeds 5 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons: Great source of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, boron, niacin, and vitamins B, D, and E, and contains 8.7 times the omega-3 fatty acids found in wild Atlantic salmon

Ezekiel Bread 8 grams of protein per two slices: Great source of fibre, folate, beta-carotene, and vitamins C and E

Hemp Seeds 15.5 grams of protein per half cup: Great source of magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc, selenium, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids

Peanut Butter 7 grams of protein per two tablespoons: Great source of magnesium, potassium, and vitamins B6 and E

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How Much Protein Do You Need At Meals

Protein intake that exceeds the recommended daily allowance is widely accepted for both endurance and power athletes. However, considering the variety of proteins that are available much less is known concerning the benefits of consuming one protein versus another.

There are vastly different opinions on how much protein we actually need. Most official nutrition organizations recommend a fairly modest protein intake.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day 6). The Recommended Dietary Allowance or Dietary Reference Intake is the amount of a nutrient you need to meet your basic nutritional requirements. In a sense, its the minimum amount you need to keep from getting sick not the specific amount you are supposed to eat every day. The Institute of Medicine also sets a wide range for acceptable protein intakeanywhere from 10 to 35 percent of calories each day. Beyond that, theres relatively little solid information on the ideal amount of protein in the diet or the healthiest target for calories contributed by protein.

This amounts to:

  • 56-91 grams per day for the average sedentary man 7).
  • 46-75 grams per day for the average sedentary woman 8).

Proteins can be described according to their large range of functions in the body. Examples of protein functions:

Protein: Essential For A Healthy Diet

The Recommended Daily Allowance for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. The RDA is the amount of a nutrient you need to meet your basic nutritional requirements.

To determine your RDA for protein, you can divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 and multiple by 0.8. For example, a 140-pound woman would require approximately 51 grams of protein per day.

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Amazing Vegan Protein Sources

Hands down, the number one question a vegan gets asked is, But where do you get your protein?! While vegan protein sources do indeed existand in many different forms and flavorsits not a totally out-of-left-field question, given that the main sources of protein most people are familiar with are animal products. The most popular types of food high in proteinbeef, chicken, fish, turkey, pork, and shellfish are all off limits on a vegan diet, of course. And so are some of the best high-protein vegetarian foods, like eggs, milk, yogurt, and whey protein powder.

Fortunately, though, there are plenty of tasty high-protein vegan foods you can enjoyyou just might need to be a little more intentional about it. Most vegans can do fine with proper meal planning, Beth Kitchin, Ph.D., R.D.N., assistant professor in the UAB department of nutrition sciences, previously told SELF. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics agrees that, generally, most people following vegan and vegetarian diets meet or exceed their protein needs, as long as they are consuming enough calories in general.

Certain People Should Avoid It

Novel foods: alternative proteins and their sources

While seitan is a nutritious and versatile food, some people may need to avoid it.

For instance, seitan is a good option for people who follow a soy-free diet, but it still contains wheat gluten. Wheat is another major allergen, and many people have gluten-related disorders that require them to avoid it.

That includes people who have celiac disease, a serious autoimmune condition triggered by ingesting gluten .

Because the primary ingredient in seitan is gluten, eating it could cause a significant reaction if you have an allergy or intolerance to gluten.

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Protein Sources For Vegetarians

Protein is essential for many bodily processes, including tissue building and repair. Protein is made up of smaller building blocks called amino acids. These amino acids are classed as non-essential and essential .A complete protein has all the nine essential amino acids necessary for dietary needs. Most plant foods, however, are not complete proteins they only have some of the nine essential amino acids. Soy products, quinoa and amaranth seeds are some of the few exceptions of a complete vegetable protein.It was once thought that vegetarians and vegans needed to combine plant foods at each meal to ensure they consumed complete proteins . Recent research has found this is not the case.Consuming various sources of amino acids throughout the day should provide the complete complement of protein. Generally, if energy intake is sufficient, vegetarian diets can meet or exceed their protein requirements, but some vegan diets may be low in protein. Some good vegetarian sources of protein include:

Its recommended that vegetarians and vegans eat legumes and nuts daily, along with wholegrain cereals and pseudo-cereals, to ensure adequate nutrient intakes.

Vegetarian And Vegan Eating For Babies And Young Children

Up to the age of six months, babies only need breastmilk or infant formula.From around six months, most babies are ready to be introduced to solids although breastmilk or infant formula are still their main source of nutrition until 12 months. Vegetarian and vegan foods can be safely introduced to babies and young children, provided all their energy and nutrient needs are met. This requires careful planning. For some babies especially those being introduced to vegan eating, supplements may be recommended to ensure some essential nutrients typically provided by animal-based foods are supplied in adequate amounts .

As children grow, they need loads of nutrients a vegetarian diet should include:

  • Protein alternatives .
  • Energy for growth and development.
  • Iron to prevent anaemia.
  • Vitamin D and calcium to prevent bone disease.
  • Suitable fats from non-meat sources.
  • Food in the correct form and combination to make sure nutrients can be digested and absorbed .

If you wish to introduce your child to vegetarian or vegan eating, seek advice from a dietitian, doctor or your maternal and child health nurse to ensure they are getting essential nutrients for optimal growth and development.From around six months, solids from all five food groups should be introduced gradually, with first foods being rich in iron, protein and energy for growth.

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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.

Beans Peas And Lentils


Pulses are not considered complete protein sources as they tend to contain fairly small amounts of two important essential amino acids methionine and cysteine. However, since pulses are otherwise rich protein sources and deliver the bulk of this macronutrient in most plant-based diets, they deserve a mention.

According to a review published in the Journal of Medicinal Food , pulses provide a hefty dose of dietary fiber, iron, zinc, folate, calcium and magnesium, as well as a wide range of phytochemicals with strong antioxidant and antimutagenic properties. Due to their low glycemic index, they may also help you to lose weight and keep your blood sugar under control.

Beans and lentils play an important role in regulating blood pressure, blood lipid profile and blood glucose metabolism, as well as reducing systemic inflammation and protecting against cardiovascular diseases. Although, some sensitive individuals may find pulses hard to digest.

Cooked pulses work great with most salads, soups and plant-based main meals, particularly stews and curries.


  • A cup of boiled pulses provides anywhere from 15g up to 39g of protein

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What Is Protein Quality

The macronutrient labels like fat, protein, and carbohydrate, are categorical terms that embody a range of molecules.

For example, fats include fatty acids with different chain lengths and degrees of saturation , and carbohydrates include subcategories like sugars, starches, and fibers.

Similarly, the term protein includes amino acids, nine of which are deemed essential meaning they can only be obtained from your diet.

Protein, like carbohydrates and fats, are important for a healthy, well-balanced diet..

The bioavailability of a nutrient the bodys ability to access, digest, absorb, and use that nutrient can be affected by other nutrients in foods that interact with them or the nature of what those nutrients may be chemically bound to in that particular food item.

Therefore, according to a report from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN , protein quality is a term designed to incorporate both the breadth of available essential amino acids within a food item, as well as the bodys ability to digest and absorb those amino acids.

This takes into account limiting amino acids. All amino acids need to be present to work together during various metabolic functions. If one amino acid isnt there, it can slow down the entire process of protein production.

Therefore, a limiting amino acid is the amino acid in the lowest concentration .

With that in mind, here are the top non meat sources of protein for each of 6 food group categories.

How Much Protein Food Does My Child Need Daily

According to the nutritional guidelines for Americans, kids between 2-13 years old need from 2-5 servings of protein per day . In general, ¼ cup cooked beans, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, or ½ ounce of nuts or seeds can be considered as 1 ounce-equivalent from the Protein Foods Group.

Protein is the building block of our muscles. The latest recommendations are 1/2 gram of protein per pound of body weight. So, if your child is 50 lbs, 25 grams of protein per day is sufficient for all his needs! A 100 pound child would need 50 grams of protein.

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What Does Seitan Taste Like

Seitan has a dense, slightly rubbery texture that many people say more closely resembles meat than tofu or tempeh.

It has a savory flavor that you can enhance by adding seasonings and sauces if you make it at home. Using nutritional yeast in your homemade dough, for instance, can give your seitan a nutty, cheesy flavor. Adding soy sauce can give it a saltier flavor.

If youre using premade seitan, you can boost its flavor by marinating it or briefly cooking it in vegetable broth before adding it to a dish.


Seitan is a dense, somewhat rubbery meat substitute with a savory flavor that works well in a wide array of dishes, such as stir-fry, sandwiches, pasta, soups, stews, and kebabs. You can alter its flavor with seasonings and marinades as desired.

Complete Protein For Vegans

The BEST and WORST Protein Sources to Build Muscle & Lose Fat

Edamame, tempeh, tofu, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and quinoa are all considered complete proteins.

A complete protein source is one that contains all nine essential amino acids. We need each of these nine amino acids for a healthy diet hence why they’re called “essential” amino acids.

Many animal products and byproducts, like steak and eggs, are complete proteins, which is one of the main differences between many vegan and non-vegan diets.

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