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Plant-Based Protein

May 16, 2012 –

I have been on a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet since October 1. The #1 Question I get asked is “Where do I get protein?”. The article below was posted on the Shakeology Blog and it has been the best, most succinct list of plant-based protein I  have seen.

I was an ALL meat and potatoes guy before I started my first round of P90X back in late 2009. And while I have constantly educating myself on diet, I needed to really focus when going all plant-based.

It is interesting that the article below highlights Food, Inc and Forks Over Knives as these movies were significant influences in having me give this diet a whirl. During my first 90 days, I also did Missy Costello’s Cleanse  (she cooks all of Tony Horton’s food). I was able to educate myself on how to keep my protein levels up. From the list below, I have actually used all at one point or another (except for lentils).

So what are the differences between animal and plant-based protein? Here are the 3 key ones.

1.Plant proteins have less cholesterol and fat compared to animal proteins.
2.Plant proteins have more vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants compared to animal proteins.
3.Plant proteins are the incomplete proteins whereas animal proteins are said to be the complete proteins. (So for those solely using plant based proteins, there is a need to eat a variety of vegetables.)

For source, Click HERE

Veganism and vegetarianism are becoming more and more popular in our society, as science advances and we learn about the negative effects animal proteins can have on our bodies. There have been great documentaries, such as Forks Over Knives and Food, Inc., that we highly recommend you check out if you want to learn more about this topic!

But say you’re already in the know that eating animal fats and proteins has been scientifically linked to raising the risk of developing cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, and heart disease, and you want to make a change. Little steps in the right direction are a great place to start! We recommend “meatless weekdays,” a lifestyle where you don’t eat any animal proteins during the week, but on the weekend you’re free to indulge in animal proteins. Even small changes like these can dramatically improve your health without taking the plunge into a strictly vegan or vegetarian diet that can be challenging to stick to.

No matter what lifestyle you think is best for your individual health needs, we urge you to keep a high-protein diet that promotes muscle growth and keeps you healthy. The myth that many meat-eaters have about vegetarians or vegans not being able to get enough protein without eating animal products is simply that—a myth. There are plenty of ways you can get protein without eating animal products, and the following list is a good place to start:

  1. Veggies. One cup of cooked spinach contains about 7 grams of protein. The same serving of French beans contains about 13 grams. Two cups of cooked kale? 5 grams. One cup of boiled peas? 9 grams. You get the idea.
  2. Hemp. Toss 30 grams of hemp powder in your smoothie and get about 11 grams of protein—just like that.
  3. Non-dairy milk. A mere cup of almond milk can pack about 7 to 9 grams of protein. Rice milk, coconut milk, and hemp milk are other good options.
  4. Tropical Strawberry Shakeology®. One scoop offers 15 grams of protein (30 percent of your daily value).
  5. Nut butter. A couple of tablespoons of any nut butter (think almond, sunflower seed, flaxseed, or peanut) will get you 8 grams of protein.
  6. Quinoa. It’s the star of the vegan diet—you get 9 grams of protein per cup!
  7. Lentils. You can make rice dishes, veggie burgers, casseroles, and more. One cup cooked delivers a whopping 18 grams of protein!
  8. Beans. With one cup of pinto, kidney, or black beans, you’ll get about 13 to 15 grams of protein, a full belly, and heart-healthy fiber.
  9. Tempeh. One cup of tempeh packs about 30 grams of protein! That’s more than 5 eggs or a regular hamburger patty.
  10. Sprouted grain bread. Offers about 10 grams of protein, and tastes great as toast or in a veggie sprout sandwich!

We hope this serves as a great jumping point to launch your healthier, vegan-esque lifestyle, or at the very least, helps you make some educated, meat-free diet choices more often! Stay healthy, friends.

5 Responses to “Plant-Based Protein”

  1. al says:

    Unfortunately movies like Forks over Knives and Food Inc are not based on good science but instead media hype. If you actually read the China study you will find that there are a lot of correlations that are “omitted” from forks over knives because it does not support their point.
    If you get a chance to read anything by Gary Taubes I think you would be surprised. The new movement in the science community is that simple sugars (i.e high fructose corn syrup) is what causes obesity, cancer, diabetes etc.
    I agree that we could all eat more veggies but I do not agree that it is protein that is the root of all dietary evil because the evidence is lacking. Sorry.

    • Coach Mike Coach Mike says:

      Hey Al,
      I know this is a very controversial topic. My point in posting this article was not to get into the debate, but rather state where you can get protein on a plant-based diet. (I have read China Study by the way.) I have not read Gary Taubes but will need to look him up. I agree that simple sugars (white sugar, HFCS as you noted, etc) are a real problem and unfortunately they are in so many foods today. However, I wasn’t stating that protein is the root of all dietary evil. I simply wanted to help those who choose to not eat meat, a list of foods where they can get protein.

  2. al says:

    Good point. Personally I’m always looking for ways to get more veggies but I like meat too much and see no reason yet to stop eating it. However, like you said, I try to avoid the white sugar and HFCS.
    Sticking to whole foods, even if animal based, is my diet. Good post.

    • Coach Mike Coach Mike says:

      Al. If you like meat…go for it. :) Whole Foods is the way to go. I have no idea how long I will be Vegan for, but I am enjoying it right now. However, when I used to buy chicken, I would always get really good Organic / Local / Hormone Free Chicken from Whole Foods. So good!

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