The 411 on Plant-Based Proteins
By: VIDA Registered Dietitian Leigh Delavan
In the fitness community, a common nutrient of concern is protein. How much should I be eating? Which type should I be eating? How much is too much? Let’s explore!
Protein is found in many foods and can be divided into two categories: animal-based proteins and plant-based proteins. Regardless of whether or not you consume meat, the inclusion of plant based proteins in your diet may have a positive impact on your health. Studies have shown that diets rich in plant proteins may decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer, and high cholesterol. As an added benefit, plant proteins are often cheaper and more environmentally-friendly than animal proteins.
Protein requirements range between 1.0-1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, depending on your fitness goals. For example, a 180-pound man with a goal of building muscle would need approximately 140 grams per day. The chart below highlights the protein content of various plant-based foods.
|Soybeans (edamame)||1 cup||28 g|
|Tofu, firm||½ C||10 g|
|Tempeh||1/2 C||15 g|
|Lentils, cooked||1/2 C||17 g|
|Beans, cooked||1/2 C||8 g|
|Chia seeds||2 Tbsp.||4 g|
|Sprouted Grain Bread||1 slice||4 g|
|Quinoa, cooked||1/2 C||4 g|
|Hemp Hearts||2 Tbsp.||7 g|
|Almond Butter||2 Tbsp.||8 g|
|Sunflower Seed Butter||2 Tbsp.||9 g|
|Wheat Germ||2 Tbsp.||4 g|
|Hummus||3 Tbsp.||3 g|
|Sunflower Seeds||2 Tbsp.||4 g|
|Walnuts||1 oz||5 g|
|Almonds||1 oz||6 g|
|Pistachios||1 oz||6 g|
|Broccoli||1 C||4 g|
|Spirulina||2 Tbsp.||8 g|
|Nutritional Yeast||3 Tbsp.||3 g|
|Vega Sport- Recovery Protein||1 scoop||24-25 g|
|Garden of Life- Raw Fit Protein||1 serving||28 g|
Consider incorporating a “Meatless Monday” into your weekly meal plan or experiment with one of the foods above. Considering going vegetarian or vegan? Schedule an appointment with one of VIDA’s Registered Dietitians to ensure you are meeting your nutrition requirements.