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Vegetarian Protein

on September 20, 2012
Sautéed tempeh with green beans

Sautéed tempeh with green beans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the most common arguments I come across is that vegetarians can’t get enough protein through their diet. My response to this is that I feel it’s a common misconception. From my research I’ve learned that including meat in two or three meals a day will far exceed your recommended daily limit, and it’s especially a problem because the portions we are used to eating overwhelm our kidneys ability to process it all, which is extremely harmful to the organs. (Not to mention meat is linked to cancer.)

Vegetarians can obtain their proven from many different sources. I do not recommend veggie meat; such as veggie patties, veggie hotdogs, or veggie anything as a protein source because those types of foods are overly processed and should be consumed as a last resort. Your healthier options are as follows:

Egg White Protein (Powder): The most superior and pure form of protein there is. It is easily absorbed, fat-free, salt-free, and it won’t make your nauseous. It can be added to almost anything: oatmeal, smoothies, orange juice, almond milk, and pancakes.

Tempeh: A centuries old form of healthy protein made from fermented beans. I’ve only recently began seeing this in Whole Foods although it’s a very ancient type of meat alternative. Tempeh is tasteless but it is hard and crunchy and difficult to integrate into Western cuisine. It can be marinated and substituted as a breakfast ‘bacon’ since it is crunchy, but it is unusual and difficult to get used to, so I urge you to consider the benefits that this mostly harmless tasting bean has: You can ferment anything and it will be great for your stomach and digestion- but this has the added benefit of healthy and filling protein. The easiest route is to smother it with tomato sauce and toss with zucchini and carrots and add to pasta.

Nuts/Almond Butter/Peanutbutter: Nuts contain a high amount of fat and the serving size is drastically tiny. Nevertheless, they are a wonderful source of protein because they are natural and pure. Remember to get unsalted nuts or nut butter and it is best to avoid peanuts and peanut butter because they are the least nutritious. I always eat walnuts because they are best for your heart and brain.


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