Protein for Vegetarians

Common questions about the vegetarian diet

Protein for VegetariansVegetarians often get asked, what do you eat and do you get enough protein? Fortunately, there are many protein packed food options out there for vegetarians. Furthermore, the vegetarian diet, when planned right, can be chock full of color, beneficial to your health, and supportive to disease prevention and treatment. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics approves of the vegetarian diet in all stages of life as long as the diet is planned right.

Super protein choices

The average human being needs 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 45 grams for a 125-pound adult, per day.  What are some delicious nutrient packed protein sources?  Whole Foods, among many great on-line resources, did a fine job of listing a wide variety of options.  This is a list of a few ideas to get you started:

Beans and Legumes (Cooked) Protein Per Serving
Garbanzo beans 17 grams per 1 cup
Lentils 17 grams per 1 cup
Kidney Beans 15 grams per 1 cup
Black Beans 14 grams per 1 cup
Black-eyed peas 13 grams per 1 cup
Green peas 7 grams per 1 cup
Peanuts 5 grams per 1 ounce
Vegetables Protein Per Serving
Collard greens 5 grams per 1 cup
Spinach 5 grams per 1 cup
Mushrooms 4 grams per 1 cup
Corn 4 grams per 1 cup
Artichoke 3.5 grams per artichoke
Broccoli 3 grams per 1 cup

Seeds and Nuts Protein Per Serving
Hemp seeds 10 grams per 1 ounce
Almonds 6 grams per 1 ounce
Pistachios 6 grams per 1 ounce
Cashews 5 grams per 1 ounce
Chia seeds 5 grams per 1 ounce

Soy  

Protein Per Serving

Tempeh 21 grams per 4 ounces
Edamame 12 grams per 1 cup
Soymilk 7 grams per 1 cup
Soy Yogurt 6 grams per 8 ounces

Whole Grains (Cooked) Protein Per Serving
Spelt 11 grams per 1 cup
Amaranth 9 grams per 1 cup
Quinoa 8 grams per 1 cup
Rolled oats 6 grams per 1 cup
Shredded wheat cereal 6 grams per 1 cup
Brown rice 5 grams per 1 cup
Whole wheat bread/tortilla 5 grams per piece

Dairy and Eggs* Protein Per Serving
Nonfat Greek yogurt 17 grams per 6 ounces
Nonfat milk 8 grams per 1 cup
Eggs 6 grams per 1 egg

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19562864
  2. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/healthy-eating/special-diets/top-sources-vegetarian-protein