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 beans17 grams per 1 cup
Lentils17 grams per 1 cup
Kidney Beans15 grams per 1 cup
Black Beans14 grams per 1 cup
Black-eyed peas13 grams per 1 cup
Green peas7 grams per 1 cup
Peanuts5 grams per 1 ounce
VegetablesProtein Per Serving
Collard greens5 grams per 1 cup
Spinach5 grams per 1 cup
Mushrooms4 grams per 1 cup
Corn4 grams per 1 cup
Artichoke3.5 grams per artichoke
Broccoli3 grams per 1 cup

Seeds and NutsProtein Per Serving
Hemp seeds10 grams per 1 ounce
Almonds6 grams per 1 ounce
Pistachios6 grams per 1 ounce
Cashews5 grams per 1 ounce
Chia seeds5 grams per 1 ounce


Protein Per Serving

Tempeh21 grams per 4 ounces
Edamame12 grams per 1 cup
Soymilk7 grams per 1 cup
Soy Yogurt6 grams per 8 ounces

Whole Grains (Cooked)Protein Per Serving
Spelt11 grams per 1 cup
Amaranth9 grams per 1 cup
Quinoa8 grams per 1 cup
Rolled oats6 grams per 1 cup
Shredded wheat cereal6 grams per 1 cup
Brown rice5 grams per 1 cup
Whole wheat bread/tortilla5 grams per piece

Dairy and Eggs*Protein Per Serving
Nonfat Greek yogurt17 grams per 6 ounces
Nonfat milk8 grams per 1 cup
Eggs6 grams per 1 egg