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How to get protein as a vegan? Is it even possible in a pocket-friendly diet?

Being vegan doesn’t mean compromising on a high protein intake


 

People opt for a vegan diet either from a compassionate or health perspective and regarding this there have been several misconceptions that a truly plant-based diet cannot give us the proteins we get from a non-vegetarian diet. There have been several articles over how to get protein on a vegan diet, and to fulfil this need for proteins in a vegan diet, people have turned to soybean, which contains a fairly high amount of plant based protein.

Veganism began in 1944 when Donald Watson, an English woodworker coined the term “Vegan” and founded the Vegan Society of England for people who abstained from meat as well as dairy products. The concept of veganism however had begun to take shape as early as 1806. In the 21st century, veganism has been associated with people who are aware of the ongoing cruelty on animals in the commercial animal husbandry sector.

Nevertheless, the popular notion has been that a vegan diet means compromising on a high intake of protein on a regular basis. This is the reason many people who wish to switch to a vegan diet have been asking questions like how to get protein on a plant-based diet. So, let us take a look at the best sources of vegan protein that can stand as formidable substitutes of meat and animal products.

 

Read more: Prioritise Health Over Money: How to choose the right Mustard Oil? 

 

soybean

 

Are Soy products the only source of high plant-based protein?

For more vegans, soy products like tofu, tempeh, and edamame beans are the only options for a vegan high-protein diet. Each of these contains around 10, 15, and 8 grams of protein per ½ cup of serving. Now for high protein vegan foods, these figures may seem quite satisfactory for most vegans but in fact, there are other more obvious sources of vegan protein that are left largely unexplored. Almonds and peanuts offer 16 and 20 grams of solid plant-based protein per ½ cup of serving. Buckwheat and oats also offer a rich source of plant based protein, amounting to about 5 and 10 grams of protein per 100 grams of serving, respectively.

Mycoprotein and Seitan are some of the other rich sources of plant-based protein that most vegans do not know of. Mycoprotein is obtained from a mushroom-like fungus and contains as much as 13 grams of protein per ½ cup of serving. Similarly, Seitan is yet another source of vegan protein made from wheat gluten and some spices. When this is cooked with soy sauce, it results in a dish that offers 21 grams of vegan protein per ½ cup of serving. Such a wide variety of choice high protein vegan foods have in more ways than one, answered the question as to how to get protein on a vegan diet.

 

Which is better, Animal Protein or Plant-based Protein?

Animal proteins are considered a source of complete protein since the animal products like meat and eggs contain all the essential amino acids that the human body requires. Plant-based protein like soy products and quinoa also contains all the essential amino acids but to bring in some variety and include more high protein vegan foods, you can add nuts, seeds, and lentils to your daily diet so that your body gets its essential amino acids. The US Institute of Medicine posits that according to the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI), the human body needs a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, and to maintain this consistency, vegans need to consume an assortment of high protein vegan foods.

 

Minimising the Pocket Pinch for High Protein Vegan Foods

PETA, the largest animal welfare organisation globally has set aside a whole set of easy-to-follow guidelines for people looking to convert to veganism and consume plant-based protein, that too within a budget. It is a widely known fact that vegan products are cheaper to produce since they do not involve the high costs involved in animal rearing and animal husbandry. Vegan alternatives for animal protein have been taking the shelves of supermarkets more than ever before, making them easily accessible to the common folk. When it comes to the pocket-pinch for high protein vegan foodsPETA suggests lentils, beans, oatmeal, hummus, soybean, and baked potatoes as affordable sources of plant-based protein for vegans.

 

Are Affordable High Protein Vegan Foods Feasible in India?

Nutritional Yeast, lentils, split green peas, seitan, tempeh, tofu, and chickpeas are great sources of plant-based protein and moreover, they can be obtained affordably within India. These ingredients are commonly available in most supermarkets and even the local fresh vegetable markets in some areas of India. Therefore, switching to high protein vegan foods should no longer be a concern for your pocket.

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