It’s the age old question that every vegan and for that matter, vegetarian gets asked day to day. As my husband rightly said, people ask this question but could they actually tell you how much protein is in the food their eating? Also, do they even know how much they need. I’m here to tell you more about this!
Meat protein sources.
Let’s just get to it with the meat. I’ve simply looked into the average amount of protein per 100g and found the following information. I’ve not got into it in any detail on this post, but it’s also important to think about the amount of fat and saturated fat that tends to be in meat sources.
If you are a meat eater, it’s definitely worth weighing up whether the amount of protein is worth the amount of fat. I’m also going to talk about protein per meal and how much protein you need, later in the post.
Chicken breast: 30.6g
Sirloin steak: 27.6g
Beef mince: 31g
Pork chop: 27.1g
Turkey breast: 31.5g
Pork sausage: 14g
Vegan substitute protein sources.
For many people first transitioning to veganism, the first port of call to get their nutrients and protein will be by substituting the meat source within their meals. This section is just to show you the protein content that’s within these substitutes, although you’ll soon find out there’s LOTS of different ways to get protein into your daily diet.
For many of these sources, although the protein count might be down per 100g of the product itself, it’s important to note that the fat and saturated fat is much less. This tends to make the option much healthier than it’s meaty alternative.
Chicken style strips: 18.8g
Plant based mince: 20g
Vegan steak: 13.8g
Vegan sausages: 16.5g
Now of the above, I personally mainly eat tofu. This is because I’m not a massive fan of ‘meaty’ style things. Although I occasionally dabble in chicken style foods or vegan sausages, the staple in my fridge from week to week for meals is tofu.
Other protein sources.
What a lot of people don’t realise is that you can actually get a hell of a lot of protein from foods that you wouldn’t necessarily swap for a ‘meat’ alternative. These are things from oats, seeds, nuts and things such as beans. By simply making for example spaghetti bolognese with lentils and beans rather than a plant based mince, you can get plenty of protein in your meal.
Let’s look at some of the sources you haven’t even thought about per 100g.
Mixed nuts: 15.5g
Kidney beans: 7g
Haricot beans: 8g
Green peas: 9.8g
Wild rice: 12g
Peanut butter: 29.6g
Chia seeds: 18g
Hemp seeds: 31g
Spelt flour: 13.3g
Nutritional yeast: 51g
There’s also so many vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and asparagus to name a few that contain protein, but I just wanted to focus on the bulk of your meals/things you can quickly add to get your protein intake up.
So, how much protein do I need?
The amount of protein needed for a person is completely dependent on their body weight, how much exercise they’re doing and what their body goals are. A useful website to find out your macros exactly can be found here: If it fits your macros.
For an average person, 0.8g of protein is needed per kg of body weight. When we then start to look into the amount of exercise a person is doing, this is when we need to add more.
It’s also important to note that research has taken place and per meal, the body will only be able to process between 25 and 35g protein. This means any additional protein taken on in one sitting will simply be turned into fat. This is why many body builders will eat more than your average 3 meals throughout the day, to keep their protein count high.
My average day of eating, to get my protein in.
I thought it would much easier for me to show you an example of how I get my protein in per day. I am 50kg in weight, so on average I need 40g a day. Due to the amount of exercise I do, as well as my body goals, it’s recommended I need to have 68 – 120g of protein every day within my diet.
So let me show you how easy this is..
40g oats (4.2g protein)
2 tablespoons of chia seeds (5.1g)
1 tablespoon of hemp seeds (7.2g)
Handful of frozen berries (<0.5g)
150 – 200ml of almond milk (1g)
Protein for this meal: 18g
Pink lady apple (0.6g)
1 tablespoon peanut butter (4.2g)
Protein for this meal: 4.8g
100g wild rice (12g)
150g tofu (18.9g)
With chilli sauce and mixed vegetables
Protein for this meal: 30.9g
Mid -afternoon snack
50g of mixed nuts (8g)
Protein for this meal: 8g
Chilli bean mix in wraps
200g kidney beans (14g)
100g lentils (24g)
Spicy tomato sauce, with onion, peppers etc
6g dash of nutritional yeast (3g)
2 wraps (7.3g)
Protein for this meal: 48.3g (will only consume around 35g due to body digestion)
Intake overall: 110g
Protein actual consumption: 96.7g
Now how easy is that? And that’s not even using processed food sources such as vegan mince, sausages or chicken-style strips.
It’s so easy to be a vegan and the supermarkets are helping us massively to live both our healthy and if wanted (cause let’s be honest it happens) our junk food lives.
If you’ve got any questions, I’m always here to help so be sure to leave a comment below. Be sure to check out my socials for more information, facts and inspiration about veganism too!
Love, always – B
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