Do you worry that by eating less meat, fish and dairy you might not be getting enough vegetarian protein?
One of the biggest misconceptions about switching to a plant-based diet is that it might not provide enough proteins.
Why are proteins important?
Proteins are an essential part of a balanced diet.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They are essential for your body to function as they help cells grow, heal and repair.
As our bodies cannot make amino acids on their own, they need to be supplemented by our diet. Most food sources of amino acids are found in animal products such as meat, eggs, dairy and fish.
How does a vegan or vegetarian get protein?
The protein content of non-animal products is often overlooked by meat-eaters yet vegetarian proteins are present in a lot of plant-based food sources. And while animal proteins and vegetable proteins are not born equal, a balanced and varied vegetarian, vegan or flexitarian diet should bring all that you need. So try to vary the food you eat by adding nuts, seeds, grains, soy, lentils and beans. This will ensure you get all the nutrients you need.
Plant-based sources that are considered to be complete protein include quinoa, buckwheat and soy.
Current official guidelines for protein intake suggest for adults a daily intake of 0.75g of protein per kilo of body weight which translates for an average adult to:
- Adult men need about 55 grams a day.
- Adult women need about 45 grams a day. (more if you are pregnant/ breastfeeding woman)