Veganism and vegetarianism are becoming more and more popular in our society, as science advances and we learn about the negative effects animal proteins can have on our bodies. There have been great documentaries, such as Forks Over Knives and Food, Inc., that we highly recommend you check out if you want to learn more about this topic!
But say you're already in the know that eating animal fats and proteins has been scientifically linked to raising the risk of developing cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, and heart disease, and you want to make a change. Little steps in the right direction are a great place to start! We recommend "meatless weekdays," a lifestyle where you don't eat any animal proteins during the week, but on the weekend you're free to indulge in animal proteins. Even small changes like these can dramatically improve your health without taking the plunge into a strictly vegan or vegetarian diet that can be challenging to stick to.
No matter what lifestyle you think is best for your individual health needs, we urge you to keep a high-protein diet that promotes muscle growth and keeps you healthy. The myth that many meat-eaters have about vegetarians or vegans not being able to get enough protein without eating animal products is simply that—a myth. There are plenty of ways you can get protein without eating animal products, and the following list is a good place to start:
- Veggies. One cup of cooked spinach contains about 7 grams of protein. The same serving of French beans contains about 13 grams. Two cups of cooked kale? 5 grams. One cup of boiled peas? 9 grams. You get the idea.
- Hemp. Toss 30 grams of hemp powder in your smoothie and get about 11 grams of protein—just like that.
- Non-dairy milk. A mere cup of almond milk can pack about 7 to 9 grams of protein. Rice milk, coconut milk, and hemp milk are other good options.
- Tropical Strawberry Shakeology®. One scoop offers 15 grams of protein (30 percent of your daily value).
- Nut butter. A couple of tablespoons of any nut butter (think almond, sunflower seed, flaxseed, or peanut) will get you 8 grams of protein.
- Quinoa. It's the star of the vegan diet—you get 9 grams of protein per cup!
- Lentils. You can make rice dishes, veggie burgers, casseroles, and more. One cup cooked delivers a whopping 18 grams of protein!
- Beans. With one cup of pinto, kidney, or black beans, you'll get about 13 to 15 grams of protein, a full belly, and heart-healthy fiber.
- Tempeh. One cup of tempeh packs about 30 grams of protein! That's more than 5 eggs or a regular hamburger patty.
- Sprouted grain bread. Offers about 10 grams of protein, and tastes great as toast or in a veggie sprout sandwich!
We hope this serves as a great jumping point to launch your healthier, vegan-esque lifestyle, or at the very least, helps you make some educated, meat-free diet choices more often! Stay healthy, friends.
Posted in Heather MacDonald, Expert Tips and Advice. "10 Vegan Sources of Protein" Shakeology Blog