Where to find protein when following a flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan diet? Follow the guide, with Myfarmdubai
Plant protein sources :
More and more people follow a flexitarian diet (periods alternating with a vegetarian and omnivorous diet), vegetarian or vegan. The question of protein requirements is often asked.
An adult needs a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. These needs may be greater in athletes and very active people.
All the necessary proteins exist in the plant kingdom. Proteins are found in good quantity in legumes (lentils, chickpeas, red beans, soybeans, etc.), but also in cereals (wheat, rice, rye, etc.) and oilseeds (almonds, hazelnuts, nuts, etc.).
Did you know ?
- 100 g of wholemeal bread provides more than 9 g of protein, 100 g of cooked lentils a minimum of 8 g of protein,
- 100 g of tofu provides 11.5 against 25 g for 100 g of almonds.
- The three amino acids known to be very important for performance, leucine, isoleucine and valine are as present in legumes, cereals and nuts as in animal proteins.
Should legumes and cereals be combined?
However, proteins from plants are often said to be of lower quality because they are less rich in certain essential amino acids. In adults, eight amino acids are said to be "essential" because our bodies cannot manufacture them; it must be brought to him daily by food.
The question may arise in the case of a vegan diet for two essential amino acids: methionine and lysine.
The lysine contents of wheat, or rice, are relatively low, while their methionine content is rather high.
Conversely, pulses are good sources of lysine and less good sources of methionine. This has led to the idea that vegetarians should combine cereal products and pulses in the same meal.
According to the British Vegetarian Society, "this concept has been debated, and the most recent conclusion is that this type of association is not strictly necessary, even if it can have advantages". There is a consensus that a diet varying the sources of plants provides all the necessary amino acids.
(Note that it can be difficult for a vegan to cover its lysine needs if it does not consume soy products, lentils, seitan, quinoa, amaranth, pistachio or pumpkin seeds).
Here are some ideas for high protein plant foods.
Top 5 meat alternatives :
To give you an idea, the protein requirements are in the range of 0.6 g to 0.8 per kg of body weight per day. This amounts for example to 44 g per day for a 55 kg woman and 60 g for a 75 kg man.
Soy (36 g protein per 100 g)
Soy has always been a major part of the vegetarian diet. Very rich in vegetable proteins, it is also rich in vitamins and fibers.
Attention, do not confuse the beans or soya beans, rich in proteins, with the "shoots" or "jets" of soybeans which are germinated mung beans very poor in proteins.
Soy milk, tofu, sauce, flour, oil and beans ... soy derivatives are numerous and allow you to vary the dishes.
Seitan (75 g protein per 100 g)
It is a food made for 75% from wheat protein. Very protein, rich in calcium, low glycemic index, seitan has everything to please ... unless you are sensitive or intolerant to gluten.
Lentils (25 g protein per 100 g)
After seitan, pulses remain the best sources of vegetable protein. Lentils (and other legumes) also contain little fat, lots of minerals and fiber and contribute to good satiety.
Almonds (25 g protein per 100 g)
In the oilseeds we find almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, etc. All contain a significant amount of protein. As an aperitif favor unsalted almonds and to decorate a salad think of flaked almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
Quinoa (14 g protein per 100 g)
The king of gluten-free food contains a number of essential amino acids. It is also rich in fiber, potassium and has a low glycemic index. Quinoa would also lower cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.
Vegetable steaks: watch out for the scam
Vegetable steak is in fashion. But what if he was just a pale copy of his bleeding counterpart?
The 60 million consumers magazine measured protein contents on ten references sold in supermarkets.
Result: half of the panel contains less than 15% protein ... For comparison, a meat steak contains almost 30%.
More serious: the study also noted the presence of many additives in order to approach the appearance of the meat: "colors, gelling agents, thickeners, flavor enhancers".
Our recommendation is to avoid "fakes", which are only highly processed products that are both poor in nutrients and high in carbohydrates.
In a next article we can prepare some recipe ideas if you are interested.
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