How To Get Protein Without Consuming Animal Products

How To Get Protein Without Consuming Animal Products

While protein is important to the health of the human body, and should be eaten regularly by everyone, some people are concerned about eating too much animal-based product. Contrary to popular belief, a healthy diet can be maintained without the consumption of animals or animal by-products. The right amount of recommended daily protein intake can be reached even without eating meats, cheeses, and eggs.

While there is a lot to what protein does in the human body, its uses not only keep the cells, organs, muscles, and bones healthy, but it is also extremely useful to the metabolism. Protein helps the body grow, assists in repairs, and fights off disease. Amino acids make up proteins. There are many sizes and types of proteins. How much protein a person needs depends on many factors—including age and daily activity. Someone that takes fitness seriously needs more protein than someone that rarely exercises. The CDC shows that adults need 3x or more the amount of proteins that young children do. 10-35% of a person’s daily calories should come from protein. Protein is one of the 3 major nutrients in food. It provides 4 calories per gram. There are complete proteins and incomplete proteins. Complete means that it contains all 9 essential amino acids.

The mistake that many make is thinking that meat and animal by-products are the only source for protein, and this can often mean that people get much more protein than they need on a daily basis.

General Foods That Contain Protein

  • Meats, poultry, and fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk Products
  • Legumes, which includes beans and peas
  • Tofu
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Grains
  • Certain vegetables
  • Certain fruits

Great Protein Sources NOT From Animals

For people that want to make sure they aren’t overdoing it on protein, or those that want to cut out some, or all, of the animal products they have been eating, here is a great list of some other food items that contain protein.

  • Quinoa- Quinoa is a whole grain that is becoming popular in gluten free diets. Unlike most grains, quinoa has 13% complete protein.
  • Avocado- This fruit contains more than just protein. It’s also a great source of omega-6 and carbohydrates.
  • Peas- Peas are not a complete protein, but they do contain about 5% of protein. They are also a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and fiber.
  • Chick Peas- This is a great choice for those avoiding meat. Although not a complete protein, they do contain 23% protein. For people who think chick peas are too dull, hummus is a great way to get this food into the diet in a more tasty way.
  • Peanut Butter- PB is actually one of the best non-animal sources for protein, with 28% protein.
  • Other nuts- Almonds contain 6 grams of protein in just one once! Other great nuts full of protein include walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, and Brazil nuts.
  • Coconut Milk- Coconut milk is high in saturated fat, and should only be used minimally. However, it is a great replacement for regular milk in some meals, and it is also rich in fiber.
  • Brown Rice- Another incomplete protein, brown rice contains 2.5%. It’s great to combine with other protein rich foods, and it is also high in fiber.
  • Oats- Oats are a great diet food because they are low on the glycemic index, but they also only contain a small amount of protein.
  • Spirulina- Spirulina is dried seaweed, and it contains 8 grams of protein. Works great sprinkled in smoothies.
  • Soybeans- 15 grams of protein aren’t the only benefits of soybeans. They also contain fiber and potassium.
  • Seeds- Pumpkin seeds are most popular in regards to their magnesium content, but they’re also rich in protein. Other great seeds include flax and sunflower.
  • Tofu- This meat alternative contains 6 grams of complete protein, and it can take the place of meat in pretty much every recipe imaginable.

It’s obvious that meat isn’t the only source for protein, and it’s also easy to see how someone can overdo their protein intake. These aren’t all of the alternative sources for protein either, but it’s a good start to cutting out even a minor amount of animal-based protein from the diet.