The Protein Problem (or Not?)
Everyone is obsessed with eating protein these days. I’ll admit it: I think about protein intake quite a bit too. But where’s this concern coming from?
After all, the “Protein Deficiency Wing” at the hospital remains empty.
Jokes aside, it’s quite rare to hear about someone in the U.S. who’s protein deficient. In fact, “protein deficiency is almost unheard of in the United States.”
It’s not very surprising to learn that many Americans eat double the amount of protein they need each day. Meanwhile, 97% of Americans don’t get enough fiber, which is likely at least partially attributable to our protein obsession.
Getting enough protein isn’t really all that difficult, so it’s not really a concern for those eating a plant-based diet either (more on that below).
Bottom line: you probably don’t need to be as concerned with eating enough protein as long as you’re eating a balanced diet. And that includes a well-balanced, whole foods plant-based diet too.
Oh and by the way, if you’re concerned about “complete proteins,” that actually turned out to be a myth. It turns out that eating a normal variety of foods is enough to get all essential amino acids.
How Many Grams of Protein Do We Actually Need?
Not a whole lot, it turns out. Healthline estimates “56–91 grams per day for the average male” and “46–75 grams per day for the average female.” Pretty easily attainable with a balanced diet.
Protein Intake — How Much Protein Should You Eat per Day? from Healthline
Tempeh: What the Heck is It?
Tempeh is a tasty plant-based protein that also contains fiber. It’s pretty versatile and works great in stir fry or sandwiches (tempeh reubens are my fave). But a lot of people don’t eat it or even know what it is. Hopefully, this Tempeh 101 will sort it out. And don’t worry about making it yourself — I’ve never done it as tempeh is just a few bucks at the store.
Tempeh 101: What It Is, How to Make It, and Ways to Use It from Forks Over Knives
4 Days of Easy, High-Protein Plant-Based Meals
Okay, so getting one high-protein meal is easy. But how do you do it meal after meal, day after day? It’s likely not as hard (and hopefully more delicious) than you think. Check out this meal plan you can easily copy for 4 days packed with plant-based protein.
How to Get Your Protein from Plant-Based Foods: 4 Days of Meals from The Beet
Movie recommendation: The Gamechangers
If you still have lingering concerns about eating enough protein on a plant-based diet, check out The Gamechangers. It’s a 110-minute documentary available on Netflix that includes interviews with plant-based athletes and bodybuilders.
This Week’s Recipes
I compiled this list of 107 recipes, each with 20+ grams (or about one-third of daily protein needed) per serving. And some recipes have much more, like a vegan steak with 58 grams of protein.
107 High-Protein Vegan Recipes (With 20+ Grams of Protein Per Serving) from PlantProteins.co
Don’t want to read through the whole list? Here are some of my favorite high-protein recipes:
Easy Vegan Taco with Beyond Meat from Trifecta (20g protein per serving)
Sweet and Sour Chickpeas Peppers Broccoli from Vegan Richa (21g protein)
Mongolian Seitan (Vegan Mongolian Beef) from Yup, It’s Vegan (29g protein)
To your health,