Protein in the Vegan Diet
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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.
Protein in the Vegan Diet
Table 2: Protein Content of Selected Vegan Foods
Table 2 shows the amount of protein in various vegan foods and also the number of grams of protein per 100 calories. To meet protein recommendations, the typical adult male vegan needs only 2.2 to 2.7 grams of protein per 100 calories and the typical adult female vegan needs only 2.3 to 2.9 grams of protein per 100 calories. These recommendations can be easily met from vegan sources.
FOOD AMOUNT PROTEIN PROTEIN (gm) (gm/100 cal)
Tempeh 1 cup 31 9.5 Seitan 4 ounces 15-31 21.4-22.1 Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 29 9.6 Veggie dog 1 link 8-26 13.3-20 Veggie burger 1 patty 5-24 3.8-21.8 Lentils, cooked 1 cup 18 7.8 Tofu, firm 4 ounces 8-15 10-12.2 Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.8 Lima beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.8 Black beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.3 Chickpeas, cooked 1 cup 15 5.4 Pinto beans, cooked 1 cup 14 6.0 Black-eyed peas, cooked 1 cup 13 6.7 Vegetarian baked beans 1 cup 12 5.2 Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 11 3.5 Soymilk, commercial, plain 1 cup 3-10 3-12 Tofu, regular 4 ounces 2-10 2.3-10.7 Bagel 1 medium(3 oz) 9 3.7 Peas, cooked 1 cup 9 3.4 Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), cooked 1/2 cup 8 8.4 Peanut butter 2 Tbsp. 8 4.1 Spaghetti, cooked 1 cup 7 3.4 Spinach, cooked 1 cup 6 11.0 Soy yogurt, plain 6 ounces 6 6 Bulgur, cooked 1 cup 6 3.7 Sunflower seeds 1/4 cup 6 3.3 Almonds 1/4 cup 6 2.8 Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 5 10.5 Whole wheat bread 2 slices 5 3.9 Cashews 1/4 cup 5 2.7 Almond butter 2 Tbsp 5 2.4 Brown rice, cooked 1 cup 5 2.1 Potato 1 medium(6 oz) 4 2.6
Sources: USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 12, 1998 and manufacturers' information.
The recommendation for protein for adult male vegans is around 63-79 grams per day; for adult female vegans it is around 50-63 grams per day (see text).
It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein. Nearly all vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds contain some, and often much, protein. Fruits, sugars, fats, and alcohol do not provide much protein, so a diet based only on these foods would have a good chance of being too low in protein. However, not many vegans we know live on only bananas, hard candy, margarine, and beer. Vegans eating varied diets containing vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds rarely have any difficulty getting enough protein as long as their diet contains enough energy (calories) to maintain weight.
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Table 3: Protein Content of Selected
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