Getting Enough Protein on a Vegetarian Diet

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Are you concerned you’re not getting enough? You can easily meet your needs without meat! Many plant foods provide protein, plus they’re loaded with other vitamins, minerals, and fiber. If you’re lacto-vegetarian, milk and dairy are also good sources of protein.

Healthy adults need approximately 0.8-1 gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day. So a person who weighs 65 kg (143 lbs) should eat at least 52 grams of protein daily. Here’s what that might look like in meal form:

1 cup cow or soy milk: 8g
1 cup cooked oats (1/2 cup dry): 6g
2 Tbsp chia seeds: 2g
1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 cup cooked brown Basmati rice: 4g
1 cup masoor dal (lentils): 18g
1/2 cup bhindi sabji (okra)

Afternoon Snack
1 oz (~23) almonds: 6g
2 clementines

1 cup saag (cooked spinach): 5g
1 oz (~5 cubes) paneer or tofu: 6g
2 whole wheat roti (~6 in): 8g

For more information on vegetarian nutrition, check out these handouts from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) and the AND’s Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group (VNDPG):

Content by: Rachelle Mallik, The Food Therapist


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