As soon as you go vegan, many people start to worry and as you „but where do you get your protein from?“ The strange thing is that you often get this from people who usually do not concern themselves about nutrition and do not have a good knowledge about it. But when talking about veganism somehow everyone seems to turn into a dietician. Maybe this sounds familiar to you? 😉
Back to topic.. protein. Protein is not a thing to worry about when eating a vegan diet. Actually this sentence says it all but let me explain to you more detailed:
You only need about 0,8g protein per kg body weight and about 9-11% of your total energy should come from protein. Studies show that vegans get enough protein from their diet. The studies I’m referring to are from Waldmann, Abdulla et al., Clarys et al., Calkins et al., Draper et al., Haddad et al. and Larsson & Johansson.
People mostly worry about the essential amino acids which can’t be produced by the body itself and have to be taken in by eating. But even those are absolutely no problem. You can get all the essential amino acids from plants. Not all plants contain the same amino acids though so it’s better to eat a wide variety of foods to combine the different amino acids. It’s not necessary though to combine them with every meal. Just eat different sources of protein for breakfast, lunch and dinner if possible.
Great vegan sources of protein are for example (there are more..):
- oats (my personal favourite 😉 )
- legumes such as peas, beans and lentils
- green veggies such as spinach, brokkoli and kale
- tofu and tempeh
- plant milk
So there are plenty of options to get in your protein. The only real problem to not get enough protein could be not eating enough food which can happen to people when they start with veganism as they are often unsure about what to eat and then tend to undereat. So make sure to get in enough calories in on a vegan diet.
But anyway, have you ever heard of anyone with a protein deficiency in our industrial countries? No? Me neither.
It’s even possible to eat a vegan diet when you need a bigger amount of protein, for example when you want to gain muscles/do bodybuilding. There are lots of examples out there who prove this. Not my cup of tea but I know there are quite a lot of people wanting to be vegan and still do serious muscle gaining. So yes, it’s possible, don’t worry.. 😉