Protein and Vegetarian Diets
Those who follow a vegetarian diet do not eat any beef, pork, poultry, or fish. Some do not include eggs and/or dairy products either. These are all high-protein foods that are plentiful in the traditional American diet. In the past, many people thought those who followed a vegetarian diet were not getting enough protein.
However, research has shown that Americans are already getting more protein than we need. Protein is not a problem with a vegan or vegetarian diet when you eat a variety of the many plant foods that provide protein:
- Dried beans or canned beans that have been rinsed (black, pinto, garbanzo, navy, kidney, etc.)
- Other bean products (bean spreads, hummus, fat-free refried beans, baked beans or falafel)
- Peas (black-eyed or split)
- Nuts and nut spreads (almonds, almond butter, peanuts, peanut butter, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, etc.)
- Soy and Soy Products (soy milk, edamame, soy nuts, tofu, tempeh)
- Meat Substitutes (veggie burgers, black bean burgers, meatless “chicken nuggets”, “beef” crumbles, etc. These can be found in most grocery stores.)
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