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Published By: K.D Cameron
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Do you get enough proteins, if you are a vegetarian?


Which foods are rich in proteins but are not meat.

As a person recently devoted to vegetarianism, I understood that I have to do some research.

I decided to give up meat on 25 February 2015 and up to now that has been the easiest decision I have ever made.

Maybe every dietary regimen raises questions and skepticism.

"What you do with your food is so weird", some say.

"But how will you get proteins?” – ask others.

The questions can be answered very quickly.

I was very intrigued when my Coworker Chelsea wrote "A Guide to Complete Proteins".

In order for you to see how it can be applied to my new diet, I decided that it was high time I looked from a different perspective at anxieties connected with food.

My initial desire for this blog post was to show vegetarians easy ways of getting proteins, by showing them different combinations of how they can get adequate proteins from “inadequate proteins”.

But what I found was a long-lived myth which caused very strong reactions within the vegetarian communities.

What exactly is an adequate protein?

A protein is a complex compound consisting of amino acids, the main building blocks of proteins. Our bodies cannot produce indispensable amino acids by themselves, therefore we have to absorb them with the food we eat every day.

1. histidine

2. isoleucine

3. leucine

4. lysine

5. methionine

6. phenylalanine

7. threonine

8. tryptophan

9. valine

These are the names of amino acids. Now that we know them, the following questions arise:

Are these indispensable amino acids present in proteins that don’t come from meat but from plant foods? Can I get them , if I’m vegetarian? Yes!

If we look back to the past, people who ate meat were considered prosperous and rich. Poorer people consumed mostly plant foods.

According to the nutritionist Jeff Novick, MS, RD, the claim that the animal protein surpasses the plant protein became popular after the publishing of Frances Moore Lappè’s book “Diet for a Small Planet”.

The author points out that plant foods don’t contain some of the indispensable amino acids. He also says that in order for a vegetarian diet to be healthful, combinations of plant foods should be consumed, which guarantee, that the body will get all indispensable amino acids in the right proportion.

This claim became popular also because of the fact that Lappe was not the only person standing by these words.

Since this claim is not true, why does this myth continue to exist?

A lot of people still claim that the real protein is the animal one and it is all but more healthful. Such claims are supported by successful business companies dealing in production and trade of dairy and meat products.

Plant proteins are declared insufficient, because some people put profit over the truth. This reinforces the myth of the more healthful animal proteins.

Let’s say more about the food: Why are plant proteins adequate?

As we already said, the theory of the inadequate proteins stands on the claim that plant proteins don’t contain all amino acids.

According to data of the Department of Agriculture of the USA, each source of proteins contains more than the minimum daily dose of indispensable amino acids necessary.

According to the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegetarian sources of adequate proteins are the following foods: amaranth, quinoa, eggs, milk and tofu.

Other sources are also the hemp seeds, chia, buckwheat, spirulina and blue-green algae.

"There is no reason for you to worry too much about whether you get enough proteins, as long as your diet is balanced. Why? Because it’s necessary that you get enough amount of indispensable amino acids every day – this does not mean that you should get them with every meal. So a balanced plant-based diet will definitely supply you with the necessary daily intake of amino acids without much effort" – thus Coworker Chelsea starts her post.

The myth that vegetarians should look for proteins at every step still exists. Remember that a balanced diet should include varied groups of food supplementing each other.

Let’s add more plant proteins to our meals.

If it’s important for you to get proteins only from vegetarian food, there are some combinations that can guarantee this to you.

According to Nutrition411 the best combinations supplying additional proteins to the fans of veggie cuisine are the following:

Dairy products and grains (great content)

Grains and legumes (great content)

Legumes and seeds (great content)

Dairy products and seeds (good content)

Dairy products and legumes (good content)

Grains and seeds (good content)



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