If you’ve decided to give Veganuary a go this year, make it a positive step towards a new healthier routine.
Simply cutting out meat and dairy without considering where your protein’s going to come from could reduce the variety of foods you’re eating – and that can make you feel tired and out of sorts. Your protein requirements depend on your body weight, but on average, adult men need about 55g of protein a day and women 45g.
It’s quality as well as quantity
Animal proteins typically have a wide range of essential and non-essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Plant-based proteins vary – only some will have all the essential amino acids, and this reflects their protein quality. Also, some are better digested than others, so it makes sense to think about where your plant proteins are coming from so you get the best of both worlds: quality and quantity. Soya protein contains all the essential amino acids and the protein is of a high digestibility too. The protein in peas and kidney beans are almost as good as soya, so you might want to have these foods often.
Meatless Protein Guide
Our handy guide will help you to consciously think about getting enough protein on your plate. Each food will give you 5g of protein, so if you’re a woman, aim for 9 servings and men can aim for 11 servings. Some of these tasty ideas are so rich in protein that you could get your 5g by eating just a small amount – simply double up the amount to give you 10g of protein.
How to get 5g meatless protein
(We’ve rounded the figures for ease of use)
Soya-based for quality
- 25g tempeh
- 65g steamed tofu
- 20g fried tofu
- 45g edamame beans (2-3 tbsp)
- 150ml soya drink (small glass)
- 90g soya Greek yogurt alternative (6tbsp)
Beans & pulses
- 90g peas (3-4 tbsp)
- 100g baked beans (1/4 large can)
- 65g boiled mung dhal (2 tbsp)
- 60g boiled red lentils (2 tbsp)
- 60g red kidney beans (1/4 can)
- 75g chick peas (3 tbsp)
- 70g re-fried beans (3 tbsp)
Nuts & seeds
- 25g sunflower seeds (3 tbsp)
- 30g chia seeds (3-4tbsp)
- 20g pumpkin seeds (2-3 tbsp)
- 35g walnuts (large handful)
- 25g almonds (handful)
- 22g peanut butter (3 tsp)
- 20g peanuts (small handful)
- 15g Food Doctor Mexican chilli bean mix (half a serving)
- 100g quinoa
- 140g wholegrain rice
- 70g couscous
- 130g Indian rice and lentils Goodness Pot (half a serving)
- 50g Food Doctor grains of goodness pitta (1 pitta)
- 55g wholemeal bread ( 1 slice)
3 plant protein tips
- Make sure you have a good source of protein at every meal.
- Vary your proteins – mix and match so you get good quality protein
- Don’t assume all vegan foods are nutritious. Compare labels and choose plant-based foods which are higher in protein.
3 simple ways to mix up your proteins
- Throw a handful of nuts into a bean salad.
- Add a can of sweetcorn to pasta.
- Create a protein snack box with the Food Doctor yummy super snacks