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How to Get Enough Protein as a Vegetarian

You don't need meat to get enough protein every day. Follow these steps and you'll have protein to spare.


  • Step 1: Have some beans Learn to love beans. Beans, peas, and other legumes are excellent sources of vegetable protein. They also provide needed fiber, including heart-healthy soluble fiber.
  • TIP: Soybeans pack the most protein per ounce and offer a complete protein, comparable to meat. Soy milk and tofu are good sources of soy protein.
  • Step 2: Eat like a squirrel Add nuts and nut products to your diet. An ounce of peanuts or almonds provides nearly as much protein as an egg.
  • TIP: Adding nuts to your diet can help you lose weight. Although they are high in fat, nuts contain "good fat" from omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Step 3: Go grainy Eat plenty of whole grain foods. Oats, wheat, and rice all add protein to a meal.
  • Step 4: Get milk Drink milk if you're not vegan. Dairy products are a good source of protein. A cup of milk gives you 9.2 grams, a cup of yogurt almost 10.
  • Step 5: Eat eggs Eat three or four eggs each week. Eggs have been called the gold standard of protein because they provide the most complete protein available, and plenty of it.
  • Step 6: Mix it up Combine complementary vegetable proteins to get complete proteins. For instance, grains provide amino acids lacking in legumes, but a dish of beans and rice provides a complete protein.
  • TIP: Combine different vegetable proteins throughout the day, rather than during each meal.
  • Step 7: Don't sweat it Follow these guidelines and you'll get plenty of protein. Recent research indicates that we need only half as much protein as was previously believed.
  • FACT: A 2009 government study found that one in 200 U.S. adolescents is a vegetarian.

You Will Need

  • Beans and bean products
  • Nuts and nut products
  • Grains and grain products
  • Soy milk (optional)
  • Tofu (optional)
  • Dairy products (optional)
  • Eggs (optional)

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