Elk Grove Chiropractor Dr. Doug Ferguson DC 95758, Rhino Chiropractic

The Reality About Vegan Proteins

It is reasonable to say that America has a food obsession.

If this obsession surrounds excessive weight gain or loss, Northern Americans just know surprisingly little about health and nutrition. Even with all of the talk about our obesity epidemic, those people who opt to cut particular things from our diet are commonly looked at strangely.

Being a vegan, the most typical question I am asked is, “Where do you get your protein?”

Vegetarians are people who cut meat from their diet, and vegans cut all animal products. The great majority of people think vegetarians just eat a lot of eggs or peanut butter, while vegan protein sources remain a mystery.

The recommended quantity of protein for an adult female is around 45 grams, and for an adult male about 55 grams. While meat and eggs are great sources of protein, the notion that those are the sole natural options is wrong. Vegetarians and vegans do not necessarily need to bolster their diets with shakes and tablets either (though I know a few that do, those guys are iron pumpers). It's correct that a 6oz steak has about 40 grams of protein, and a large egg has about 6, but those aren’t your only options.

What most people do not realize is that there is at least a little bit of protein in most things you eat.

Vegetables, for instance, provide small portions of protein. On the high end, a cup of broccoli offers around four grams of protein. Asparagus, artichoke and spinach each offer three, and most other vegetables fall somewhere below that. Compared to one steak, it’s nothing. But most people do not consume the suggested quantity of vegetables. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, an individual with a typical calorific consumption of about 2000 should have around 9 portions of vegetables a day, which is about 4 1/2 cups. So say you ate 9 servings of broccoli in 24 hours (mmmm, right?) you would have eaten 36 grams of protein!

Ok, realistically let's imagine you actually did eat 9 servings of vegetables and they were not all broccoli. You're most likely a man, since most ladies don’t try to eat 2000 calories a day. We will say your average intake of protein per serving was around 2.5 grams, so you’re now already at 22 1/2 grams of protein. That is not 55, so let’s have a look at what else you can eat that day.

I cup of tempeh (a protein made of whole soybeans) has 41 grams of protein, and 1 cup of cooked soybeans has 29 grams. Only 3 ounces of seitan (a protein made from wheat) has 31 grams of protein, one cup of lentils has 18, one cup of chickpeas has 12, and 1/4 cup of almonds has eight. Even a cup of spaghetti has 8 grams of protein.

Selecting from that list can bring you nearer to your daily amount, and I haven't actually gone into beans and other legumes that are likely a part of your diet already. In my experience, if you are careful to eat the right amount of vegetables and whole grains, proteins will naturally fall into place.

Cathy Roosa is a vegan and contributes for several blogging sites.

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