Top 5 Vegetable Foods Instead of Meat
Where to find protein when we are on a flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan diet? Follow the guide.
Sources of vegetable protein
More and more people are flexitarians (alternating vegetarian and omnivorous), vegetarian or vegan. The question of protein needs is often asked. An adult needs a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kilo of body weight. These needs may be greater for athletes and very active people. All the necessary proteins exist in the plant kingdom. Proteins are found in good quantities in legumes (lentils, chickpeas, red beans, soya …), but also in cereals (wheat, rice, rye …) and oilseeds (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts …).
Did you know?
– 100 g of wholemeal bread provides more than 9 g of protein, 100 g of cooked lentils a minimum of 8 g of protein,
– 100 g of tofu provide 11.5 against 25 g per 100 g of almonds.
– The three amino acids known to be very important for performance, leucine, isoleucine and valine are as much present in legumes, cereals and nuts as in animal proteins.
Should we combine legumes and cereals?
However, the proteins derived from the plant are often said to be of poorer quality because they are less rich in certain essential amino acids. In the adult, eight amino acids are called “essential” because our body can not manufacture them; it must be brought to him daily by food. The question may arise in the case of a vegan diet for two essential amino acids: methionine and lysine. The lysine contents of wheat, or rice, are relatively low, while their methionine content is rather high.
Conversely, pulses are good sources of methionine and less good sources of lysine. This has led to the idea that vegetarians should combine cereal products and pulses in the same meal. According to the British Vegetarian Society, ” this concept has been debated, and the most recent conclusion is that this type of association is not necessary in the strict sense, although it may have advantages“. There is consensus that a diet varying the sources of plants makes it possible to obtain all the necessary amino acids. (Note that it can be difficult for a vegan to cover its lysine needs if it does not consume soy products, lentils, seitan, quinoa, amaranth, pistachio or pumpkin seeds).
Here are some vegetable food ideas that are high in protein.
Top 5 alternatives to meat
To give you an idea, protein requirements are in the range of 0.6 g to 0.8 per kg of body weight per day. This amounts for example to 44 g per day for a woman of 55 kg and 60 g for a man of 75 kg.
Soy (36 g protein per 100 g)
Soy has been a staple in vegetarian food ever since. Very rich in vegetable proteins, it is also rich in vitamins and fibers.
Be careful, do not confuse beans or soybeans, rich in protein, with “shoots” or “jets” of soybeans that are sprouted mung beans very low in protein.
Soy milk, tofu, sauce, flour, oil and beans… soy derivatives are numerous and can vary the dishes.
Seitan (75 g protein per 100 g)
This is a food made for 75% wheat protein. High protein, high in calcium, low glycemic index, seitan has it all… unless you are sensitive or intolerant to gluten.
Lentils (25 g of protein per 100 g)
After seitan, pulses are the best sources of vegetable protein. Lentils (and other legumes) also contain little fat, a lot of minerals and fiber and contribute to good satiety.
Almonds (25 g of protein per 100 g)
In the oilseeds we find almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashew nuts, etc. All contain a significant amount of protein. As an aperitif, use unsalted almonds and to garnish a salad, think of flaked almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
Quinoa (14 g of protein per 100 g)
The king food of “gluten free” contains many essential amino acids. It is also rich in fiber, potassium and has a low glycemic index. Quinoa also helps lower cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.
Vegetable Steacks: watch out for the scam
Vegetable steak is fashionable. But what if he was only a pale copy of its bleeding counterpart? The magazine 60 million consumers measured on ten references sold in supermarkets the protein contents. Result: half of the panel contains less than 15% protein… For comparison, a steak of meat contains about 30%. More serious: the study also noted the presence of many additives to approach the appearance of the meat: “dyes, gelling agents, thickeners, flavor enhancers”. Our recommendation is to avoid “fakes”, which are only highly processed products that are both low in nutrients and high in carbohydrates.