Meat-free ≠ low protein
Yep, you read that right!
If you have made the transition from eating meat to following a meat-free diet, you may have found it tough to get enough protein in. This makes total sense because you removed a group of foods that helped to bump up your daily protein intake. However, with a bit of work and intention, you can still get the protein you need into your diet while keeping animal protein out of your diet.
Why is it still important that you are eating enough protein?
Well, protein has many important roles in your body. It is most well known for its role in muscle growth and recovery. However, it also contributes to immune function and maintaining fluid balance, hormones, and neurotransmitter production. So even if you aren’t working out regularly or you don’t have specific goals in the gym, your body still needs protein.
How much protein do you need?
The acceptable macronutrient distribution range (AMDR) for protein is for it to be 10-35% of your total daily calorie intake, and the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 0.8g/kg. However, this amount is pretty low and it should be looked at as more of a minimum. So if you are looking to have a protein goal, then 1.2-2.0g/kg of body weight can be an excellent place to start.
Meat-Free Protein Sources
(grams of protein per 100g raw)
Other meat-free protein sources can include broccoli, mushrooms, green peas, or peanut butter. Depending on what you are comfortable with within the realm of animal products, other protein sources to consider could be greek yogurt, eggs, cheese, and milk. It’s all about what YOU are comfortable with and what makes you feel good — body & mind.
Curious to learn how you can learn how to tailor your nutrition for YOU? Apply for 1-1 nutrition coaching.