Health

Plant Proteins and how much you need to consume as a vegan

Protein is tricky to get right, especially if you want to transform to veganism!

Vegans often find themselves asking this very basic question when they embrace the “fork over knife” life. Protein is one of the most essential parts of a meal, and it is tricky to get it right with plant proteins, as it all varies widely. Most people hop on the journey without research and get a bunch of green leafy veggies, lentils and starchy veggies. But, even in a vegan diet, there is a need for moderation.

The general math

According to most nutritionists, the highest level of protein necessary is 0.8 grams/kg of body weight. If you take into account the amino acid mix and the difference between plant and animal protein, you will find 0.9 grams of protein/kg of weight is the thumb rule for consumption of plant proteins for vegans. When you compare the amount of calorie intake through plant protein it comes down to 10-12% whereas non-vegans have a higher calories intake in the range of 14-18% from non-plant protein.

A sample menu for women

For females weighing around 57.5 kilograms, you will need 2 slices of bread (whole wheat), 2 tablespoons of peanut butter for breakfast, 6 oz soy yoghurt, 2 tablespoons of almonds, 1 baked potato of medium size for lunch and 1 cup of cooked lentils, 1 cup of bulgur (cooked) for dinner and a cup of soy milk at any time of the day to fulfil the protein requirement. The total protein intake from this sample menu comes up to 59 grams, whereas for the same body weight in question 52 grams is sufficient.

A sample menu for men

For males weighing around 70 kilograms, the requirement is 63 grams. You will need 1 cup of oatmeal, 1 bagel and 1 cup of soy milk or almond milk for breakfast. For lunch, you can have 2 slices of bread, 1 cup of baked beans (vegetarian version) and for dinner, you can have 5 oz of tofu, 2 tablespoons of almonds, 1 cup of brown rice and 1 cup of broccoli, while you can have 2 tablespoons of peanut butter with 6 crackers for a snack. This brings the protein content up to 77 grams.

The best way to deal with it

For the first few days, you will need to have a chart and shop accordingly. Sort out your meals for the first month or two and you will have your learning curve. This way you can mix and match and make great recipes instead of a sample menu and consume mindfully.

Debapriya Chakraborty

Author is an aspiring creative writer, food-buff and bookworm. Loves to travel, bunks in lesser known bnbs and loves her chai more than anything else. She adds her two cents to every idea and has been a scriber for more than a decade now!
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