The most common comment and assumption that I received when I first went vegetarian and continue to hear now being plant-based are: “You won’t be getting the amount of protein you need to be healthy without meat” and “You are going to become protein deficient.”
Hearing both things will cause me to either roll my eyes or nod in gratification out of sarcasm, because I have a low tolerance for people who speak on things that they don’t know enough about to pass judgement and make assumptions. But, anyways instead of just taking these comments and assumptions as annoyances I try to educate the ignorance these people speak to me with out of them. Just as I do with people who make these comments I want to share with you my opinions and the little knowledge I have acquired that show you can still in fact get the protein you need on a plant-based diet, if not in a healthier way.
Where to get protein beyond a meat source:
For starters, I would like to say that I find it to be a common misconception that we need massive amounts of protein to be healthy. We in fact actually only need about 18 to 60 grams of protein a day. The amount of protein you need usually depends on your weight and activity level.
On a plant-based or vegetarian diet, the best sources for protein are:
- Peanut butter
- Soy Milk
From the books that I have read and referenced such as Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin and Vegan Cookbook for Beginners I have learned that when it comes to protein you want to make sure that you maintain a varied diet. So incorporating varieties of protein in you diet is key. Protein options for a plant-based or vegetarian diet are not limited to the list above, as there are a plethora of other protein options such as beans, chia seeds, and quinoa to name a few others.
With the information and knowledge that I have acquired since changing my eating habits, I whole heartedly recommend switching to plant-based protein and ditching meat. From my personal experience, I can honestly say that I feel better now than when I used to consume meat for protein.
Returning to the assumption that eating only plant-based protein will lead to a protein deficiency. Makes me wonder do people actually know people with this deficiency or do they just throw this phrase around to help justify for themselves their “need” to continue eating meat?