Why Plant Based Protein isn’t Just for Vegans

Why Plant Based Protein isn’t Just for Vegans

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Being a vegan has changed somewhat in the last couple of decades, with the increasing popularity driving countless producers to start making vegan products. Nowadays it seems that everyone knows someone who is vegan, and most people have even tried some kind of vegan food at some point. So, with the proliferation of vegan foods, many people are now wondering whether vegan food may be right for them and their family too.

Much of the protein in our diet comes from meat, so when we choose to eat vegetarian or vegan, we must make up for that protein somehow. For vegans, this is usually achieved through plant-based protein, which can be derived from certain vegetables. These high protein vegan meals also boast a range of other valuable minerals and vitamins, and can be good for anyone regardless of their diet identification.

Here is a look at why plant-based protein isn’t just for vegans, and what to look for in high protein vegan foods.

Plant Based vs Animal Based Protein

Without going into too much detail, animal proteins are vital amino acids which carnivores and omnivores gain from eating animal matter and products. Whereas plant proteins are vital amino acids which herbivores and omnivores gain from eating plant matter. The main difference of course is their source, but there are also many nuances such as how they are absorbed into different gastrointestinal systems.

An Ethical Issue

While some vegans may not be able to eat meat for some physiological reason, most are against eating meat due to ethics. Put simply, an animal suffers when we kill it for meat, and many vegans see animals as valuable as ourselves on this planet. Although a problem many people face when starting the vegan diet is the lack of vital nutrients, such as iron, which lead to feeling low energy. If you’re one of those people who simply cannot live without animal protein, you may still find plenty of value in introducing plant-based protein to your diet. 

We simply do not need to eat as much meat as we do nowadays, with some people eating it in as much as 3 meals per day. Instead, many are now considering what is known as the ‘flexitarian’ diet, which includes a balance of both meat and high protein vegan meals.

The Many Faces of Plant Based Protein

There are many different kinds of plant-based protein which you may come across in plant based or high protein vegan meals. These can include (but are not limited to) the following.


One of the most well-known plant-based proteins which has been a part of the western diet, especially in vegetarian cuisine, for long enough now to be known by all. Soy products are among the richest sources of protein in a plant-based diet, although the content does depend on how the soy is prepared.

  • Firm tofu (soybean curds) contains about 20g of protein per cup.
  • Edamame beans (immature soybeans) contain about 17g of protein per cup
  • Tempeh (fermented soybeans) contain about 30g of protein per cup.

Although it is highly regarded as a rich protein source, and is prevalent in much of Asian cuisine, many are leaning away from soy products due to their environmental impact.

Other Legumes

Although soy itself is a legume, the other kinds can be separated from them as they don’t have as much of an environmental impact. Not only do other legumes contain high percentages of protein, but they also contain other vital nutrients such as folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium. As with soy, legumes vary in protein density.

  • Green peas contain about 8g of protein per cup.
  • Boiled lentils contain about 18g of protein per cup.
  • Peanuts contain about 38g of protein per cup.
  • Raw pinto beans contain about 41g of protein per cup.

Legumes are becoming more common as a base in high protein vegan foods, especially those pre-made ones in the frozen section. Pea protein is a particularly common base and can provide an excellent source of protein when combined or rotated with other plant-based proteins.

A Final Thought for the Family

Introducing plant-based proteins into your diet doesn’t have to mean you and your family only eat high protein vegan foods from now on. Instead try mixing and matching vegan foods with some of your favorite dishes, and don’t be afraid to try something new. Many vegan products come with excellent recipes which can be enhanced through the cheeky addition of not-so-vegan ingredients.

Published by William Smith

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