Vegetarian protein sources are primarily legumes, nuts, seeds, certain grains (such as quinoa) and vegetables. Chances are if you’re maintaining weight, you’re getting enough protein. So the focus should be on micronutrients and implementing variety into your diet.
However, to answer your question about protein in more detail:
Similar to the content in eggs (which contain 7 grams of protein each) a half cup of beans offers about 8 grams and 2 tablespoons nuts provide around 6 grams. Most starches, such as corn, wheat, potato and oats are comparatively lower at 3 grams protein per half-cup serving.
Vegetables are great protein sources, per calorie, offering about 2 grams protein per serving. Everything from broccoli to tomatoes count! Fruits and fats provide negligible amounts. Many vegetarians use protein analogues made from soy, resembling sausage, hot dogs, chicken nuggets and the like. The protein content of such products varies tremendously from brand to brand.
Click HERE for our vegetarian eating guide.
– Debbie J., MS, RD
Do you have a question about your diet or nutrition? Ask our dietitian by submitting your question to firstname.lastname@example.org or simply ask it in the COMMENTS section below.
To learn how to follow the “Ask Our Dietitian” Q&A CLICK HERE!