When someone begins a plant-based diet, the first question they have is how to get enough protein. The answer is there is plenty of protein in a well-rounded plant-based diet. All plant foods are a complete protein, which means they have all essential amino acids.
The Proper Amount of Protein
We’ve been told that we need huge amounts of protein to be big and strong, and that isn’t true. All anyone has to do is look up plant-based athletes and bodybuilders to see that.
There are formulas that show us how much protein we need. The recommended daily amount (RDA) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
This comes out to 65 grams of protein for an average 180-pound man, and for a 140-pound woman, 50 grams of protein per day. It is easy to get this much protein eating a plant-based diet.
Active people might need more than the RDA amounts. If a person lifts weights or does any type of serious exercise routine, they need about 1.3 to 1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight or 0.54 to 0.77 grams per pound.
Getting Enough Protein On a Plant-Based Diet
As long as you eat enough calories, you will get plenty of protein. A well-rounded plant-based diet will include beans, legumes, lentils, whole grains, potatoes, oats, quinoa, seeds, nuts, and fruit.
There are studies that show protein from plant foods is healthier than getting protein from meat. Red meat can raise the risk of certain cancers, and all meat is high in saturated fat. Meat contains no fiber or phytonutrients, while plant-based foods have plenty of healthy fiber and immune system boosting phytonutrients.
Some plant-based foods and their protein amounts include:
- 1 cup of tempeh has 31 grams of protein
- 1 cup of tofu has 20g
- 1 cup of lentils has 18g
- All types of beans and peas range from 13 to 15g
- 1 cup of rolled oats has 11g
- 1 cup of quinoa has 8g
Unless someone has a diet of only lettuce and fruit, they will get more than enough protein eating a plant-based diet.