Animal-free protein sources

“Where do you get your protein?”

spaghetti
Zero animals harmed for this delicious lunch. Gardein meatless meatballs pictured.

This is something I’m asked a lot because I don’t consume animal products, including dairy and eggs.

It seems like a recent trend for people to be eating more plant-based, even if they do consume animals and animal byproducts.

The word ‘protein’ is synonymous with meat. Rest assured, there are plenty of non-meat proteins out there. If you are looking to reduce meat consumption or you’re just curious about non-meat proteins, read on.

First thing’s first: most people are unaware of actual protein needs. The general recommendation is .8 – 1 gram per kilogram of body weight. To figure your weight in kilograms, divide your body weight by 2.2. For instance, 106/2.2 = 48 kg. Technically, my body does not require more than 48 grams of protein.

If you are eating enough calories to fuel your body, you are getting enough protein. I consume considerably more than the RDA because of my high activity level. Active people usually add more protein to their diet than the RDA.

Below are protein sources that help me. Both whole food and packaged foods are included because I believe balance is healthy. Also, these sources include carb and fat, but as part of a well-rounded diet, these allow me to achieve my protein goal.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but there are a lot of good choices here. If you have any great plant protein sources, I’d love to know what they are.

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