Vegetarian Protein Sources

Many people who are new to vegetarianism relying too heavily on high fat foods like cheese/eggs to get their protein or just drop protein from meals and end up eating a lot of carbohydrates and vegetables.  This can cause a number of side effects like:
  • Increased hunger an hour or two after your meal
  • Increased calorie consumption (protein makes you feel fuller for longer!)
  • Nutrient deficiencies that would normally be found in meat
As a vegetarian, you need to look at alternative protein sources to meat. Proteins are either “complete” or “incomplete”. Proteins from animal sources are complete while most vegetable proteins are incomplete and can not be used by the body in their current form. To make vegetarian protein sources complete, eat a variety of grains, nuts and beans each day. Make sure to choose foods from the different categories listed below to eat each day:
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts, cashew nutscashew nuts, peanuts
  • Nut Butters: Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter
  • Seeds: Sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seedsVegetarian Protein Sources
  • Dairy: Milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, butter
  • Dairy Alternatives: Soy/almond/rice milk, soy yogurt, soy cheese
  • Beans: Pinto beans, black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, letils,soy beans
  • Meat Substitutes: Tofu, tempeh, wheat cutlets, soy-based products (ham, hot dogs, chicken, etc.), TVP
  • Grains: Barley, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, rye, Wheat germ, wild rice
  • Vegetables: Artichokes, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Green peas, Green pepper, Kale, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Onions, Potatoes, Spinach, Tomatoes, Turnip greens, Watercress, Yams, Zucchini
  • Fruit: Apples, bananas, cantaloupe, grapes, grapefruits, honeydew melon, oranges, papayas, peachs, pears, pineapples, strawberries, watermelon