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Protein in a Vegan Diet

Protein in a Vegan Diet


Protein in a Vegan Diet


Protein in a Vegan Diet

Protein is essential for growth and repair, therefore adequate protein-intake is vital for any healthy vegan diet. That said, only 8-10 percent of our calories need to come from protein, so a varied vegan diet will easily provide sufficient protein for good health.

That said, vegans typically have a lower protein-intake than meat-eaters. Experts believe that this lower protein intake may be beneficial as some studies show that high protein intake is associated with osteoporosis and poor kidney function.

Sources of Protein in a Vegan Diet

Vegans obtain protein from: nuts (eg. almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazel nuts, peanuts, pine kernels), seeds (eg. flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower seeds), legumes/pulses (eg. peas, beans, lentils), grains/cereals (eg. wheat, pasta, barley, rye, oats, millet, maize, sweetcorn, rice) and soy products (eg. tofu, tempeh, tvp, soya milks).

Protein Uptake in Vegan Diet

Most vegan plant foods contain "incomplete" protein (lacking 1 or more of the 8 amino acids that constitute "complete" protein), so vegans need to eat a mixture of "incomplete" protein foods to ensure they are ingesting "complete" protein. But whereas previously, it was thought that vegans had to consume ALL 8 amino acids at the same meal - from a mixture of foods that together contained all 8 amino acids - in order to take in the necessary "complete" protein, we now know that as long as all 8 essential amino acids are in the diet, it does not matter if the proteins are eaten at the same time.

Protein in a Vegan Diet - Bottom Line

A well-balanced vegan diet supplies all the protein and essential amino acids required for good health.
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