The CalorieKing Protein Guide
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Do vegetarians get enough protein?
With a well-balanced diet, vegetarians can easily get enough protein
It was once widely believed that vegetarians had to carefully combine plant protein sources in each meal in order to obtain all nine essential amino acids. However, studies have now shown that the human body can store essential amino acids and combine them as necessary. So, while combining beans and rice, or peanut butter and bread produces a “complete” protein, in most cases it’s not necessary to consciously do this at every meal. As long as you are eating enough calories to meet your daily energy needs, and have a reasonably varied diet, getting enough protein is generally not a problem. It’s actually difficult to become protein deficient unless you quit eating all together! If you have concerns, talk with your doctor or dietitian.
Vegetarian foods highest in overall protein content include legumes or pulses (dried beans and peas), soy products of various kinds (tofu, tempeh, meatless "meats"), eggs and dairy products for those who consume them, and some nuts.
Choose your proteins wisely!
A recent study suggested that eating too much protein from red meat and dairy products increases the risk of dying from coronary heart disease. Participants in the study who ate the highest amount of vegetable-protein sources such as beans, nuts, tofu, and peanut butter were found to be 30 percent less likely to die from heart disease. Fish and chicken were not linked to heart risks in the study.
Even if animal protein and vegetable protein have the same effects on your health, it’s probably what comes with the protein that makes it a more - or less - healthy choice.Use the following table to help you make wise protein choices:
Refer to the CalorieKing.com.au Food Database or Allan Borushek's Pocket Calorie, Fat, and Carbohydrate Counter for more extensive listings.
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Last updated: September 12th, 2006
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