Common Myths About Protein

Some people may worry about how easily a vegetarian diet can provide all of the protein we need. The fact is, you don’t need a nutrition degree to have a well-balanced diet with vegetarian foods.

Combining of vegetarian foods isn’t necessary to get more than enough protein. It is an old myth that is still quoted that you need to combine certain foods to get a complete protein. Eating an adequate number of calories per day made up of any normal variety of plant foods gives us all the protein our bodies need.

Although there may be potentially less protein in a vegetarian diet, this is actually an advantage. “Western” societies currently consume far too much protein. Excess protein has been linked to kidney stones, increased calcium excretion (which could lead to osteoporosis), some cancers, and possibly heart disease. A diet centered on beans, whole grains, and vegetables contains adequate amounts of protein without the “overdose” most meat-eaters get.

Good sources of protein include: almonds, black beans, brown rice, cashews, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, peanut butter, pinto beans, seitan, soybeans, Soy Curls, soymilk, sunflower and other seeds, textured vegetable protein (TVP), tofu, vegetarian hot dogs and burgers.

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1 Nancy January 18, 2012 at 11:12 am

Please note: Although I have several recipes that include TVP, it’s not very often that I include it on my personal menus, opting for less-processed foods. When I do want that texture, what I have started doing lately is chopping up soy curls and using that instead. Soy curls are a whole, unprocessed, non-GMO food that gives the same texture as TVP. You can also find non-GMO or organic TVP at many health food stores.

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