One of the concerns you may have when told to switch to high fiber foods is whether you will get sufficient amount of proteins. After all protein gives us strength and is one of the essential nutrient. On an average we need around 42 grams of protein every day. We need protein everyday to sustain the muscle mass else we may start getting weaker. And most sources tell us that proteins are available mostly in the meat products.
Can Vegetarians Get Enough Protein
The truth may surprise you. A large study was done on 30,000 non-vegetarians and 20,000 vegetarians apart from 5000 in each group of vegans and those who eat vegetables and fish. The study found that non-vegetarians got way more protein than they needed. This is not surprising. The surprising part is vegetarians and vegans also got more protein than they needed. In fact they were getting 70% more protein than they required.
Although there is lot of noise made on how protein deficiency can make us weaker, the fact is only 3% people take less proteins than they need. On the other hand dietary fiber which is also one of the essential nutrient, is deficient in most people’s diet.
We need between 25 to 40 grams of dietary fiber depending on the age and gender. The studies show that most Americans only get 15 grams of fiber. So the worry should be fulfill that instead of getting more protein.
Where Is Protein Present in Plant Based Foods
The primary source of proteins in plants are the beans and legumes such as kidney beans, black beans, white beans, lima beans apart from various seeds such as sunflower seeds or chia seeds. Protein is also present in green vegetables. As you can see you have lots of choices when you want to get protein from plant based foods.
Lack of Awareness
Studies show that many people are still not aware that meats do not contain fiber. They think that steak also contains fiber. The truth is fiber is present only in plant based foods and not in any meats.
The reverse is true however. Vegetables and fruits only contains fiber, many of then are also good sources of protein. Hence eating more of these can fulfill both the requirements. They also contain very less saturated fats, and full of vitamins, minerals, anti oxidants and folates. When you eat a balanced diet then you.
If you are used to eating more meats then you can start adding more vegetables in your diet along with meat. You can do it gradually so that you get used to eating more vegetables and start getting the benefits associated with plant based foods.