Optimistic Vegan

Where do you get your protein!?
May 6, 2010, 12:43 pm
Filed under: Food, Nutrition | Tags: , , , ,

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this…

Protein. What is protein? I’m sure you all know this, but just as a reminder, protein is made up of amino acids. Amino acids are necessary in any diet, whether or not you’re eating meat. There are 22 amino acids, 8 of which need to be eaten.

Something that isn’t always realized is that everything has protein. Yes, all fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, everything has some amount of protein, some combination of amino acids. Some foods just have more than others, such as quinoa. (Quinoa is the coolest grain ever. It has all of the 8 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Plus it’s just so darn tasty!)

This may all sound just too complicated, having to combine foods to get all of your protein. It’s not. As long as you’re eating a balanced diet, with a variety of fresh foods (which everyone should be doing, even if eating a meat-based diet) you will consume plenty of protein. You don’t have to eat meat to get protein.

Another interesting thought-where do you think the cows got their protein? Plants! Or supplemented feed (I’ll save that for another post).

The American Academy of Pediatrics says, “protein is so abundant in the foods Americans eat, that most of us, children and adults alike, consume more than we need. Protein overload may be a more serious problem than protein deficiency.” So be assured that you’ll be fine if you eat a little less.


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