While meat and fish are usually the go-to ingredients for a protein fix, more and more people are switching to meat free diets or introducing meat free recipes into their meal plans, so it’s important that your nutrition advice and plans can meet your clients’ demands.
In celebration of National Vegetarian Week here in the UK, we’ve pulled together a list of our favourite veggie protein sources which you can incorporate into your clients’ nutrition plans.
Derived from soya, tofu is an excellent source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. It’s also a valuable plant source of iron and calcium, as well as magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamin B1, and can be used as a meat substitute in many dishes, including stir fries and curries.
100g of The Tofoo Co. Naked Organic Tofu contain:
100 calories | 12g protein | 5g fat | 1g carbohydrates
Part of the legume family, chickpeas are a great source of protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre. A Middle Eastern staple, they can bulk out curries and salads, can be used to create a great veggie burger and are the main ingredient in falafel and hummus.
100g of canned chickpeas (drained) contain:
128 calories | 7g protein | 3g fat | 16g carbohydrates
Nuts are packed with protein, fibre and healthy fats. We love peanut butter here at My PT Hub HQ, deliciously served on toast and rice cakes, or with a banana or apple for a mid afternoon snack. Remember to opt for an organic peanut butter to avoid the oil, sugar and excess salt often added to household brands.
100g of Meridian Crunchy Peanut Butter contain:
596 calories | 30g protein | 46g fat | 12g carbohydrates
While all fruits and vegetables contain protein, the amounts are usually small. Some contain more than others, these include broccoli, spinach, asparagus and sweet potato. We’ve chosen broccoli here, as it can be added to many dishes.
100g of broccoli contain:
38 calories | 4g protein | 1g fat | 2g carbohydrates
Whether you drink cow’s, soy or coconut milk, they’re all a good source of protein. Cow’s milk and soy milk provide 3g of protein per 100ml, while coconut milk includes around 2g.
100ml of whole milk contains:
64 calories | 3g protein | 4g fat | 5g carbohydrates
Oats are an easy way to add protein to your diet, either served as porridge, overnight oats or ground into flour to use for baking. Although not a complete protein, oats contain higher-quality protein than other grains such as rice and wheat.
100g of oats contain:
360 calories | 11g protein | 8g fat | 60g carbohydrates
A nutritional powerhouse, lentils are rich in protein, high in fibre and complex carbohydrates, while low in fat and calories. They are also naturally gluten free, making them ideal for gluten intolerant clients. Add them to a curry, chilli and salads, or in a tasty veggie burger.
100g of red split lentils contain:
102 calories | 8g protein | 0g fat | 16g carbohydrates
A tasty, nutrient rich source or protein, wild rice contains 1.5 times more protein than other long-grain varieties. It’s also a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals.
100g of Tilda Wild Rice & Brown Basmati contain:
352 calories | 8g protein | 3g fat | 72g carbohydrates
We’re sure your clients would love a cheesy treat every now and then! Some cheeses are better than others when it comes to protein content, these include ricotta, low fat cottage cheese and the game changer that is Eatlean™ cheese. Eatlean™ is a high protein, low carb and low fat cheese which is 100% natural, and is available as a block, spreadable and bake varieties.
100g of Eatlean™ original block cheese contain:
169 calories | 37g protein | 3g fat | 1g carbohydrates
These are just a handful of suggestions, other options include nuts, quinoa and beans, as well as meat alternatives from brands such as Quorn™, Vivera and Linda McCartney Foods – ideal for those who want to incorporate sausages, pasta and chilli into their meal plans.
So don’t be mistaken in thinking that a vegetarian diet lacks the protein needed for your clients, there are plenty of veggie options packed with protein and in many cases, offering a healthier alternative to meat.
Please note: Nutritional values have been supplied by our own verified database.