Healthy Diet The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein  

carlybobarly
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List Rules Vote up your favorite nutrient-rich, low-calorie vegan sources of protein. No nuts or nut butters.

Protein: a buzzword in the 21st century conversation about health and nutrition, especially when it comes to weight loss. Though the concept of "protein" has erroneously become synonymous with "meat," any person can consume more than enough protein from a plant-based diet. This is a list of good vegan sources of protein, including information about the amount of protein each vegetable has per serving. After all, you might not need to eat nearly as much protein as you think - and your quest for meat to "fill you up" can quickly derail your diet.

"How much protein do I need?" The standard formula to determine protein needs is: body weight (in lbs.) x 0.36 = # of grams or protein per day. Therefore, a person who weighs 120 lbs. should shoot for 43g, a 150 lb. person needs 54g, a 180 lb. person should eat 64.8g, a 210 lb. person needs 75.6g, etc. As any body-conscious person knows, weight loss can only happen when the body uses more calories than it consumes. Unfortunately, meat and other-animal based products—while high in protein—are also very dense in calories. A single chicken nugget may contain 3g of protein, but it is also nearly 60 calories. On the other hand, a whole cup of Brussels sprouts contains the same amount of protein, but only 38 calories. 

Are you picturing this math? "Great," you might be thinking. "I can get the same amount of protein while eating less food." That is, you can eat one chicken nugget instead of eating a whole cup of Brussels sprouts. Maybe this is a bad example, because life is not all McNuggets or Brussels sprouts... Anyway, here is the real question: Do you hate food? Do you hate eating? Why would you want to eat less food? Why would anyone? Food is great! Eating food is one of the best things about being alive. If anything, you probably want to eat more food. Just as much food as you can manage to shove into your face.

How can you eat MORE FOOD without destroying your body? Eat whole plant-based foods. Get your protein from nutrient-rich, low-calorie vegetables, legumes, nuts & nut butters, and whole grains. "But but but," you are saying, "carbs!!!" Well, just as "protein" does not mean "meat," "whole grains" does not mean "processed whole grain bread or bagels or delicious Triscuits." Whole grains are actual plants, like quinoa and oats and wild rice. These foods are high in fiber, which means it is easy for your body to, ahem, use the calories in them. Whole grains have protein AND fiber in them. So do leafy greens, beans, seeds, cruciferous vegetables, and pretty much every other edible plant under the sun. Go ahead and fill your whole plate with raw or steamed plants, eat them all, and then go back and get seconds. If you are still not ~full~, go get thirds. Skip the carne asada, the shawarma, and the pepperoni. You really don't need it. (Also, don't drown your good, healthy vegetarian proteins with ranch dressing. That is not even food, and you know it.)

1
50 13
Black bean is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Black Beans 39g protein / cup

2
44 9
Chickpea is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Chickpea 39g protein / cup

3
41 9
Quinoa is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Quinoa 8g protein / cup

4
45 14
Broccoli is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Broccoli 2.6g protein / cup

5
41 12
Lentil is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Lentil 18g protein / cup

6
30 6
Oatmeal is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Oatmeal 6g protein / cup

7
35 10
Spinach is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Spinach 0.9g protein / cup

8
32 8
Whole Grains is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Whole Grains 3.8g protein / oz.

9
27 7
Potato is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Potato 3g protein / cup

10
22 9
Cauliflower is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Cauliflower 2.1g protein / cup

11
17 5
Sesame is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Sesame Seeds 1.6g protein / tbsp

12
22 10
Kale is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Kale 2.9g protein / cup

13
24 12
Tofu is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Tofu 20g protein / cup

14
24 12
Pea is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Green Peas 7.9g protein/ cup

15
20 10
Asparagus is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Asparagus 2.9g / cup

16
22 13
Brussels sprout is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Brussels Sprouts 3g protein / cup

17
15 7
Black-eyed pea is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Black-Eyed Pea 16g protein / cup

18
16 8
Cabbage is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Cabbage 1.1g protein / cup

19
13 6
Sunflower Seeds is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Sunflower Seeds 29g protein / cup

20
17 10
Pumpkin Seeds is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Pumpkin Seeds 12g protein / cup

21
15 9
Chia is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Chia Seeds 4.7g protein / oz.

22
13 8
Lima Bean is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Lima Beans 15g protein / cup

23
13 10
Edamame is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Edamame 17g protein / cup

24
16 14
Beet is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Beet 2.2g protein / cup

25
13 11
Poppy seed is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Poppy Seed 1.6g protein / tbsp

26
15 14
Chinese cabbage is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Boy Choy 1.1g protein / cup

27
16 16
Artichoke Hearts is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Artichoke Hearts 8g protein / cup

28
8 8
Spirulina is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Spirulina 4g protein / tbsp

29
6 9
Hemp Seeds is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Hemp Seeds 10g protein / oz.

30
6 10
Tahini is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Tahini 2.6g protein / tbsp

31
8 14
Seitan is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Seitan 64g protein / cup

32
8 14
Adzuki Beans is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Adzuki Beans 39g protein / cup

33
6 13
Tempeh is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Tempeh 31g protein / cup

34
6 13
Mung bean is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Mung Beans 49g protein / cup

35
2 12
Amaranth is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Non-Meat Sources of Protein
Amaranth 9g protein / cup