Protein and Vegetarians

I am sure at some time or other you have heard or been a part of a debate about Protein and Vegetarians.

Why is this such a popular discussion?

Well, one of the concerns when someone decides to adopt the vegetarian diet is whether they will be able to get enough protein if they no longer eat meat.  This post will simply be a list to show that there is absolutely no shortage of protein when one is on a vegetarian diet.

Do you know what is meant by RDA?

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): The RDA, is the estimated amount of a nutrient (or calories) per day considered necessary for the maintenance of good health by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council/ National Academy of Sciences.

How do we know if the protein intake of a vegetarian is adequate?……..We check if it has met the Recommended Dietary Allowance.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 g per kilogram body weight.  Therefore a person who weighs 120 pounds (or 54.5 kg) for example, would require 43 g of protein per day.


High protein foods

High protein food

Some of the high protein foods that non-vegetarians eat are:

Tuna – 39 g in 1 cup

Lean beef – 22 g in 3 ounces

Chicken breast – 53 g in 1 roasted chicken breast

Turkey breast – 24 g in 3 ounces

Salmon – 19 g per 3 ounces

These foods certainly pack in a lot of protein and we can see how easily the RDA is met and surpassed on this diet.

But where is the vegetarian going to get his/her protein? What can they eat to provide this necessary nutrient.

The answer…….lots of things.

A combination of the various foods listed below will provide all the protein the vegetarian needs to maintain excellent health.

The ongoing debate of Proteins and Vegetarians and the concerns surrounding this topic can be put to rest.

Non-meat Protein sources

Soybean and soybean products:

Soy bean and soy milk

Tempeh (a traditional Indonesian fermented soy product) – 21 g in 1/2 cup

Dry, roasted soybeans – 18 g in 1/2 cup

Tofu – 10 g in 1/2 cup

Soy milk – 7 g in 1 cup


Spinach – 5 g in 1 cup, cooked

Chia seed – 5 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons

Quinoa – 4 g protein per 1/2 cup

Eggs – 6 g per egg

Guava – 4 g per cup

Peas – 8 g per cup

Beans – 7-10 grams per 1/2 cup

Lentils – 18 g per cup

Peanut butter – 7 g per 2 tablespoons

2% Greek yogurt – 20 g protein per 7 oz

Pumpkin seeds – 9 g per oz

Almonds – 6 g per oz

Cashews – 5 g per oz

Black beans – 8 g per 1/2 cup

Raw Oats – 13 g in 1/2 cup

Brown Rice – 5 g per cup

Black eye peas – 8 g of protein in just 1/2 cup

Broccoli – 4 g of protein in just 1 cup,

Green beans/String beans – 4 g of protein in 1/2 cup

Nutritional yeast – 8 g of protein in 2 tablespoons

Chickpeas – 6 – 8 g per 1/2 cup

Whole wheat bread – 3.6 g in one slice


Well there you have it. Quite an extensive yet not an exhaustive list of protein sources for the vegetarian.


Do you think you will be able to get 45 or 50 or 60 grams of protein without having meat in your diet.

Well let’s see.

Let’s work out a days meal plan and see what we come up with.

This is just a basic menu. You would add your spices and seasonings and fruits and juices and whatever else you want to add for that day to make your meals interesting and delicious.  We just want to see if we are able to get enough protein according to the Recommended Dietary Allowance.


1/2 cups oats (13g)

1 cup soy milk (7g)

1 slice whole wheat bread (3.6g)

1 tbsp peanut butter (3.5g)


Mid morning snack

1 7oz Greek yogurt (20g)



1/2 cup tofu (10g)

1/2 cup quinoa (4g)

1 cup spinach (5g)


Afternoon snack

A handful of cashew (5g)



1 cup brown rice (5g)

1 cup lentils (18g)

1 cup broccoli (4g)


Did we make it to 45 or 50 grams of protein for this day?


We didn’t only make it, we went way above it. That basic menu provides 98.1 grams of protein.

Vegetarians and Protein……….. not an issue.

We can safely conclude that there is no shortage of protein in the vegetarian diet.  The sources are numerous. Once we include a variety of plant based foods in our diet, our protein requirements will be met.

Are you ready to try some new recipes?

Check out these six high protein, vegetarian dinners by Tasty.


Have you been concerned about your protein intake? Now you know there is no need to be.

Just enjoy your delicious vegetarian meals knowing that all your nutritional needs are being met.


Please  drop me a line in the comments section below and let me know how this article has helped you.




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