There is so much fuss over “getting enough protein,” but virtually all Americans (including vegans!) get way more than enough protein.
The average recommended intake of protein is 42 grams a day. Vegans typically consume 70% more than is needed while non-vegans get 80% more than what is recommended.
Protein is an essential part of the diet. It helps to build, repair, and maintain the body's structures. Foods derived from plants and animals can both provide protein, but there are some differences.
Foods rich in protein can have widely ranging nutritional profiles. For example, animal proteins can be high in iron and vitamin B12, but are also higher in unhealthy fats and lack fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. Phytonutrients and antioxidants are found in plants and are believed to be beneficial to human health and help prevent various diseases.
The following are examples of plant-based foods rich in protein: grains lentils nuts beans legumes certain fruits, such as avocados soy hemp rice peas
Let’s take a closer look at lentils: 1 cup of cooked lentils provides 18 grams of protein, 50% of your recommended daily fiber intake, is rich in folate, manganese, and iron, and feeds the good bacteria in your colon, promoting a healthy gut.
Ground beef on the other hand: 3 oz of ground beef provides 24 grams of protein, 23 percent of your recommended daily fat intake, 25 percent of your recommended daily intake for saturated fat, and no fiber.
From plant and animal products, a healthy balance needs to be struck so that your body receives everything it needs to function properly.