Okay, this has to be one of the most common questions that vegans are asked and I guess its understandable since our society places such an emphasis on it in our diet. So firstly, why do we need protein? Protein builds and repairs everything from your organs, nails, muscles, skin, bones, hair and certain hormones. So its safe to say that its pretty important. On the other hand though, have you ever heard of someone having a protein deficiency?? I’m guessing the answer is no. That’s because men need about 56 grams and women 46 grams of protein a day. Protein only needs to make up 10% of your diet meanwhile consuming excessive amounts of protein, 35% or more, can actually be detrimental to your health and may cause; weight gain, extra body fat, stress on your kidneys, dehydration, and leaching of important bone minerals. Since animal bi-products are so full of protein and so frequently consumed, the majority of Australians eat far too much protein.
Ask the person how much protein they eat in a day. I doubt they’ll be able to tell you, nor the amount they should be eating. Protein is present in practically all foods to some degree, including vegetables and most fruits. So even if you are a raw vegan you are not going to become ‘protein deficient’.
If the person is still doubtful, let them know how protein-rich many plant based foods are, such as;
- Tofu: 40g in 1 C of hard tofu
- Beans; 39g in 1 C of chickpeas
- Lentils: 18g in 1 C of cooked lentils
- Seeds: 31g in 1 C of flaxseed
- Wholegrain Bread: 3g in 1 slice
- Quinoa: 8g in 1 C
- Raw Nuts: 30g in 1 C of almonds
- Spirulina: 2.2g in 1 tsp of spirulina powder
- Avocado: 4g in 1 avo
After this, I assure you they will not worry about you being ‘protein deficient’ again