EDITOR'S NOTE: Please welcome our newest Diet.com expert blogger - Lindsay Greenfield, vegan cooking enthusiast and the author of the blog vegan101girl.blogspot.com! Lindsay is certified in Plant-Based Nutrition and has a passion for nutrition and healthy eating. We hope you'll enjoy her recipes and insights!
It might be hard to believe, but it is actually very easy to get enough protein from a whole food plant-based diet. Protein is an essential nutrient. The estimated average requirement for protein is 0.5-0.6 grams of protein per kg of body weight, which is 4-5% of your total calorie intake per day. The recommended dietary allowance for protein adds two standard deviations to that to cover individual variation, making it 0.8 g protein/kg body weight, or 8-10% total calories. This means that an average size woman of 132 lbs. needs 48 grams of protein per day and an average size man of 154 lbs. needs 56 grams of protein per day. A whole foods plant-based diet easily provides enough protein to meet these requirements.
Protein has long been linked to human progress and civilization, and it is largely believed that animal protein is of higher quality than plant protein. Animal-based proteins have a higher biological value, meaning they are more efficiently utilized than plant-based proteins. Animal protein has a similar amino acid profile to humans. Plant proteins are not complete proteins, because they do not have a similar ratio of essential amino acid like animal protein does. This is a good thing though; we want our protein intake to be low with some amino acids. Incomplete protein consumption does not promote cancer. It is when protein is "completed" that cancer promotion can occur. A higher biological value (like that of animal protein) ... Continue
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