Protein, Protein, Protein
Protein is only in meat...
Let’s clear something up. Protein is not only found in animal meats. One can consume an adequate amount of protein from non-meat sources!
There are equal amounts of protein in meat and plant-based protein. In fact, there is more protein in diary such as milk! Additionally, protein can be found in whole grain starches and non-starchy vegetables (artichoke, asparagus, beets, brocolli, cucumber, mushroom, tomato)
Protein has a vital role in the body. It is the building blocks of the body for growth - protein makes up our nails, hair, muscles and hormones. It can repair our injuries and broken structures like cells, muscles and tissues.
There are 8 essential amino acids or protein building blocks that make up a complete protein. Animal meats, animal products and some vegetables are complete proteins. We must get these 8 essential amino acids from our diet. The other amino acids are made by the body. In a vegetarian diet, one can combine foods in order to obtain these 8 components.
Below are 3 combinations that make a complete protein.
- Whole Grain + Legume
- Ex: whole wheat pita bread and hummus; brown rice and beans
- Whole Grain + Nuts
- Ex: whole wheat bread and nut butter
- Legume + Nuts
- Ex: salad with beans and pumpkin seeds
**There are many benefits in following a plant-based diet. Plant-based diets can decrease heart disease risk, obesity, hypertension and type 2 diabetes.**
- Whole Grain + Legume
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- Eggs – the golden standard in protein quality
- Nuts/seeds/nut butters
- Legumes (beans)
- Whole Grains (oatmeal, bread, pasta)
- Diary (yogurt/milk)