There was a time when the only people who followed a vegan diet were radical animal activists looking to send a message. Today, many people are turning to a vegan lifestyle as a way to lose weight and increase their overall health. One of the biggest challenges in making the switch to a this lifestyle (in which you do not consume any animal products or by-products) is getting enough protein. Because you do not consume any dairy, cheese, meat, or eggs – all traditional choices for protein – it can take a bit of adjustment to figure out how to ensure you are getting enough protein once you go vegan.
The typical American diet is high in processed foods, refined sugars, and simple carbohydrates. This can result in a host of problems, including inflammation, congestion, digestive issues, bloating, intestinal upset, lackluster energy and more. A vegan lifestyle can address all of these issues while also helping you to lose weight. However, the body needs protein to function properly. So, how do you get enough protein when you don’t eat animal products?
Many natural, plant-based foods are high in protein. Vegetables like broccoli and asparagus have protein, as do nuts and seeds, all of which are staples of this diet. Legumes such as beans, peas, tofu, soy burgers, and soy milk are versatile ingredients that contain good levels of protein.
There are also some grains that deliver a good amount of protein when incorporated into the diet. Breads made with hemp flour and/or oats are high in protein, as are grains such as quinoa and amaranth. Sprouted breads are another good choice.
If you follow a “vegan-ish” diet (that is, you eat vegan most of the time but consume some animal products from time to time) you may get your protein from things like dairy milk or cheese while still avoiding all meats. Instead of meat products, you can incorporate soy-based “meat” products such as soy burgers and soy crumbles. Most brands of this type of product offer a source of protein.
Even though many of the common vegan food choices only offer a moderate amount of protein, if you eat a well-balanced diet including a combination of those protein sources daily, the aggregate amount you take in will be sufficient.
Following a vegan diet isn’t easy. It’s restrictive and the transition can be difficult. But if you can focus on the many benefits your body will receive by avoiding meat and other animal products, the transition can be made easier. If you are looking to lose weight, a vegan lifestyle can help to kickstart your weight loss by helping you to eliminate many types of processed foods, sugary foods, and other things that can spell disaster for your diet. These details and more can be found here.