Why is this true? Because, as I said before, you only need about 40-60 grams of protein per day, and all food (except fruit and oil) contains protein. Eat enough calories, and you will eat enough protein.
The idea that you need to work hard at it, or supplement, or eat animals is an unnecessary response to a false emergency.
But isn’t animal protein different or better than plant-based protein?
Different? Yes. Better? No.
Protein is protein, except……
Animal protein comes with some proven links to heart disease, obesity, stroke, and certain cancers. It also comes with a lot of calories and saturated fat (booooo).
Plant-based protein comes with beneficial fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients (all shown to be protective against heart disease, stroke, and cancer) – and it’s low in calories and does not contain saturated fat (yaaaaaay).
Other than those significant differences in how the protein behaves inside your body……it’s the same.
But isn’t animal protein more ‘complete’ than plant-based protein?
Years ago there was a myth floating about that animal protein was superior to plant-based protein because it was ‘complete’. You see, animal protein contains all 9 essential amino acids that the body requires – earning it the label ‘complete’. There was some nonsense about how vegetarians had to take great care to combine their food in specific ways at each meal to ensure that they were eating all 9 essential amino acids at the same sitting.
This myth that you have to eat all the amino acids at once has been roundly debunked by science – yet it persists in some meat-loving circles. The fact is, as long as you eat a variety of plant-based foods over the course of a day, you cannot help but consume all 9 essential amino acids. And by ‘a variety’, I mean you have to eat more than one food in a day. So….don’t have a day where you eat nothing at all except broccoli.
If you eat a peanutbutter sandwich, you will obtain all 9 amino acids. If you have rice and beans, you will obtain all 9 amino acids. See how easy it is?
You really don’t need to work at this. I have been following a plant-based diet for about 15 years now – and I can honestly say that I have NEVER thought about my amino acids.
But What Are The BEST Sources Of Plant-Based Protein?
Just as some animals contain more protein than others, the same is true for plants. Here are some of the plant-based protein super-stars:
- Soy (tempeh, edamame, tofu)
Talk to me! Will you stop searching for unicorns? Please leave me a comment and let me know what’s on your mind about this!