High Protein Vegetables: How Much Do They Really Offer?
Earlier this year, we wrote about incorporating more plants into your diet. One of the concerns people often have about eating more plants is whether they will get enough protein.
We decided to do some research on various foods, including meats, beans and high protein vegetables. The chart below shows the amount of protein in 100 grams of each food, as well as the number of calories in those 100 grams and the number of calories per gram of protein.
It’s clear that meat — whether chicken, pork or beef — is a top source of protein. Meat provides the greatest amount of protein per 100 grams of food. Meat also provides a greater amount of protein with fewer calories than most beans or vegetables.
However, several plant based sources offer competitive amounts of protein, in addition to all the other vitamins and minerals that meat doesn’t.
For example, edamame is a protein powerhouse. With 12 grams of protein per 100 grams of edamame, it’s a smart side dish or a nutritious snack. It’s also relatively low in calories for the amount of protein it offers.
Likewise, there may only be 2.75 grams of protein in 100 grams of spinach, but there’s only 25 calories too. That’s a better protein-to-calorie ration than edamame or ground beef.
Lentils are yet another smart source of plant based protein. Use them as a base for soup and combine them with other vegetables.
Finally, don’t discount broccoli or kale. These are two more high protein vegetables to keep in mind. Plus, they’re low in calories too.
As we noted in our post on adding more plants to your diet, we aren’t advocating for eliminating meat. Meat is an excellent source of protein. The key is to also eat vegetables, beans and grains that offer even more nutrients than meat — and with some, you’ll get a good amount of protein too.