#HealthBytes: Top 5 protein alternatives for vegetarians
A lot of vegetarians today suffer from protein deficiency.
That's because all types of meat are naturally rich sources of protein, but vegetarian foods not so much.
However, with proper planning and knowledge, a vegetarian diet can also supply you with enough proteins, as to stay away from deficiency.
Here are top 5 protein alternatives for vegetarians.
How about some milk, cheese, and yogurt?
Apart from being great source of Calcium, dairy products, ie. milk, cheese, yogurt etc. also contain decent amount of protein in them.
A cupful of milk will give you about 8 grams of protein, while a cup of low-fat yogurt contains about 13 grams of dietary protein.
Paneer is another great option- an ounce of it provides nearly 7 grams protein.
A wholesome protein source for vegetarians
All soy-based food items are great sources of protein, so much so that their protein content is high enough to compete with their non-vegetarian counterparts.
From soybean to soy milk, tofu to soy nuts, there's plenty of high-in-protein soy food items to choose from.
So, as long as a vegetarian's diet includes soy in it, they need not worry about protein deficiency.
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Have more lentils and pulses to meet your protein needs
A desi way to get more protein into the body for vegetarians is by including more lentils, pulses, and beans into their diet.
According to Harvard School of Public Health, one cup of cooked lentils contains nearly 18 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber, with virtually no saturated fats or sodium.
Nuts and nut butters shall supply you plenty of protein
Nuts, nut-butters, and other seeds are great protein-rich options for non-meat eaters.
With just a handful of nuts (25-30 grams), you get 5-7 grams of protein, depending on the type of the nut or seed variety.
Further, they're also rich in fiber, healthy fats, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, and Phosphorus.
But, don't munch on too many if you don't want to gain extra weight.
Go for oats!
Although not complete protein, but as compared to other grains (wheat and rice), oats are a good source of high-quality protein for vegetarians.
A half-cup of dry oats ie. 120 ml supplies you with nearly 6 grams of protein and 4 grams fiber.
They also have decent amount of Magnesium, Zinc, Phosphorus and folate.
Harvard School of Public Health