BBC radio 2

Did you hear our how to guides on Simon Mayo's Radio 2 Drivetime show?

You may have read about Howopia in The Telegraph?

How To Get Enough Protein From a Vegetarian Diet

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)
Vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice that has been steadily growing in popularity. People site compassionate reasons, taste and health benefits as motivation for what is a major alteration in daily routine. Eliminating animal protein from the diet does however mean that high-protein vegetarian options must be found to ensure that your body gets the protein it needs for daily life.
What you'll need: 
(Whole grains) Lentils, quinoa, split peas, black-eyed peas, chickpeas
Seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin)
Nuts and nut butters
Dairy (milk, cheese, yoghurt, cottage cheese)
Protein powder
Though there are a wide variety of vegetarian protein sources available, the protein in plant-based foods is generally less 'available' to the body. As a result, it is often necessary to ingest more vegetarian protein than you normally would so as to reach your recommended daily amounts.
Whole grains and legumes are particularly good sources of plant protein. Quinoa, lentils and split-peas provide high levels of protein as well as being a good source of nutrients and fibre without a high fat content.
Nuts and nut butters are excellent protein sources and also provide 'good', unsaturated fats which are necessary for body function and for managing cholesterol. Almonds and almond butter are better options than peanuts and peanut butter as they contain more nutrients. Cashews, Brazil nuts, Macadamias and Pistachios are also a good bet. If possible avoid nut butters that contain added salt, sugar and oil and try to source raw, unsalted nuts.
Eggs and dairy contain high levels of protein and are easy to integrate into the average diet. Cottage cheese and ricotta are two low-fat and versatile protein sources while yoghurt can be used in any number of dishes, both sweet and savoury. Most cow's milk products can also be sourced as either goat's milk or soy varieties for those who are lactose intolerant. Avoid processed, coloured cheeses if possible.
Seeds such as hemp, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower are all good sources of protein and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or 'good' cholesterol. These can be scattered over many dishes and can even be mixed in with porridge.
Tofu and soya beans are often used in asian-style cooking to provide protein. Tofu or bean curd can be quite bland so some imagination is needed when cooking with it. It is able to absorb flavours however.
Vegetarians who require extra protein (athletes, the aged, ill people) may choose to supplement their diet with one of the countless protein supplements on the market. Some are derived from soy or whey and can be an easy way to meet your daily needs. This can be an expensive option so shop around.
Plant-based protein sources only release a small amount of their iron into the body. Ingesting vitamin C (tomato or orange juice for example) when eating can aid in releasing iron and vitamin B12.
Though vegetarianism is seen by many as a lifestyle choice involving deprivation, it can be enjoyable, inexpensive and, with planning and awareness, can meet all your body's nutritional needs.
Vary your diet to ensure that you attain a variety of nutrients and keep your body satisfied.


Post new comment

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Featured writers

We have had a chat with a couple of our more experienced writers.

Find out more about their experiences and why they contribute to Howopia.

Spotlight on two writers.

Share this

How To guides

Howopia is a new website dedicated to bringing together a community of experts to create the most useful 'How To' guides, to help you to achieve almost anything.

Related links