Your body needs protein to repair tissues and build muscles. In fact, this nutrient plays a part in every single cell of your body. Your fingernails and hair are mainly comprised of protein! You don’t need to fulfill your daily protein requirements by dining on beef, pork, or chicken, either. Animal-based proteins are not the only sources of this nutrient, and consuming meat can actually harm your health in a multitude of ways, such as clog up your arteries and raise your cholesterol. Your body can utilize plant proteins in an efficient manner, without all the side effects of eating animal-based proteins.
If you are one of the health conscious individuals steering away from the meat-and-potatoes mindset of the past, you’re not alone. An increasing number of individuals have turned away from hamburgers, fried chicken, hot dogs, and/or steak as their main entree. They’ve realized that a steak on a plate is not their best option because meat:
- Can provide too much protein
- Contains a large amount of saturated fat
- Can clog arteries
- Can lead to heart disease
There are plenty of ways to meet your protein requirements by eating non-meat foods. Not only can vegetarian proteins build your muscles, replenish your cells, and repair your tissues, they taste delicious when prepared in a variety of recipes. Some great sources of plant-based proteins are:
These foods work well in soups, casseroles, stir-fries, lasagnas, pasta sauces, and veggie burgers.
So, how much protein do you actually need? The answer will vary depending on your gender, size, and lifestyle choices. The more active you are, the more grams of protein you will need. For example, some averages are:
- An average sedentary man needs 56 grams of protein per day.
- An active man will need more, up to 91 grams.
- An average sedentary woman needs 46 grams per day.
- An active woman will need up to 75 grams of protein each day.
Transitioning to Meatless Diet
Transitioning away from eating meat is more seamless than ever, because there are so many other options. Not only that, but also many plant-based protein produces are similar to comfort foods you’ve been accustomed to eating. You can easily incorporate vegetarian products by:
- Adding veggie meatballs to your pasta sauce
- Grilling plant-based burgers and eating them on a bun with all the fixings
- Making tacos with beans, lentils, or tofu
You can get all the protein you need from nutritious, delicious plant-based products. By eating vegetarian protein sources, not only can you build and energize your body, you can avoid consuming high amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat, which is a win-win for your health.