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Vegetarian Protein Source

Dev biswas
Dev biswas
If you're a vegetarian/vegan, chances are you have been finding it difficult to meet your protein macros.
I feel you. A large chunk of my mentees are vegetarians too. And even the meat eaters have fasts, Navratri, and so on.
So the question is, how should vegetarians meet their protein requirements in absence of enough protein sources?

Here's your saviour - Soya.
Yup, I know, you hate it.
But then, you probably hate life too. Doesn't mean you'll stop living, right? You gotta find a way a way to make it beautiful (soya and life, both).

The food industry is getting innovative everyday and there are more options than ever before for vegans to get their protein. 
Here's my suggestion as a Nutrition/Fitness coach - Try to get your protein from diverse sources - pea/rice protein, whey, milk products, seeds and finally, Soy. Yes, you need all of them in your diet, because vegan protein sources aren't complete, in the sense that they lack certain amino acids. But different sources lack different amino acids, so by getting your protein from different sources, you can make sure that those protein sources complement each other's lacking amino acids, and give you a complete profile of amino acids.

Looks like our ancestors knew this somehow - combining rice with beans or peas is a good way to get a complete profile of amino acids. But then, do track your overall macros and calories.

Coming back to innovations, in the west, I have seen very good sources like "Beyond Meat" burgers and meat replacements, "TVP" (that's the one on the picture. It's like soy granules. You can hydrate it with water, salt and spices and then cook it like you'd cook ground meat. Heck, you can even make burger patty with it. Try with soya granules. You might be able to do it), rice and pea protein from different brands, and of course you can mix soy flour and wheat flour together to make rotis/parathas/bread/etc.
Again, if you plan your macros well then you have milk, curd, Greek yogurt, cheese, low-fat paneer (or even regular paneer), quinoa (I know, it's a bit expensive. I am good with plain old rice and wheat for my carbs), daal, rajma, beans, to cover not much, but still a part of your protein macros.
And there's of course the mighty whey protein.

It all comes down to making peace with the options that is available to you, and try to work out different ways to cook it and plan it in your diet if you want variety in your diet. You want variety, work for it in the kitchen. You are good with no variety, that's good, stick to a few staple recipes.
But here's the thing, Soya is a blessing for you if you're a vegan/vegetarian. Make peace with it if you want to meet your protein macros.
Soy flour, soya chunks, soya granules, soya milk powder (yes that's a thing too now), are gifts of the food industry for you. Love it.

(P.S. We have busted the myths around man-boobs, estrogen, hypothyroidism several times before. So I'm not going into it. SOYA IS SAFE. There's no problem with these. They are just misunderstood myths.)

To end, I'm eagerly waiting for cultured meat to hit the store shelves. Maybe another few years, who knows! Research is in a rapid pace. For a meat eater like me who's at times ethically torn between not killing and loving meat at the same time, cultured meat will prove to be a boon!

Peace! Happy Monday folks!