Are Plant-Based Proteins for You?
by Loree Dowse | June 2018
Today we’re tackling the topic of protein. Plant-based protein, that is. It can be a touchy subject at times with passionate advocates in both animal and plant protein camps. But the plant-based version is without a doubt getting a lot of attention these days, and was even named the Number 1 food trend of 2018 by New York-based restaurant consultancy group Baum + Whiteman.
So, other than being trendy, what exactly IS plant-based protein and why should you give it a try? We’ve put together a quick primer for you.
- Many plants already have complete proteins in them. Think quinoa, soy products, buckwheat, and hemp seeds. Other plant proteins – such as nuts, legumes or veggies like spinach or mushrooms – are slightly incomplete, so be sure to eat a variety of them to cover your body’s complete protein needs.
- You’re probably eating more protein than you really need. The USDA recommends a daily protein intake of about 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. The average American adult consumes between 100-120 grams of protein every day. Not only is that two to three times what we need, it comes mostly from high-fat animal products.
- Plant-based proteins are easy on the wallet. Something a lot of people don’t consider when thinking about going plant-based: it can help the pocketbook. More often than not, plant-based sources of protein are cheaper, especially in bulk. Traditional sources like beef, chicken and fish are typically the most expensive items on the grocery list, so choosing to eat more plant-based protein will make your wallet smile. Cha-ching!
- Go nuts. Tree nuts and peanuts are the only plant-based proteins that contain fats, but they are healthy fats. They are also a good source of fiber, protein and select phytonutrients, depending on the nut. For example, walnuts are the richest source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, peanuts are the highest in protein and almonds have the highest amount of calcium and fiber.
- Tips for adding plant-based protein to your diet. It’s easy. Plant protein can substitute for animal protein on meatless Mondays or anytime. Use legumes to replace animal protein in your diet as often as you like. Try soy-based meat alternatives: use tofu in mixed dishes or snack on edamame to add more soy to your diet. Snack on nuts; add them to baked dishes, salads, desserts, trail mix, cereal, yogurt, granola and more.
- Convinced that plant proteins are for you? Look no further than our new Mann’s® Basil Pesto and Tomato Bolognese Nourish Bowls®, each containing 14-15 grams of plant-based protein goodness. Plus, they’re low in calories and feature kohlrabi noodles that cook and twirl like real pasta. The Basil Pesto bowl includes shredded kale, zesty sauce with vegan Chick’n and grated Parmesan. The Tomato Bolognese includes marinara with vegan sausage, shredded carrots and grated Parmesan.
So make it a Meatless Monday. Or Tuesdsay. Or Wednesday…