“If I didn’t eat meat I don’t know where I’d get my protein.”
“You’re a vegan? But where do you get your protein?”

Does any of this sound familiar? Have you ever thought or asked this yourself? Or are you a vegan and have you heard that “as long as you eat a variety of foods you’ll meet your daily protein needs.” I have generally accepted that the vegan community knew what they were talking and that I could trust people who have been living this lifestyle far longer than I have. BUT, instead of just repeating what I’ve heard or trusting others that I am eating a healthy diet, I prefer to do my own research and back up what I’m saying with hard facts.

Let’s start out with our daily protein requirements. It is generally accepted that for each pound of body weight, you should consume .36 grams of protein per day. My mom always trusts Harvard, so I’ll refer you to them as my evidence. This means a 140 pound woman needs to get around 50g of protein per day from her 2000 calorie diet. And a 200 pound man needs 72g of protein per day from a 2500 calorie diet. To simplify this into smaller units, let’s look at how much protein these people need on average from every 100 calories they eat. 50 grams of protein from 2000 calories translates to 2.8g of protein from 100 calories and 72 grams of protein from 2500 calories translates to 2.88g of protein from 100 calories. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some common foods and see how many grams of protein there are in 100 calories of that item. Looking at these numbers, we can conclude that there are MANY plant sources that contain above and beyond our daily protein requirements. So is true that a vegan diet that incorporates a variety of foods will meet or exceed your daily protein requirements. If you have any other foods you’d like to see included on this list please let me know in the comments below!

Source: NutritionIX Database
*All values are grams of protein per 100 calories

Meat

Tuna 22.5
Salmon 10.7
Pork 10.9
Chicken 10.7
Beef 8.9
Bacon 7.5

Dairy & Eggs

Parmesan Cheese 9
Eggs 8.8
Yogurt 8.3
Mozzarella Cheese 7.4
Milk 6.8
Cheddar Cheese 5.7

Soy

Tofu 12
Tempeh 10.2
Soymilk 7

Nuts

Almonds 4
Peanuts 3.4
Cashews 2.2
Walnuts 2.3
Macadamia Nuts 1.1
Pecans 1

Beans & Legumes

Lentils 8
Black Beans 6.7
Peas 6.4
Pinto Beans 6.1
Chick Peas 5.6
Green Beans 4.5

Greens

Spinach 12.9
Romaine Lettuce 7.3
Kale 6.9
Cabbage 5.3

Mushrooms

Portabella Mushroom 11.3
Button Mushroom 8.8
Shiitake Mushroom 6.2

Vegetables

Asparagus 10.6
Cauliflower 8.3
Zucchini 7.6
Broccoli 6.7
Tomato 5
Cucumber 4.3
Corn 3.5
Onions 3.2
Green Pepper 3.1
Carrots 1.9

Fruits

Strawberries 2
Watermelon 2
Kiwi 2
Blackberries 3.6
Canteloupe 2.5
Oranges 1.9
Pineapple 1.2
Banana 1.2
Grapes 1.2
Avocado 1
Apple .5

Potatoes

Gold Potatoes 2.7
Red potato 2.6
Sweet Potatoes 1.8

Grains

Wheat Bread 4
Quinoa 3.7
White Bread 3.4
White Rice 2.1
Brown Rice 2.1