As I settle into a vegan plus diet (vegan plus no gluten or sugar additives), the question I most asked is if I’m getting enough protein. Yesterday I answered what “enough” might mean, and today I’m listing the Best Protein-Rich Foods. I purposely left ouf protein isolate sources, such as Spirulina, soy protein, and whey protein.
You can also find a viewable version of my protein reference spreadsheet online.
Top Ten Vegan Protein Sources
I was pleasantly surprised to find so many great vegan protein sources, some packed with nearly as many or more grams of protein per serving than the much vaunted red meat. This is especially true when you consider that a serving of meat — 3 ounces — is 86 grams. Therefore, the grams of protein listed in the graph above are for more than one serving of meat. If you were to compare a 3 ounce serving of meat (31g) with, say a cup of mature roasted soybeans (68g), it becomes clear that meat isn’t the only way to consume protein.
What’s more, often these vegan foods are packed with many other vitamins, are fiber-rich, have a very low-impact on the environment, are inexpensive, and pack well without refrigeration (n.b. for my next hiking trip I need to pack a medley of seeds)!
- Mature roasted soybeans – 39.6g per 100g
- Roasted Pumpkin, Squash seeds – 33g per 100g
- Watermelon seeds – 28g per 100g
- Yeast Extract – 27.8g per 100g
- Lentils (Raw) – 25.8g per 100g
- Peanuts – 23.7g per 100g
- Almonds – 21g per 100g
- Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)- 20g per 100g
- Tofu – 17g per 100g
- Lentils (cooked)– 9g per 100g
N.B. I noticed that many sites refer to and compare foods by their nutrients per 100g. Doing so makes it easier to compare foods in terms of weight (grams) to protein (grams). It doesn’t, however, list the expected serving sizes and their protein content. I found an excellent article online that lists protein by 100 grams as well as serving sizes, as well as one that vegan-specific list of nutrients by 100 grams.