The first question people ask vegans is “where do you get your protein?” People ask this question because of a fundamental assumption that the human body requires meat for protein.
But, strictly speaking, this isn’t true. It is in fact possible to get the protein you need just from plant-based foods (hence why vegans are still alive). The key is diet planning, regardless of what your diet looks like.
A Healthy Balance
The body requires proteins at a basic level to grow and repair. Around 0.8 gram of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day is recommended. That means that if you are 60 kg, you generally need about 48 grams to keep you going.
If you skip meat entirely, it’s good to be aware of a few nutrients that are food in meat that you need to get from your plant-based foods. Zinc and iron are two of these.
Zinc is in most plant foods, but they only contain a small amount of it. Moreover, it is in a slightly different form which the body finds harder to absorb.
It’s a similar story with iron. The iron in plants is the non-heme version, so the body is less able to absorb it.
It is certainly possible to get what you need with regards to these nutrients as long as you plan and choose nutrient-rich foods.
Keep Your Meals Fun and Interesting
If you eat meat and want to add a little diversity to your meat dishes, you might want to try recipes like this instant pot pulled pork at dadcooksdinner.com. It’s a little different from regular pan-fried pork chops or chicken breasts. If you need more inspiration, check out this post on the best ways to cook chicken.
If you plan on going meatless, you’ll need to make sure to eat a balanced diet, as does someone who eats meat. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to simply eat more legumes, such as beans, chickpeas, split peas and lentils. You can also make a kind of “fake meat” from walnuts by mincing them and combining them with chili powder. Try adding more herbs and spices to dishes to make them taste even better. You’ll be surprised by how quickly your taste buds will adapt.
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