Understanding proteins and intake in the right proportionate is considered a complex task and often people are misled by myths and half-baked truths. One of the biggest myths about proteins is that vegetarians don't get nearly as enough due to their diet. Here's the truth behind it.
On the occasion of National Protein Day (Feb 27), it is important to understand the benefits of protein and eating a balanced meal. It is a popular belief among people that a vegetarian diet is not sufficient to get enough protein into your body. It doesn't come as a surprise as protein intake via meat or animal protein is widely circulated, leaving access to knowledge about plant proteins to only those who look for it.
Fish, lamb, chicken, eggs are common sources of protein. But non-vegetarians believe skipping the meat intake will take a toll on their protein level. Hence, many are led to believe that being a non-vegetarian is the only way to get the necessary proteins for your body.
International Business Times reviewed several such claims that a vegetarian diet reduces protein intake. But the truth is far from it. There are several alternatives to animal protein one can easily rely on to get equal or even more protein for the body. But one must understand how much protein is needed for the body.
We spoke to Swati Bathwal, an accredited practising Dietitian Nutritionist and Public Health Dietitian, to understand protein intake as per our body needs.
"Our body needs 0.8gm -1gm protein per kg body weight per day out of which most of it we get through a balanced diet. The issue in India is we are more of carbohydratarians than vegetarians because we do not intake vegetarian sources of protein, for example, if you eat rice and daal, the quantity for rice is more as compared to daal. Lentils, pulses, dairy and its products, soy, nuts and seeds are excellent sources of protein. We must focus on having some component of protein with each meal being vegetarians. If you are a bodybuilder, you will need 1.2-1.5 gm per kg body weight per day. In this case, you can have plant-based protein powders rather than synthetic ones," Bathwal told IBTimes.
Furthermore, all it takes is a web search to get a whole list of protein food sources besides meat. Greek yogurt, Parmesan cheese, Tempeh, Soybeans, Oats, Peanuts, Almonds, Milk, green peas, are some of the rich plant-based protein sources.
Based on the information available on the web and per our independent research, International Business Times arrives at the conclusion that there are a lot of food options for vegetarians to get the right amount of protein.