Where Do Vegans Get Their Protein? “Becoming Vegan: Express Edition”, with Brenda Davis RD

Where Do Vegans Get Their Protein? “Becoming Vegan: Express Edition”, with Brenda Davis RD


Hi, my name is Brenda Davis. And i’m
co-author, along with Vesanto Melina of ‘Becoming Vegan Express Edition’. And one of the very first
questions that most new vegans, or even vegetarians
get asked is: “Where do you get your protein?” We have so many great plant sources of protein.
That I think this question gets a little frustrating for vegans. How can we respond when someone asks us this question, in a
way that’s compassionate and helpful for them. So, what I like to remind people of. Is that vegans and vegetarians get
their protein from the very same places, that some of the; largest, strongest animals on
the planet get their protein. Think about it. Rhinoceroses, elephants, hippopotamuses, gorillas. All seem to manage to build
their big, huge muscles. Without a single ounce
of animal protein and so can we. So where do we
get our protein? Well lets take a look at some of these foods.
And talk about how much protein they have. First of all we need to know how much protein
we need. Well people need about 10 to 15 percent of calories from protein. If you look at legumes
whether it’s lentils, or other beans. These are
lima beans, black beans, pinto beans, navy beans, mung beans. All legumes provide
somewhere between 20 and 40 percent of their
calories from protein. Peas are rich sources or protein as well. Nuts and seeds, seeds especially. Like pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds
are very high in protein. Some of the, the soy products like edamame, which are green soybeans, tempeh, and tofu. Are about 39/40 percent of calories from protein. We
have veggies meats like burgers and these, these are gardein turkey cutlets. Well these kinds of veggie meats provide about 50 to
80 percent of calories from protein. So they’re
very protein rich foods. One of the things that,
that isn’t so high in protein is fruits. So, fruits
might have about 2 to 10 percent of calories from protein.
Starchy vegetables are the other foods that are
a little bit low on protein. Maybe 8 to 10/12 percent of calories from protein.
Even grains provide some, 9 to 17 percent
of calories from protein. So the bottom line is, if you eat a variety of whole plant foods
and you get enough calories. Generally you will not have
to worry about getting enough protein. Really there are only 2
ways of blowing up. One is not getting enough calories and
the other is eating mainly junk food. So foods that are really
high in sugar, or high in oil, or eating a, a raw based fruit diet. You may end up being low on protein.
Otherwise if you’re eating whole foods, you
can rest assured that your protein needs will be met. And if
you’re skeptical about building big muscles with plant protein.
Just take a look at some of the buff vegan body builders.
There’s a website called veganbodybuilding.com And you can take a look at all kinds of people
who have managed to build huge muscles. With souley plant protein. So, and again if you’re wanting
to get more information on protein, and a lot of the details
about the protein content of foods, and quality of protein issues. Take a look at ‘Becoming
Vegan Express Edition’. We have an entire chapter
on protein and also an entire chapter on athletes. So do make sure you get a copy. And
thanks so much for listening

5 Replies to “Where Do Vegans Get Their Protein? “Becoming Vegan: Express Edition”, with Brenda Davis RD”

  1. Great video!
    Just two reminders:
    1. People with largely (or entirely) fruit-based diets usually eat plenty of legumes/seeds because those essentially are the fruit — or part of the fruit — of plants.
    2. People who do a lot of physical damage to their body with heavy physical activity need more protein. That's simply the price we pay for doing damage to our body. Obviously, you can still get all the protein you need from non-animal sources, and your body will thank you for doing so.

  2. Although as a vegan for over 4 years I totally agree we can get enough protein from a balanced plant based diet, I'd expect Brenda and any other vegan advocate to stop comparing us to other herbivore mammals like elephants, rhinos, hippos and gorillas. The simple reason is that, unlike them, we're unable to break and digest cellulose.
    A gorilla can get a lot of nutrients, including protein, out of a bamboo shoot, we humans cannot…
    So, for the sake of the accuracy, let's not use a rhino or a hippo as an example of a healthy herbivore, we humans are not herbivores, we're more on the "fruitarian" category.

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