Where do vegans get protein from?

I can’t begin to tell you how often I’m asked that question and I’m not the only one. If you eat a plant-based diet there’s a better than good chance someone inquires about that at least once a week.

That was even the first question my bariatric surgeon asked me when I told him I had switched to a vegan diet. Yes, a doctor. Although physicians spend years in medical school, they only spend a few fleeting days (if that) studying nutrition. You can’t fault someone for asking if they genuinely don’t know. I explained that protein is plentiful in all sorts of plant-based foods. In fact, that’s where the bulk of it comes from in animals. So, if the cow that gave you a steak got his from vegetarian sources wouldn’t it make sense to cut out the middle man?

Indeed, we live in a protein obsessed culture. It’s been ingrained in us that you need it in mass quantities if you want to be bigger, stronger, faster — or just to get through the day. Well, there’s a major flaw in that logic. There is such as thing as eating too much of it.

Calculate How Much Protein You Need

Most of us are actually eating double the amount we really need! So, how much protein should we eat every day? Here’s your answer courtesy of PCRM.

Multiply your weight (in pounds) by 0.36 to calculate the grams of protein you need in a day. For example, someone who weighs 140 pounds needs about 50 grams of protein per day.

But back to that middle man thing. You do not need meat and dairy to get sufficient amounts. I repeat, you do not need to eat meat and dairy to get your protein!

I devoted an episode of my podcast The Exam Room™ to this very topic. Listen and learn how you can get all that you need from fruits, vegetables, beans and grains.

Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever podcasts are available.