It is no secret that getting enough protein is not always the easiest thing to do when you are on a vegan diet. People often make the mistake of thinking that to build muscle and get enough protein, you need to eat meat.
This is untrue.
There are plenty of vegan athletes who do well. So, you can easily get a high-protein vegan diet without needing to eat any animal products.
Here’s the deal.
How Do You Get High Protein On A Vegan Diet?
One of the best ways that you can up your protein intake on a vegan diet is to start a love affair with smoothies. There are many vegetables that are high in protein, beans, quinoa, pulses, nuts and seeds and so on can have a high amount of protein in them.
You should choose a few of the above and rotate them in your diet on a regular basis, so as to get plenty of variety but plenty of protein in your diet.
Having the same thing on repeat will likely result in you getting bored with it, so rotating the vegetables you use for your protein will prevent you from getting bored with any one particular food.
How Can Vegans Get 150 Grams Of Protein A Day?
In general, the absolute best way a vegan can get a high protein intake per day is to indulge in smoothies. When you make your own smoothies, you can add in as many high-protein ingredients as you want to.
You could add in walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almond butter, and even some beans if you fancy it.
Doing so is the best and easiest way to get plenty of high protein in your diet, it doesn’t take long to make a smoothie, and you can get a huge amount of your required protein from this.
Can You Have A High Protein Vegan Diet?
What’s the real story? Can you have a high protein vegan diet? Well, yes. It is a cliché stereotype that vegans cannot. Just because vegans do not eat animal products doesn’t mean that protein is a lost cause.
Plenty of things contains protein, not just animal products. You might need to be even more strict with your diet, including more specific plant-based foods that have a high protein count and to help you get the right amount of amino acids.
You could look at quinoa, seeds, nuts, tempeh, tofu, and so on.
How Much Protein Does The Average Person Need?
Typically, a majority of adults will need about 0.75 grams of protein per kilogram of their body weight each day. For the average woman, this would be 45g, or for a man, it would average 55g.
This is around 2 full portions of fish, meat, tofu, or nuts each day. A protein portion should be big enough that it would fit into the palm of your hand.
This means that you can easily get what protein you need to have from nuts, seeds, tofu, and so on.
Are Vegans Protein Deficient?
Why does this matter? Well, it matters because this means that the stereotype that vegans are protein deficient is incredibly wrong. Vegans have no protein deficiency in any amino acids.
Some vegans may rely too much on processed foods, not eating a wide enough variety of fruit, vegetables, and grains. If this is the case, then there may be a deficiency. However, what this verifies is that there is no direct connection between veganism and protein deficiency.
It is totally dependent on your entire diet, how you eat, and what you eat.
A vegan who eats a wide variety of foods, will likely not be protein deficient or suffer any deficiencies, however, a vegan who tends to only eat the same thing over and over, will be more likely to be protein deficient.
It’s very personal.
How The Body Uses Protein
Why is this important?
Well, protein is actually more important than most of us realize. It is absolutely essential to the functioning of our bodies.
It is the nutrient that will repair our bodies, be it our cells and tissues, or skin, muscle, bone, or even hair. Not only that, but it is very important in the clotting of our blood when we injure ourselves, stopping up bleeding out when we cut ourselves.
Furthermore, it is also imperative in the functioning of our immune system, the enzymes in our bodies, and our hormones.
So, protein is actually more important to our bodies than we think, but because you can get protein in many forms and from many foods, protein is easy to get hold of, even if you are a very strict vegan.
Vegan Protein Sources
There are plenty of protein sources for vegans to fit into their daily diets.
Instead of talking for ages about this, we will give you a list of where you can get protein in your diet.
- Seitan (wheat gluten) has 25g protein per 100g.
- Tofu has 12-20g of protein per 100g.
- Edamame Beans have 12-20g protein per 100g.
- Tempeh has 12-20g protein per 100g.
- Lentils have 18g protein per 198g/1 cup.
- Beans (Black beans, kidney, and so on) have 15g of protein per 170g/1 cup.
- Yeast Flakes (aka nooch) has 8g protein per 16g.
- Spelt/ Teff (Grains such as barley) have 10/11g protein 250g.
- Hemp has 9g protein per 30g.
- Peas have 9g protein per 160g.
- Spirulina, which was 8g protein per 14g.
- Amaranth/ Quinoa has 8/9g protein per 185g/1 cup.
- Sprouted grain breads have around 4g protein per slice.
- Soy Milk has 6g of protein 244mL.
- Oats have 5g protein per 40g (40g is 1 serving typically).
- Wild Rice has 7g of protein per 164g.
- Chia seeds have 5g protein per 28g (around 1 tbsp).
- Nuts and seeds can have 5-7g of protein per 28g (1 serving).
- Fruits and veg such as sweet potato, potato, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, and so on will have around 4-5g protein per cup.
These are some of the best foods for vegans who seek out a high-protein diet. There are more, but this list shows you just how many options there are.
High Protein Vegan Meal Plan
How you manage your vegan meal plan for protein will depend on you. Your weight, age, how active you are and what your goals are.
So, it will depend on you.
We will give you a skeleton idea on how much you will want to include in your diet based on an average.
Vegan Protein Meal Plan For Women
We will use the example of an American woman within the average weight range, looking to lose a bit of weight and get more in shape.
When you start out in the mornings, you want a breakfast that is tasty. For your breakfast, we recommend something that will keep you going through the day.
For this, you want something high in energy. This is often why people will often start the day with a banana. If you don’t fancy a banana, you could prep the night before to start your day with a 200 Calorie protein mango smoothie!
This will give you a great protein-based kick for the day!
Obviously, you do not want to be having the same lunch every day, so it is good to mix it up. You may want to alternate throughout the week. Have one thing Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, and another thing Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Or you could split your week in half!
For lunch, we recommend an Oil-Free Curried Lentil Hummus, to give you the protein from those lentils, have a nice slice of bread and enjoy. This is a great lunch for the week. At the weekend, though. Why not treat yourself to a Loaded Vegan Bacon Sandwich?
At the end of the day, you want something a bit bigger, around 6pm. For a larger meal, we recommend Chili Glazed Tofu, which is great for those who are allergic or intolerant to gluten as well!
This meal will give you ample protein from the Tofu, and it tastes like heaven on a plate too! It’s not too much either, so if you are intending on lazing around after this, you won’t be overloading yourself, and you’ll have ample room for breakfast the next day!
Vegan Protein Meal Plan For Men
While women need protein just as much as men, men tend to need more calories in their diets, and therefore a tad more nutrients too.
So, here is our meal plan for men on a vegan diet.
Many men will hit the gyms in the morning rather than the evening, and even if you don’t, you’ll want a breakfast that powers you through the day. Hence, we recommend tasty banana bread to get you started. Pair this with a coffee or a smoothie, and you are set!
Where is the protein here? Why! It’s in the oats, of course! If you make it with Soy milk, you will also get even more protein, and the banana will add in that potassium that is vital to starting your day with a skip in your step.
Who doesn’t love garlic? Garlic is so good for heart health, and while it is not massively high in protein. Soy & Garlic Baked Mushroom dish is just what you need.
Not only is garlic so delicious (your mouth is watering right now), but mushrooms are also high in protein and will give you that kick you need in the middle of the day. Pair those garlic mushrooms with some corn fritters and you will get a complete meal.
Dinner, the meal that finishes your day, dinner should fill you up, but not so much that you need to do a workout to use up the energy you get from it.
For this reason, we recommend vegan egg-fried rice. It is the ultimate comfort food, too, so it is perfect to finish your day. It contains many foods with protein in them, including yeast, tofu, and more.
So, even if you prefer to have your biggest meal of the day at lunch instead of dinner, this is ideal!
Can You Be A Bodybuilder On A Vegan Diet?
You might think that you can’t possibly ingest enough protein as a vegan to be a bodybuilder. You would be wrong to think this?
It might sound strange, but you can completely be a bodybuilder on a vegan diet. It is not really that different from any vegan diet. The main difference is that you need to ensure you achieve balance in what nutrients you need to build muscle and bulk up.
Vegan BodyBuilder Breakfast
For this reason, we recommend a heavy breakfast.
Start your breakfast with a Berry Peanut Oatmeal. However, if you need something that packs a little more of a punch, I recommend a couple of pieces of protein brownies, especially if you don’t have time to sit down and eat. These are especially good if you tend to work out in the mornings and need solid food on the go.
High Protein Vegan Diet plan For BodyBuilding
What foods do we recommend for bodybuilders to start their day?
Here’s a mini-plan for you…
Berry Peanut Oatmeal (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday).
Loaded Vegan Bacon Sandwich (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday).
Tofu Scramble (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday).
Vegan Bolognese (Monday, Wednesday).
Vegan Hearty Green Bean Potato Stew (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday).
Vegan Butter Bean Stew (Friday, Sunday).
High Protein Vegetarian Diet Plan For Weight Loss
Realistically, vegetarians could use the same vegan diet plan as above, but we will give you some more options in case you want something a little different.
All of these recipes are delicious and contain plenty of protein to keep you going strong!
Cheap High Protein Vegan Meals
What is cheap for you depends on your income, but remember the foods that are high in protein and get creative with your cooking. Even sweet potato fries can be high in protein. Tofu, and a salad! It all depends on what you put in it.
If you are short on cash and have a garden at your disposal, you could try growing your own veg to save you some money at the store! Fresh, high-protein veg, you can’t go wrong!
One of my all-time favorite cheat high protein vegan meals is a slice of wholegrain bread, slices of smoked tofu, pickled onion, and sriracha sauce, with a side of salad. A perfect nutritious meal high on a protein that is easy and cheap.
Anyway, this was my High Protein Vegan Diet Plan 2022 that I swear by, and I hope it helps you.
Or if I have missed anything, or you have suggestions as well, feel free to drop a comment below 🙂