Protein in vegetarian food – how to get enough from different kinds of food

energy percentage protein in foodThe first thing people usually ask when you say you are eating is “But where do you get proteins from? “. As a vegetarian, it’s not that hard actually; you can eat egg, cottage cheese, beans, quorn, lentils and cheese. For vegans, it is a little worse; they may opt out of egg and cheese, but can instead choose tofu and soybeans. NFA recommends a daily intake of 10-20% protein, it is not that difficult to achieve if you add some protein-rich foods in each meal.

Foods that are often recommended as vegetarian foods high in protein are lentils and beans. Looking at these lentils they have 32 E% protein, chickpeas 27 E% protein and kidney beans have 38 E%. E% means percent energy, which means 38% of the energy in the food comes from protein. High for vegetarian food but most of the energy is still carbohydrates – as with most vegetarian foods. See below for energy percentages of various foods, and you know how much protein the different foods contain:

Lentils- dried and then cooked:
Protein: 32 E%
Fat: 3 E%
Carbohydrates: 65 E%

Chick peas in a can:
Protein: 27 E%
Fat: 19 E%
Carbohydrates: 54 E%

Kidney beans in a can:
Protein: 38 E%
Fat: 7 E%
Carbohydrates: 55 E%

Cashew nuts, raw:
Protein: 12 E%
Fat: 67 E%
Carbohydrates: 21 E%

Protein: 34 E%
Fat: 66 E%
Carbohydrates: 0 E%

Milk, skimmed, 1.5 % fat:
Protein: 29 E%
Fat: 29 E%
Carbohydrates: 42 E%

Soy milk, Alpro:
Protein: 33 E%
Fat: 45 E%
Carbohydrates: 22 E%

Cheese, cheddar with 32% fat:
Protein: 26 E%
Fat: 73 E%
Carbohydrates: 1 E%

Cottage cheese, 4% fat:
Protein: 52 E%
Fat: 39 E%
Carbohydrates: 9 E%

Quark, plain with 1% fat:
Protein: 69 E%
Fat: 12 E%
Carbohydrates: 19 E%

Protein: 36 E%
Fat: 52 E%
Carbohydrates: 12 E%

Protein: 39 E%
Fat: 55 E%
Carbohydrates: 6 E%

Quorn mince:
Protein: 62 E%
Fat: 19 E%
Carbohydrates: 19 E%

Take a look here to learn more about energy percentage and how to calculate it, there is also a calculator for calculating energy percentage in food you can download. And read here about how many g of protein a vegetarian needs to eat every day.

1 thought on “Protein in vegetarian food – how to get enough from different kinds of food

  1. Pingback: What to consider when going vegetarian | Eat More Vegetarian

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