Whether you're already vegetarian or simply trying to add more plant based foods into your diet, one of the main challenges can be to find good vegetarian sources of protein.
This problem is even more difficult if you are trying to lose weight. A high carb diet is much easier on a vegetarian diet, but trying to swap to a regime where you are eating protein at every meal makes meal planning much more difficult.
Nutritionist Jessica Cording writing in mindbodygreen has observed the problem in her own clients:
Sometimes it can be a challenge to work protein in consistently throughout the day. I find that many of my clients who complain of feeling hungry are falling a little short of their goal or having most of their protein at one meal rather than spreading it out throughout the day. This also comes up when someone is transitioning to a plant-based diet that involves less of the animal proteins they’re used to. read more at mindbodygreen.com
Most people know that eggs are a great source of protein. Cheese also contains a significant amounts of high quality proteins. Cottage cheese is particularly good if you're following a weight loss diet. If you find the texture of cottage cheese unpalatable, then ricotta is a great, and very versatile, alternative.
Strained yogurts (for example Greek yogurt) are also excellent and little known sources of high quality protein. The fact that they are strained almost doubles their protein content. Not only is greek yogurt a great substitute for sour cream in dips and baked potato toppings, but live yogurt also helps to improve the levels of good bacteria in your gut. This has a multitude of health benefits which includes weight loss and a reduction in insulin resistance.
Some other great sources of protein which you could add to your diet are seeds, particularly flax seeds which are also great brain food as they contain Omega 3 fatty acids. Nutritional yeast is another additive which can be sprinkled over food to add a savoury umami note to foods.
So it's not just beans and lentils which add the protein to a vegetarian diet. Just make sure to include as wide a variety of foods as possible for optimum health.
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Image from mindbodygreen.com