The meatless high protein foods for vegetarians are few but are the best options for those who does not want to take protein powders or shakes.
If you stick to these meatless high protein foods as an integral part of your daily diet, I would say you don’t need protein powders or shakes. Yes, if you are into “burn fat and lose weight with strength training“, then a dash of extra protein from protein powders or shakes could help.
If you have problem(s) with uric acid, then please consult your physician on how much should be your daily protein intake, and the foods from my list that you can eat.
In the gym, many a time I am asked a very common question, “Ma’am, I am not non-vegetarian. Can you please suggest some vegetarian foods that contain protein, and that would not weaken or make me lose muscles?
Know that if protein food for vegetarian diet or if protein food for vegetarian athletes are taken in the right quantity on a daily basis, it will never weaken your muscles. In fact, it will help in getting lean muscles (over and above your strength training).
The vegetarian food with protein list that I am going to share now has already helped many vegetarians in filling up their protein deficit. Why only vegetarians? Even non-vegetarians can cut down on their protein from meat and incorporate some meatless high protein foods in their daily meal chart.
Personally speaking, this list is the best vegetarian sources of protein I would recommend, any day and any time.
List of Meatless High Protein Foods
These are all “superfoods” and in moderation, have very positive impact on health.
Image Credit: Livestrong
Meatless High Protein Foods #1: Lentils
Eating lentils every day would give you 25-26 g of protein per 100g. Not only this, the 100 g lentils you would take daily would also meet your fiber requirement. Of course, 100g lentil is too much for one meal. You can divide it in 2 or 3 meals.
Cholesterol free, lentils are quite low in sodium and fat. Where minerals are concerned, lentils are packed with potassium, magnesium and iron. Eat lentils as you want but make sure when you cook them, don’t spoil all its good qualities by adding too much salt, or oil, or clarified butter, or spices to it.
A non-vegetarian can replace 100g chicken breast (with 25-26 g of protein) with 100g of lentils for daily consumption.
Lentils are #1 as meat replacement.
Meatless High Protein Foods #2: Black Beans
A good source of protein, 100g of black beans contain about 20-21g of protein. Isn’t it great? Like lentils, don’t eat all the 100g at one go as it will make you feel very full. With its protein, low fat and fiber content, black beans are excellent for diabetics and can be a part of weight management programs.
Meatless High Protein Foods #3: Tempeh
While you are looking for vegan protein, tempeh would sure help you. For every 100 g, it contains 19-20 g of protein. Now what is Tempeh? It is a soy product. With anti-cancer properties and cardiovascular benefits, Tempeh is known to help many with its protein content.
Tempeh is #2 as meat replacement.
Meatless High Protein Foods #4: Almonds
A superfood with 21-22 g of protein per 100 g, almonds contain potassium, iron, potassium and magnesium. Don’t get “scared” about its high fat content; healthy fat is always good for the body.
Almonds are rich in fiber also.
Meatless High Protein Foods #5: Peanut Butter
Yummy! The very name makes my mouth water! And the crunchier, the better. Well, I like the crunchy one over creamy.
Do you know that peanut butter has 24-25 g of protein per 100 g? One of the good sources of fiber because of peanuts, this butter contains potassium (in quite a high quantity), magnesium, and vitamin B6.
One pitfall—it is “high in fat” but don’t worry; if you are on a weight loss or fat loss mission, don’t go easy with it and eat as much as you want.
Don’t try to fill your protein deficiency with eating peanut butter throughout the day!
Meatless High Protein Foods #6: Quinoa
Gluten free and rich-in-nutrients, quinoa has 14 g of protein per 100 g. It is excellent for weight watchers and diabetics as it has low GI, helps in losing weight, and lowering both cholesterol and high pressure.
Initially, you may not like its taste. Cook it well as you can prepare a couple of yummy quinoa dishes.
Meatless High Protein Foods #7: Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese (the homemade variety) is low in calorie, low in fat; at the same time, its protein content is 11 g per 100 g. “High in saturated fat”, be careful not to overeat it. Of course, it contains minerals and vitamins required by our body.
Don’t try to fill your protein deficiency with eating cottage cheese throughout the day!
Meatless High Protein Foods #8: Sunflower Seeds
Tiny seeds and such high protein content—20-21 g of protein per 100 g! Considered a superfood, these seeds contain selenium and magnesium, and helps in lowering cholesterol.
Sunflower seeds are an easy “salmon” replacement. This fish also contains 20-21 g of protein per 100 g!
Don’t try to fill your protein deficiency with eating sunflower seeds throughout the day!
Other than the meatless high protein foods listed above, there are two more foods with protein content—tofu has 8 g of protein per 100 g, and Greek Yogurt (or, hung curd) has 10 g of protein per 100 g.
I would suggest you incorporate both tofu and yogurt in your daily diet. Make sure not to overeat these foods (or any other food for that matter) just because you feel like eating more!
The above listed meatless high protein foods are a mandatory dietary addition for any vegetarian looking to lose weight or gain lean muscles.