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Protein vs Vegan Diets: Everything You Need To Know
Whether you're an old-school vegan, new to the club, or just intrigued by one of the biggest myths surrounding a plant-based diet - you're in the right place.  Since the dawn of time, or for a very long time, the subject of 'protein' has been this giant confusing question mark constantly plaguing the lives of vegans worldwide. Because if you're not consuming meat or eggs, how on earth could you be getting enough protein in your diet? Well, there's a simple answer to that: plants.

Why do we even need protein?

We'll try not to get too sciency here - but protein is an essential part of our nutrition needed for growth, repair, and generally keeping us healthy. It's present in our muscles, blood, skin - and plays a key role in creating and maintaining every cell in our bodies. It's also a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as zinc and B vitamins. In a nutshell, it's essential for our health that we consume protein, and enough of it, every day.

Can you get enough protein as a vegan?
Ah, the million-dollar question that has a relatively straightforward answer. YES! Vegans can get all the protein they need from the power of plants. You'll find more than enough of your daily protein needs in legumes, pulses, grains, beans, nuts, seeds and even several veg (see list below for our highest-ranking protein sources). But as advised with any diet, variety is key and combining elements from all plant food groups is essential for consuming enough protein on a daily basis.

So, where's the best place to get your plant protein?

When it comes to getting protein from animal-based sources, it's pretty straightforward. Most sources deliver a complete balance of amino acids in one hit. So, you could eat some cow and put a big tick next to your amino acid checklist. When it comes to plant-based protein sources, it works a little differently. Most vegan protein sources on their own will contain all the essential amino acids we need, but rarely have the complete range that our body needs to thrive in a day. But don't despair. Those following a plant-based diet must combine different plant food sources to get enough of the good stuff. Think a veggie chilli packed full of different beans, a morning smoothie containing oats, peanut butter and some vegan protein powder. It all comes back to that word 'variety' - which we know is key in any diet consumed. And that sounds pretty darn delicious to us.

How much protein do you need daily?
Whether you're vegan or not, the Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) for protein for adults is 0.75g protein per kg body weight per day. This equates to 56g/day and 45g/day for men and women of average body weights (75 and 60kg, respectively).*
The best vegan and plant-based protein sources we recommend:
Approx amount of protein per 100g, unless otherwise stated*
Pumpkin seeds: 30g
Peanuts: 27g
Lentils: 26g
Kidney beans: 21g
Almonds: 21g
Tempeh: 20g
Chickpeas: 19g
Soybeans: 17g
Chia seeds: 17g
Oats: 16g
Rice: 15g
Tofu: 15g
Edamame: 13g
Buckwheat: 13g
Peas: 5g
Quinoa: 4g
Vegan Protein Powder: 15-20g of protein per 30g scoop
A Grubby summary...
There's never been a better time to enjoy a plant-based diet. Grubby recipes are packed with protein and we always make sure that our weekly menu has a varied range of veggies to give you the optimum balance without having to think about all that. So, whether you're fully vegan or looking to reduce your meat intake gradually, you can be confident in the knowledge that all your protein needs can be met. You might still have to convince mum and dad though. Good luck with that! *Source: British Nutrition Foundation.

Want some help in making delicious plant-based meals from home? Get Grubby with the UK's most loved plant-based recipe kit.