Tips to Eat 50 Grams of Cheap Vegan Protein a Day

Plant Sources of Protein

Can Vegans Eat Enough Protein?

First, you don’t have to be vegan to benefit from CravingsCured.com. Most of us here do lean towards veganism or vegetarianism for a variety of reasons. We’ve already discussed that protein deficiency can cause weight gain, and average people should plan to consume 50 grams of protein or more each day. Larger or very active people may need more. The point of this article is to explain that you can consume enough protein every day by relying upon cheap, vegan food sources, but you are free to select your own eating plan.

How Much Protein Should You Consume Each Day?

A good rule of thumb is to multiple your weight in pounds by .36. Using this formula, you would need 36 grams of protein at 100 pounds, and 72 grams of protein at 200 pounds. You can learn more about dietary protein recommendations at the National Library of Medicine page on protein too. Obviously, you should adjust that number based upon your activity level.

A Word About Complete Protein

You may have heard that most plant-based protein sources are not complete proteins. This is true, but it might not be as big a deal as was previously thought. In the old days, dietary writers would tell you that you had to consume a complete protein in one sitting or meal. These days, writers will usually tell you that you’ll be fine if you simply consume complete proteins in the same day.

Anyway, a complete protein has eight amino acids, but some kinds of food has less than that. These are examples of food combinations that will give you a complete protein:

  • Legumes and grains: There is a reason that rice and beans go together like peanut butter and whole-grain bread.
  • Legumes and seeds: Alternatively, you can combine nuts and seeds for a complete protein dish.
  • Quinoa, buckwheat, and hemp seeds contain a complete protein by themselves. Even though people use quinoa and buckwheat as grains, they are actually seeds. Soy is also a source of complete protein.

Of course, if you eat eggs and dairy products, you can get some protein from them as well. You may have heard that some vegetables, like broccoli, contain protein, and it’s true! However, broccoli doesn’t have enough of certain amino acids to be considered complete. You have plenty of reasons to enjoy broccoli, so you can always add seeds, whole grains, or a cheese (even a soy cheese) sauce to your vegetable dish.

Graphic Guide to Vegan Protein

Here’s a simple graphic you might refer to:

meat free_plant based protein

How to Consume at Least 50 Grams of Protein Each Day From Cheap, Vegan Sources

Let’s look at some examples of good food choices that will help you eat at least 50 grams of protein a day without relying upon animal protein or anything expensive or exotic. You also might be interested in this doctor’s take on ways to consume enough protein on a vegan diet.

Vegan Protein for Breakfast

Steel-cut oats and soy milk offers you over 13 grams of protein alone. Sprinkle in a tablespoon of ground flax or chia seeds for an extra boost. If you’re not a fan of oatmeal, you can also find other low-sugar, high-protein cereal choices at the store. As an alternative, two slices of sprouted grain or high-protein bread should offer you at least eight grams of protein. Go ahead and smear on peanut butter or even avocados, and don’t forget that sprinkle of seeds. Depending upon your protein requirements, you can try to aim for at least 15 to 20 grams of protein at breakfast.

Vegan Protein for Lunch and Supper

At lunch, you can start experimenting with buckwheat noodles, quinoa, or even that old standby of rice and beans. Broccoli with cheese sauce, or a salad that includes high-protein vegetables, seeds, and legumes will also serve you well. One favorite around here is a nice tofu stir-fry dish with vegetables. Alternatively, you can center your meal around potatoes or sweet potatoes by including high-protein toppings. Of course, you’ve always got the peanut butter sandwich on whole-grain bread as a backup.

Protein Boosts From Snacks

You can boost your vegan protein intake and curb cravings by choosing snacks wisely. Of course, a handful of seeds or nuts makes a good choice, but so does nut butter on whole-grain toast. Roasted chickpeas are a satisfying, crunchy snack you may enjoy. Of course, a reasonable amount of popcorn works well too.

Yes, You Can Consume Enough Protein From Vegan Sources

Really, if you focus on eating plant-based sources of protein, you requirements for fiber, fat, and other nutrients are likely to take care of themselves. If you’re pregnant or have other exceptional needs for protein, you might speak with your doctor or a nutritionist.

Tip: If you’re also worried about consuming B12 on a vegan diet, check this out.

 

 

 

 

Demystifying Food Cravings: What Cravings Actually Mean

 What Do Food Cravings Really Mean?

What Do Food Cravings Mean? Earlier, Cravings Cured covered how your gut can actually send you food cravings because you’re starving yourself of certain essential nutrients. You may not interpret these cravings in the healthiest or most efficient way because you speak English, your gut speaks another language, and your brain’s translation program isn’t perfect.

Of course, no two people are exactly alike. Still, it’s possible to offer some tips that can help you listen to your cravings, satisfy your appetite, and start enjoying better health. To help demystify food cravings, it might help to look into the meanings of the most common food cravings.

Demystifying Common Food Cravings

Get started with these common food cravings and their possible meanings:

Curing Chocolate Cravings

Some people crave chocolate so much that they almost consider it an addiction. Certainly, you can satisfy a chocolate craving by adding unsweetened cocoa powder to many dishes, plant milk, and of course, coffee. Another tip is to buy a dark chocolate bar, break off a square or two, and then melt it in the microwave over a couple of handfuls of nuts.

Some deficiencies that can cause chocolate cravings include magnesium, some B vitamins, chromium, and essential fatty acids. It’s worth noting that chocolate also helps boost serotonin, so your craving could be emotional. If you’ve got the blues, you can find healthy ways to indulge in a bit of chocolate and spend some time relieving your stress in other ways.

Curbing Carbohydrate Cravings

If you’ve already looked around Cravings Cured, you know that we don’t think carbohydrates are the devil. Your craving for empty carbs and calories may simply stem from not eating enough healthy carbs, particularly those with plenty of gut-feeding fiber.You’re probably having trouble keeping your blood sugar in check, and the right diet can help minor issues with this.

These are some tips to help satisfy your carb craving while staying fit:

  • Discover whole and sprouted grains, tofu, lentils, starchy vegetables, and other sources of healthy carbs and fiber again.
  • You may lack magnesium and chromium, which also help balance blood sugar.
  • Make sure you’re hydrated and have had enough sleep.

Fried Food Cravings 

The most intuitively obvious reason for craving fried food is a lack of healthy fat. You might start by eating a portion or two of nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, fatty fish, or olive oil. If you want to fry food, try using a little bit of spray oil in the oven or a saute pan instead of several inches of deep-fry oil.

Red Meat Obsessions

People actually don’t tend to crave read meat as much as they crave carbs. That might suggest something about the importance of healthy carbs over dripping hunks of red meat. In any case, cravings for red meat are likely to stem from a need for health fat, iron, or certain B vitamins. Dark-green vegetables, legumes, and adding a bit of nutritional yeast to other dishes can help with this.

Salt

You need to consume some salt to stay healthy, so if you’ve been carefully avoiding salt, make sure you consume some every day. Otherwise, you may have a problem with an electrolyte imbalance because of a lack of B vitamins or even stress. Coconut water helps balance electrolytes. Otherwise, food with healthy fat and B vitamins, like nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Nutritional yeast also has a cheesy, salty flavor that most people like, and you can add it to vegetables and other dishes as a condiment.

What if Food Won’t Satisfy Your Food Cravings

If you eat an ample amount of healthy food, it’s likely you’re having trouble balancing your blood sugar because you don’t stay hydrated, need more sleep, or are struggling with stress or other emotional issues. In some cases, you may suffer from other medical conditions, so it’s not terrible advice to tell you to get a checkup if you suffer cravings frequently and simple dietary changes don’t offer any solutions. A doctor can test your blood sugar and other markers.

Protein Deficiency Weight Gain

How Protein Deficiency Causes Weight Gain

Pinto Beans - Great Source of ProteinIf you’re having trouble losing weight, suffer from cravings, or lack muscle tone, you might suffer from a protein deficiency. If you’re losing weight without consuming enough protein, you can bet that your starving body is cannibalizing your muscles.

That’s why your brain is screaming at you to send it more of this essential nutrient. The idea behind any solid weight-loss plan is to lose fat and not muscle. Protein deficiency can lead to weight gain, but even if it doesn’t, you can bet it is bad news. Every cell you carry around in your body needs protein.

You might want to glance at this article in Runner’s World about protein — or what it calls the “most important nutrient” that you can consume. They also include a U.S. Army study on protein, associating adequate intake with lower BMIs and other health markers.

How Much Protein Should You Eat?

The FDA says that most Americans eat enough protein; however, I wonder if this is really true.  They give a general guideline to consume 50 grams of protein a day for somebody on a 2,000 calorie daily diet. Of course, you need to adjust this for your personal body type, activity life, and so on.

If you’re the type of person who skips breakfast, eats a scant lunch, and is ravenous by dinner, you’re probably suffering from protein-deficiency cravings, so simply adjusting your consumption of this macronutrient could help you get your cravings cured.

I find that including high-quality protein in my breakfast is one of the most helpful things that I can do to curb cravings all day, and this has been backed up by research. A couple of eggs, fried tofu, yogurt, and soy milk are some suggestions. If you need something portable, you can plan ahead by boiling eggs or even just making a cheese sandwich with sprouted wheat bread. Also, slow-cooked oatmeal with dairy or plant milk and a few berries will give you what you need to keep your cravings subdued until lunch.

It’s Easy to Avoid Protein-Deficiency Cravings and Weight Gain

The FDA doesn’t say that you have to get all or any of your protein from animal products, though you need to eat a diet that works for you.In fact, their list of protein-rich foods doesn’t even list meat first. It lists legumes, dairy products, eggs, and grains over meat.

For example:

  • A cup of cooked lentils has about 18 grams of protein, so you can certainly enjoy plant-based sources of protein for some or all of your meals without suffering from a deficiency.
  • A cup of peas has nine grams, and even a cup of broccoli will give you 2.5.

In any case, a Harvard study linked protein from yogurt, nuts, and fish to less weight gain, and it also linked meat to more weight gain.

If You Eat Meat, Choose High-Quality Sources

Also, if you do eat a lot of meat, you are probably consuming more protein than you actually need and plenty of saturated fat and other unhelpful stuff. An 8-ounce steak is more than twice as big as a portion for most people. A typical four-ounce steak gives you over 20 grams of protein, so you probably don’t need to sit down at a restaurant and order a 12-ounce steak to fill your protein requirements for the day.

If you eat meat, it’s better to consider it a condiment for a stir fry, salad, soup, or other plant-based dish. That way, three or four ounces of meat, poultry, and seafood can give you a satisfying meal.