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Including protein in meals

A balanced main meal should include a protein element.

  • As a general rule, to ensure that a meal is balanced, check that it includes carbohydrate, protein and vegetable ingredients. 
  • Remember to avoid the pitfall of regularly serving main meals which consist just of carbohydrates and vegetables and no protein-rich ingredients (e.g. pasta and tomato sauce or vegetables, vegetable stir fry and noodles/rice, vegetable chilli or curry and rice, salads without a protein or carbohydrate element). 
  • This can be as easy as including a handful of nuts or some tinned beans with a pasta and sauce dish, or adding tofu pieces, cashew nuts or pumpkin seeds to a stir fry 

More detail on incorporating protein ingredients into meals

Sports supplements: Protein powders

A well-planned vegan diet can supply all the protein and other nutrients required by athletes.

However, for those who wish to supplement their dietary intake using protein powders for convenience, there are various vegan-suitable protein powders available. These are often made from soya, sprouted brown rice, spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, hemp, pea or nut protein.

Search the Animal Free Shopper for details of individual products available in the UK, alternatively an internet search for “vegan protein powder” will locate various suitable products.

Further information on vegan sports nutrition, including protein needs, see Chapter 16, ‘The Vegan Athlete’, of the book Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina.4

Well-planned vegan diets have the advantage of easily providing sufficient protein without containing excessive amounts. 
Listed below are Vegan plant based foods containing all the essential amino acids, which are considered complete proteins. 
Spirulina, Chlorella, Wheatgrass Juice, Raw Sprouts of: Sunflower Seeds; Mung Beans; Lentils; Alfalfa and Chia Seeds, Hempseed, Amaranth, Buckwheat, Quinoa and Soy. 

See the protein RNIs page for a table of protein requirements for all age groups 

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