Meat is the best place to look for protein. However, the fat content in meat is not good for you. Meat isn’t just packed with the protein that your body needs to grow, it’s also high in things like fat and cholesterol. This is why some people believe that losing weight and gaining muscle at the same time is impossible.
Because in order to gain healthy muscle mass, you’re not only going to have to lose the fat, you’re going to consume high amounts of protein in order to grow. If this is something you would like to do, you’re going to have to find ways in which to get protein without stuffing yourself with too much meat.
This is where meat alternatives come in. More often than not these things include dairy, seeds, legumes, etc. All of them being able to provide something a little different to the table.
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If you’re a vegetarian and or vegan, then this is definitely something you’ve run into before. Tofu has around 20 grams of protein per cup, which means that it has more protein than 3 slices of Canadian bacon, which has around 15-18 grams.
Not only that but tofu can be used in so many different ways. Whether it be breakfast, lunch, dinner or even dessert! It’s a very malleable ingredient that can be inserted in many recipes.
This particular ingredient comes in many different forms. It also comes with tons of protein. However, it’s a well-known fact that the protein in most beans are ‘incomplete.’
That means that beans don’t have all the essential amino acids that make it a complete protein. There are nine of those, and the only bean that has all of them are soybeans. Raw soybeans are said to have around 68 grams of protein per cup, which is almost triple the amount of protein that you can get from 4 ounces of chicken breasts!
3. Green Peas
Green Peas are something that belong to the legume family. Which is probably something you’ve heard about many times. It’s high in protein, averaging at around 8 grams per cup.
It’s another ingredient that is lacking in a certain type of amino acid, making it ‘incomplete.’ However, if paired with beans then you’ll do just fine. It’s best to remember that it’s not necessary to get the same amount of amino acids everyday.
Green peas are definitely something that you can include in your recipes as a side, so you know you’re always getting a certain amount of protein in your diet.
4. Chia Seeds
These have around 2.5 grams of protein per tablespoon, which is something you can add on top of certain foods. If you’re looking for an extra texture in meals like salads or oatmeals, then chia seeds are certainly something you should consider.
It’s another great way of adding extra protein to your diet. This is actually one of the few plant-sourced ingredients that are considered “complete,” as it does have all nine of the essential proteins.
Another ‘seed’ that has all of the nine essential amino acids, not only that but there are 8 grams of protein per cup, which is a pretty large amount. Much like the other ingredients in this list, quinoa is very versatile in terms of how you can use it. All you have to do is be creative!
Eggs, are of course, very popular when it comes to meat alternatives to protein. It’s very powerful, packing around 6 grams of protein per egg.
Of course everyone knows that eggs are also very high in cholesterol. However, the good news is, that the cholesterol in eggs are considered ‘good’ meaning it won’t affect your cholesterol levels too much so long as it’s consumed in moderation.
7. Garbanzo Beans
Another legume, although this one is a little higher in proteins than the green beans that had been previously mentioned. Also, much like green beans, it’s a little lacking in certain types of amino acids.
However, if paired with other ingredients it’s effective in the best kind of ways. Garbanzo Beans are good as a side, so it makes a nice little addition into your recipes.
8. Greek Yogurt
This one is a pretty popular food, and it’s something you can eat at anytime of the day. There are many different types of greek yogurts, and depending on the brand, it might have around 15 – 20 grams of protein.
Greek Yogurts are considered to be ‘complete’ proteins, so there’s no need to pair it with other ingredients. However, you’re going to have to consider the brand you want to get. Some brands aren’t as healthy as you might assume they are. So be sure to check out those nutritional labels before choosing.
Hemp is something some people might raise an eyebrow at, however, hemp is not necessarily the same as consuming marijuana. In fact, you might be able to see hemp in some brand-name cereals.
You can purchase them by yourself as well. If you’re looking at the raw seed, you can have about 13 grams of protein in 3 tablespoons. You can also get it in milk form, which has 5 grams of protein per cup.
Another ingredient that includes all the nine essential amino acids. Buckwheat is a grain that you can make use of in a lot of different recipes. This has 23 grams of protein per cup! That’s about the same amount as most meats!
Protein Sources other than Meat Conclusion
There are things you’re going to have to consider when looking into different kinds of meat alternatives for protein. It’s not just about how much protein it has, but also whether or not it’s considered a ‘complete’ protein.
If it is not, you’re going to have to pair it up with other protein alternatives. There are many available recipes online that are made specifically for this purpose. These alternatives serve as a good fill-up for the proteins that you’re going to need as you build up your body.