Find your protein without the meat

Go­ing ve­get­ari­an one day per week has be­come more and more pop­u­lar throughout the United States.

Ac­cord­ing to meat­less­, go­ing meat­less once per week can re­duce one’s risk of chron­ic pre­vent­able con­di­tions such as car­di­ovas­cu­lar dis­ease, the top cause of death among men and wo­men, can­cer, dia­betes and obesity.

It also has en­vir­on­ment­al be­ne­fits, in­clud­ing lim­it­ing wa­ter us­age and re­du­cing one’s car­bon foot­print.

A con­cern of many is that if they elim­in­ate meat for a day or more they will not have enough pro­tein in their diet.

However, there are plenty of ve­get­ari­an-friendly pro­tein sources that can be in­cluded throughout the day to make sure we get the re­com­men­ded amount.

Eggs have six grams of pro­tein each and are a com­plete pro­tein, mean­ing they have all the es­sen­tial amino acids bod­ies need.

Pump­kin seeds have sev­en grams of pro­tein per one ounce. They can be ad­ded to a salad or yogurt, or be eaten as part of trail mix.

Greek yogurt has 15 grams of pro­tein per six ounces. It comes in a vari­ety of fla­vors and is great as a snack or as part of a meal.

Pea­nut but­ter has eight grams of pro­tein per two ta­ble­spoons. It’s a great source of pro­tein, but use it in mod­er­a­tion. It also con­tains a lot of fat and cal­or­ies.

Oth­er sources in­clude cot­tage cheese, which has 13 grams of pro­tein per ½ cup. You can mix in some cut-up fresh fruit for a high-pro­tein, low-cal­or­ie snack.

Beans have about 12 grams of pro­tein per cup. They can be mixed with rice, ad­ded to a salad, or be part of a soup.

Al­monds have 6 grams of pro­tein per ounce. They also con­tain the healthy monoun­sat­ur­ated fats that have been shown to re­duce car­di­ac dis­ease.

Quinoa has 8 grams per cup. It has be­come more and more pop­u­lar and can now be found fre­quently in menu items in res­taur­ants. It can be cooked and used just like rice in re­cipes. ••

Kirsten Diegel is a re­gistered di­eti­tian and li­censed nu­tri­tion­ist who works as a clin­ic­al di­eti­tian for Wes­ley En­hanced Liv­ing.

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