I am a vegetarian (not a vegan) and I am worried that I do not get enough protein. Do you have suggestions?

Vegetarians do have to work a little harder to meet their protein needs but it can absolutely be done healthfully and many well rounded vegetarian diets are filled with increased amounts of heart healthy vitamins and minerals. There are different types of vegetarians:

Lacto-ovo vegetarians omit red meat, poultry, and fish but do eat eggs, milk and milk products (cheese, yogurt) in addition to plant-based foods.

Lacto-vegetarians omit eggs, red meat, poultry, and fish but will allow milk and milk products.

Vegans eliminate all foods coming from animals including meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt etc. They consume only plant-based foods.

Fruitarians eliminate all animal products and processed foods.

Planning is an important key to a vegetarian diet. I urge people to become aware of all of the high protein options that can fit into a vegetarian lifestyle. Make a grocery list and plan your week of meals and snacks. Try hard boiling eggs to snack on and make sure your refrigerator is stocked with cottage cheese, greek yogurt and milk. Dinners that revolve around whole grains can be ones that are high in protein as well. Start with whole wheat pasta and add beans to the spaghetti sauce. Top with cheese and round out the meal with a glass of milk. You may also challenge yourself to try foods that you have not consumed before. Firm tofu is an excellent source of protein and it can be sautéed and combined with broccoli, peppers, beans, carrots for a great stir fry. Quinoa is also high in protein and can be boiled and mixed with cut vegetables, feta cheese and olives for a healthy but tasty salad. Black beans mix well with cilantro, tomatoes, peppers, avocado and lemon juice for a great salsa. And don’t forget other vegetarian options that are high in protein like pumpkin/sunflower/flax seeds, nuts (peanuts, cashews, walnuts, almonds), and peanut butter.

Login to Favorite