Q. I want to eat less animal products. What are the best plant-based protein sources?


A. Lauren McAvoy, a dietetic intern at Tufts Medical Center, answers: “In general, animal foods tend to have higher protein levels per serving than plant foods, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to eat enough plant foods to meet your daily protein goals. It is recommended that protein provide between 10 and 25 percent of daily calorie intake. Since one gram of protein provides four calories, someone who needs 1,800 calories would aim for 45 to 112 grams of protein a day.

“The plant foods that are highest in protein are soy and other beans/legumes, nuts/seeds, and some grains. Below is a table comparing the protein content of high protein plant foods to a few common animal sources.”

3 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked 24
6 oz plain Greek yogurt 17
½ cup tempeh 16
½ cup tofu 15
½ cup edamame 10
½ cup lentils 9
½ cup beans 7-8
2 Tbsp nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew) 6
½ cup green peas (cooked) 5
½ cup quinoa (cooked) 5
1 large egg 4
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds, roasted 4
12 almonds 3
oz = ounce; Tbsp = tablespoon


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