Many people believe that vegetarians have a hard time ‘getting their protein’. Non-vegetarians often ask vegetarians ‘how are you going to get your protein?’. The belief that vegetarians will have a hard time consuming enough protein is unfounded. Vegetarians can easily meet their protein needs by eating a varied diet.

Good protein sources are: lentils, tofu, low-fat dairy products, nuts, seeds, tempeh, peas. Many common foods such as whole grain bread, greens, potatoes, pasta, and corn also have protein. Soy protein has been shown to be equal to proteins of animal origin.

Almost all foods except for alcohol, sugar, and fats contain protein.

What does protein do?

Protein is a critical nutrient. It helps you think and see, repairs bones and muscles, regulates hormones and enzymes, and fights infections.

Sources of Protein

Food Serving Size Amount of protein
Cottage Cheese
(low fat)
1 cup 29 grams
Ricotta Cheese
(low fat)
1 cup 28 grams
Seitan 1/2 cup 26 grams
Soybeans 1 cup cooked 26 grams
Lentils 1 cup cooked 18 grams
Textured Vegetable or Soy Protein 1/2 cup cooked 16 grams
Tempeh 1/2 cup 16 grams
Split peas 1 cup cooked 16 grams
Navy beans 1 cup cooked 16 grams
Kidney, Lima, Black and Pinto beans 1 cup cooked 15 grams
White beans 1 cup cooked 15 grams
Chickpeas 1 cup cooked 15 grams
Black-eyed peas 1 cup cooked 15 grams