Your Guide to Plant Based Protein Sources

The focus on plant-based proteins is on the rise. Why? There are several heart health benefits from including more plant-based foods such as reducing cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.

Some examples of popular diets you may have heard or been recommended may include Mediterranean diet and DASH diet (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension). Both diets are rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. This doesn’t mean we need to completely change the way we eat, however substituting a few animal protein meals per week is a way to incorporate variety while adding in health benefits.

Not sure where to start? Below is list of plant-based protein sources to get you started.

Edamame

Try in a stir-fry with brown rice and vegetables or roasted for quick snack option.

Brands for dry roasted edamame: Crunchamame or Seapoint

Lentil/bean noodles

Use as pasta base with chopped up mushrooms, peppers, onions with a marinara sauce.

Brands: Trader Joe’s, Barilla, Banza

Meat Substitutes (protein sources vary soy, pea or Mycoprotein/fungi)

Examples brands: Quorn, Beyond Meat, MorningStar, Boca Burgers or Lightlife.

Some products may be higher in sodium and saturated fat than recommended. Make sure to read the label for sodium and saturated fat content. Key recommendations from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans include:

  • Daily intake of sodium <2300mg
  • Daily intake of saturated fat <10% total calories

Nutritional yeast (powder)

Sprinkle on salads, roasted vegetables or whole grains.

Brands: Trader Joe’s, Bob’s Red Mill, Bragg

Protein powder

Create a protein shake or try mixing in plain powder into sauces or baked items (breads, tortillas, pancakes).

Seitan

Try in a fajita bowl or BBQ kebab.

Brand: Upton’s Natural

Tempeh

Slice for sandwich topping, salad or stir-fry.

Brands: Lightlife or Trader Joes

Tofu

Look for high protein or extra firm to boost protein.

Brands: Trader Joe’s High Protein Tofu or Wildwood.

Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)

Cooked – add to soups, stews or mix with oatmeal.

Dry – add to salads or yogurts.

Brands: Bob’s Red Mill


By Allie Coulter, PRO Medical Registered Dietitian

PRO Medical’s Registered Dietitians provide personalized meal plans and education to support you in making realistic lifestyle changes and in achieving your individual goals. We have experts in a variety of areas and provide support for adults, pediatrics and families.

For healthy recipes that you can use these seasonal ingredients in, view our recipes here.

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