Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Protein on a Vegan Diet

Just for fun and because I was curious, I threw together a quick vegan menu to see how much protein it contained. A vegan diet excludes all forms of meat, fish, dairy products, and eggs.

The menu below provides 60 grams of protein for 1700 calories. It does not include processed items like wheat gluten and soy-protein-based foods (veggie burgers, fake deli meats and cheeses). It even lacks wheat products, breads, tofu, and soy milk. Not saying those can't be part of a vegan diet, but I didn't want to boost the protein with anything processed.

The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for protein for a 120-pound adult is 43.5 grams/day (0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight). That person would be getting about 140% of the protein they need if they ate this diet. Some recommend lower protein intakes, e.g. the study in this post advises against consuming more than 30 grams protein/day.

  • Calories: 1700
  • Macronutrient breakdown: 60% carbohydrate / 28% fat / 12% protein
  • Fiber: 42 grams
Here's a rundown of the day's food, below that are amounts:

black coffee
1 cup oatmeal
1 tsp flaxseed
3 dates
2 dried figs
11 almonds
25 pistachios

1 small potato roasted in olive oil and spices
1/2 cup sautéed zucchini
1/2 cup spaghetti squash
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 tsp olive oil (for cooking)

1 small apple
1/4 cup roasted soy nuts

1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup black beans
2 cups raw kale, cooked down to about 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tsp olive oil (for sautéing)
1 tsp flaxseed
1 tablespoon soy sauce (tamari)

1 box raisins (1.5 oz.)
walnuts, 7 halves

Raw Data:
Apples, raw, with skin [Includes USDA commodity food A343]
1.0 x 1 small (2-3/4" dia) (149g)
Beans, black, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt
0.5 x 1 cup (172g)
Cereals, oats, regular and quick and instant, unenriched, cooked with water (includes boiling and microwaving), without salt [oatmeal, cooked]
1.0 x 1 cup (234g)
Coffee, brewed, espresso, restaurant-prepared
2.0 x 1 fl oz (30g)
Dates, deglet noor
3.0 x 1 date, pitted (7g)
Figs, dried, uncooked
2.0 x 1 fig (8g)
Kale, raw
2.0 x 1 cup, chopped (67g)
Nuts, almonds, dry roasted, with salt added
0.5 x 1 oz (22 whole kernels) (28g)
Nuts, pistachio nuts, dry roasted, with salt added
0.5 x 1 oz (49 kernels) (28g)
Nuts, walnuts, english [Includes USDA commodity food A259, A257]
0.5 x 1 oz (14 halves) (28g)
Oil, olive, salad or cooking
3.0 x 1 tsp (4g)
Onions, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt
2.0 x 1 tbsp chopped (15g)
Potatoes, red, flesh and skin, baked
1.0 x 1 potato small (1-3/4" to 2-1/2" dia.) (138g)
Raisins, seedless
1.0 x 1 small box (1.5 oz) (43g)
Rice, brown, long-grain, cooked
1.0 x 1 cup (195g)
Seeds, flaxseed
2.0 x 1 tsp, ground (2g)
Soy sauce made from soy (tamari)
1.0 x 1 tbsp (18g)
Soybeans, mature seeds, dry roasted [Soy nuts]
0.25 x 1 cup (172g)
Squash, summer, zucchini, includes skin, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt
1.0 x 1/2 cup slices (90g)
Squash, winter, spaghetti, cooked, boiled, drained, or baked, without salt
0.5 x 1 cup (155g)
Tomato sauce, no salt added
0.5 x 1 cup (244g)
Photo: Homegrown.
I used for analysis. You can too. It's free.

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