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Protein sources in plant foods?

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Old 08-28-2010, 04:53 PM   #1
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Default Protein sources in plant foods?

So I am doing a combo of sorts with calorie counting, low carb/high protein, and whole foods. Basically I'm counting my cals, and I infinitely prefer clean eating, especially unprocessed things, fruits and veggies, etc. I figure that the closest it is to its growing or natural state, the less tampering, the better.
But my body does lose weight better on a higher protein/lower carb diet as well. I previously (more than a year ago) lost about 15lbs relatively easily eating an almost atkins-style induction phase-lots of meat and lots of cheese!So I want to stay with the high-protein foods, but I am trying not to overwhelm my body with all this animal fat stuff this time. Not that I fear fat, but I remember eating gobs of cheese and meat all the time, with little to not veggies and fruits, and that, to me, is NOT healthy at all.
I prefer to get my protein and fats through better sources: clean,lean natural meats (like a chicken breast or steak as opposed to lunchmeat or sausages), plant sources, olive oils, etc. I am starting to really shift back to the low-carb but I'm having a little tough of a time finding plant sources that actually do have protein. I've been sticking to fibrous carbs for the time being, and some fruit because I just love it, but are there any kinds of foods that I'm just missing? I know about nuts, love them, and beans. Are there other foods like this out there that I am forgetting about? I just bought a bag of mushrooms as well, they do have quite a decent amount of protein for a veg.
Any tips are highly appreciated. Thanks in advance! :-)
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Old 08-28-2010, 05:33 PM   #2
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tofu/bean curd. I know some people think they won't like it, but it can be quite tasty stir fried with veggies as you would with any protein. I also make a tofu hummus using 1/2 tofu and 1/2 chick peas.
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Old 08-28-2010, 05:54 PM   #3
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What about quinoa?

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...-pasta/10352/2

can't say that the charts made a lot of sense to me though...
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Old 08-28-2010, 06:27 PM   #4
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She beat me, I was going to say quinoa. That has a TON of protein, but since it feels like a grain, I find it fills my craving for starchy stuff instead of eating pasta or rice.

I eat tons of beans, black ones, kidney, garbanzos, lentils... though I'm not exactly sure what lentils are... do they have protien?
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaughterOfVenus View Post
though I'm not exactly sure what lentils are... do they have protien?
Oh yeah - 1 cup of cooked lentils has just under 18 grams of protein. Lentils are another member of the legume family, along with beans, peas and peanuts. Very versatile and fairly quick cooking too!

I second the vote for quinoa as a great protein source that feels like a carb. Also, squeeze in more protein with higher-protein carb sources like soba (buckwheat) noodles instead of another pasta.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:34 AM   #6
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Ooh, great idea on the buckwheat noodles! I love those, didn't realize they have protein in them!
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:41 AM   #7
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Actually, all whole foods have protein in them. The percentage just varies by food item. For instance, leafy greens are approximately 50% protein but they are so few calories that you'd have to eat quite a lot of them to get a decent amount of protein.

I eat a vegan diet and tend not to worry about any particular macro or micro nutrient, I just eat a varied diet. Quinoa and amaranth are good sources of protein but I'd just try to see what works best for you. Eat lots of veggies, some fruit, some nuts and seeds (quinoa and amaranth are considered seeds), etc and you should be fine.
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Old 10-07-2010, 09:37 PM   #8
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Legumes. Black beans especially taste most awesome. And chickpeas of course and you can prepare them a gazillion ways. If you can handle the calories, peanut butter or almond butter are great,too.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:45 PM   #9
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I've been trying to do more plant-based protein too. I'm not that fond of lentils though, I try but mostly I eat them out of a sense of duty. I bought some fancy French green lentils because foodie people claim they are really great. But haven't made them yet, because I just reorganized the kitchen cabinet and pulled out all the half-bags of lentils and peas and beans to try to finish up first. I did find a recipe for cookies with lentils in them from Alton Brown so maybe I will try that this weekend... only uses up 2/3 of a cup though.

People associate grains with carbs but whole grains have a good bit of protein too. I try to eat only whole grain, and in fact eat a lot of whole-kernel grains cooked, mostly as breakfast cereal or in cold salads. Or soak and put into bread or muffins. You can find them in the "health food" section (Bob's Red Mill is the brand I see the most in the US supermarkets) as "berries." Although they are cheaper in a store that carries them in the bulk section, and if you keep them dry they last forever. Over here they mostly come from German companies. They do take a while to cook -- you basically cook them like rice -- but after they are done you can store them several days in the fridge, or freeze them for speedy microwaving.

Ex. Wheat (spelt) berries 1/4 cup dry: 4g fiber, 6g protein for 32g carb and 150cal
Rye berries 1/4 cup dry: 6 g fiber, 6g protein for 33g carb and 150cal
Pearl barley 14 cup dry: 8 g fiber, 5g protein for 39g carb and 180cal

(All these taken from the Bob's Red Mill page http://www.bobsredmill.com/grains-be...eds/index2.html)
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:32 PM   #10
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I'm with Nelie here - focus on whole foods and you won't have to worry. The secret to beans for me is good spicing - garlic, cilantro, curry, other indian spicing, hot peppers, you name it. Whole grains are a good idea, too. I also like tempeh. I eat all my carbs in veggies or whole grains to the best of my ability. I really like beans and greens together.
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:04 PM   #11
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Trader Joes sells shelled edamame. It's so sweet and yummy. It has tons of protein. My botany teacher said it was the healthiest plant out there, nutrient and protein-wise.
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:11 PM   #12
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FYI, when I compared nutritional values of plain oatmeal (old fashioned or quick oats) and quinoa, they were almost identical in terms of fat and protein when you compare equal weights - when I compared 100 grams to 100 grams, there was a 1g difference in protein and fat -

I like to eat oatmeal with sugar free maple syrup (you can obviously sub another sweetener that's less processed and chemically), lots of cinnamon, and walnuts (for additional protein and a bit of fat)... it's incredibly filling {also good with a couple spoons of pumpkin, a bit of salt, and some nutmeg}

You can make breakfast porridge with any whole grains you choose - I often switch between oatmeal, quinoa, and pearl barley...
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:21 PM   #13
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I looked up most of the foods being mentioned here. I dont think Quinua, Black Beans, lentils, Etc... is what some one on a low-carb diet is looking for. While they are good sources of protein, the fact is they are way to Carb-negative. For example 1 cup of Quinua will yield 118g carbs and 15g protein. Usually HPLC diets want to get 30-50 of calories from protein.

However Edamame that was mentioned above seems to be a really good source of protein yielding 16g protein and only 15 carbs per cup. That is very impressive for a vegetable. Now I just hope they taste good
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:44 PM   #14
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Since the OP said they were doing a combo, many of the things listed are just suggestions, someone has to decide what is right for them. I personally prefer low glycemic foods but I don't worry about carbs.

Edamame is pretty good. I'd make sure you make sure what you buy is cooked or else cook it before you eat it. I bought some from an asian market that weren't cooked and I only had the cooked before so it was a shock
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