As protein is essential for the growth and repair of our cells and tissues, most vegetarians are asked about protein sources in their diet. Although protein is often associated with animal products, many plant foods are also good sources. As long as protein comes from a variety of plant sources, vegans and vegetarians can easily meet their protein needs. The infographic below shows the protein content of different vegan and vegetarian dishes.
However, protein is not the only nutrient that people intending to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet need to be aware of to avoid nutritional deficiencies, as is explained in the EUFIC article What’s Important for Vegetarians and Vegans to Eat?. Other important nutrients include for example vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.
On the other hand, there is a robust body of evidence showing important advantages of plant based diets:
- There is a correlation between people who eat a plant-based diet and reduced risk of several diseases, including heart disease, certain types of cancers and type 2 diabetes
- plant based diets tend to be more sustainable. This infographic shows greenhouse gas emissions of protein rich foods.