Meat vs. Veggie – Where Does Your Protein Come From?
What’s Protein Anyway?
Protein is an essential nutrient along with carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. Proteins are large molecules that are composed of smaller units called amino acids. Proteins are found in every part of your body… skin, muscles, hair, blood, internal organs, bone, fingernails, nerves etc.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 0.8 mg/kg body weight. This means that a 120-pound woman needs about 44 grams per day, and a 150-pound male needs about 55 grams per day. It may surprise you that even on a purely vegetarian diet, you can get enough protein easily.
Just look at the mighty elephant, the horse, or the gorilla. They eat virtually no animal protein and are healthy with incredibly strong muscles and bones. Can you get an adequate amount of protein from vegetable sources? Let’s see…
Protein Content In Common Plant-Based Food
- One banana = 1.2 g
- One cup cooked brown rice = 4.7 g
- One corn on the cob = 4.2 g
- One baked potato = 3.9 g
- One cup of pasta = 7.3 g
- Two slices of whole-wheat bread = 4.8 g
- One cup of frozen peas = 9.0 g
- One cup of cooked lentils = 16.0 g
- One cup of tofu = 18.0 g
- One cup frozen broccoli = 5.8 g
- One cup of cooked spinach = 5.4 g
From the above list, it would be easy to come up with a menu that would easily reach the RDA of protein and be low in calories. This way of eating promotes superior health, while keeping you fit and trim.
Meat vs. Veggie – Comparing Sources of Protein
So if you look at the comparison, the broccoli wins the contest. By far. If you do the comparison based on calories, green veggies always win! Incredibly, the veggie also has tons more vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals and antioxidants! On the other hand, the sirloin has more fat.
If you want superior health, you need to make veggies the main part of your food intake. If you want to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight go for the veggies. For a healthy source of protein, I’d recommend veggies over meat any day.
Now, if you were struggling for survival on a deserted island it would be a different story. You would benefit from the high concentration of calories, fat and protein in a lump of meat. I’d advise going for the steak. It just may take some work catching the cow.