If you are curious about how protein in plant based foods like nuts plays out or if you never really ate beans or legumes growing up then this is the blog post for you.
Welcome to my plant based adventure. I hope this saves you money, time and frustration around incorporating plant based foods into your diet. It’s all about the protein and the price!
First you need to know how much protein you need per day. Check the internet for an average calculation and or check with your healthcare provider.
Second: Know your serving sizes and the protein content (usually by oz.) of the items you will be eating. You can find simply sheets on the amount of protein by oz. and sometimes even the calories.
Third: Determine if you have other requirements in your dietary intake – Food Allergies, food sensitives, Non-GMO, Organic, local vs. international food sources. Take note, if there is any wiggle room in the requirements? How much and How often.
Fourth: Make a list of the plant based foods (proteins) you already eat then make a list of those you may want to try. Whole wheat grains (breads, oatmeal, processed pastas count as well – if you are eating them.
Fifth: Try very hard not to compare animal protein or dairy to plant based protein. Serving size to serving size especially when looking at processed foods and/or mixed content foods, grains and vegetables. A 4 oz serving of tofu is not the same protein content as a 4 oz. serving of beef or chicken. (4 oz. is about the size of a deck of playing cards). While beans, legumes, nuts and soy do contain compatible levels to meat other items may not. Best to look at what you need and see how best to feed yourself with the necessary variety of foods.
NOTE: Almond Milk has much less then half the amount of protein per oz. then animal meat, or dairy and tofu is also less then half per oz. So I look at it this way – animal protein is more compact in cooking, handling and eating in an American Diet.
Enter the high protein “craze” and multi-packed dry goods, grains and breads. I have nothing against the variety of food available but if like me you have food issues there are four basics you need to get thought the variety of products and the higher costs.
One: Really know exactly what foods you can digest. Remember having a sensitivity can be extremely painful.
Lot’s of plant based items have pea protein and other ingredients you need to identify that you can digest and in what amount. My experience: Palm Oil is big, breads have yeast, also different types of flour even through they are GF it does not mean you can digest each individual flour or starch. Tapioca starch and flour are big in breads and other items. This is bothersome for me. It took me years to figure this out! So when complex items are in products it may be a matter of wiggle room vs. price vs. worth it when in a pinch like traveling or eating out.
Two: Know the difference between a legume and a Kidney bean. Know how your body digests nuts, raw, warmed/roasted, coated in oil, nut butters and the same goes for dried fruits.
Three: know what oils/fats you can easily digest. All processed foods use some type of oil or oils. Some more common then others.
Four: Listen to your Body. Not you impulse, not your emotions. Drink some water, take a walk and be flexible in your attitude and opinions. There is a whole big whole out there of wonderful recipes, foods and tools. Join a social media group or start one. Food is necessary make it fun.
How to start
- You can keep a food journal to help identify foods that challenge you digestion to much.
- Discuss with your healthcare provider if you decide to go all plant based due to the iron, vitamin needs received by meat.
- Food Allergies are serious so take them seriously.
- Food sensitivities affect quality of life as they are not always so identifiable and require lot’s of patience and research. Do the work because your worth it.
- Don’t eat for a fade or diet eat for your body
- People change over the course of their lives and so does their food tastes and digestion. I have found that eating simply, organically and having a weekly treat helps me the best.
Breath, Eat, Move……………… Be Well!
Also there are half and half products on the market. Half beef and half pea protein while the data is not out on these new arrangements it maybe a good stepping stone. My experience: Sometimes it is not the frying or even the frying oil but the food itself (like potatoes) that can be a challenge. Took me forever to figure that out. Now I just have them much less. My experience: I used food journal, my healthcare provider as well as naturopath service provider for ongoing muscle testing.