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By Nutrition Team
Monday, April 18, 2011.

Dear Team,

I am excited about being on the Low-Carb Plan online, however, I am not excited about having to eat a lot of meat. What are a few good non-meat sources of protein?

The best way to get enough protein from plant sources is to eat a wide variety of foods.

The protein in an individual plant food is almost always incomplete, meaning it lacks at least one essential amino acid. These are the amino acids (building blocks of protein) that the body cannot synthesise and must obtain from food.

But by eating a variety of plant foods, you will get the full range of amino acids and so obtain adequate protein.

Good vegetarian sources of protein include legumes (beans and peas), nuts and seeds and soya products. Tofu, soya pieces or textured vegetable protein (TVP) are concentrated sources of protein. These are very adaptable and can be used directly in place of meat in stir-fries and marinades and a variety of other dishes. Vegetables also provide amino acids and, in the later phases of the Low-Carb Plan, whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat, barley, rye, buckwheat and millet, can be included as a further protein source.

If you want to just cut down on meat but aren't actually vegetarian, fish, eggs and cheese are also good protein sources. Eating this wide variety of foods every day means you'll be combining foods with different amino acids and getting ample protein.

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