If you have ever bothered to learn about healthy weight loss, you will surely have come across the fact that protein is a very valuable macronutrient: You need protein to build up muscles, and muscles help you burn fat because they increase your metabolic rate. In other words: If you build up muscle, your body burns more calories, even while you are sleeping.
Many people believe that proper protein supply can only be achieved by eating loads of meat, dairy and eggs. But – is that true?
Well, not quite! It is true, that the amount per 100g is highest in these kinds of foods, but – is that really what you want when it comes to weight loss?
If you’re on a regime of calorie restriction, you might want to have a look at the amount of proteins in relation to calories, not grams – and here, the picture changes drastically!
For your reference: A 100-kcal portion of sirloin steak (which is only 45g of meat, mind!) provides you with 12g of protein, whilst containing 6.3g of fat.
Compared to that, veggies do have a lot more to offer! Here’s the top ten vegetables for your protein supply at low calories!
For an intake of 100 kcal you can have 909g of watercress, providing you with 20.9g of protein. And the fat intake? Doesn’t really count, as it sums up to less than 1g.
A 100-kcal portions of this power sprout corresponds to 435g and contains 17.4g of protein, coming with only 3g of fat.
Popeye the sailor was quite right: Spinach can be a source of muscle growth. Coming with the same caloric values as alfalfa, it gives you 12.6g of protein at only 1.3g of fat.
The much-loved spring vegetable is surprisingly rich in protein, too: Would you have thought you could eat half a kilo of asparagus to reach a calorie intake of 100kcal? And that this would provide you with 11g of protein? Note: 100 kcal of asparagus might contain less protein than the sirloin steak, BUT (!) you’ll feel pretty full after your meal, which most probably isn’t true for the 45g portion of meat, right?
A vegetable rather uncommon in European cuisines is mustard greens. A shame, bearing in mind it is a great source of protein, too! A 370g portion (=100 kcal) contains 10g of protein and 1.5g of fat.
Unlike mustard greens, broccoli is vastly known and one of the most common vegetables. And for a reason: 294g contain 8.2g of protein and only 1.2g of fat.
Almost the same goes for broccoli’s pale cousin: 400g give you 8g of protein and contain 1.1g of fat.
This very traditional vegetable can also contribute to your protein supply: 232g of brussels sprouts contain 7.9g of protein and less than 1g of fat!
Apart from being a great source for several micronutrients, collard greens also contain a fair amount of protein: 7.8g of protein in a 312g-portion of collard greens, whilst the amount of fat is only 1.9g
Or how about a nice salad of Chinese cabbage? A 625g bowl (still 100kcal) provides you with 7.2g of protein and only 1.9g of fat.
As you can see from this list, there are vegan options to get your daily share of protein – you just need to look a little closer 🙂