Non-vegetarians can think that this type of diet is very deficient in terms of quality proteins, but is this true? Today we are going to see which the best sources of proteins are. Nowadays it is easy to find organic and organic vegetarian products with which to take a correct and healthy diet.
Proteins being vegetarian
Proteins are essential in the diet and one of the macronutrients in human nutrition. When we ingest proteins, these become amino acids. Some of these amino acids are essential for our diet and our health.
Amino acids are divided into two types, essential and non-essential. There are eight essential amino acids and these are: cysteine, leucine, lysine isoleucine, threonine, valine, methionine and phenylalanine. It is important that through our diet we obtain all of them because our organism cannot generate them on its own. So, what happens if you’re a vegetarian? Can these eight amino acids be obtained equally?
Can you get all the essential amino acids being a vegetarian?
With a non-vegetarian diet, rich in products of animal origin (meat, fish, and eggs) it is easy to obtain these eight amino acids. The vegetarians not strict sometimes include some animal products in their diet. This makes “assembling the puzzle” of amino acids easier.
Types of vegetarians
These are the types of vegetarians that we can find in broad strokes. They are ordered from less to more restrictions and depending on the type it will be more complicated or less to obtain the necessary proteins for a correct feeding:
- Ovo-lacto-vegetarian: eat eggs and dairy
- Lacto-vegetarian: take dairy (but not eggs)
- Ovo-vegetarian: take eggs (but not dairy)
- Vegan: DO NOT take any food of animal origin (neither eggs nor dairy)
- According to the type of vegetarian we are talking about, the obtaining of proteins and therefore of the essential amino acids will be simpler or less. In the case of the first ones, eating eggs and taking dairy products makes it very easy to obtain them.
- The case of vegans is more complicated of all of them, although it is not impossible to get the adequate supply of proteins if you know how.
7. Alternatives to meat
- Legumes are rich in proteins. Lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, beans, peas, etc … There are many meat substitute products made from soy, since it is the legume with the highest protein intake and also the one with the most essential amino acids. It is better for a healthy diet to consume organic products.
Although at first sight it seems easy to eliminate meat from the diet, there is some drawback. Legumes do not have all the essential amino acids, so it is important to combine cereals in the same food. This combination must occur in the same intake. It does not serve to eat one thing and to dine the other, if not that it is better that they present themselves in the same meal. The clearest example of all is that of lentils with rice. In the case of mixing lentils with rice, the eight essential amino acids would be obtained.
- The soybean is rich in vegetable proteins.
- Cereals such as oats, seitan or spelled. They can have up to 11% protein.
- The nuts are another source of protein, as well as a good source of healthy fats.
- The quinoa. It is a pseudocereal that although it does not contain too many proteins, these are complete.
We advise you that if you are going to start with a vegetarian diet and you have any doubt, consult a nutritionist before you start.