There are many reasons to switch to a plant-based diet. Some look to this type of diet to reverse or improve many chronic conditions, from obesity to type-two diabetes. Other people are motivated by the diet’s positive effects on the planet. No matter what moves you, we’re here to tell you that a plant-based diet can be fulfilling and nourishing – especially when you include these 17 top plant-based proteins.
It might be overwhelming to switch to this type of diet – as our own blogger, Eric O’Shea, has shared in some of his posts. For Eric, it was learning which plant-based proteins would be filling and satisfying, along with stocking up with a few pantry essentials. But, before we get into the specific plant-based proteins, let’s take a minute to talk about a plant-based diet and the benefits of switching to a vegan lifestyle.
Plant-Based Diet Basics
What can you eat on a plant-based diet? Well, anything that comes from plants! That means whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and tubers. The diet doesn’t require that you restrict carbs, fats, or calories: you just need to cut out animal-based products. So, yes, you’ll have to give up your bacon – but you’ll find that you won’t miss it in a few short months. Plant-based diets also remove dairy products and eggs, and many recommend that you avoid refined foods (like sugar, bleached flour, and oil).
Making the change to follow a plant-based diet has not only led to serious weight loss for followers, but it also comes with many health benefits, too. Because these diets are low in saturated fat, low in sugar, and high in fiber, they have been linked to a reduction in heart problems (including lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk for heat disease). Studies also show that this diet can improve blood sugar, improving or reversing type-two diabetes conditions.
Before you jump in, know that switching to a plant-based diet will require a lifestyle change. That could take a few weeks (or as long as a month) until it feels normal, so be patient with yourself along the way. If it sounds like an impossible feat, don’t worry: we have a ton of resources for you! Our plant-based shopping list will help you get familiar with all the new foods you can eat, and we have a 7-day meal plan to help you jump right in.
Top Plant-Based Proteins
Almonds pack 6 grams of protein per 1/4 cup serving, and they make a tasty addition to rice bowls and salads. If you’re looking for a quick-and-easy snack that’s protein-filled, try these no-bake almond energy bars.
2. Black Beans
In addition to their 7.6 grams of protein (per 1/2 cup cooked beans), black beans are also filled with fiber and other beneficial phytonutrients. That makes them a plant-based superfood! Try switching up taco Tuesday with this vegan, gluten-free mango and black bean taco recipe.
3. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds pack a powerful punch of protein – 6 grams with every 2 tablespoons! They’re also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, and they’ll keep you feeling full and satiated after a meal. Spread some of this mixed berry chia seed jam on your favorite whole-grain toast to get your morning started right.