Dietary Shifts: Exploring Protein Alternatives Beyond Meat

Alternative sources of protein || Photo: Collected

Alternative sources of protein || Photo: Collected

In recent times, many are reducing their intake of fish, meat, and eggs to aid weight loss and reduce harmful fats. While beef, pork, or red meat is being cut down to achieve these goals, can relying solely on fish meet the daily protein requirement? Moreover, some may find consuming fish daily unappealing.

In terms of nutrition, meat serves as a primary protein source without any adverse effects when supplemented by poultry and eggs. However, some opt to exclude animal-based foods from their diet. Additionally, concerns over diseases like avian flu have led many to distance themselves from consuming chicken and eggs. Some may even choose to abstain from meat altogether.

How do fulfill the protein requirement? 

Before meeting the demand, it's crucial to understand the requirements. Nutritionists suggest that per kilogram of body weight, individuals need between 0.8 to 1.0 grams of protein daily.

Nutritionists also recommend fulfilling at least 20 to 30 percent of the daily calorie requirement through protein. This element in food aids in muscle formation and is essential for children's physical development. Besides meat, eggs, and dairy, protein can be obtained from various other sources.

Comparing animal and plant-based sources, animal protein is considered ideal. However, for those avoiding meat, there are numerous alternative protein sources besides supplements.

Consuming plant-based protein is essential. For those eating less fish or meat or following a vegetarian diet, there are alternative protein sources. Legumes and nuts contain protein. Half a cup of chickpeas provides 7 grams of protein, while the same quantity of lentils offers 9 grams. Milk and dairy products can meet the daily protein demand. A cup of milk provides approximately 8 grams of protein. Yogurt yields even more, around 13 grams per cup. An ounce of paneer provides 7 grams of protein.

Therefore, those seeking to reduce meat consumption should include dairy and dairy-based foods in their daily diet. Almonds are also an excellent source of protein. Twenty almonds or cashews provide about 4 grams, while the same quantity of walnuts yields 6 grams of protein. Additionally, these foods offer beneficial fats (omega fats) and fiber. However, it's advisable to consume almonds without salt.

This shift in dietary focus towards plant-based proteins not only aids in weight management but also contributes to overall health. It's essential to diversify protein sources to meet daily requirements adequately.

By embracing a varied diet rich in alternative protein sources, individuals can maintain a balanced and nutritious lifestyle without solely relying on meat.

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