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Vegan Guide To Protein

We’ve all heard the line “But where will you get your protein from?”. There are myths that you can only get substantial amounts of protein from meat, but that is simply not true. Even something as innocuous as peas contain protein (albeit not at a high level). An average person needs about 46 grams of protein for women, and 56 grams of protein for men (source)

Below are charts of common foods and their protein content. The first column contains the food with it’s average serving size. The next column has the protein content per serving size. The final column has the protein content for 100 grams so that you can compare foods “apples to apples”. Both of these columns are important. It’s good to see that if everything was 100 grams, just how much vegan alternatives stack up, but it’s also important to keep things within the context of an actual serving. It’s very unlikely you would be eating a pound of spinach in one sitting for example!


First let’s see how meat products stack up. Everything here is around the 20g per 100g. Chicken is usually a good benchmark to go off as it’s low in fat, but high in protein.

Protein per serving (grams) Protein per 100g (grams)
Chicken Breast (1/2 boneless – 145g) 30 21
Chicken Drumstick (1 with skin – 133g) 23 18
Chicken Thigh (1 with skin – 189g) 31 16
Beef Sirloin Steak (1 steak – 608g) 123 20
Corned Beef (1 piece – 320g) 58 18
Beef Mince (1 serving – 85g) 22 26
Lamb Leg (1 piece – 265g) 68 26
Lamb Mince (1 serving – 113g) 19 17

Beans & Legumes

Next up are beans and legumes. Beans like blackbeans and chickpeas are usually pretty common in a vegans diet. Right down the bottom we’ve included tofu. Tofu is not that high in protein, but it’s one of, if not the most common food that vegans eat.

Protein per serving (grams) Protein per 100g (grams)
Black Beans (1 cup – 194g) 42 22
Chickpeas (1 cup – 200g) 39 19
Lentils (1 cup – 192g) 50 26
Refried Beans (1 cup – 238g) 13 5
Kidney Beans (1 cup – 177g) 15 9
Tofu (0.5 cup – 124g) 10 8

Nuts & Seeds

Nuts and seeds are pretty important in the diet too. They have an extremely high concentration of protein, the only problem is you are unlikely to be eating only nuts as a main meal. But they can be a handy snack while you’re on the go, and provide a tonne of protein. Oats are also included as many people have them as a breakfast meal.

Protein per serving (grams) Protein per 100g (grams)
Almonds (1 cup – 92g) 20 21
Buckwheat (1 cup – 170g) 23 13
Cashews (1 cup – 100g) 18 18
Oats (1 cup – 156g) 26 17
Peanuts (1 cup – 146g) 38 26
Quinoa (1 cup – 170g) 24 14
White Rice (1 cup – 132g) 4.2 3.2


Vegetables actually don’t contain that much protein at all, but I felt it was important to include them as it shows that even something like broccoli that isn’t thought of as a high protein food can still add up to your daily requirement. Things like corn and green peas were probably in your diet anyway, so it doesn’t require a radical change.

Protein per serving (grams) Protein per 100g (grams)
Sun-dried Tomatoes (1 cup – 54g) 8 14
Green Peas (1 cup – 145g) 8 5
Spinach (1 cup – 30g) 0.9 2.9
Broccoli (1 cup – 91g) 2.6 2.8
Corn (1 cup – 166g) 16 9
Potato (1 medium – 213g) 4.3 2


Below are some other foods that you may come across as a vegan. For any other food, you can simply type in “Protein in xyz” into Google and it will let you know the exact protein content of that food.

Protein per serving (grams) Protein per 100g (grams)
Soy Milk (1 cup – 243g) 8 3.3
Seitan (1 serving – 100g) 75 75
Tempeh (1 cup – 166g) 31 19
Tahini (1 tablespoon – 15g) 2.6 17

Hopefully by now you’re starting to see that if everything you eat contains a little protein, then it’s easy to make your 56g for men or 46g for woman daily requirement. If you have a half cup of black beans with your dinner meal, you are practically there!

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