The huge misconceptions surrounding vegetarians
You’ve probably heard this before “you can’t get protein if you don’t have meat in your diet”. In fact you probably believe it yourself. Now we can all agree that protein is essential for building muscle. Whether anyone believes it or not is to say the least irrelevant because science has already proved that protein is essential for muscle growth.But having said that there are some large misconceptions about being a vegetarian. Many people think that vegetarians can’t muscle without eating meat because that’s the best source of protein. Now are both of those claims actually true? Is it impossible for vegetarians to build muscle? Is meat the only source of protein? Is eating meat the BEST source of protein? Can vegetarians get protein without meat?
Before we continue I would like to clarify that I was a vegetarian for 4 years. After I stopped I use to think that meat was the best and only way to get protein. Even though I did benefit in a number of ways there are some things that I wish I knew about being a vegetarian before and after I was one. If you think that vegetarians can’t build muscle like meat eaters can you may change your mind after reading this post.
Check out the post by clicking the link https://menshealthyfit.com/6-foods-that-are-high-in-protein/ to find out other foods high in protein.
Is meat the best & only source of protein?
That what I use to think for a the longest time. Now although meat is a very great source of protein and is certainly the most ABUNDANT, does that make it the best? Well here’s the answer that I found…no, it’s not the best and only source. Are you aware that there are plant based proteins that you can eat as a substitute?
If you’ve never heard of the plant based protein amaranth then you’re in for a big surprise. It’s a type of legume that’s native to Mexico, Central American & South America that can be eaten raw or cooked. In it’s whole grain form it contains well above 16-17 grams of protein if not even more. If you were to get it in a bag there would be 7 grams or so of protein.
Now it should noted that amaranth as mentioned above is a plant-based protein. So that means it’s high in protein and it’s NOT meat thus clarifying if meat is the best and only source of protein. Having said that there are other plant based proteins that you can eat such as beans, lentils, quinoa, nuts and chickpeas.
Can you get protein & build muscle without eating meat?
Well based on what was mentioned previously the answer as an obvious yes. Now it’s possible that vegetarians would have to consume more protein per serving but I could be wrong. I didn’t find out about plant based proteins such as amaranth until after I started to eat meat again.
One of the best ways to get protein from plants is if you were to mix it with your foods. For instance if I were to eat oatmeal one of the ways I could get my protein is if I pour amaranth seeds in the oatmeal and let it boil. This is one of the best ways to benefit from getting protein from amaranth. Another method that you can use is blend it into your shakes so that it can be mixed in with your shakes and smoothies. This is something that I usually do before and after I work out.
Another method that you can use to get the right amount of protein as mentioned above are the consumption of beans. After you finish a workout one of the best was to replace the energy that was burned at the gym is if you were to cook rice along with black beans. Since they’re about 6 grams of protein eating black beans with rice is a great way to build muscle. Now you see that meat isn’t the best and only way to get protein. We may hear that over and over again and consequently repeat it because it sounded true.
So the next time someone ask if vegetarians can get protein from other types of food why not tell them about the amount of protein that some plants contain such as amaranth.
What I wish I knew before I was a vegetarian
Like I mentioned before I was a vegetarian for 4 years and honestly it wasn’t all that difficult to do. A lot of times I hear people saying “I could never be a vegetarian. I just really, really love meat.” Frankly that’s understandable because meat is just so delectable. In fact one of the reasons I went back to eating meat is that I began to miss the taste.
Even after I stopped being a vegetarian I had thought that the only way for vegetarians to get protein was to eat meat. Boy was I wrong because even though that’s popular a belief there’s all evidence to the contrary. When I was young I knew NOTHING about plant-based proteins and nothing about a legume like that of amaranth. For so long I use to hear people tell me that meat is how you get protein and there’s no other way. Those are just half truths because had I known about plant based proteins I probably would’ve stayed a vegetarian.
Case In Point
So I ask again can vegetarians get protein without eating meat. In short…yes they can. The objective for building muscle is to consume a protein based diet and there are plenty of ways to do that. But despite having said all that was mentioned I love eating my meat. If I had to be a vegetarian again could I do it? Of course I could. Do I plan on going back to being one? Not anytime soon.
Hopefully you enjoyed this post. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section or email me at Jovan@menshealthyfit.com.
Always stay healthy & fit