Protein is a staple part of any good diet. For most of us, different cuts of meat are the best or the most-well known source of protein.

Yet eating a lot of meat is not necessarily that healthy, not to mention the environmental impact massive meat production can have. So, if you are interested in cutting out or reducing meat from your diet, how can you guarantee you don’t lack protein?

Here are some of the best meatless options for maximum protein – the healthy alternatives you should try right now.

Peanut butter

If you are looking for a lovely treat with plenty of protein, then consider adding peanut butter to your diet.

peanut butter
Peanut butter, a great source of protein; image source: bembu.com

Peanut butter adds potassium, magnesium and fibre to your diet as well and it’s rich in Vitamin B-6.

This will boost your liver health and it can aide with different metabolic problems. Since peanut butter is high in fat, you don’t want this to be your main source of protein.

Although you could easily just scoop a bit of peanut butter as a dessert, there are other ways of using the ingredient. It can add plenty of tasty flavour to your vegetables and it’s a great thickening ingredient for your smoothies.

Seitan/wheat gluten

Seitan is wheat gluten that is 75% protein. Just by eating 100 grams (3.5 oz) of the magic ingredient, your daily protein intake is close to being fulfilled.

Seitan also has plenty of other good qualities going for it, as it is high in iron and calcium. It also doesn’t have a lot of sodium and there’s hardly any added fat. Since the product is made from wheat, you can’t add this to your diet if you’re gluten-free.

In terms of the taste, seitan could be described as close to chicken or turkey. If you are looking to cut meat from your diet, use seitan in chicken or turkey dishes.

Black beans

You can skip the gluten and get tons of protein eating black beans. A 100 gram (3.5 oz) serving of beans can provide you with around 21 grams (about 1 oz) of protein, which is a good amount towards your daily goals.

black beans
Black beans; image source: medicalnewstoday.com

Not only are black beans a good source of protein, but also the slow release of carbohydrates will help you feel fuller for longer and control your blood sugar levels better. The beans are in fact often recommended for diabetics!

Black beans are traditionally considered a staple part of Mexican cuisine. Therefore, it’s a nice addition to your tacos and tortillas. You can also use them in vegetable stir-fries and mix them up as a dip.

Hemp seeds

Hemp seeds are a must-try superfood of the day. The complete protein is rich in amino acids, fibre and magnesium. The food item is sure to add plenty of energy to your day. If you’re a vegan, hemp is an essential ingredient since it’s one of the only vegan sources of omega-3 oils.

You can add hemp seeds to your food by using them as an ingredient in soups and stir-fry recipes. The seeds also make a great snack and they are a fantastic addition to your smoothies.

Lentils

You’ll definitely want to add lentils to your diet. Not only are they a good source of protein, but the main ingredient in many delicious Indian dishes. 100 grams of lentils typically have around 26 grams of protein, which is close to the amount 100 grams (3.5 oz) of chicken breast would have.

The food item is also rich in fibre, with one serving giving you enough to meet your daily intake. Lentils also provide your body essential minerals, such as iron, magnesium and potassium.

As mentioned, lentils are a key ingredient in many Indian dishes – they make a great, fulfilling curry. You should also try lentils in your soup, as they can help thicken the consistency.

Eggs

Although eggs are not suitable for vegans, most of us can cut down meat consumption by adding a bit more egg dishes to our day. Two large eggs will add around 13 grams of protein to your daily intake, making it a great way to start the morning.

The debate around eggs and their health benefits continues, but most research now suggests they might be a great health food.

You can enjoy eggs in many different ways from baking to frying. The food item is also used in things like quiche and casserole, so you are guaranteed to find delicious ways to add eggs to your diet.

Most of the above food items can be found at your average supermarket. Nonetheless, since the protein content can be less than for certain meat items, you might be worried about what it does to your grocery bill. The good news is that things like lentils are cheap to buy. You can also find voucher codes from VoucherBin.co.uk to purchase the more unusual items like seitan for cheaper. If you utilise discount codes, you won’t need to worry about the cost of cutting meat from your diet.

If you want to reduce the amount of meat you eat, don’t do it at the cost of cutting down your protein. Instead, opt for the above food items and enjoy tasty meals!

About author:
This article was contributed to healthiack.com by a guest author.

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