Alternative Protein SourcesA Chapter by Sara Mercury
For all those who prefer the vegetarian way to eating
A well known fact is that animal meats contain the bad cholesterol and saturated fats that our bodies could well do without. Whilst it is okay to replenish the body every now and again with a small serving of animal meat, I believe that animal meat should be consumed very sparingly, if not at all.
Protein, as well as other nutrients, is important for the body to function well. Protein can be found in abundance in animal meats, but there are many good sources of protein to be found in the vegetable kingdom as well.
Some of these sources are as follows:
Beans and legumes. Beans may be high in calories, but they are a good source of protein, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. A word to all my fellow vegetarians out there ... chick peas have the highest protein in the bean world, or so I hear.
Soybeans and soy products. Soybeans themselves are high in protein, and contain the good fats that combat high cholesterol. Soy products like soymilk, tofu, soyburgers, and other processed soy products imitating animal meats are all good sources of protein. But just because a product says it's made from soy does not mean that it is LOW IN FAT. Be sure to examine those food labels prior to purchasing that soy product! You don't want a soy product that is too high in fat. (Moderate to low levels of fat should be consumed instead of high amounts. Try to remain in the low end - anywhere from 1-7 grams is sufficient.)
Nuts. Both field and tree nuts are high in fat and calories, but contain good fats and protein. Because of the high fat content, they should be eaten in moderation. More than two tablespoons of nuts per day should be considered 'overindulging in a good thing and thereby making it a bad thing'.
Mushrooms. You don't need to pay the shittake mushroom prices; even white mushrooms contain enough protein to serve as a substitute for an animal source. Use them in salads, or saute them in your stir-frys, or bake them over your fish (yes, that's one animal protein source that should be allowed!) ... they're delicious! They are also good for adding the necessary 'plump' to aging, sagging skin. (That doesn't mean you should give your facial sculpting cremes a toss into the bin, though.)
Protein shakes. Whey, soy and milk contain good sources of protein, and protein shakes made with milk protein, whey (a milk derivative) and soy are good sources of protein that may substitute for an all-out animal source. Be wise, though. Milk is still animal-sourced protein that should be monitored because, even though it may be fat-free, contains the bad cholesterol. Be sure to read your labels for cholesterol and fat content on these nutritional supplements before you purchase them!
Here's wishing you all good health and happy eating!
© 2012 Sara Mercury
Added on September 26, 2011
Last Updated on March 5, 2012
From the Kitchen of Sara Mercury
Lake City, FL
AboutHello, Darlings! I am a published author, and a legal assistant, as well as the mother of a 15-year-old son. In addition to writing novels, I enjoy singing and playing piano, writing poetry and son.. more..