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Can You Be a Soy-Free Vegan?

vegan protein sources

Vegan Protein Sources

So, how do you get enough protein without fake meat? It’s actually surprisingly easy! There are lots of vegan protein sources that are not only delicious and soy-free but inexpensive.

Worried about getting enough protein? It’s probably not a problem. Most Americans eat far more than the RDA for protein each day, and if you’re eating a balanced diet, you should be meeting your protein needs without having to do anything extra. Since I started distance running last year, I’ve been using a nutrition data app to track my nutritional intake to make sure I’m on track, and I get more than the RDA for protein every day without deliberately adding it to my diet.

Related Reading: Superfood: 10 Quinoa Recipes

Here are some common, soy-free, fake-meat-free vegan protein sources:

  • Whole grains -  quinoa, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, millet, rolled oats, barley, etc.
  • Beans – black, pinto, lentils, garbanzo beans, etc.
  • Seitan – a high protein dough made from vital wheat gluten that’s great in stir fries, sandwiches, pasta, and casseroles
  • Nuts – cashews, peanuts, pine nuts, walnuts, etc.
  • Seeds – sunflower, sesame, chia, flax, etc.
  • Fruits and veggies – It might be surprising, but even fruits and veggies often contain protein.

If you want some more specific info on how much protein is in different vegan foods, the Vegetarian Resource Group has an excellent table showing some common plant-based foods and their protein content. You can also use sites like Nutrition Data to look up different foods and find their nutritional content, including protein.

I’d love to hear from you guys! How often – if ever – do you eat meat? Do you think you could replace even a few weekly servings of meat with any of these vegan alternatives?

Related:
4 Tasty, Vegan Alternatives to Soy
25 Vegan Sources for Protein
Fake Meat — Good Idea?

Read more: Basics, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, Health, Vegan, Vegetarian, , , , , , , , , ,

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

87 comments

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8:06AM PST on Jan 4, 2014

it's possible I'm a vegan and allergic to soy and nuts . some of my staples are quinoa and vega sport makes great protein bars & shakes (natural , soy free,vegan,nut free,sweetend with stevia) ,and while it doesn't taste to good alone pea protein is great for baking ,you can get it at the health food store.

8:05AM PST on Jan 4, 2014

it's possible I'm a vegan and allergic to soy and nuts . some of my staples are quinoa and vega sport makes great protein bars ? shakes (natural , soy free,vegan,nut free,sweetend with stevia) ,and while it doesn't taste to good alone pea protein is great for baking ,you can get it at the health food store.

5:09PM PST on Mar 5, 2013

thanks for the link to the baigan bharta (something to try next summer!)

3:41AM PST on Mar 5, 2013

Good recipes to add to my toolbox.

6:10AM PST on Feb 20, 2013

What's wrong with veggies and fruit??? Who needs Soya anyway...

4:40PM PST on Feb 19, 2013

Yes you can! There is plenty of soy-free vegan food available :)

2:41PM PST on Feb 19, 2013

My niece is ~ she's allergic to soy. And yes, she has to read labels constantly. You'd be surprised.

1:43PM PST on Feb 19, 2013

For people who suffer from kidney stones, unfortunately, most beans, nuts and tofu products contain high amounts of oxalic acid which is the basis of stone formation. If such a person chooses to get protein sources from meat, I cannot condemn that person for trying to avoid the very painful condition which would otherwise occur. Sad but true situation for some.

7:53PM PDT on Oct 9, 2012

Not even fake meat is okay now? For real? I am left speechless by articles like these.

2:45PM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

Thank you

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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