Vegetarian source of Protien and / or Protien Powder

Hello everyone,

Being a vegetarian I am struggling with getting enough protien in my diet on daily basis.

Could you please recommend vegetarian source of protien which are low in fat and carbs.

Also don't have any knowledge of protien powder and will to try that as well.

Thank you very much in advance for you help


  • sollyn23l2
    sollyn23l2 Posts: 1,296 Member
    Low fat dairy products, tofu, lentils, beans. Those are the few off the top of my head. I'm sure Anne will pop in and be able to give you some way better ideas.
  • edendrain
    edendrain Posts: 1 Member
    Chickpeas are good and theres quite a lot of meat substitutes that are high protein i usually go for the plant chef range from tesco if you can find them and most protein powders are veggie but not vegan and theyre a great way to boost ur protein x
  • benhmorris63
    benhmorris63 Posts: 42 Member
    While we are not vegetarians, my wife and I use Garden of Life Organic Protein Powder in our morning shakes. It's made from pea proteins and they have a variety of flavors that are delicious. I will also mash up a banana, add a little peanut butter, a little GOL vanilla powder, and some blueberries. It's quite good!
  • zebasschick
    zebasschick Posts: 751 Member
    i'm a vegetarian, and i DO use a lot of protein powder. i'm eating at a deficit, and i find protein powder is the single most efficient protein source as the whey protein isolate has no fats or carbs at all if you get the right brand. then you can add the foods that have the amount of carbs / fats you need for that meal.

    i also eat a lot of 0% greek yogurt and egg whites, as well as soy (soybeans, edamame, tofu, tempeh) which have more fiber, fat and carbs, but the protein is a complete protein. don't forget low or nonfat cottage cheese, which can be added to recipes as well as being eaten on its own. quinoa has complete protein, but at only 6 grams of protein per serving, i don't bother with it as a protein source. protein bars often include a fair amount of fat, but the ones i eat have at least 20 grams of protein and are vegetarian, usually relying on whey protein isolate.

    for what it's worth, i'm working on building muscle, so i eat 6 small meals per day to get the protein i am aiming for. some people i know doing this have 3 meals but have at least 2 protein snacks between meals.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 30,287 Member
    I've been vegetarian for 49+ years.

    If you eat eggs, eat some.

    If you eat dairy, nonfat Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and some other cheeses are high in protein for their calories (but not all lower calorie cheeses are good, so it may take experimenting). (I'm in the US. Some I like are Jarlsberg Lite, Cabot Light Cheddar, Babybel light.)

    If you're fully plant based, your best whole-ish food choices would be traditional soy foods like tempeh, tofu, tofu noodles. Less traditional, still good: Dry roasted soybeans, edamame (dry-roasted, or fresh or frozen). If you eat gluten, seitan is a good choice but it's not as complete (in essential amino acids (EAA)).

    Some modern more processed options are soy, black bean, or red/green lentil pasta. The soy and black bean are more chewy than wheat pasta, so I prefer to use those in Asian-style preps, like with stir-fried veggies. The lentil pastas are more similar to wheat pasta in flavor/texture, but some brands are better than others (mostly texture-wise). Experiment. (I like Barilla red lentil.)

    Most beans/legumes are OK-ish, worth eating, but a little higher calorie to protein ratio than some of the things mentioned above.

    Some of the fake meat products are relatively high in protein for their calories, and some aren't. Read labels. I didn't like meat much in the first place, so I don't generally like the fake meats, either. Therefore, I can't recommend any.

    I don't like protein powders either (taste preference, nothing more), so I don't use them so can't recommend any.

    As a vegetarian, it will be a good idea to include one big protein source in each meal, similar to what omnivores do. As a vegetarian, it will also help to get a little protein from many of your other foods. There are veggies with more protein than others, breads and grains with relatively more protein, even a few fruits with protein. Choose those more often.

    Those sources will be less EAA complete, and possibly less bioavailable. If you choose a wide variety of them, from different categories. it will tend to work out better. (You can also be more conscious about complementing protein sources for a better EAA profile, but I don't usually do that, as a high fraction of my protein comes from EAA-complete sources, and I eat a large variety of the others routinely.

    There are also some flavoring ingredients that contribute some protein, such as nutritional yeast, miso, peanut/almond butter powder (defatted).

    You diary will be a great tool for increasing protein intake. Log what you eat for a few days, then take a look at it. Where do you have food that are contributing quite a few calories, but not giving you a compensatory payoff in nutrition, satiation, tastiness, etc. (Foods that "cost more calories than they're worth" to you.)

    Reduce or eliminate those, and use the freed-up calories to get some better protein sources into your routine eating habits. Keep that review/adjust routine up: That will gradually increase your protein intake. You don't have to make a fix in an instant; it's more important IMO to put sustainable new eating patterns in place.

    When you're looking for new sources of protein, you may find this thread helpful (I did):

    It links to a spreadsheet that lists many, many foods in order by protein efficiency, most protein for fewest calories. You'll need to scroll past the mostly meaty/fishy things at the top of the list, but you'll find vegetarian protein sources further down. There are also some columns that give you a snapshot of protein quality, but you may want to delve into that more deeply than just the codes.

    Another good source of general nutritional information is this site:

    I know you're vegetarian, not vegan, but there's some good stuff there. Unlike a lot of vegan advocacy sites on the web that push nonsense, it's an evidence-based site, with content from registered dietitians who are themselves vegan. I've found it helpful.

    I don't know how close your goals are to mine, but if they're anything similar, you're welcome to send me an MFP friend request: My diary is open to friends. (I'm a terrible MFP friend, but do answer DM questions.) I don't log food every day anymore (in year 7+ of maintenance) but do log frequently. I'm F, 5'5", age 67, target 1850 + exercise calories, eat quite a bit of dairy (but also a lot of plant foods, including plant proteins), mostly cook from scratch. My goal is minimum 100g protein daily, and I often get 110-120g or more, which I figure is over 1g per pound of lean body mass for me.

    IMO, vegetarianism isn't a weight management strategy. (I went from thin to fat to obese and back to thin, all being vegetarian.) Being vegetarian does make it ever so slightly harder to get overall good nutrition in reduced calories, because some of the most calorie-efficient protein sources are not vegetarian. It can be done, though; and it's not IMO prohibitively difficult.

    If you have questions, please ask. Best wishes!
  • John772016
    John772016 Posts: 106 Member
    Great info above👍
    Protein powder I like is Sun Warrior, recommended by a fellow MFP'er in another thread.
    Vegan and organic if that's important to you and net carb 1g if low carb. 18g Protein @ 100 Cals
  • zebasschick
    zebasschick Posts: 751 Member
    i have a sweet tooth, and one of my favorite protein powders is syntrax sweets vanilla bean torte. it's yummy. i also like muscle feast whey protein isolate chocolate, but it's not quick to dissolve in liquids.
  • 8rbncr8mv5
    8rbncr8mv5 Posts: 6 Member
    I’m not vegan or vegetarian but one of my coworkers is and she’s a strong advocate for KOS brand protein (she says it’s the only vegan one that isn’t gross). I’ve used it before and I liked it too
  • xrj22
    xrj22 Posts: 194 Member
    For easy home-cooked meals, try anything with lentils (soup, salads), black bean soup or chili, dips made with tofu, greek yogurt. For ready-made products at the grocery, Morning Star brand products (freezer section). They have black bean burgers and "sausage" patties that are quite good. I do the burgers with just steak sauce, BBQ sause, or salsa, and no bun. (I don't know whether beans and legumes meet your definition of "low carb" -- they won't work on Keto, but for general health purposes, the carbs come with enough fiber and protein that they are absorbed slowly and won't spike blood sugar or insulin for most people.
  • Itadakimasu7
    Itadakimasu7 Posts: 207 Member
    Tempeh is good if you haven't tried it. I have to buy it at the healthfood store but I like it.
  • ReReNotMe
    ReReNotMe Posts: 51 Member
    I've been vegetarian all my life and have struggled the same as you. I would definitely recommend eggs, especially egg whites as they are almost all protein and no fats. Yet to find a protein powder that tastes good that doesn't break the bank though haha