March 01, 2020

Plant proteins

Recent research suggests that older adults should aim to eat 1 gram (g) of protein — or slightly more — for every 2.2 pounds of body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds, that's 68 g of protein daily.

But before you throw a steak on the grill, think about incorporating more plant proteins in your diet. Many plant protein sources contain plentiful fiber, little fat, an array of vitamins and minerals, and lower levels of the saturated fats found in many meats.

One 3-ounce serving of lean meat contains about 21 g of protein. Compare that to the protein values below, and try out these ways of eating more plant proteins.

  • Beans, peas and lentils — A 1/2 cup serving provides about 7 to 10 g of protein. Beans can be part of a main dish such as with chili, tacos or black bean burgers. Sprinkle cooked beans onto salads, or puree for dips or spreads. Edamame, or green soybeans, work well in rice dishes and as an appetizer. Try a split-pea or lentil soup to warm you in winter.
  • Nuts and seeds — A 1-ounce handful provides around 3 to 7 g of protein. Reach for seeds or unsalted nuts instead of chips for a crunchy snack. Use soy nuts or slivered almonds as a salad garnish, or throw chopped nuts on your breakfast cereal.
  • Other options — One-half cup of quinoa provides 4 g of protein. Use it to make hot...