Legumes: A Good Meatless Protein Source

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • Protein Sources Other Than Meat

    If you enjoy a good cut of beef now and again then help yourself, but
    keep in mind that the operative words here are “good cut.” Red meats
    contain all the essential amino acids that are required to manufacture
    the proteins that are structural components of muscles, skin, hair,
    blood, organs and glands. Red meat also is high in the saturated fats
    that increase the risk for heart attack
    .

    Human beings have been eating red meat throughout our history, and our
    digestive systems are accustomed to it. But the red meat we currently
    eat is hardly the same
    as what our ancestors consumed.

    Once upon a time, animals ate grass and whatever else was natural. They
    are now fed grain-based feed and filled with antibiotics and hormones
    that increase growth rate. After slaughter, they are smoked, cured,
    treated with nitrates, preservatives and a number of chemicals.

    The Importance of Protein

    Proteins are often referred to as the building blocks of life. Every
    cell in the human body contains the proteins that are needed for the
    repair and maintenance
    of our bodies. It also is in all fluids in the
    body, with the exception of bile and urine.

    Proteins also make the antibodies for our immune system, the hormones
    that send messages and coordinate the activities of the body, transport
    oxygen through the blood, mediate cell response and make enzymes.

    Proteins are essential. So if meat is not your preference, what can you
    eat to get the proteins you need? Fortunately, there are plenty of
    choices.

    Legumes: Protein Without The Meat

    Legumes are an edible seed that can be split into two halves such as
    beans, lentils and peanuts. Legumes have fiber, folate, potassium and
    iron. They are also an excellent substitute for meat in that they have a
    high-protein content.

    Although beans are considered an incomplete source of protein because
    they do not provide all the essential amino acids, they are still a good
    source. Beans also are used in a variety of dishes and in a number of
    cultures. Adzuki beans are the red beans found in Japanese cuisine, while
    black beans are common in Mexican cuisine. They are served as a side
    dish or mixed with rice.

    Chickpeas can be used in stews, casseroles, and soups. They also can be
    ground into a paste to make hummus.

    Lentils are a legume that can be eaten as a side dish or used in soups or stews. A single cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein.

    Peanuts are another good source of protein; although, they are high in
    calories. Peas and soybeans also are good sources. One cup of cooked
    peas contains eight grams of protein while one cup of of soybeans
    contains 22 grams.
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Published On: March 18, 2014