People often choose to follow a vegetarian diet for health reasons. The diet can be high-fiber and low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and it can be sufficient in most essential nutrients if you plan your diet well. Being aware of the sources of complete protein will help you get enough complete protein on your vegetarian diet.
Complete Vs. Incomplete Proteins
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins in foods and in your body. The University of Illinois explains that complete proteins, also called high-quality proteins, in food provide all of the amino acids that your body needs to get from the diet, while incomplete proteins are lacking one or more essential amino acids. The proteins in all animal-based foods, such as chicken, fish and beef, are complete. Getting high-quality proteins is an additional requirement to getting enough total protein in your vegetarian diet.
Dairy Products and Eggs
Quinoa is a plant-based source of complete protein that is a grain. Each cup of cooked quinoa provides 8 grams of protein and 39 grams of carbohydrates. This makes it low-protein and high-carbohydrate in comparison to foods such as chicken breast, which is carbohydrate-free and has 27 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving, and beans, which have 15 grams of carbohydrates and 7 grams of protein per half-cup. Have cooked quinoa as a side dish or make quinoa tabbouleh with cold cooked quinoa, olive oil, onion, bell pepper and tomatoes.