The Vegan Diet

Whether it is concern over animal welfare, worry about the environmental hazards of raising animals for consumption or the health benefits that can come with following a vegan lifestyle, the vegan diet appeals to a number of people. Despite the potential benefits, concerns about getting enough protein sometimes bother those contemplating the vegan meal plan. As long as followers of the diet eat a balanced vegan meal plan, they will not have to worry about getting enough protein. According to the Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board, only one out of every ten calories needs to come from protein. The recommended daily allowance is .36 grams for every pound of the vegan's weight. These small amounts of protein can be easily obtained from plant sources that make up the vegan meal plan. For example, a bowl of oatmeal has six grams of protein, while a bagel has nine grams. A serving of tofu has 11 grams, while a serving of beans can have between 10 to 29 grams, depending on the type of bean. Other vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach and potatoes, have small amounts of protein in them. All of these items are considered staples in the typical vegan diet, and it is not uncommon for them to be eaten on a daily basis. Another concern involves claims that animal protein is somehow superior to plant protein, due to the presence of amino acids. However, eating foods such as corn, potatoes and rice will provide the vegan with the essential amino acids they need. Essentially, many people believe they need to eat much larger amounts of protein than they actually do. While it is easy to get the amount of protein one needs, it is harder to get an excess of protein on a vegan diet. Since diets extremely high in protein have been linked to diseases such as osteoporosis and kidney disease, this is yet another benefit to following a vegan diet.