high protein foods

11 High Protein Foods for People Who Don’t Eat Meat

No meat? No problem.

There’s a common misconception that if you don’t eat meat, you will not get a sufficient amount of protein.

However, experts have managed to identify different protein sources diet with all the necessary nutrients one needs. 

According to scientific studies, there are certain protein sources of plant food that contains a significant amount of protein than others.

High protein foods can increase your satiety, muscular strength, and help you to lose weight.

What is protein and how much do you need?

Protein is one of the three macronutrients that plays a vital role in building lean muscle and mass. It makes up approximately 15 percent of your total body weight. 


Commonly protein is found in the muscles of animals, but protein can be obtained from other protein sources. For an average person, 56g of proteins is needed for a day.

What are the benefits of eating protein?

There are many significant benefits of protein that helps our body in many different ways. The following are some of the benefits of protein.

Promotes healthy bones

According to Professor Jean Philippe Bonjour from University Hospital Geneva Switzerland, nutrition plays an essential role in the maintained development and the health of bone structures.

With calcium and vitamin D, proteins play a key role as a nutrient for the health of bone.

Helps control appetite 

According to the study of TNO Quality of Life, Zeist Municipality Netherlands, the high protein breakfast reduces the gastric emptying rate, and it thus reduces one’s appetite.

Protein sources keep your stomach fresh, and you get more energy throughout the day.

Increases muscles and strength 

Mounting evidence from sports studies has shown how protein consumption can help build lean muscles.

Protein intake enhances muscle mass and body performance such as physical exertion duration, frequency, and volume. 

Increase metabolism and decrease fats 

A study by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health suggests that the high protein sources diet increases your metabolism significantly by increasing thermogenesis and satiety. This helps in weight loss and fat burn.

Lowers blood pressure

The research held in Top Institute Food and Nutrition in Wageningen, the Netherlands by Wieke Altorf clarifies that especially from plant protein there is an effect on blood pressure.

Protein decreases blood pressure, and it can have a huge impact on public health.

What are some foods high in protein?

People who do not eat meat are generally known as vegans or vegetarians. Below are the 11 sources for those people other than meat. 

1. Tofu 

The origin of tofu is Soybean, and soybeans are significantly considered as a complete source of protein. 

Researchers at the University of Perugia found that Tofu is not in any way harmful to health and it is a very good protein source. 

Every 100 calories of serving tofu contain 11 grams of protein which is higher than 100 calories of meat which is 8.9 grams.

2. Eggs 


According to the US Department of Agriculture summarizes that egg’s white part contains very fewer micronutrients and calories and contains approximately 4g of protein.

The average size of an egg contains 6-7 grams of protein, and it is approximately 12 grams per serving which is a considerably high amount.

3. Quinoa

It is one of the most popular high protein foods in the world.

Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein, and is one of the few plant foods that contain enough of all nine essential amino acids.

It is also rich in fiber, vitamin B, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.

One study shows that in a single serving of one cup of cooked Quinoa which is approximately 185g, there are 8g of proteins.

4. Lentils

From legume family, Lentils are edible seeds. They are well known for their lens shape and are sold with or without intact outer shells. 

Lentils consist of over 25 percent protein, which makes it an excellent alternative to meat.

They are also a great source of iron, a mineral that is sometimes missing from a vegetarian diet. There are 12g of protein per serving of lentils.

5. Beans

Beans and legumes are the fruit or seeds of a plant family called Fabaceae. They are a great substitute for meat as a source of vegetarian protein. 

Research by Vanderbilt Epidemiology Centre shows that it can help you reduce weight, risk factors for heart disease, and potentially even cancer risk. There are 14.5g of protein in a single serving of about 164g of beans.

6. Chickpeas 

They are known as garbanzo beans, belong to the legume family.

Chickpeas are one of the high protein foods and perfectly replace meat in vegetarian and vegan diets.

There are 3g of protein per single serving which contains 28g in total. 


7. Almonds

They are very high in protein, and they are very rich in healthy fats, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. 

The University of California, Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology research says that Almonds are great protein sources and they are very good antioxidants.

There are 6g of proteins in one ounce of almonds that is enough of one serving.

8. Cashew 

They are often used in vegan recipes, and vegans love this food because it is full of proteins.

Cashews are a great source of minerals, vitamins, and proteins. In one ounce of the whole cashew, there are 5.1g of protein.

9. Peanuts

Peanuts are rich in protein, fat and various healthy nutrients according to the Journal of Food Composition and analysis.

Studies show that peanuts can even be useful in losing weight and are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. There are 25.8g in 100g of peanuts.

10. Oats and Oatmeal 

Oats are an excellent source of fiber, especially beta-glucan, and are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Due to many benefits, like lowering blood sugar and cholesterol, oats have gained a lot of attention as health food according to the Department of Nutrition at the University of Toronto. In every 100g of oats, there are 16.9g of protein.

11. Chia Seeds

They are among the healthiest foods in the world. They are full of nutrients that can have important benefits for your body and brain.


According to the Nutritional Target Map for Seeds, there are 4g of protein per serving.

What is the difference between plant and meat protein?

The major difference between animal and plant protein sources lies in the number of amino acids present in them. 

Several animal products are complete protein source that provides all nine amino acids.

On the other hand, all plant products lack one or other essential amino acids.

Related: Eating Fast Digesting Protein Foods Matter. Here’s Why.

Is plant protein healthier than meat protein?

According to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, plant protein has more nutrients and fiber.

And people who partially eat vegetable protein have healthier habits because meat has more saturated fat.

Processed red meat is carcinogenic, and it increases the chances of cancer.