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Five Alternatives to Meat for Protein

While meat is a great source of protein, there are a lot of reasons to look for non-meat alternatives. Whether you are cutting back your meat intake for your Karma, or are just looking for other protein sources to complement the meat you eat, here are five great meatless protein options you should try to incorporate into your diet.


While eggs and dairy are not options if you are avoiding animal products all together, they are great inexpensive and highly available sources of non-meat protein. Eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt contain high amounts of protein, with most cheeses having more protein per ounce than lean beef. Parmesan cheese has among the highest concentrations of protein with nearly 11 grams per ounce. One 50g boiled egg has about 6 grams of protein.


Made from ground chick peas, hummus is a versatile dish that can be used as a snack dip or a substitute for meat on a sandwich. There are lots of flavors available to keep your taste buds entertained. Most hummus has about 19g of protein per cup.


Whether you keep it simple with dishes like rice and beans or go for a black bean veggie burger, beans should be a staple when going meatless. Beans are a great vegetarian source of protein and fiber. From soups to meat substitutes, you can find the protein power of beans nearly everywhere. Beans are also a very affordable option for anyone crushing lots of protein on a budget. Beans vary greatly in their protein levels with green beans being relatively low at 1.8g per cup and soy beans on the high end at 65g per cup.


Not always a true replacement for the visceral experience of eating meat, meat substitutes like tofu, seitan and tempeh are high in protein and low in fat. There are many companies making big waves by serving up meat alternatives like Beyond Meat, who offers a veggie burger that bleeds beet juice and sizzles on the barbecue. Sample a few of these non-meat alternatives and see how they stack up in your meat free diet.

  • Tofu: 1 cup = 20g protein; 8g per 100 grams
  • Seitan: 1 cup = 187g; 75g per 100 grams
  • Tempeh: 1 cup = 31g protein; 19g per 100 grams


Protein shakes are a great way to boost your daily protein intake without any meat at all. With the diversity of protein powder options out there, you can choose from protein derived from all kinds of sources including pea protein, rice protein, hemp protein and even cricket protein. Of course, you can always go with the staples like whey, soy and casein proteins as well.