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Alternative Sources of Protein

Por Emiliana Faillace, Nutrition Counselor, MyDiet™ -
Alternative Sources of Protein

Do you eat very few sources of protein? You could be putting your health at risk. Protein is a part of hemoglobin, in charge of carrying oxygen to the body's organs and tissues. It is also essential to the formation of enzymes and antibodies, responsible for protecting the body from illnesses. Also, protein is necessary to build and maintain muscle mass. That is why it's important to meet your recommended daily allowance of protein.

Higher quality proteins can be found in beef, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, yogurt and, cheese. However, if you don't like them, or would rather not eat this type of food, you may be able to meet your recommended daily allowance through vegetable-based protein. This type of protein has a lower biological value, but if you choose the right foods, and make appropriate combinations, you may improve their quality.

The Complete Guide to Nutritional Health recommends these alternative sources of protein:


  • Made from  soy beans.
  • Similar to cheese.
  • Versatile in the kitchen due to its mild flavor, and easily absorbs the meal's other flavors.
  • Excellent as a meat or cheese substitute in any meal.
  • Rich in niacin, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, protein, and isoflavones.

Soy yogurt

  • Prepared using soymilk.
  • Contains lactobacilli that help maintain a healthy intestinal flora.
  • Features antioxidant properties and strengthens the body's defenses.
  • Good substitute for yogurt or cream


  • Prepared using cooked soy beans; vacuum-packed.
  • Rich in proteins, vitamin B, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, fiber, and isoflavones.
  • Features anticancer and antiviral properties, strengthens the body's defenses, and can lower blood cholesterol.
  • Due to its firm consistency, it's ideal for preparing kabobs, salads, or soups.


  • This is the base of all soy products.
  • You can eat it as sprouts or grains.
  • Rich vitamin E, vitamin B, biotin, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, protein,  fiber, and isoflavones.
  • Ideal for mixing with salads or other legumes.


  • This group includes beans, fava beans, lentils, and chickpeas.
  • Rich in vitamin E, vitamin B, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, fiber, and protein.
  • Help lower blood cholesterol and have antioxidant properties.
  • The quality of their protein is improved by mixing it with cereals such as rice, corn, wheat, and tubers, such as potato.
  • Vegetable mix examples:
  1. Rice with beans, lentils, or chickpeas
  2. Bread or tortilla with beans
  3. Wheat crackers with beans
  4. Potatoes with chickpeas.


1. Cousin, Pierre Jean; K. Hartvig. The Complete Guide to Nutritional Health.1 sted.USA: Duncan Publishers, 2004.


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