Proteins are important molecules which have structural and functional roles in the body.  

Some claim that eating enough calories from plant-based foods will automatically mean that protein is taken care. Sadly, this is untrue. It’s perfectly possible to design an animal-free eucaloric diet that fails to meet the RDA for protein (which is set at 0.8g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day).  
 
More to the point, I do not think that 0.8g/d/kg/day is optimal for health. Eating above the RDA (especially when combined with resistance training) can help to: 

* Build muscle.  

Protect lean mass when in energy deficit.  

* Protect lean mass in older adults.  

* Improve bone health.  

I recommend 1.3-1.6g/kg/day for those on an animal-free diet.

Reasoning: A great deal of research suggests that protein intakes above the RDA may bring health benefits. 1.2-1.6g/kg/d has been identified as a more optimal intake range. However, I have slightly increased the lower value of this estimate to take into consideration the fact that plant-based proteins may be less anabolic compared to animal-based. But at 1.6g/kg/d any inferiority (in terms of anabolism) would appear to be nullified.   
 
In order to eat sufficient protein, it’s important to make protein rich foods the centerpiece of meals. Please see my tips on
planning healthy animal-free diets.

I will shortly publish a more detailed article on protein and will provide ideas for protein-rich meals.

 

 

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