The Goods

4 protein packed vegetarian options that help you feel fuller longer

Registered holistic nutritionist Peggy Kotsopoulos breaks down what you need to know about these meatless options.

Holistic nutritionist Peggy Kotsopoulos breaks down what you need to know about these meatless options.

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Avoiding the harmful effects of eating too much meat is much easier now with so many plant-based options out there offering lots of protein. Registered holistic nutritionist Peggy Kotsopoulos encourages us to take the trendy Meatless Monday social tag and explore vegetarian options any day of the week. In fact, these proteins can be healthier for you as they are much lower in saturated fats and high in fibre, phytonutrients and vitamins that help to break down and utilize these proteins. But some meatless options pack a bigger nutritious punch than others, so to help figure out what to pick up at the grocery store, Peggy shared four protein-rich foods to consider adding to the top of your list.

Oatmeal

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While oatmeal has the least amount of protein on Peggy's list, it's still a great protein source with 6 grams per 1 cup of cooked oats. In particular, it's high in the amino acid tryptophan. This is the same amino acid found in turkey that makes us sleepy after a feast. Oats are also a great source of fibre, which is beneficial in helping to lower cholesterol. Plus it's rich in energy boosting and stress busting B6 vitamins, and is a great source of iron — so it's a great way to start your day.

Black beans

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Rich in protein, black beans have 20 grams of protein per ½ cup and loads of fibre and complex carbs. They're excellent for maintaining heart health and they help to reduce bad cholesterol from the body. Peggy also shared that they're great for weight loss and weight management, because all of that protein and fibre keeps you fuller for longer.

Peanut butter

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Peanut butter is a delicious plant-based protein with a whopping 32 grams of protein in just ½ cup! But remember, two tablespoons is the recommended serving size. When shopping for this tasty spread, Peggy says to always opt for one with peanuts as the main ingredient and skip the ones loaded with sugar and unhealthy fats.

Hemp hearts

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Hemp hearts are incredibly high in protein – just ¼ cup contains 42 grams! By comparison, one 4-ounce steak has roughly 28 grams of protein. But ¼ cup is probably too much of a good thing, so Peggy advises sticking to a few spoonfuls instead. Sprinkle them on sandwiches, salad, muffins, oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies… whatever you're craving. They are also high in GLA which is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can help to speed up muscle recovery.

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