“Don't eat too much meat or dairy products.”
How to fulfil your protein requirements? We reveal all!


Did you know? Almost 80% of French people consume less meat than the maximum limit recommended by the WCRF (World Cancer Research Fund International, in relation to cancer prevention). And that was in 2016! At a time when 100% green diets are on the rise, how does this affect our need for protein?

Is it possible to get protein from plants? How should they be prepared? Let's put an end to some preconceived ideas. Follow us to discover our tips…


For a very (very) long time, meat was the Holy Grail of mealtimes and people would not go without it. And deservedly so, because proteins are one of the macronutrients that are essential for ensuring that our body, and more particularly our muscles, function properly. Our friends from the world of sports are well aware of this!


The transportation of oxygen in our blood, faster muscle repair after sport and the development of our muscle mass.

Vegetal proteins: preconceived ideas and tips for eating them properly

Preconceived idea #1

You need to eat a huge amount of protein to be fit.

As a matter of fact, this is not true! Indeed, the recommended daily intake (RDI) of protein is 0.8g per kg of bodyweight per day (for a person who completes up to 3 sports sessions per week).

For example: a woman weighing 60 kg, who swims twice a week and does yoga once a week, will have a daily requirement of 48 g of protein.

Do you practise sports everyday? In this case, your requirement may rise to between 1.1 and 2.1 g.

For example, a man weighing 80 kg, who swims every day will need to consume about 100 to 170 g of protein per day. This will depend on the intensity of their training and their training plan.

But you should not exceed 2.5 g/kg/day, regardless of how much sports you do. And yes, excess protein increases the level of acidity in the body and can damage your kidneys!


And yes, protein is not ONLY found in meat, although meat is an important source of protein.

Where does the Sunday roast beef that you share with your family come from? It comes from cows. And what do cows eat? Plants, of course! What about elephants? What about horses? And what about rhinoceroses? How do they become fat, tall and strong with all these plants? As you are surely aware… Protein is also present in the plant world.

Between 2002 and 2005, the Senior Life and Massachusetts Lowell Universities looked at the ageing of muscle mass. This study involved 3,000 people from the ages of 17 to 72 years with different life habits. The study made the following two conclusions:

1- Protein intake leads to an improvement in musculoskeletal health.

2- Whether the protein comes from animals or plants, there is no difference in terms of the gain in muscle mass.

Finally, it's a question of taste… and health…

This being said, these proteins have to be found in the plant world!


Reason no. 1 - They are rich in nutritive elements

Plants represent a plentiful source of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and fibre. These substances are not found in meat. By consuming more plants, not only do you obtain your daily ration of protein, but you also get your fill of the nutritive elements that are central to making your cells (muscle cells in particular) function properly!


Reason no. 2 - They contain "good" fat

The problem with red meat is that it contains proteins but not only proteins. It is also very rich in saturated fat, which can lead to an increase in LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol). This excess cholesterol leads to cardiovascular problems. The same issue also occurs in animal dairy products (cows in particular).


On the contrary, plants are rich in unsaturated fat. This is "good" fat that is needed to maintain our cells in good condition. They should not be forgotten!

Reason no. 3 - In order to save our planet and our friends, the animals

The production of vegetal protein needs fewer resources (less land and less water) than animal protein. What's more, growing crops emits less greenhouse gas and waste than animal breeding.

Then, for those who are sensitive to the protection of animals, consuming less meat and more plants will help to protect our friends, the animals.


Reason no. 4 - They help to maintain our pH balance

Animal protein has an acidifying effect on the body. And a body that is too acidic is more likely to develop certain illnesses.

As for vegetal proteins, they are rich in fibre. They keep our microbiota healthy and maintain a balanced pH.

By mixing sources of animal and vegetal proteins, you can reduce the acidifying effect on your body.


Reason no. 5 - Plants contain fewer calories

Did you know?

For an equivalent quantity of calories, meat contains more fat and less protein than cooked broccoli!

100kcal of meat = 0.8g of protein + 7.4g of fat (LDL)

100kcal de broccoli = 11.1g of protein + 0.4g of fat (HDL)

A good reason for starting to vary your sources of protein, don't you agree?

Vegetal proteins:


Vegetal proteins: preconceived ideas and tips for eating them properly

Preconceived idea #2

Vegetarians and vegans are bound to be lacking in protein.

Well, yes and no! Everything depends on their eating habits in the same way as those who do not have a specific diet.

The deficiencies occur when the diet is not balanced, regardless of whether you are a vegetarian or not.

However, it is very easy to find vegetal proteins.

Here is a top 10 list of food products in decreasing order of protein content (out of 100 g of finished product). There must be a mistake: can you find the red meat in the list?

1. Spirulina (seaweed): 65% of protein

2. Soy (leguminous plant): 36% of protein

3. Hemp seeds: 26% of protein

4. Marrow seeds, nut butter (e.g. peanuts and almonds), kidney beans (leguminous plant): 25% of protein

5. Tempeh (fermented soy, excellent probiotic) and walnuts (oil seed): 20% of protein

6. Chickpeas (leguminous plant), red meat: 19% of protein

7. cashew nuts (oil seed): 18% of protein

8. Chia seeds: 17% of protein

9. Quinoa (seeds): 14% of protein

10. Buckwheat (seeds): 13% of protein

Did you find it? Yes, red meat only came in 6th position, equal with chickpeas!"


Vegetal proteins: preconceived ideas and tips for eating them properly

Preconceived idea #3

Vegetal protein is not as easy to assimilate as animal protein and is of no good to us.

Yes and no.
It's true that the digestion of vegetal protein can cause absorption issues in the bowels. But this is also the case for red meat, which the body finds difficult to digest! Indeed, we don't have the digestive system of a lion.

Tips on consuming vegetal proteins

To facilitate the digestion of vegetal proteins and maximise their assimilation by the body, I have three tips to share with you!

Tip no. 1: soak your leguminous products in water overnight before cooking them

This will trigger the germination process and make them considerably more digestible. What's more, they will take less time to cook!
Don't have enough time to soak them? Buy them in jars (preferably made of glass). However, in order to remove as much as possible of the salt, which is added for preservation purposes, don't forget to rinse them thoroughly before eating them.

Tip no. 2: eat them at the same time as the vegetables

Mixing protein with raw vegetables is even better because you will produce specific enzymes as a result. These enzymes will facilitate digestion and therefore optimise the assimilation of the proteins as well as their vitamins and minerals.

Tip no. 3: go for variety!

Each plant-based product contains specific amino acids (these are the pearls that form the necklace ofproteins). by varying different plants during your week, you will have all the amino acids you need to rebuild your necklace. What's more, your dishes will be all the more tasty!


Breakfast: 1 bowl of oat flakes + 2 tbsp of chia seeds + 1 tbsp of peanut butter (100% peanuts) + 1 banana + red fruits

Lunch: 1 block of tempeh marinated in soy sauce + quinoa + ratatouille with chickpeas

Snack: 1 apple dipped in almond butter or 1 fruit + 1 handful of walnuts

Dinner: 1 salad of raw vegetables sprinkled with marrow seeds and chia seeds + a stew of red lentils and vegetables with coconut milk


As with everything, eating too much protein (whether it is vegetal or animal) can lead to a build-up of acidity in the body or even digestive problems.

So getting the right balance is important!

Whether you are on a special diet to protect your health, preserve the environment or protect animal welfare, consuming vegetal protein remains a good alternative to proteins of animal origin. An increasing number of athletes are turning to this type of protein, especially bodybuilders!

Then, it's a question of taste! Ready to turn over a new leaf?

Alexandra Portail Signature


Naturopath Advice in Food and Sports Health

Naturopath, yoga enthusiast and pole dancer, but also and above all, someone in search of well-being. I write about health and offer my personalised services because I want to make people's lives more healthy.
My motto: "A healthy mind in a healthy body!"