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Protein

Power Up with Plant-Based Protein

A varied plant-based diet of whole grains, vegetables, and beans can easily meet your daily protein needs, without the risks of animal products.

Protein—an important nutrient that helps build, maintain, and repair body tissue—is widely available in beans, vegetables, and grains. Protein deficiency is almost unheard of in the United States. It’s easy to get all the protein you need without eating meat, dairy, or eggs.

An average woman needs about 46 grams of protein per day; the average man about 56. But most Americans consume about double the amount they actually need. 

And when it comes to protein, more isn’t always better. One study found that people eating large amounts of animal protein have 23 times the risk of death from diabetes and 5 times the risk of death from cancer as those consuming less protein. Foods rich in animal protein are often packed with saturated fat and cholesterol.

Plant-Based Protein Sources

Can Vegans Get Enough Protein

Neal Barnard, M.D., talks about how people following plant-based diets can meet their protein needs.