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The Big Protein Question · 16 October 2012

The first thing people ask when they find out you are eating vegan (or close) is some variation of the question: “How do you get enough protein?”


I was caught off guard when I was first asked that question. I knew I was getting enough, but I did not know how to answer. Since then, I have done a little research. What I have found is that it is easy to get enough protein.


Adult males need the most protein in their diets – the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (US RDA) is 52 grams each day. A three ounce piece of meat is about the size of a deck of playing cards and gives 21 grams of protein according to many sources on the internet. Personally, I was shocked to find that over one-third of the US RDA for protein could be met with so little meat and that there are so many other sources of protein besides meat. Most of them are plant-based and provide more varied nutrients than meat.


Now that I have done just a little research, I know I am getting enough protein and I can answer the protein question. But instead of merely pointing out that we can get all our protein needs from sources other than meat, I will probably answer the big protein question with a question of my own: “Why do we think we need so much protein?”

© 2012 Michael T. Miyoshi

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