Vegetarian Diet Tips: 3 Steps To Ensure Proper Levels Of Protein

To meet your individual protein needs as a vegetarian, simply eat protein-rich plant-based foods. Despite popular belief, legumes, nuts, and seeds are sufficient to ensure optimal protein intake for adults following a vegetarian diet.

Key takeaways

  • Understanding Protein Needs: Calculate your protein needs or the DRI Calculator for Healthcare Professionals to estimate your daily protein requirement.
  • Top Protein Sources for Vegetarians: Incorporate a variety of high-protein vegetarian foods like Dried Spirulina, Soy Protein Powder, Almond Butter, and Hemp Seeds into your diet.
  • Diverse Options: A mix of legumes, nuts, seeds, and dairy products can fulfill a vegetarian’s protein needs while offering a range of other essential nutrients.
  • High-Protein, Low-Calorie Choices: For those seeking low-calorie options, dairy products like Fat-free Swiss Cheese, Mozzarella (Non-Fat), and non-fat Greek Yogurt are excellent choices.
  • Easy Integration in Meals: Incorporate these protein sources easily into daily meals – add nut butters to smoothies, sprinkle seeds on salads, or use them in baking.

Steps Vegetarians Should Take To Ensure They Get Proper Levels Of Protein

1) Find out how much protein you need.

The average adult’s recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is about 0.36 grams per pound.

Vegetarian Diet Tips Easy Steps To Ensure Proper Levels Of Protein

To estimate your daily protein intake, multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36, or just use the USDA Calculator here


2) Identify your favorite high-protein vegetarian foods.

Here’s a list of the top 10 high-protein foods for vegetarians Per 100 Grams:

RankFood ItemProtein ContentRemarks
1Dried Spirulina57.5gAlgae, rich in nutrients
2Soy Protein Powder (Isolate)88.3gHighly concentrated protein source
3Grated Parmesan Cheese (Low-Sodium)41.6gCheese, low in sodium
4Almond Butter21gNut butter, source of healthy fats
5Roasted Squash and Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas) (Salted)29.8gSeeds, rich in minerals
6Almonds21.2gNuts, high in vitamin E
7Sun-Dried Tomatoes14.1gVegetable, rich in lycopene
8Tahini (Sesame Butter)17gSeed butter, rich in calcium
9Flax Seeds18.3gSeeds, high in omega-3 fatty acids
10Hemp Seeds31.6gSeeds, complete protein source

For a more comprehensive list with more than 600 items, check

3) Include high-protein plant-based foods in your diet.

Once you identify the foods you like the most, Incorporate them into your daily meals. Add almond butter to smoothies, sprinkle hemp seeds on salads, or use flax seeds in baking for an extra protein punch.

High-Protein Low-calorie Vegetarian Foods 

RankFood ItemProtein per 100gCalories per 100g
1Fat-free Swiss Cheese28.4g127
2Mozzarella Cheese (Non-Fat Or Fat Free)31.7g141
3Cheddar Cheese (Non-Fat Or Fat Free)32.1g157
4Low-fat Cheddar Cheese24.4g173
5Low-fat Ricotta11.4g138
6Non-fat Cottage Cheese10.3g72
7Low-fat Cottage Cheese (2%)10.5g81
8Non-fat American Cheese21.1g126
9Low-fat Cottage Cheese (1%)12.4g72
10Non-fat Greek Yogurt10.2g59


The combination of high protein and low calories is challenging to achieve, especially for vegetarian protein sources, as they often contain additional nutrients contributing to their caloric content.

For the most part, dairy products are the best alternative for a high-protein, low-calorie vegetarian meal. 

Sources and Aditional Resources 

Dietary Protein and Amino Acids in Vegetarian Diets—A Review

How much protein do you need every day?

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