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Vegan foods with the highest concentration of protein?

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First thread!

Hi all i've been away from consistent bbin for about 7 years - back when i was a meater. (been vegan for about 5.5 years now)


Of course i've put on some blub and removing it is my first and top priority - i've done this before, but i was a meater back then so it was pretty easy to find foods that were protein dense so i could maintain a very aggressive caloric deficit. I lost 26lbs in two months and got down to about 8% BF. Before and after pics are located here: (not trying to drive traffic there - it's just where my junk is stored)


Fatloss thread: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=311486

Fatloss post with attached diary: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showpost.php?p=657290963&postcount=117


If you look at the diet part of that log, you'll see i was intaking mostly all protein, with nearly no simple carbs at all. I am a bit dumbfounded as to how to get such a ratio as a vegan. I have quinoa and quinoa flakes, but for 222 calories i get only 8g of protein - soy isolate gives me 23g for 85 calories, but i'd love to do this with real food if possible. Beans to me seem like a simple carb bomb! I'd like to stay under 1500 cals per day, intake as little simple carbs as possible while focusing on meeting protein requirements for working out nearly daily. (please don't lecture me on going so low with calories - i've done it before, and the results were phenomenal (see the pics in the links above).


Anyhow - I'm sure there are some vegan bbers who have already researched this and their findings would be much appreciated!


Thanks in advance!!

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You can try seitan (wheat gluten). Very high in protein (81g pr. 100g I think).


great suggestion - thanks!

i make my own all the time, but had not thought of it as a potential protein source, and it looks nearly comparable to soy isolate which i was totally not expecting:


per serving, 85g

calories: 90

fat: 1g

protein: 18g

carbs: 3g

iron: 1.2mg, 6% RDA

Selenium: 10 mcg, 14% RDA

Phosphorus: 65mg, 5%RDA


that helps greatly

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Your definition of simple carb must be different from everyone else's. Legumes are loaded with carbs but it's primarly complex carbs and fiber.


When you're going that low with calories (not lecturing, I actually agree with you) you'll probably be looking at a good amount of protein powders to keep the protein intake up compared to calories.


Seitan's good but, as much as the protein combining this is overblown, its amino profile completely sucks. Eat it but don't rely on it to be a primary source of your daily protein.


It's totally a stereotypical vegan food, but tofu is half protein and the rest is mostly fat with little carbs.

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I agree with Fallen Horse, I don't think you can have bulk and be super lean without good protein powder.


I have been extremely lean with decent muscle mass without it but if you want bulk I think it would be really difficult. You would need to do almond yogurt, coconut yogurt and still I think you would need whole foods powder supplement.


Keeping alkaline will help you to lose fat faster also.

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thanks for all the helpful replies!


I've ordered a tub o' soy isolate.


I'm not really trying to bulk, I'm just trying to eat a disproportionately large amount of protein while cutting in an attempt to save LBM while aggressively restricting calories.


I misused the phrase 'simple carb' to refer to foods that are higher on a glycemic index than i would like, and i lump beans into the same category as rice and potatoes, which is probably unfair since potatoes are often higher than common granulated table sugar while beans can be as low as 14 (soy) although other legumes can get into the 50's if they are canned.


In my wrong mind I lump all green vegetables into the 'complex' carb category since most are so low they don't even register on a glycemic index. I think these wrong categories i've set come from my days as a meat eater when an effortless bbing diet was "tons o meat, tons o green vegetables" and "don't eat it if it's not meat or green" - bread, rice, beans, pasta, potatoes were my enemies. I shall try to use "high glycemic" and "low glycemic" instead of "simple" and "complex"


But in revisiting these glycemic lists i see that a few beans can be low on the index if they are either fresh or dried, like kidney and lentils. And I presume that sprouted beans would be lower than all others glycemically( is that even a word? lol) (anyone know where i can find nutritional data on raw, sprouted beans?)


Thanks again all - i'm off to soak some beans!

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found this on sprout nutritional information:



note the articles called 'Rejuvenation and Protein Revolution in Your Kitchen' and 'proteins in bean sprouts'


edit: also found this awesome list that ranks vegetable protein sources along with animal sources in a list sorted by protein content as a percent of total calories: http://www.soystache.com/protein.htm it doesn't get into protein profiles for each food, but i did find out that some beans (lentils) that do not have all essential proteins when fresh or cooked DO have all proteins when sprouted. i realize that it's not necessary to worry about complete protein profiles, but it's nice to know anyway!

Edited by romac
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thanks for the additional suggestions arion!


but why did you have to mention hexane!? having never heard of it before, i've started to read about it, and yikes, it seems that 90% of soy isolates and any other processed soy foods that require the oil to be removed from the bean use hexane in the process.


Of the estimated 18.8 billion pounds of soybean oil produced in the U.S. in 2004, well over 90% was extracted with hexane.


In removing the oil from soybeans, the major by-product is defatted soy meal or flakes. This defatted soy can then be further processed to remove the non-protein fractions, yielding soy protein concentrate (70-90% protein) or soy protein isolate (90% or more protein), both common ingredients in vegetarian meat alternatives. Given the availability and low cost of the starting materials, the vast majority of soy protein concentrate and isolate are made from hexane-extracted soy meal. http://www.tofurky.com/ourstory/ingred_hexane.html


The report also pointed out that the hexane can persist in the final food product created; in a sample of processed soy, the oil contained 10 ppm, the meal 21 ppm and the grits 14 ppm hexane.


The long-term toxicity of n-hexane in humans is well known.[6] Extensive peripheral nervous system failure is known to occur in humans chronically exposed to levels of n-hexane ranging from 400 to 600 ppm, with occasional exposures up to 2,500 ppm. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexane#Toxicity


what a can of worms i've opened!


i suspect that the reason we all aren't experiencing extensive peripheral nervous system failure is that we pass the hexane? idk - haven't been able to find that info

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  • 2 weeks later...

I put spirulina in my smoothies everyday. Its 60%-65% highly absorbable protein that makes it the most concetrated natural protein source in the world. plus its super dense in micronutrients, and it will detoxify your cells. One of healthiest food you can eat.

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Does anyone know where I could find amino acid profiles of foods? PDCAAS ratings would be good too(or any other protein quality scales).


If I can, ill eat nothing but kidney beans(bagged, not canned)), extra firm tofu, broccoli, spinach, oats, raspberries, blueberries, ground flaxseeds(dat omega-3 ratio), almond milk(45% RDA of calcium is a pretty cool guy), walnuts and pistachios in an effort to get enough protein while remaining healthy. I have no money to buy protein powder, and I doubt my parents will buy me any.


But I gotta make sure im balancing my diet properly, getting all the amino acids I need(and enough), etc. I also gotta be as thrifty as is practical(I know spirulina is great, but I don't have a fortune to spend on it). Taste is nothing but an afterthought.


Also, if I can get my parents to buy me some protein powder, it'll be this - http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/ans/nitrofusion.html



Is it a good choice? I like the idea of hemp protein(what with the lack of phytates, high fiber, high protein, edestin, omega-3 ratio, etc), but it's simply too much for too little. Would definitely include it if I could afford it.

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