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Meatless Lent: 5 Foods that Add Protein


Enjoy your Lent diet! If you are not consuming meat and chicken during the Lent period, there are alternative food options of protein. Protein functions in the building, maintenance, immunity, and balance of your body. The recommended daily protein needs for adults (19-70 years), are 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. 

Here are 5 alternative protein sources to include in your diet to make sure you are reaching your recommended intake while fasting. 


Fish are good protein sources and are not high in saturated fat. Instead they contain omega-3, the good unsaturated fat.  Consuming fish is recommended not only to reach your protein needs but also to benefit from the heart healthy effects of omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown to this fatty acid both prevents heart disease and protects those with heart disease. Try out a grilled salmon recipe for dinner, 1 fillet (120 g) contains 28 grams of protein. 

Beans and Legumes

Broad beans, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas are all low fat choices of protein, rich in fiber. They are available dry, canned or frozen. Cook a stew of beans or peas with vegetables and a small portion of rice on the side for a nutritionally balanced meal. Try a lentil soup or boil chickpeas for a light protein filled dinner. 1 cup of chickpeas contains 15 grams of protein. 


Quinoa is a protein filled grain. It is great to be used alternatively to rice or pasta as a high protein grain; its popularity makes it available at any local store. It can also be mixed with vegetables to create a quinoa salad. 1 cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein as compared to 1 cup of rice, which contains 5 grams of protein.  


Soybeans and soy-based products such as soy milk and tofu are all packed with protein. You can enjoy these in a variety of ways. Tofu can add a protein punch by mixing it with vegetable pasta. Soy milk can be an easy replacement to dairy, providing 8 grams of protein per cup. Boiled soybeans contain 28 grams of protein per cup. 


Low fat dairy including milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese are protein rich sources that contain the benefit of calcium for the bones. Yogurt makes a great snack between meals and can be consumed in different low fat flavors. Skimmed milk can be used as an alternative for creamy, white sauces. If you are not a fan of milk or yogurt, try mixing them with your favorite fruits to make a smoothie. 1 cup of milk contains 8 grams of protein. 

Author: Massar Dabbous

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