What kind of food should I eat to replace meat in diet and nutrition?
I'm willing to become a committed Buddhist and the way I interpret the teachings is that I should not eat meat. But what kind of food will replace the nutrition in meat?
Vegan (consumes no animal flesh or any food derived from a living creature, such as milk or eggs) * Tofu* Peanut butter — no more than 2 tablespoons a dayLacto-ovo vegetarian (consumes milk and eggs) * Eggs* Low-sodium or reduced-sodium cottage cheesePesco-vegetarian (consumes fish in addition to milk and eggs) * Fresh or frozen fish, such as salmon or tuna* Shellfish, such as clams, crabs, lobster or shrimpNote: Avoid smoked fish, which is high in sodium.Pollo-vegetarian (consumes poultry in addition to dairy and eggs) * Fresh chicken* Fresh turkeyNote: Avoid smoked chicken and turkey, which are high in sodium. Also, because fresh poultry is often injected with sodium, look for "natural" on the label, which indicates no added sodium, or consult your butcher.It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein, as long as calorie intake is adequte. Strict protein combining is not necessary; it is more important to eat a varied diet throughout the day.Some Americans are obsessed with protein. Vegans are bombarded with questions about where they get their protein. Athletes used to eat thick steaks before competition because they thought it would improve their performance. Protein supplements are sold at health food stores. This concern about protein is misplaced. Although protein is certainly an essential nutrient which plays many key roles in the way our bodies function, we do not need huge quantities of it. In reality, we need small amounts of protein. Only one calorie out of every ten we take in needs to come from protein 1. Athletes do not need much more protein than the general public 2. Protein supplements are expensive, unnecessary, and even harmful for some people.How much protein do we need? The RDA recommends that we take in 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram that we weigh (or about 0.36 grams of protein per pound that we weigh) 1. This recommendation includes a generous safety factor for most people. When we make a few adjustments to account for some plant proteins being digested somewhat differently from animal proteins and for the amino acid mix in some plant proteins, we arrive at a level of 1 gram of protein per kilogram body weight (0.45 grams of protein per pound that we weigh). Since vegans eat a variety of plant protein sources, somewhere between 0.8 and 1 gram of protein per kilogram would be a protein recommendation for vegans. If we do a few calculations we see that the protein recommendation for vegans amounts to close to 10% of calories coming from protein. [For example, a 79 kg vegan male aged 25 to 50 years could have an estimated calorie requirement of 2900 calories per day. His protein needs might be as high as 79 kg x 1 gram/kg = 79 grams of protein. 79 grams of protein x 4 calories/gram of protein = 316 calories from protein per day. 316 calories from protein divided by 2900 calories = 10.1% of calories from protein.] If we look at what vegans are eating, we find that between 10-12% of calories come from protein 3. This contrasts with the protein intake of non-vegetarians, which is close to 14-18% of calories.So, in the United States it appears that vegan diets are commonly lower in protein than standard American diets. Remember, though, with protein, more (than the RDA) is not necessarily better. There do not appear to be health advantages to consuming a high protein diet. Diets that are high in protein may even increase the risk of osteoporosis 4 and kidney disease 5.