I've seen this, this, this and this, but it doesn't answer my question.

Reason for asking:
I'm having digestive issues with eating meat, and I wish to switch to a vegetarian diet to see if it'd help.

The problem:
I've already tried a vegetarian diet multiple times (mostly the veggies here: spinach, bitter gourd, potato, tomato, onion, beetroot, bottle gourd, brinjal, beans, cabbage, okra, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, drumstick, elephant yam, garlic, ginger, ivy gourd, green banana, green gram, green banana, tapioca, yam), but it has been insufficient in giving me the necessary muscle strength for sustained work (specifically the extraocular muscles, and I notice this very easily due to having suffered chronic eye strain for a decade). However, when I eat chicken meat, I get the necessary muscle strength.

The question:
I read in a newspaper that although plant diets contain similar proteins as meat diets, the range of proteins offered in a meat diet are much higher and in greater concentrations, so it's necessary to incorporate a wider variety of plants/veggies in the diet to be able to adequately make up for the nutrition that meat gives. So if somebody has actually discovered such a requirement, then is there a table or any information that lists out exactly which set of vegetables to consume and in what quantity, so that it'd make up for a meat-based diet?

  • google vegan body builder – jsotola Nov 18 '20 at 19:27
  • @jsotola: Great idea! Thanks! – Nav Nov 19 '20 at 9:01

Vegetables have relatively low concentrations of protein. Rather than trying to replace lean meat with vegetables, one would typically try to replace them by eating more pulses such as beans, chickpeas, lentils. Grains also contain higher concentrations of protein than vegetables, but it's likely that you already eat enough grains (such as rice, wheat).

Grains like rice tend to be low in the amino acid lysine, while beans and lentils have relatively more lysine.

Nuts (including groundnuts) and seeds are also more concentrated sources of protein than vegetables.

I suggest adding more bean and lentil based dishes to your diet (more green gram, and other grams too), and adding nuts and seeds if possible. Of course, you should still eat vegetables, which provide dietary fibre and micronutrients.

  • Thank you for the suggestions. Any chance you'd be familiar with sites that could show the exact proteins present in meat, where it is compared to the proteins from plants, so that I could be sure that I'm not missing on anything? I'll take your advice on beans, chickpeas and lentils. I'm already consuming almonds (noticed it helps with deep sleep), but groundnuts caused me stomach pain (not sure why). Had tried the boiled and roasted groundnuts. – Nav Nov 18 '20 at 16:28
  • @Nav Protein consists of amino acids, some of which are essential because they can't be synthesised in the body. Only lysine is relatively difficult to get in a vegan diet. The overwhelming consensus, as far as I know, is that vegans and vegetarians do not need to worry about getting enough protein. Only people with very inadequate food intake suffer from protein deficiency, while the majority of people have inadequate intakes of fibre and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, pulses and wholegrains (as well as vitamin D and vitamin B12 which are not found in plant foods). – Zanna Nov 18 '20 at 17:49
  • Ok, but my question isn't about protein deficiency. My question is specifically about the proteins that the muscles need, which I was hoping to identify by comparing proteins available in chicken meat and proteins from my vegetarian diet. I guess the only way to find out would be to look for research papers that have examined this. Lemme look up Google Scholar again... – Nav Nov 18 '20 at 18:35
  • @Nav You eat food that contains protein, protein gets broken down into amino acids, you absorb them, then your cells build the proteins they need from those amino acids. It used to be thought that vegetarians must do "protein combining" to get all the necessary amino acids, but that idea has been debunked. Protein is protein, and you just need to eat enough of it via a varied diet. There are countless vegan athletes and body builders whose stories you can find online these days. – Zanna Nov 19 '20 at 7:49
  • Thank you. Good advice. – Nav Nov 19 '20 at 9:12

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