We all need protein to survive. But there's a common misconception that we need all our protein from meat, milk, and other animal-based sources. Past studies have shown that relying too heavily on red meat as a source of protein can impair your vision and shorten your lifespan, and research from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland has found that it can also increase your risk of colon diseases. According to a different study, choosing vegetarian sources of protein can help you lose weight. Belgian researchers studied the diets of just over 3,000 adults and found that people who ate more plant proteins had lower BMIs and smaller waist circumferences.
(Slash your cholesterol, burn stubborn belly fat, and more—naturally!—with Rodale's Eat For Extraordinary Health & Healing!)
Adults need about one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, and it's easy to get your protein requirements from the following plant sources.
Related: 5 Vitamins Every Vegetarian Needs