8 Quality High-Protein Non-Meat Alternatives

Because Eating 1,000lbs of Cod Every Year Gets Boring

If you want to lose weight or burn fat one of the best things that can do is try to build muscle.


Because to build muscle, your body needs energy from somewhere to create it. In most cases, it turns to fat as its energy source.

This is why people think that fat converts into muscle. It really doesn’t. Muscle ends up replacing fat because fat is being burned to create the muscle.

If you don’t care about building muscle and just want to lose weight then that means you should focus on cutting out carbohydrates. When trying to do this many people experience fatigue and tiredness because their body is so used to having carbs as an energy source.

If your body can no longer rely on carbs for energy where can it turn? Protein of course.

When you think of protein, you either think of some strong protein powder or a meat product. Those aren’t the only ways to get your daily protein intake.

There are other sources of protein that often get overlooked. There are plenty of vegetables that are able to give you the protein you really need if you do not want to have any meat or are just looking for other ways to get the protein you need in your diet.

8 Non-Meat Protein Alternatives

Incorporating more protein in your diet doesn’t have to be an exercise in futility. You just have to get a little more creative with how you incorporate veggies into meals but that is part of the fun.

Below are 8 non-meat alternatives that will give you get the extra protein you are looking for in your diet.

1. Soybeans

These beans contain more protein than any other type of bean. They are also one of only two completely plant based proteins.

A boiled cup of soybeans contains 28.6 grams of protein. Along with the protein, they also contain essential fatty acids and insoluble fibers that will help promote digestive health. The acids will help promote cardiovascular health.

2. Edamame


Best known for their appearances at Japanese restaurants, these have a surprising amount of protein. Don’t let their size fool you.

Edamame serves as a great snack when you are trying to avoid candy bars and cookies. Just carry around a small baggie of edamame and pop them in whenever you are feeling a little bit hungry.

Edamame contains about 22 grams of protein per cup. This makes sense since because edamame is immature soybeans that are boiled inside the pea pods.

3. Lentils


Lentils are the best protein when it comes to legumes. They are also beneficial for you when it comes to your caloric intake.

One cup of lentils contains about 18 grams of protein and around 230 calories.

Lentils also contain a large amount of dietary fibers. Protein and relatively low calories aren’t the only benefits of this vegetable.

4. Broccoli

non-meat protein alternatives

Not only does broccoli contain about 2 grams of protein per cup, you will also get over 100% of your daily value in vitamin C and vitamin K.

Although broccoli is looked at as mostly a side to other meat based proteins, it should be looked at as a food that can really add to your protein consumption.

5. Peas

non-meat protein alternatives

Green peas contain about 9 grams of protein per cup. Like broccoli, peas have a significant amount vitamins and minerals that help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

6. Asparagus

non-meat protein alternatives

This vegetable can be looked at as mostly a diuretic that is used frequently by fitness models prior to competitions.

When it comes to the protein side of asparagus, you can get about 2.5 grams of it out of every 100 grams of the vegetable.

If you are looking to get more potassium and antioxidants in your diet, asparagus is the way to go.

7. Pumpkin Seeds


Although most people only think about pumpkins around Halloween, their seeds provide a great source of protein. You can buy the seeds in packs similar to sunflower seeds, but be careful because they are usually loaded with sodium.

If you’re curious as to how you should eat them, it’s pretty simple. Roast them in an oven (if you are making your own) and just pop them in your mouth. Shell and all.

Just one ounce of this seed will give you over 5 grams of protein. That’s a pretty good ratio of protein-to-size.

Diets that are rich in pumpkin seeds are also associated with a lower risk of numerous amounts of cancer.

8. Mung Bean Sprouts

The name threw me off as well, you weren’t the only one.

One cup of these sprouts contains around 2.5 grams of protein. As with most plants, these don’t have just one benefit. There are many nutrients and minerals in them that help promote better physical health.

More Protein Alternatives

One of the best ways to incorporate more high-quality protein into your diet is by using protein powder. There are hundreds of different protein powders out there and Bitch A Fit has the 5 best tasting protein powders for women.

You’ll be amazed to see the changes your body goes through when incorporating more protein and less carbs. The key is being aware of what you are eating and understanding that protein is a vital component to gaining lean muscle mass and burning fat.

More Great Content on Thrive/Strive

Common Foods to Avoid on the Keto Diet: 140+ Foods That’ll Slow Your Fat Loss

“Is this keto-friendly?” “Can I eat this on keto?” Learn which foods to avoid on the keto diet to avoid slowing down your fat loss.

Low-Carb Foods To Avoid On The Keto Diet

Not all low-carb foods are created equal! In fact, some can even mess up your keto diet. This post explains which low-carb foods to avoid on the keto diet.

Kundalini Yoga: A Beginner’s Guide

Kundalini Yoga is a well-rounded practice that can greatly benefit your day-to-day life. This beginner's guide gives you the basics you need to get started.

Keratosis Pilaris: Causes and Treatment

Keratosis pilaris is a very common, harmless condition where small bumps appear on your skin. It is annoying, but there are things that may improve it.

How Do You Know If You Have Food Poisoning? Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Food poisoning is an illness caused by eating contaminated food. Learn what symptoms to look out for, and how to treat food poisoning.

7 Natural Ways To Lower Blood Pressure

You can lower your blood pressure without medication. Try these simple lifestyle changes to naturally lower your blood pressure.

Hatha Yoga for Beginners: 5 Basic Poses

Hatha yoga describes a kind of yoga where asanas are practiced. This post on Hatha yoga for beginners is a great introduction to the practice of yoga.

Pneumonia Symptoms, Causes, And How To Treat It

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can cause mild to severe symptoms depending on the cause, your age, and your health. Learn the symptoms of pneumonia and how to treat (and avoid) it.

Meditation for Beginners: A Simple Guide To Get Started Today

Meditation can help you to become more peaceful, more focused, and less worried. If you're new to meditation - check out this post on meditation for beginners.

Breaking Sugar Addiction – How To Do It Safely

Hooked on sugar and don't know how to break free? Quitting sugar is hard - but it can be done. This post helps you with breaking the sugar addiction.

Help! I Have Green Poop!

Seeing green poop can be quite alarming. But don't fear - there is often a very normal reason for your stool turning green.

3 Best Essential Oils For Weight Loss (And How To Use Them)

Essential oils are not a miracle cure, but they do have health benefits. This post explains how to use essentials oils for weight loss.

A Simple Guide to Exercising While on the Keto Diet

Are you doing keto and also want to exercise?

Keto Alcohol Recipes: 7 Drinks Safe for the Ketogenic Diet

If you're looking to drink on a ketogenic diet, look no further. Here are 7 keto alcohol recipes that are going to keep you in ketosis while you're out having fun.

9 Common Keto Mistakes to Avoid

We are never perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, especially starting a new diet like the ketogenic diet. Here are 9 common keto mistakes and how you can avoid them.

11 Keto Fat Bomb Recipes You Need Right Now

Reaching your daily macros on a ketogenic diet can sometimes be hard. Here are 11 keto fat bombs that will help you reach them.

13 Keto Crockpot Recipes You Need In Your Life Now

If you aren't convinced about the ketogenic diet yet, here are 13 keto crockpot recipes that you need to try right now.

Keto Desserts: 13 Simple No Bake Ketogenic Diet Desserts

Looking for some delicious keto desserts? These 13 keto desserts will keep you in ketosis and losing weight.

17 Keto Recipes That’ll Make You Forget You’re On a Diet

I'm always looking for more delicious keto recipes and these are 17 new ones that I'll have to try and make. I love the ketogenic diet! #Keto #KetoRecipes #KetogenicDiet

7 Benefits of a Keto Diet That You’ll Want in Your Life

Thinking about trying the ketogenic diet? You might be wondering what the benefits of keto are. This post goes over the many benefits of keto.