5 protein-packed vegetarian foods to aid weight loss | Health

Weight loss is a journey that’s best supported with optimum nutrition apart from regular physical activity and regulation of stress. Protein is the perfect food group to have for shedding kilos as the nutrient not only helps you keep full but maintain energy to sustain the workout efforts. Be it crunchy munchies like roasted almonds, a healthy breakfast of quinoa porridge or lentils in lunch, protein can be accommodated in almost all meals of the day. As per studies optimum protein intake can boost metabolism and expediate calorie burning. The benefits of protein-packed foods go beyond weight loss, as the nutrient can help reduce blood pressure, manage blood glucose levels and prevent obesity. (Also read | What is mediterranean diet; top benefits from weight loss to heart attack prevention)

As per studies optimum protein intake can boost metabolism and expediate calorie burning.(Freepik)

While there is no dearth of non-veg-based protein foods, eating vegan sources can offer additional benefits as suggested by some studies. People eating a vegetarian diet tend to have lower body weight, lower cholesterol levels, and lower risk of stroke, cancer, and death from heart disease than people who eat meat, says research.

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“In a world where protein is often associated with meat, it’s time to shine a spotlight on the abundance of plant-based protein options available to us. Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in building and repairing tissues, supporting immune function, and maintaining overall health and vitality. While meat is often considered the primary source of protein, there are plenty of delicious and nutritious vegetarian options available. By incorporating protein-packed foods like almonds, lentils, quinoa, chickpeas, and Greek yogurt into your daily diet, you can meet your protein needs and enjoy a variety of flavourful and satisfying meals,” says Dietitian Dr Rohini Patil.


Dr Patil shares five protein-packed vegetarian foods that are not only delicious but also incredibly beneficial for your health.

1. Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are a versatile legume that can be used in a variety of dishes. They are an excellent source of protein, fibre, and complex carbohydrates, making them a satisfying and nutritious option for vegetarians. Whether you enjoy them in hummus, salads, soups, or curries, chickpeas are a delicious way to add protein to your diet while enjoying a flavourful meal.

2. Lentils: Lentils are a staple in many vegetarian diets for good reason. They are an excellent source of plant-based protein, with 100 grams of cooked lentils gives you 9 grams of protein according to USDA Food Data Central. Gov. Lentils are also high in fibre, folate, iron, and other essential nutrients. Adding lentils to soups, salads, curries, or stir-fries is a simple and delicious way to increase your protein intake while enjoying a nutritious meal.

3. Quinoa: Often referred to as a ‘superfood’ for its impressive nutritional profile, this grain is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own. In addition to protein, quinoa is rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals, making it a valuable addition to any vegetarian diet. Use quinoa as a base for salads, bowls, or as a substitute for rice or pasta to add a protein boost to your meals.

4. Almonds: These crunchy nuts are not only tasty but also packed with protein, making them a fantastic addition to your daily diet. In addition to protein, almonds are rich in healthy fats, fibre, vitamin E, and magnesium. Including almonds in your diet can help support heart health, aid in weight management, and provide sustained energy throughout the day.

5. Greek yoghurt: It is a popular dairy product known for its creamy texture and high protein content. It is packed with protein, probiotics, calcium, and other essential nutrients. Incorporating Greek yogurt into your diet can help support digestive health, boost immunity, and promote satiety. Enjoy Greek yogurt as a snack, breakfast option, or as a creamy addition to smoothies, dips, and sauces.

Remember, a balanced diet rich in plant-based foods are not only good for your health but also good for the planet.

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