This question is possibly the funniest argument against veganism I will ever hear, and ironically it’s usually the, let’s say larger, people that I hear this from. For some reason the Western world is obsessed with protein nowadays, going as far as saying we need 1 gram per pound of body weight, or even more if you want to build muscle! It’s crazy. The Dietary Reference Index is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, so around 50 grams per day, and obviously, if you eat enough calories of anything, this can easily be achieved each day. But even this is unnecessary. There have never been any reported medical cases of protein deficiency, there isn’t even a medical term for the condition, no human has ever, or ever will, got/get it. As long as you eat enough food, you get enough protein, it’s really that simple. I recommend watching this video as Dr Michael Gregor can explain it way better than me http://nutritionfacts.org/video/do-vegetarians-get-enough-protein/.
However; if you are building muscle and worrying that a vegan diet won’t give you enough protein, then again, there is no need to worry. First off, protein is nowhere near as important as society may have led you to believe. There are no benefits from using supplements such as whey or casein, in fact quite the opposite, since these products are unregulated, large amounts of them were found to contain dangerous levels of toxic metals (check out this study http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/04/protein-drinks/index.htm), but if you really wanted a protein supplement go for something that is actually healthy, like brown rice protein. Most of the bodybuilder guys that sell and promote supplements are sponsored and rely on steroids for their ‘gains’, the effect of supplements in negligible. The best way to get your protein is from food, and really the only healthy protein out there is plant based protein. The World Health Organisation categorised meat as a high level carcinogen, alongside cigarettes, and lengthy studies like The China Study support this fact using evidence obtained through 27 years of detailed research. But don’t worry, the myth that plants don’t contain enough protein is nothing you need to worry about, in fact foods like beans, nuts, soy etc contain very high levels of protein, in many cases more than meat (in terms of per calorie), and when combined with a grain like wheat or rice, this makes a ‘complete protein’, you know that thing people say you can only get with meat?
So yeah obviously I’m no scientist but the proof is in the pudding, I mean do you really think world record holding strong man Patrik Baboumian (vegan) or Mr Universe Barny Du Plessis (also vegan) struggle with protein? If you still aren’t convinced just do some simple research yourself, make sure to avoid studies which are subsidised by the meat and dairy industries though, there’s lots out there. Keep smiling, Harrison. 🙂