What Products Can Replace Meat?

Many of us believe that in order to include protein in our diet, we need to eat fish or meat. The list below may surprise you with the absence of meat. The positive side of this is that, along with protein, the non-meat foods listed are rich in substances such as fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, etc. Nuts, seeds, cheese, lentils, and milk, are all great sources of protein, and some foods, such as seitan, even surpass the protein content of meat and fish by a huge margin. However, it should be borne in mind that some amino acids, such as taurine, which is not a component of proteins but acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain and is essential for bile formation, are found in meat and fish, and therefore, you should be careful to exclude these foods from your diet for a long time. Also, when giving up meat, you should take care of an additional source of iron and zinc. These can be buckwheat, apples, beets, and green leafy vegetables.

If you’re a vegetarian or want to take a break from fish and meat, this list will help you keep up with your daily protein needs. Vegetarian food can be just as good as non-vegetarian food, packed with all the nutrients you need.

Tofu and Tempeh

A common meat substitute, tofu is a popular choice among vegetarians. This food contains about 8 g of protein per 100 g and can be used in a variety of dishes such as salads, steaks, and burgers. Like tofu, tempeh is also made from soybeans, but it contains about 15 g of protein per 100 g. Soybeans, unlike tofu, are fermented to make tempeh, so it is very beneficial for lowering cholesterol and blood sugar.

Soy and rice milk

Soy milk is a good alternative to milk, and people who are lactose intolerant can replenish their protein levels by replacing animal milk with soy milk. Nevertheless, there are people who are allergic to soy, and this is where rice milk comes in. Although this milk does not contain much protein, it has all the nutrients in a balanced ratio, including about 2g of protein. It contains a large number of antioxidants. These products are also a good alternative for vegans who abstain from animal products.


One cup of chickpeas, which will contain about 7.3 g of protein, is a staple ingredient in Middle Eastern dishes. Hummus also contains tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil, which increases its positive health effects.


One of the best meat substitutes is seitan, which is a food made from wheat protein. It is also known as wheat gluten, wheat meat, or gluten meat. It is high in protein, with about 75g of protein in every 100g. Seitan also contains low levels of fat, which will help in weight loss.


This gluten-free food has a high protein content of 14 g for every 100 g. It is also rich in iron, fiber, fat, calcium, potassium, sodium, zinc, magnesium, and carbohydrates. This extremely nutritious grain can make a good addition to breakfast or soup.

Peanut butter

100 g of peanut butter contains 25 g of protein. It is also high in magnesium, potassium, and fiber. A few peanut butter sandwiches will significantly replenish your daily protein intake.

Sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds

They are high in protein, and sunflower seeds are at the top of the list, containing about 21g of protein per 100g. Poppy seeds and sesame seeds contain about 18 g of protein per 100 g.


Cheese contains 11g of protein per 100g and is a good alternative for vegetarians to replace meat to meet their protein requirements. It also contains minerals, vitamins, and fats and can be combined with fruit for a balanced breakfast.


Yogurt has gained immense popularity in recent years because of its nutritional benefits. It contains about 10 g of protein per 100 g and can be used in everyday life as a substitute for sour cream.

Animal milk

It contains about 3 g of protein, and if you are not vegan, you can enjoy this drink. It is an excellent source of calcium, which helps to maintain strong teeth and bones. As for people with lactose allergies, there is soy milk, as mentioned above, which has about the same amount of protein.

Beans and rice

This is the best combination for our protein requirements because they contain 7g of protein and also maintain a balance between the amino acids lysine and methionine.

Green peas and lentils

Green peas contain about 5 g of protein, and lentils are a huge source of protein with 26 g per 100 g. Both of them belong to the legume family and are a must in our diet if we want to consume enough protein. They can be included in soups or consumed in any form convenient for you.


A few nuts every day is the easiest source of protein. They contain monounsaturated fats, which are good for cholesterol control.

Cabbage, spinach, and other greens

Vegetables aren’t as packed with protein as beans and nuts, but there are some leafy greens like spinach that contain a good amount of protein. They are also high in fiber and antioxidants, making them desirable foods in our diet. However, the 2.9g of protein in 100g of spinach does not provide a complete daily protein intake, so we must mix it with other high-protein foods to meet our requirements for this macronutrient.


With 2.8g of protein per 100g, we can’t say that broccoli is the best source of protein available, but it deserves a mention on this list because it’s a fat-free source of protein that most other protein sources can’t boast. Broccoli is also rich in vitamins and fiber and helps fight cancer and cardiovascular disease.


This healthy food deserves a place on this list even though it only has 2g of protein per 100g. It is packed with nutrients and is also rich in potassium. Use it in salads.


This vegetable contains a small amount of protein, namely 1.6 g per 100 g, but this food cannot be ignored, it has many other health benefits, as it contains various vitamins, iron, calcium, manganese, folic acid, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants.

When choosing a source of protein according to your beliefs or to your taste, let’s pay attention to its completeness (the content of essential amino acids), degree of assimilation, and also monitor the consumption of micronutrients (iron, calcium, zinc, copper) and vitamins (primarily fat-soluble) in order to prevent shortages of these vital compounds.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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