Which Legumes Contain the Most Protein? [In comparison to MEAT]

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It’s a popular misperception that vegan or vegetarian diets are protein-deficient.

Protein consumption recommendations vary from 40 to 60 grams on average.

Legumes are protein-rich tiny powerhouses that may provide more protein per calorie than meat. But which legume has the most protein?

Fava beans, lentils, split peas, kidney beans, and chickpeas have the greatest protein concentration of any legume.

Navy, pinto, black beans, and soybeans are among the other high-protein legumes.

Protein is required by our bodies to repair and maintain muscles and tissues.

Moreover, protein is essential for providing fuel and maintaining optimum energy levels.

It is in charge of transporting oxygen through the circulation and supplying antibodies to help the immune system function properly.

Since we can not store protein, it is critical that we take it on a regular basis to satisfy our nutritional demands.

Around half of the protein you ingest in a day is used to produce enzymes that help digestion.

Athletes and bodybuilders often consume a high protein diet, which assists in tissue healing, reduces muscle loss, and aids in the development of lean muscle.

Legumes are protein bombs’ unsung heroes.

These beans have the following protein content per 100g.

  • 26g fava beans
  • Legumes (25.8g)
  • 24.5g split peas
  • 21.7g red kidneys
  • 19.3g chickpeas (or garbanzo beans)

Do Beans Have More Protein Than Meat?

Meat has more protein per pound than beans and other legumes.

But, in terms of calorie intake, beans win hands out.

Legumes are rich in fiber and low in calories.

Dietary fiber is required to nourish the beneficial gut bacteria that dwell in our colon and to promote regular bowel motions.

Meat, on the other hand, has no fiber. Legumes are a good source of plant-based protein that does not include the saturated fat found in meat or fowl.

Saturated fat elevates cholesterol levels and increases the risk of heart disease.

Let’s compare the nutritional value of 100g of beef to 100g of beans.


  • 238 calories
  • 106mg cholesterol
  • 13mg calcium
  • Fiber 0
  • Iron (3.7mg)
  • 23mg Magnesium
  • 263mg potassium
  • 10mg of zinc
  • 2.5mcg vitamin B12
  • 31g protein


  • 132 calories
  • 0 cholesterol
  • 27mg calcium
  • 15g dietary fiber
  • Iron (2.1mg)
  • 70mg Magnesium
  • 355mg potassium
  • Zinc (1.1mg)
  • 0 Vitamin B12
  • 25g protein

As compared to lean beef, lean beef contains more protein but has twice the calories.

Can Beans Replace Meat Protein?

Because of the increased popularity of plant-based protein, food producers are catering to vegan and vegetarian diets more than ever before.

Beans are high in protein and may be used in lieu of meat as a healthy protein source.

Nevertheless, substituting animal protein with beans or other legumes might result in a vitamin B12 shortage. Only animal food contains B12.

A supplement may help with that.

Moreover, your body need a full set of amino acids, often known as protein building blocks.

There are nine essential amino acids, and most beans lack all of them.

These amino acids have a variety of functions in your body.

They promote tissue growth, energy production, immune system support, and nutrition absorption.

Complete proteins are foods that contain all nine amino acids. Sources of complete protein include:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Dairy

Soybeans are the only legume that includes all nine amino acids and thus a complete protein source. (Source)

If you adopt a plant-based diet, you can still get all necessary acids by eating a variety of proteins every day.

In addition to beans, nuts, whole grains, and vegetables contain these acids, allowing you to avoid eating animal products.

All nine acids are also found in whole grains such as quinoa and buckwheat.

The Environmental Impact Of Meat

Apart from the various health advantages of a plant-based diet, the environmental effect of the meat industry has also contributed to the rise in vegans and vegetarians.

After the petroleum sector, animal husbandry is the second-largest contributor to GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions.

Every year, 70 billion animals are bred and killed for human consumption, and a third of the world’s grain output is used to feed these animals.

Animal husbandry has a negative influence on the environment.

As our population grows, it becomes unsustainable to continue feeding our excessive meat intake.

Are Beans A Good Substitute for Meat?

Beans are a great meat alternative.

Eating a variety of beans, as well as whole grains and other vegetables, will ensure that all of your nutritional needs are met.

Unfortunately, beans are not a complete protein source, since they often lack one or two important amino acids.

The humble soybean is the lone exception, since it provides all nine necessary amino acids.

Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products all provide complete proteins.

Eat a variety of beans and couple them with other protein sources such as healthy grains and vegetables to ensure you receive all nine necessary amino acids.

Moreover, since Vitamin B12 cannot be found in plants and can only be found in animal products, a supplement may be a good option for vegans.

Vitamin B12 aids in the maintenance of neurons and blood cells in the body and is critical in the prevention of a disease known as megaloblastic anemia.

Fortified grains and oats also include vitamin B12.

What Is Veganism?

The term vegan was created by Donald Watson in 1944 and is derived from a combination of the letters vegetarian.

When Donald Watson, his wife, and two friends founded the Vegan Society in the United Kingdom in 1944, they had 25 readers to their newsletter.

Vegans number around 75 million individuals worldwide today.

In the United States alone, there are over 20 million vegans.

The plant-based food sector is presently worth around $7 billion and is expected to grow 27% between 2020 and 2021.

Veganism is at an all-time high, with numbers increasing year after year.

Some of the most common reasons mentioned by vegans polled include environmental, health, and animal welfare concerns.

Protein in Beans vs. Chicken

One of the most popular protein sources is lean chicken.

Chicken breast provides more protein per pound than beans. Protein content in 100g of lean chicken breast is 27g.

Chickpeas, on the other hand, provide 19g of protein per 100g.

The Dietary Reference Intake offers 0.36 grams per pound of bodyweight or 0.8 grams per kilogram to determine how much protein you need in your daily consumption.

This equates to around 46 grams for ladies and 56 grams for men, assuming both have a sedentary lifestyle and a low activity level.

Age, lifestyle, metabolism, muscle mass, and health are all variables that influence your protein requirements.

Athletes and bodybuilders, for example, will have increased protein requirements to repair and maintain muscles and tissues.

Protein should account for 10% to 35% of daily calories, whereas carbs should account for 45% to 65%.

At 20% to 25% of daily calories, fat completes the diet.

100g of chicken breast has the following nutritional value:

  • 239 calories
  • 14g fat (21% of recommended daily intake)
  • 88mg cholesterol (29%)
  • 27g protein (54%)
  • 233mg potassium (6%)
  • 20% vitamin B6

Chicken is likewise devoid of carbs and nutritional fiber.

In contrast, 100g of chickpeas has the following nutritional value:

  • 364 calories
  • Fat 6g (9%)
  • 0 cholesterol
  • 875mg potassium (25%)
  • 19g protein (38%)
  • 25% vitamin B6
  • 61g (21% carbohydrate)
  • 17g dietary fiber (68%)

(From the USDA)

Substituting legumes for chicken enhances nutritional fiber, carbs, and other minerals while decreasing fat and cholesterol.

Facts About The Vegan Lifestyle – Did You Know?

  1. Veganuary is a non-profit organization that promotes a vegan diet throughout the month of January. There were 3,000 participants when it began in 2014. There will be around 600,000 signups by 2021.
  2. Pythagoras and Siddhartha Gautama were two of the first vegetarians.
  3. The greenhouse gas emissions from the animal husbandry business almost equal the global emissions from all cars.
  4. A vegan lifestyle is more than simply a diet. It includes not using animal products in any way, including clothes, shoes, and other household items.
  5. According to The Economist, 2019 is the year of the vegan. According to a poll, 25% of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 identify as vegan.
  6. The United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Austria have comparatively high numbers of vegans and vegetarians. (Source)
  7. Tel Aviv is one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the world, with over 400 vegan eateries spread over the city.
  8. We could feed an extra 4 billion people if we planted food to feed humans rather than animals.


A plant-based diet has been shown to be a healthier option that is both beneficial for your body and the environment.

Nevertheless, in replacing meat with plant-based meals, care must be given to guarantee enough nutrition.

Vegan diets have been chastised for being weak in some minerals, such as B12 and iron.

With a little study and expertise, you may safely transition to a plant-based diet while maintaining optimizing nutrition.

We wish you the best of luck and health!


What Bean has more protein than steak?

Beans, particularly soybeans, provide a protein-rich, low-fat alternative to meat for vegetarians and others attempting to minimize their diet of animal foods.

What beans have more protein than meat?

Soybeans. Tofu, tempeh, and edamame are all made from soybeans, which are a complete protein source that contains all of the amino acids your body requires. Tofu, which is derived from bean curds and comes in a variety of textures, may be used in a number of cuisines.

What Bean has more protein than ground beef?

Tempeh. “Made from fermented soybeans, it’s not just a gut-friendly staple, but it’s also high in protein.”

Do legumes or meat have more protein?

Pulses were often dubbed “poor man’s meat” because they were commonly consumed by those who could not afford meat, although they are not suitable meat replacements. Legumes have three times the protein content of meat, gram for gram, and these proteins are not of good quality or readily digested.

What is the best bean to replace meat?

Black eyed peas, pinto beans, and edamame are all legumes that are high in protein and may be used in place of meat. Meatless meals are beneficial for your wallet since they are less costly than certain kinds of meat.

What legume is highest in protein?

It has the greatest protein concentration of any bean at 100 g. Even when dried, fava beans are a nutritious powerhouse, containing plenty of carbs, protein, fiber, and vitamins! They’re delicious in a salad with vinaigrette and fresh herbs. Faba Beans

With about 26.12 g

Do beans have enough protein to replace meat?

2 cup cooked) of beans has around 7 grams of protein, which is equivalent to 1 ounce of meat.” “Beans and legumes are fiber-rich food powerhouses with a high protein content,” explains Hopsecger. “One portion (1

What plant protein is equivalent to meat?

Soya beans are a kind of legume. Soya beans, unlike other pulses, are a complete protein, equivalent in quality to animal protein, but are low in fat and high in fiber and iron. Consuming 25g of soy protein per day instead of beef may help decrease cholesterol.

Can beans replace meat for protein?

Plant foods high in protein

Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and mushrooms, for example, provide protein or have a meaty feel and may be used as meat alternatives. These sorts of foods are often included in vegetarian and vegan goods.

Do lentils have more protein than beef?

Lentils are higher in nutritional density than beef, comprising more vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber while carrying less fat and calories.

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