Vegan eating vegan diet plant based foods
4 min read
In the case of a vegan diet, variety is the key to ensuring you meet your individual amino acid and total protein needs. Consuming a broad range of nuts, seeds, legumes, soy products and wholegrains means that you will not struggle to meet your body's needs...

Soy is an example of a high-quality plant-based protein as it contains all nine of the essential amino acids that our body needs but cannot make.


There is a lot of information available about complementary proteins and vegetarian diets. While the theory behind it is sound because vegetarian foods are often not complete sources of essential amino acids, recent research tells us that it is not necessary to consciously eat certain foods together. The most important thing is to eat a wide variety of foods across your week, so that when looking at your overall dietary pattern you're getting all the essential amino acids.


Despite this, many people following a vegan diet prefer to try and pair their foods to ensure they're meeting their needs. If this sounds like you and you would still like to pair your foods, a great place to start is by making sure you're consuming legumes and grains together (or at least throughout the day) to complete the amino acid profile. Legumes generally lack methionine and tryptophan, but have an abundance of isoleucine and lysine, while grains are generally the opposite.


Most of the Eat Sustainably recipes are vegan (or have a vegan option) and pair these two foods groups together. When you think about it, it’s what historically has always been done by various plant-based cultures around the world -- for example, you can’t have curry without rice or chapatis.



Should I be taking a protein supplement on a vegan diet?

Most people without underlying health conditions do not need to take an additional protein supplement. Plant-based foods have sufficient protein content to meet a healthy person's protein requirements and most omnivores consume too much. However, if you have an underlying medical condition or are an elite athlete or feel for another reason that this advice is not appropriate for you, then please seek individual advice from an Accredited Practising Dietitian. 


If you’re unsure of your protein requirements and plant-based protein sources, see our list here.


Are you wondering what foods you should start putting in your trolley when following a vegan diet? Become an Eat Sustainably member to receive dietitian approved shopping list recommendations in your newsletter every fortnight! Join today.

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