MEAT MAY BE BACK ON THE MENU, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD ESCHEW YOUR SALADS AND GRAIN BOWLS FOR BURGERS, BACON AND STEAK. For one thing, studies have shown that vegetarians generally eat fewer calories, weigh less and have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than carnivores. Even if you don’t go cold turkey on meat, eating less of it is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer, according to the U.S. government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. While paleo fans and barbecue buffs may disagree, the mainstream American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than six ounces of lean meat, poultry and seafood per day. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests shifting from protein sources such as meat, poultry and eggs (which men and teen boys in particular consume in excess), to more seafood and plant sources like the ones here. Note: Quinoa, soy and hemp are complete proteins, containing all the essential amino acids.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO WHOLE HOG Photo Gallery
EDAMAME One cup contains 17 grams of protein—about the same as ¾ cup cottage cheese.
TOFU One-half cup of this bean-curd food contains 10 grams of protein—about the same as a serving of Greek yogurt. QUINOA One cup contains 8.14 grams of protein—about the same as a large piece of beef jerky.
BEANS One cup contains 16 grams of protein—about the same as two slices of Swiss cheese. But note: Green beans have far less protein than other legumes—just 1.8 grams per cup. GREEN PEAS One cup contains 7.9 grams of protein— about the same as a cup of milk.
HEMP SEEDS Two tablespoons contain about 7 grams of protein—about the same as two pieces of smoked salmon. Tip: Sprinkle hemp hearts on cereal, salad or smoothies.
NUTS One ounce (24 almonds, 18 cashews or 14 walnut halves) contains 4 to 9 grams of protein—about the same as an extra-large egg. NUT BUTTER Two tablespoons contain 8 grams of protein—about the same as a shrimp.