People who follow a vegetarian diet are probably eating their fair share of beans, grains, soy, and of course fruits and veggies. Now, It is a proven fact that human beings need protein, which aside from fruits and veggies; you can get from soy, beans, nuts, and seeds. However, these sources of protein don’t exactly measure up to say a serving of sirloin steak. As a comparison, let’s take 3.5 ounces of something like hummus to 3.5 ounces of steak. The steak yields about 29g of protein while the hummus only provides 8g. Nutritionists have stated that people looking to stay in peak fitness need around .7-1g of protein per pound of lean body mass each day (that would mean a very hefty amount of hummus every single day!).
If you are following the paleo diet, then that means no more beans, soy, or grains, which leaves only seeds and the nuts as the main sources of daily protein. So, the question has been raised, is it even viable to be a vegan and try to eat some paleo-friendly meals? Well, it honestly is not looking that likely. For one thing, you would have to eat way too many nuts in order to get the proper amount of protein in a single day.
It Can Also Depend on How Vegan You Are……
I’m sure you have met, heard of, or even are one of those self-proclaimed vegetarians who still are willing to eat fish and chicken on certain occasions. For the people who aren’t strictly vegetarian 100% of the time, then adapting the paleo diet would actually be plausible. Once adapting the caveman diet, you will need to eat more chicken and fish however. Also, if eggs have never been an issue for you, then you will want to add those to your meals more often too.
Then there are those vegetarians who are willing to eat dairy products, but that is the only source of animal based food that they will eat. Could they make a viable switch to the Paleolithic diet while also retaining those restrictions? Unfortunately, that would be a no. However, they could try to switch over to full-fat dairy products and buy unpasteurized milk from a local seller. Though, a glass of whole fat milk still does not provide that much protein (only about 8 grams). In any case, eating dairy is not part of the paleo lifestyle.
May Need to Add Some Source of Animal Protein
Many people who choose to go vegan disagree with the way many animals are raised for slaughter in the food production industry. Unfortunately, the paleo diet is not going to work for a person who wants to remain strictly vegetarian. They are going to have to add a source of meat to their diet, but that doesn’t mean they have to pick something that was factory farmed. Look for meats and eggs that were “grass-fed or pasture-raised” and you can buy fish that was caught in the wild or raised without constrictions. If you take the time to look, you can find plenty of sources for well-raised and nurtured livestock.
No Animal Products Period…..
If you are completely unwilling to add any source of animal protein to your diet, than that is fine too, but you won’t be eating paleo. You are going to have to load up on more grains, beans, and plenty of nuts and seeds. This will be an area where you will need to plan accordingly so that your body does not have to deal with too many anti-nutrients during each meal. One other thing that people are starting to do more of is avoiding gluten grains where possible, as these can cause issues for some people’s digestive systems.