New Vegan with some Concerns about protein in beans - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-22-2014, 09:27 AM
 
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New Vegan with some Concerns about protein in beans

Hi Vegans!

This is my first post outside of introducing myself.

I've been a vegan for three to four months now and did have some questions, as I don't feel confident in my diet yet.

I actually eat the same thing for dinner most nights, and am trying to eat a high protein diet, this (getting enough protein) being my principal concern.

Beans, Spinach, celery, and capsicum.

I have museli during the day, lots of nuts, some carrots, and some tomatoes.

Usually I buy dry beans and soak them, and the cook a couple of nights worth at once, because they take about an hour and a half to boil to softness, which seems a really long time, and can be a little frustrating.

I boil the hell out of these beans to get them soft.

Anyway, It says on the tag on the bulk bin that the dry red kidney have about 26g of protein per 100g.

Obviously that's quite a bit of protein, and I try to have 100g (weight when dry) beans for dinner every night.

I appreciate that I may lose a little in the boiling process.

My concern is when reading online nutrition information that I find on google, that they might list a bean as having like 26g of protein or something when dry.

But when you look at 100g of beans boiled it says 9g of protein, which is a big concern.

I don't know if this is telling me that 100g of dry beans only have 9g of beans left after boiling.

Or if 100g of boiled beans is not the same 100g of dried beans previously spoken of, but is the weight of the beans after they have soaked up all the water.

Perhaps 100g of boiled beans really means 40g of dried beans, but with water soaked up.

I just don't know.

It concerns me to think that I may be boiling away all that protein and only getting about 9g of protein a night from my beans rather than the 26 I'm looking for.

If this is true I am not getting enough protein in my diet and will have to up my nut intake greatly.

If anyone can shed any light on this it would be great.

Thank you very much.

I'm hoping to make a good vegan pizza soon.

Best,

Julian
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#2 Old 12-22-2014, 09:54 AM
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my guess is that 100g of dried beans weighs 300g when cooked, so you would get a third less protein per 100g....but if you cook 100g of dried beans then you would still get 26g of protein.

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#3 Old 12-22-2014, 10:30 AM
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^ yup

100 grams of cooked beans means just that, and includes lots of water.

From the USDA's nutrition database:
100 grams dry uncooked kidney beans has 24.4 grams of protein and 11.7% water (dry foods always have some water)
100 grams of cooked kidney beans has 9.1 grams of protein and 66.9% water.

Calculating over to what would happen if we removed all the water from both.
Uncooked super dry beans would have 27.6% protein
Cooked and then super dried beans would have 27.5% protein

NutritionData has a fun searchable database for info to do these sort of calculations on
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#4 Old 12-22-2014, 03:31 PM
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Even if the cooked beans are only 9 grams of protein, if you eat those cooked beans with a cup of brown rice or quinoa and some broccoli (a cup or so cooked) you can boost protein intake quite a bit for that meal. Add in unsweetened organic soy milk and you can boost it even more. Just sayin.

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#5 Old 12-23-2014, 01:51 AM
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I've had about 55-60g of protein so far today. I had pasta for dinner and some potatoes for breakfast. And a few nuts throughout the day.

The tomatoes alone in the pasta sauce was 13.1g of protein. Don't underestimate how much you can get from fruits and vegetables.


I don't even try and I get loads of protein. I think you're probably the same but don't know it yet. I should eat more broccoli though....I lack vitamin K in my diet.
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#6 Old 12-23-2014, 07:57 AM
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I agree. I wouldn't be overly concerned about protein intake. I exceed the daily recommendation of protein eating primarily fruit and veggies all day and a cooked high carb meal at night. Veggies especially are a good source and add up quickly. Really, unless you are starving yourself, protein deficiency does not need to be a concern.
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#7 Old 12-23-2014, 10:01 AM
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The most important thing to be aware of regarding protein in vegan diets is that you need to get enough of the amino acid lysine. Make sure you read the section on lysine below and check out the high-lysine foods. Beyond that, there is evidence that erring on the side of more protein (1.0 to 1.1 grams of protein per kg of healthy body weight per day for adults) is a good idea, and especially for people 60 years and older.
http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/protein

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#8 Old 01-01-2015, 10:39 AM
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Hi Julian,


Oh man, no need to do all that boiling! Have you tried lentil beans (lentils)? They require no pre-soaking, and you only have to boil them about 45 minutes in order to make them tender. For the past 20 years, lentils are the only beans that I've cooked at home.


If you like other beans, you can speed things up by (1) buying them canned or (2) cooking them in a pressure cooker.


Very little protein is lost during the cooking of beans. The reason why 100g of cooked beans has less protein than 100g of dry beans is because cooked beans contain water, and dry beans don't.


I'd like to put your mind at ease about protein. As others on this page have said, you only need about 50-60 grams of protein per day. A single cup of cooked kidney beans contains 15 grams of protein: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...roducts/4297/2 . Whole grains and pasta contain protein as well. If you eat a cup of cooked beans at each meal, those beans (together with your remaining delicious foods) will certainly give you 50-60 grams of protein per day.


The biggest mistake that new vegans make is not eating enough calories! Beans and grains are low in calories, compared even to "low fat" meats. Not eating enough calories will make you fatigued, obviously. Some vegans, having made this mistake, assume that their fatigue is due to lack of protein, when it's simply lack of calories.


As a 23-year vegan, here's my advice to you:


1. Eat enough calories (2000-2500 calories per day, or more if you are physically active).
2. Center your meals around whole grains and beans. These supply you with calories, protein, and B-vitamins. If you're having trouble getting enough calories, then add small amounts of nuts or nut butters to your diet (these are very high in calories, so you won't need much).
3. Eat leafy green vegetables, especially kale, broccoli, and mustard greens. These won't do much to supply you with calories, but they are important sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and calcium.
4. Take a vitamin B12 supplement. These are dirt-cheap, and every pharmacy carries them (either swallowable pills or cherry-flavored ones). 500 mcg (0.5 mg) per day is plenty.
5. Get daily sunshine - this supplies your body with vitamin D




That's it.
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#9 Old 01-01-2015, 12:38 PM
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I will never understand the obsession with protein, I swear. Most westerners eat so much more protein than they will ever need, and finding it eating a normal vegan diet isn't complicated or hard.
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#10 Old 01-01-2015, 01:28 PM
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Symptoms and signs of lysine deficiency include: anemia, apathy, bloodshot eyes, depression, edema, fatigue, fever blisters, hair loss, inability to concentrate, infertility, irritability, lethargy, liver damage, loss of energy, muscle loss, retarded growth, stomach ulcers, and weakness.
http://www.worldhealth.net/news/lysine/

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#11 Old 01-01-2015, 02:32 PM
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Just a reminder, do not take anything anyone posts on the internet overly seriously. Particularly nutrition or medical advice.
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#12 Old 01-01-2015, 02:45 PM
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Symptoms and signs of lysine deficiency include: anemia, apathy, bloodshot eyes, depression, edema, fatigue, fever blisters, hair loss, inability to concentrate, infertility, irritability, lethargy, liver damage, loss of energy, muscle loss, retarded growth, stomach ulcers, and weakness.
http://www.worldhealth.net/news/lysine/

I got lysine powder for a cat with the feline herpes virus. It helped stop the red sore weepy eyes she would sometimes suffer from. After reading about lysine in the vegan diet I started adding some to my morning juice. I didn't give it much thought until I read these symptoms of deficiency. I have to say I must have needed it because I have felt more upbeat with more energy. It's a cheap supplement.
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#13 Old 01-01-2015, 08:16 PM
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Here is an excellent blog post from Ginny Messina, the Vegan RD (registered dietitian), on protein and beans in vegan diets: http://www.theveganrd.com/2014/02/pl...eed-beans.html

And here is another link of hers with basic vegan nutrition guidelines: http://www.theveganrd.com/food-guide-for-vegans

She recommends at least 3 servings of legumes per day -- one serving is ½ cup of cooked beans, ¼ cup of peanuts, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, ½ cup of tofu, ½ cup of tempeh, ¼ cup soynuts, 1 ounce of veggie meat or 1 cup of soymilk.
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#14 Old 01-02-2015, 02:14 AM
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yea, if you live off bread and pasta and such you perhaps won't be getting enough lysine, which comes from beans, tofu etc...

I don't always feel like eating beans, or tofu, so I include a lysine supplement along with my other pills.
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Last edited by Blobbenstein; 01-02-2015 at 02:17 AM.
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#15 Old 01-02-2015, 12:17 PM
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If you eat a full day's calorie allotment of whole wheat pasta (2500 calories), you will, in fact, get 100% RDI of Lysine.

Source: www.cronometer.com
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#16 Old 01-02-2015, 02:39 PM
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As I recall, Frances Moore Lappe's book, "Diet For A Small Planet", mentions that almost all beans (maybe all beans, period- I forget) are rather rich in Lysine.

But yeah- sometimes it takes a long tme to get them soft enough. I cooked some pinto beans last night- I soaked them oveernight, rinsed them Sunday morning, and simmered them until they were done with some no-salt chili powder, canola oil, and fresh garlic. I made quite a bit, like the original poster does, and froze some of them- it's a big time-saver! I might add some tomatoes and fresh jalapenos later to the unfrozen portion.

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Last edited by Tom; 01-02-2015 at 02:43 PM.
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#17 Old 01-02-2015, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by David3 View Post
If you eat a full day's calorie allotment of whole wheat pasta (2500 calories), you will, in fact, get 100% RDI of Lysine.

Source: www.cronometer.com
yes, that looks right....that's strange, I thought grains were low in lysine......suits me, I love pasta and bread.

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#18 Old 01-02-2015, 02:46 PM
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^^^ Most grains are relatively low in lysine- that's one of the amino acids which limit grain protein useability. You can still get your daily requirement of lysine from grains without eating beans; you just have to eat more of them.

Actually, grain protein supposedly can be used more efficiently than bean protein can on a percentage basis; beans just have much more protein than grains as a rule.

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#19 Old 01-02-2015, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by River View Post
Mod post:
Just a reminder, do not take anything anyone posts on the internet overly seriously. Particularly nutrition or medical advice.
I think you can take advice from a couple vegan dietitians seriously though which is where Blobbenstein gets his info.

Not trying to come across as rude or anything. I seriously think I was lysine deficient for a very long time (I went vegan long before the Internet made researching it easy and come from a farming and hunting family so no help there) and have felt 10 times better since learning to pay attention to lysine, which I heard about from a post Blobbenstein made. So I just try to prevent new vegans from making the same mistake I made. I fully believe the "don't worry about protein on a vegan diet" mantra is a reason many, though not all, vegans become ex-vegans. I know I felt like crap, for years, and I even tried combining proteins at meals even though I know that's not necessary at every meal. I got enough calories, had B12 and vitamin D levels checked, made sure to get enough fat, etc. I also considered oysters and farmers market eggs a few times. I was craving eggs even though I never liked them much at all even as an omni. Even bought the eggs a time or two and ended up feeding them to my dogs. I could never have added back meat but many vegans do for one reason or another. I think sometimes that reason is lysine deficiency.

As I've said before, vegans don't need to worry about protein but we do need to pay a bit more attention to it than your average omni or vegetarian.

I keep a supplement around for days I don't have time to make sure I get enough from food or just plain don't feel like eating beans. Swanson vitamins sells a vegan one and I'm sure many other places do too.

I am not a doctor or dietitian and don't claim to be one or think anyone should take my posts as gospel. Just sharing my experience in case it helps someone else.
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Last edited by Wolfie; 01-02-2015 at 03:13 PM.
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#20 Old 01-02-2015, 03:10 PM
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Also wanted to add, you can have normal total protein levels and still be lysine deficient. You wouldn't know unless you had the individual amino acid levels tested, which from my understanding isn't cheap and most insurances likely don't pay for it. So just make sure you get enough and there won't be a problem.
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#21 Old 01-02-2015, 04:28 PM
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Does Jack Norris actually recommend taking a lysine supplement? I don't recall seeing that. I have only seen him and Ginny Messina recommend getting lysine from food sources. Are you guys who are supplementing eating mostly grains, fruits and veggies?

Most people don't need to worry about lysine in particular as long as they are eating enough legumes - that includes soy foods like veggie burger, as well as peanuts. Legumes bring a lot to the table nutritionally as well as having delicious flavors and heartiness, so there are lots of reasons to eat them.
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#22 Old 01-02-2015, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom View Post
As I recall, Frances Moore Lappe's book, "Diet For A Small Planet", mentions that almost all beans (maybe all beans, period- I forget) are rather rich in Lysine.

But yeah- sometimes it takes a long tme to get them soft enough. I cooked some pinto beans last night- I soaked them oveernight, rinsed them Sunday morning, and simmered them until they were done with some no-salt chili powder, canola oil, and fresh garlic. I made quite a bit, like the original poster does, and froze some of them- it's a big time-saver! I might add some tomatoes and fresh jalapenos later to the unfrozen portion.




Hi Tom, have you tried lentils? Unlike other beans, they require no soaking, and they cook-up fully within 45 minutes or so.
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#23 Old 01-03-2015, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by runnerveggie View Post
Does Jack Norris actually recommend taking a lysine supplement? I don't recall seeing that. I have only seen him and Ginny Messina recommend getting lysine from food sources. Are you guys who are supplementing eating mostly grains, fruits and veggies?

Most people don't need to worry about lysine in particular as long as they are eating enough legumes - that includes soy foods like veggie burger, as well as peanuts. Legumes bring a lot to the table nutritionally as well as having delicious flavors and heartiness, so there are lots of reasons to eat them.

I don't always want to eat legumes.

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#24 Old 01-03-2015, 01:36 AM
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Google "Vegan Bodybuilding Diet".

Bodybuilders usually have diets high in protein, these can help you get some new food ideas so you don't eat the same stuff every night ^.^
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#25 Old 01-03-2015, 07:57 AM
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I think that veganrd page is a great resource. i am a vegetarian (not vegan) and I have found it to be quite helpful. I trust a registered dietician more than I would other sources of nutritional info.

Of course I am raising kids over here, and I choose to be more conservative with my dietary choices/their choices rather than risk a deficiency.
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#26 Old 01-03-2015, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by runnerveggie View Post
Most people don't need to worry about lysine in particular as long as they are eating enough legumes - that includes soy foods like veggie burger, as well as peanuts. Legumes bring a lot to the table nutritionally as well as having delicious flavors and heartiness, so there are lots of reasons to eat them.
(I'm referring to the protein/amino acid tables in "Diet For A Small Planet" again)... Peanuts are a special case: although they are legumes, their amino acid profile is somewhat deviant from the norm, as they have less lysine and isoleucine (and I think more tryptophan) than most legumes do.

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Hi Tom, have you tried lentils? Unlike other beans, they require no soaking, and they cook-up fully within 45 minutes or so.
Yep- that's one thing I like about them! I usually have some dried lentils on hand for those times when I'm all out of cooked pinto, garbanzo, or other beans but am too hungry to wait for the soaking, simmering, etc. Dried split peas are convenient for the same reason, but I think lentils are a bit tastier.

Canned are convenient too, but they're either ridiculously salty or horribly tasteless, as well as more expensive.

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Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post
I don't always want to eat legumes.
Truth be told, neither do I. I suppose I could even get tired of hummus if I had it every day (well, okay, maybe not... )

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.

Last edited by Tom; 01-03-2015 at 08:53 AM.
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