How Can Ovo Vegetarians Meet Their Protein Needs?

Egg carton
Ovo vegetarians can eat eggs.

Ovo vegetarian diet protein sources are very important to maintain nutritional health and get a balance of nutrients in a diet that doesn't include meat or dairy. For many ovo vegetarians, consuming enough protein can be a challenge.

Definition of Ovo Vegetarianism

Ovo vegetarianism is a type of vegetarian diet in which individuals avoid eating both animal products and dairy products. These individuals do, however, consume eggs. That explains why ovo vegetarians are sometimes called "eggetarians."

Protein Foods for Ovo Vegetarians

Ovo vegetarian diet protein sources are very important to people who follow plant-based diets, as they do not eat one of the most protein-rich food groups for vegetarians: dairy. Following are several sources of protein that ovo vegetarians can enjoy.

  • Eggs - Eggs are the obvious first protein choice for ovo vegetarians. Eggs are full of muscle-building protein and are versatile enough to include in nearly any meal.
  • Soy products - Soy can be a vegetarian's best friend. High in protein, soy and soy products can take the place of many dairy foods, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese.
  • Lentils - Lentils are a flexible legume that can be served in soups, as a main dish, as a meat substitute, or as an accompaniment.
  • Beans - There are many types of beans. They can be mashed into burgers, served as they are, or added to soups, stir fry, and other main dish meals.
  • Grains - Some grains contain more protein than others. Quinoa, for example, is an excellent source of plant-based protein. Many vegetarian protein burgers and main dishes include such versatile grains.
  • Vegetables - Though most vegetables do not contain high concentrations of protein, it is possible to get some of the nutrient from them. Leafy greens are a particularly good choice.
  • Nuts and seeds - Nuts and seeds are widely known as healthy sources of both protein and fat. They can easily be incorporated into salads, shakes, sweets, and entrees.

Protein Supplementation

Often vegetarians feel they cannot get adequate protein from typical whole foods. For such individuals, it may be necessary to supplement with more protein. Many high-protein products on the market can assist vegetarians and vegans in meeting their daily nutrient requirements.

  • Protein powders - Using vegetarian protein powders like pea protein powder, hemp protein powder, and brown rice powder is a great way to supplement your protein intake. These flavored or unflavored powders can be added to water or your favorite non-dairy milk to make delicious protein shakes, smoothies, and drinks.
  • Protein bars - Another nice protein supplement option, protein bars can fill in the nutritional gaps between meals or when you're on the go. Be sure to check labels for whey, a dairy-based ingredient.
  • Protein drinks - Many companies are attempting to address the need for protein supplements by selling ready-made protein drinks for a quick, on-the-go protein boost.

Protein Needs

How much protein you need varies based on factors like your weight, sex, and age. Medical conditions can further complicate the issue. Experts generally suggest the amount of protein you consume should equal between 15 and 30 percent of your total daily calories. Athletes and those who exercise regularly generally require more protein than sedentary individuals. The extra protein is able to facilitate muscle repair after strenuous workouts.

Check With a Physician or Nutritionist

A doctor or certified nutrition professional can assess your individual protein needs and provide a specific amount of protein you could use as a goal. The ovo vegetarian diet protein sources listed above are just one helpful way to meet your daily requirements for protein.

Was this page useful?
Related & Popular
How Can Ovo Vegetarians Meet Their Protein Needs?