Protein is a critical component in the human diet. It is partially responsible for muscle and organ building, immune function, and oxygen transport

Everyone should be getting a minimum of 10% of their total calories from protein – about 55g per day for the average sized woman.

However if one wants to use protein to help with weight loss as well, a higher percentage of the diet should come from lean protein sources – up to 50% (or more in more extreme diets). Protein keeps you feeling full, and is tough for your body to store in fat cells.

Common animal protein sources include meat, fish, chicken, eggs and dairy. However in today’s economy, meat prices are soaring, and stocking up on high-quality, lean animal proteins can break the bank.

Vegetables are a budget-friendly alternative way to get enough protein without overdoing it on the fats.

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Sometimes it’s difficult to come up with meat-free meal ideas, so here are some fantastic high-protein, meat-free meals that everyone in your family will LOVE. (And if you don’t tell them there’s no meat, they probably won’t even notice!)

Here are some high-protein veggies and easy family-friendly recipes:

1. Lentils

A half cup of cooked lentils contains 9g of protein. Lentils can be substituted in a wide variety of meals that would usually be made with mincemeat, like spaghetti Bolognese. To make the lentils even more ‘meaty’, cook them with chopped onions and mushrooms.

Try this: Vegetable and Lentil Cottage Pie recipe 

Or this: Red Lentil Curry recipe 

Click page 2 below to find out how beans can help with weight loss…