Reader Profile: The Protein Fear

"Most of our meals center around meat. Can you get enough protein without it?" - Amy Miknis: Age: 30, Elementary School Teacher, Leesburg, Va.

Cooking Light Reader: Amy Miknis

Amy Miknis: The Protein Fear


Amy and her husband, Zach, eat fish once or twice a week and joined a community-supported agriculture group, or CSA. But while the vegetarian idea appeals, Amy worries about getting enough protein. "I try to make our meals center around lean protein, like chicken or turkey," she says. She and Zach often double down on dinner and pack it as the next day's lunch, so she fears a lack of protein at dinner and lunch will not get them through the day. Another reason Amy is motivated to try vegetarian meals: A recent checkup indicated that Zach's cholesterol is a little high, so she's thinking cutting back on meat might be a good idea.


The protein concern is a hangover from earlier ideas about vegetarianism. Amy and Zach can easily meet their daily protein needs. Protein recommendations are pretty low—50g per day for women, 63g for men—so it's difficult to be deficient. Eating less meat may help Amy lower her cholesterol, too, if she's careful to limit nonmeat sources of saturated fat (such as some dairy and coconut milk).

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