Do Vegetarians and Vegans Eat Enough Protein?

Dr. Michael Greger answers the question that vegans and vegetarians hear all the time. In his video below, he breaks down how much protein we need versus how much protein we eat.

Do Vegetarians Get Enough Protein?

  • The average recommended intake of protein is 42 grams a day.
  • Non-vegetarians eat way more than that (almost 80 grams), but so does everyone else.
  • Vegetarians and vegans actually average 70 percent more protein than they need every day (over 70 grams).

There is so much fuss over protein, even though the studies Dr. Greger cites in the video show that 97 percent of Americans eat enough protein.

Americans Don’t Eat Enough Fiber

Everyone is so concerned about protein, but what we really need to be concerned about is dietary fiber.

Virtually all Americans get enough protein, but less than 3 percent of Americans get the minimum recommended intake of fiber.

Why Is Fiber So Important?

A lack of dietary fiber has been associated with a higher risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and various cancers, as well as higher cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar.

Why Aren’t Americans Eating Enough Fiber?

Fiber is found only in plants, like beans, fruits, vegetables, whole grains.

Nearly the entire United States population fails to eat enough whole plant foods.

Watch the entire video to learn more about how to close the fiber gap and how to spread the word about eating a plant-based diet for better health and wellbeing.


The Myth of Complementary Protein
Why the High-Protein Trend Is Dangerous
An Ultra Athlete Slays the High-Protein Myth


  • Sources
    1. Dilzer, A., Jones, J., & Latulippe, M. (n.d.). The Family of Dietary Fibers. Nutrition Today, 108—118.
    2. Do Vegetarians Get Enough Protein? | (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2015, from
    3. Rizzo, N., Jaceldo-Siegl, K., Sabate, J., & Fraser, G. (n.d.). Nutrient Profiles of Vegetarian and Nonvegetarian Dietary Patterns. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 1610—1619.

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about the author

Naomi Imatome-Yun

Naomi Imatome-Yun is editor-at-large and former managing editor of Forks Over Knives. She has been a food, health, and wellness editor for over 15 years, and her work appears in USA Today, Dining Out, and Art Culinaire. Naomi is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, and was a food expert for for 8 years.

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