Friday, September 28, 2007

Cheaper or Not?

The advice these days is to allow 100g per animal protein per serving - originally every day but now even less, maybe four times a week, vegetable proteins taking priority. Checking on-line at Tesco's I see the cheapest stewing beef worked out at 38.8p per 100g (and this is 22g of protein). Om a tight budget, then this is the starting point.
Medium Eggs: (7.2g protein) would need 3 to match the meat - average price is 10p egg, so this works out cheaper.
Porridge Oats: (20g per 1p for cheapest). 30g oats gives 3.5 of protein so multiply by 6 to almost equal the meat and this could work out at around 9p. Good value.
Pulses: Practically all pulses contain around 11g protein per 50g dry weight, which works out to equal the meat as long as we remember that once soaked it will weigh a lot more. Cost depends upon which pulse used.
Soya beans at 18g protein per 50g. A good meat substitute.
Split Peas: This is the best! 22g protein per 50g. One of the cheapest dried foods on the market (sorry price not found).
Sweetcorn: Another good one. 25g protein per 100g. Canned or fresh (cob weight not counted) a good one to serve.
Quorn Chunks: 12g protein per 100g (half the protein value of meat)
Tofu: 8.1g per 100g (even less protein value)
Cashew nuts: 8.9 Mixed nuts: 11 Peanuts: 13 (all per 50g)

With garden vegetables, an average of 4g protein per 100g for Broad Beans, Broccoli, Sprouts. Runner beans are very low at 1.6g. Fresh peas are 6.9g frozen 5.7g.

Other animal proteins are fish - which are between 18-20g protein per 100g weight. Canned salmon has 24g as against 20g fresh. Canned sardines 23g (drained weights only). Canned tuna has the same protein content as fresh (slightly higher if canned in oil).

yogurt: 5.7g protein per 100g
cheddar cheese: 13g per 50g.
Brie: 9.6g per 50g
milk: 3.3g per 100 ml.

Obviously I haven't covered everything, but when cutting costs or planning a vegetarian meal, then the above info I hope will be useful. If anything has been left out that you wish to know more about, then just ask. Please remember I am not a nutritionist, just a housewife with more than a normal interest in food. All the information above I get from books.

Worth remembering that although animal protein is the most expensive, it does contain other necessary nutriments such as minerals which are often lacking with vegetarian proteins. Also vegetable protein is not as easily absorbed by the body unless taken with another type of veggie protein (or an animal protein such as milk) . So there is more to adjusting to a meat-free diet, than just cutting it out altogether.