How to Use Plant Proteins in My Diet Plan

Are you following a structured diet plan like paleo or Atkins and want to know how to incorporate plant proteins into it? As alternative sources of dietary protein, concentrated plant protein powders can be added to almost any diet plan. The very premise of most popular weight management diets is to increase how much protein you consume (i.e. increase the proportion of protein in your diet compared to carbs and fat).

Plant protein powders like Growing Naturals rice protein and pea protein can help to meet your daily protein needs and also help to give your body a much needed break from animal-based protein (which are typically high in saturated fat and cholesterol, compared to plant-based proteins). GN rice and pea proteins provide 15g protein per serving which is equivalent to a little over 2oz of lean animal protein.

The vanilla and chocolate-flavored proteins are great for sweet preparations like smoothies, oatmeal, bars, etc. and the unflavored/Original proteins are best used in savory dishes or if you prefer to DIY some of your own flavors. 

Here's how to incorporate GN plant proteins into your diet plan: 

Atkins Diet

Whether on Atkins for Vegetarians/Vegans or regular Atkins, GN plant proteins are a great fit for this famed high-protein diet. The newly revamped Atkins diet has shifted its focus on lean sources of protein, low-carbohydrates and healthy fats rather than limitless protein and fat. Plant proteins are a quick and easy way to reach your high protein needs if you are a vegetarian and a healthy way of reducing saturated fat and cholesterol intake if you’re a “meatatarian.” Best of all, they are all low in carbs (0-4g) and even lower in sugar (0-3g), compared to other protein powders. Did we mention they are naturally free of cholesterol and saturated fat? This means you have greater control of adding healthy fats of your choice into your plan. Add plant proteins into a fruit or veggie smoothie, or make high-protein versions of casseroles, soups, stews or baked goods. One serving of rice or pea protein contains as much protein as what’s in an Atkin’s meal replacement product (15g). You can use plant proteins to make your own meal replacement smoothie for example by adding your choice healthy fat like peanut butter or carb like fruit or choice of milk.

Blood Type Diet

Rice and pea protein appear to be compatible with all blood types, considering Dr. D’Adamo recommends lean sources of protein such as fish for blood type O, A, B and therefore AB. Although plant protein powders come from plants rather than animals, they are considered a lean protein source, rather than a carbohydrate (like most whole plant foods), because most of the carbs have actually been removed. They are lean because they contain no fat and no cholesterol. They are also low in carbs (0-4g) and sugar (0-3g). They may be the most helpful for Type O blood as it is the type requiring the most protein. The versatility of the protein powders can help to make other meals high protein, or just used as is for a protein shake while helping to reduce cholesterol and fat intake from animal protein. For types A, B and AB, plant proteins can serve as alternative lean protein source, since lean protein is what is generally recommended for these blood types. You can obtain the benefits of a complete protein without worrying about it being from an animal source which may not be compatible for your blood type.

Dukan Diet

Rice and pea protein powders are the perfect pairing for this classically French diet focusing on clean foods and a high proportion of lean protein. During the attack phase, plant protein supplements will help to reach your high-protein needs while adding some variety to your palate. They are also great convenience protein as the powders are easy to transport and prepare into a shake when you’re on the go. Plus it means you will get all the benefits of animal-based protein minus the fat, and cholesterol. During the cruise phase, the versatility of plant protein powders will allow you to make even your vegetable dishes, high in protein. You can add some protein to your salad’s dressing to pair with your chicken breast, or just add some to a veggie soup or stew if you need to take a break from animal protein. During the “consolidation phase,” make a high-protein sauce for your pasta or rice dish to help keep up your protein intake high and your guilt low. Finally, during the “stabilization phase,” continue to add our plant proteins to different meals to increase their protein content and add versatility to your palate. Make plant proteins a part of your healthy lifestyle.

Mediterranean Diet

Inspired by the eating habits of those in the Mediterranean region of Spain, Italy and Greece, this heart healthy diet’s protein content is centered mainly on fish and poultry—lean protein sources. Red meat is rarely eaten. As such, incorporating plant proteins into this diet seems natural. Replacing some animal protein (especially the red meat) with plant protein will help to reduce your saturated fat and cholesterol intake. This may further help improve the health of your heart and thus lessen your risk of cardiovascular disease. If you have reduced or completely eliminated red meat and grow bored of consuming poultry or fish, plant proteins are a good way of making high protein vegetarian dishes. Here are ways to incorporate protein into your Mediterranean diet:

  • For whole grains – add protein powder into your oatmeal, polenta, cereal, pancakes, pasta or baked treats.
  • For vegetables – add protein to your dipping sauces, dressings, casserole sauce, soups, or stews.
  • For nuts – create a high protein coating by dipping and roasting nuts with honey/agave and protein powder.
  • For low fat dairy – add protein to yogurt, cream, milk or creamy cheeses.

Ketogenic or Keto Diet

A ketogenic diet (also called a keto diet, low-carb diet, or low-carb high-fat diet) is a diet that consists of low-carbs, low to moderate-protein, and high-fat foods. This diet reduces almost all carbohydrates and replaces them with fat with the intention of driving the body into a state of ketosis, in order to burn more energy from fat, rather than carbs (the norm).

GN plant proteins can absolutely be used as part of the keto diet because they're low carb, high protein powders themselves. Rice and pea proteins contain 0-3g of carbs per 15-16g protein (depending on the flavor). This article explains more about how and why plant proteins can fit into the keto diet.

Paleo Diet (aka Caveman or Primal Diet)

Whether or not GN plant protein powders comply with the paleo diet, depends on how strictly you are following the diet. After all, modern approximations or applications of the diet are far from true Paleolithic ways. Grains and legumes, the source of our plant proteins were probably not consumed by our prehistoric ancestors because they were and are not digestible in their raw form. This lack of digestibility is usually due to the starch (carbohydrate), lectin and phytic acid content which is typically higher in the raw grains. They can be overcome with cooking/heat, fermenting or sprouting. However, GN plant proteins are a concentrated protein product—in other words, most of the starch/carbohydrates have been removed, making it highly digestible.

Plus we've also tested their phytic acid content of our proteins and found they are in line with other highly nutritious foods like walnuts, almonds and sesame seeds. Incorporating GN plant proteins into your paleo diet may offer some variety to your palate and versatility when added to make high protein soups, stews, fruit/veggie smoothies, etc. It may be challenging to consume animal protein as more than 30% of your diet at all times. Plant protein powders also provide unique amino acid profiles, convenience when you’re on the go and contain absolutely no milk/dairy products. If you are following a grain-free paleo diet, then consider sticking to pea protein. Since they are plant based, rice and pea proteins even offer relief from all the cholesterol your body is loading on from animal protein.

Protein Power Diet

Here’s a historic diet based on Atkin’s principles but with many subtle differences—essentially it is a high protein, low-carb diet. However, the authors of the Protein Power diet claim the diet is intended to improve body fat content, rather than promote weight loss, although weight loss is possible. The premise, like many high-protein diets, is to have superior control of insulin, the major hormone of metabolism. Since protein does not promote large spikes of insulin, it is believed that this will in turn help regulate blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and fat storage.

The Protein Power diet seems to be liberal in protein choices including red-meat, eggs, poultry, fish, low-fat cheese and tofu. GN plant proteins can serve as an alternative lean protein choice to the generally animal-based proteins allowed. They can serve to add versatility to your health as each protein source contains a unique array of amino acids. They can also add versatility to your palate, allowing the conversion of vegetarian dishes into high protein dishes. Plant proteins are convenient for an on-the-go high protein shake (meal or snack) and offer your body some relief from the cholesterol found in animal proteins. Cholesterol is not an essential nutrient and is therefore not required by the diet. For weight loss, the Protein Power diet requires your carbohydrate intake to be very low (30g or less). However, integrating plant proteins in this diet might be an additional way to facilitate weight loss due to their naturally, very low-fat content and therefore low calorie content. This means you can get the same amount of protein for less calories, since the fat calories are close to negligible.

South Beach Diet

Protein is an important part of the South Beach diet, particularly in phase 1 when carbs are virtually eliminated and the focus is mainly on protein and vegetables. GN rice and pea proteins pack all the power of animal protein, minus the fat and cholesterol. They may actually help to offset the abundant cholesterol your body would obtain from animal protein during this diet. This also gives you flexibility in choosing healthier fats rather than using up fat calories on those inherently tagged onto animal protein. A serving of either rice of pea protein will give you more protein than any of the south beach meal replacements or bars—giving you the flexibility to add in some healthy carbs and fat. Additionally, you can use the powders to turn the recipes provided by the South Beach website into high (or higher) protein versions.

Phase 1 The addition of plant proteins will help to reach your high protein needs, or help to convert your vegetable dishes into high protein ones during this phase. Plant proteins are low in carbohydrates and sugar, which means your blood sugar will not spike from it either.

Phase 2 As you gradually introduce some carbs, the versatility of the powder means you can easily add it into your dishes to maintain a high-protein status. For example, add some protein to your whole grain oatmeal or pasta sauce or veggie noodle soup. Not only will this help to meet your high protein needs it will help to offset any spikes in blood sugar that might otherwise occur by eating a high carbohydrate, low protein meal.

Phase 3 During this maintenance phase, continuing to consume a high proportion of protein in your diet will help to keep you satiated while keeping your calorie count low or controlled, thereby helping you to maintain your weight. Continue to rotate your protein sources, make high protein vegetarian meals or using the protein powders to make high-protein between-meal snacks (smoothies or shakes). Maintaining these high-protein techniques will help you to maintain the weight you worked so hard to burn off.

Weight Watchers (or WW)

This sensible weight loss program is one of the most popular and successful, considering there are very few limitations on food groups or types of food. GN plant proteins can be substituted for a lean source of protein considering they provide all the benefits of lean animal protein, minus the fat and cholesterol. They are also low carb and low sugar compared to their animal-based protein powder counterparts (like whey and casein). The amounts below are based on 1 serving of rice or 1 serving of pea protein. Use the points to guide you in reaching your protein and calorie goals for each day.

Regular Point System

Smart Points System

1 point

  • Original Rice protein
  • Original Pea protein

1 point

  • Chocolate, Vanilla and Original Rice Protein
  • Original Pea Protein

2 points

  • Vanilla Rice protein
  • Chocolate Rice protein
  • Vanilla Pea protein

2 points

  • Vanilla and Chocolate Pea protein


See the difference for yourself that GN proteins can make, as part of your diet plan. Shop here and take advantage of the latest discounts featured at the top of the home page.

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