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Vegan fitness buff compiles list of the least expensive, most filling plant protein sources: '[It] can be used in lots of different dishes'

"For your pantry, it's gotta be dried beans or lentils."

Plant-based Proteins tofu dish

Photo Credit: iStock

For those who don't eat a lot of meat, it's always a score when plant-based proteins are accessible, cheap, and beneficial toward certain health goals. One Reddit thread provides numerous protein recommendations — all of them vegan and cost-effective.

In the post, one Redditor asks, "Can anyone give me a list of the cheapest protein I can buy and load my fridge up with? I strength train and want to load up my fridge."

They also asked for the cheapest vegan proteins or vegan foods with the highest nutritional profile.

People adopt a vegan diet for a variety of reasons, but finding plant-based substitutions that check the right boxes poses a real challenge. Consumers who give plant-based meat a shot may not stick with the product if it doesn't compete nutritionally or financially. A 2021 study found that price is the second-biggest factor (after taste) for consumers making purchasing decisions about plant-based products. Yet transitioning from meat to the right plant protein can support the planet.

Vegan proteins have a large number of benefits over meat and other animal-derived proteins. While higher in demand, animal proteins are more prone to disease and require more resources, like water and land, making them less environmentally friendly than a plant-forward diet.

These Redditors shared vegan options that are cost-effective and nutritious. 

"(I) Bought a 4lb bag of vital wheat gluten off amazon for $23. The bag contains 1380g of protein," one user writes

Other users recommended adding vital wheat gluten to various foods to boost protein and make seitan.

Another user comments, "For your FRIDGE? Tofu. For your pantry though, it's gotta be dried beans or lentils. Any kind really. Versatile, can be used in lots of different dishes, easy to cook."

Some questioned the price of tofu, but many chimed in to share that dried beans and lentils are also budget-friendly vegan staples. 

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