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Increasing Protein on a Plant-Based Diet Without Causing Digestive Issues

Grains, granola, and fruits in jars
Image source: Ella Olsson on Unsplash

If you're plant-based and struggle with digestive problems like gas, bloating, or constipation when you increase protein, this is for you.


Let's get right to the point:


Before you invest in tests, supplements, or remedies to

"fix your gut", check your fiber intake!


What causes digestive issues when you increase plant-based protein?

It is very easy to eat more fiber than you need on a plant-based diet.


Animal proteins do not contain fiber- fiber only comes from plants and vegan protein sources like beans, lentils, and seeds contain lots of fiber. The more of these you eat, the more fiber you get.


A healthy amount of fiber is GREAT, but too much can cause gas, bloating, and constipation.


How much fiber do we need?

Start with getting about 15g/1000 calories daily. If this is a lot more than you are currently eating, increase your intake gradually to give your body a chance to adjust. We are all unique in the amount of fiber that works well for our digestion. You may need more or less depending on how you feel, but this is a good place to start.


Choosing proteins with fiber in mind

Choose proteins, produce (fruits and veggies), and carbs or grains to hit your protein goal with a COMFORTABLE amount of fiber. It can be a huge help to log your meals for the day before you eat them in a food tracking app like MyFitnessPal while you're learning what works for you. This will allow you to make adjustments to increase or decrease fiber before you have eaten anything and give you insight into how much feels good for your body.


A plant-based protein cheat sheet

Screenshot or download this cheat sheet to help you choose proteins that work for you.


plant based protein list

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