Updated: May 11, 2019
QUESTION: “Thanks for the chart on the percentage of calories from protein. I was glad to see some accurate numbers. However, right afterwards, I saw another chart on Facebook listing the nutritional breakdown of broccoli, steak, romaine and kale showing the vegetables had more protein per 100 calories than the steak. Is this really true?
I have seen the same charts and no, they are not accurate. To clarify the issue, I created the following chart, which is based on the latest values from USDA Standard Reference Release 26, which is the most up-to-date values. I have listed the specific NDB# I used for the calculation as different forms (raw, cooked, frozen) of the food and different varieties (choice, select, trimmed, etc) will come up with slightly different numbers.
As you can see, the steak clearly wins on protein. However, remember, a plant based diet based predominately on a variety of minimally-processed lower-fat plant foods low in SOS, is more then adequate in protein and all the essential amino acids and that is the main point in regard to protein. Such a diet is also void of cholesterol, lower in fat, saturated fat, and rich in fiber and nutrients, including phytochemicals, and has been proven to prevent and even reverse disease, even in those seriously ill.
For more information on the protein issue, read the 5 articles linked below the chart.
You can download a PDF of the chart here which will be easier to see.