Incomplete Proteins

legumes

Incomplete Proteins - The essential difference

The best way to begin this discussion, is to tell you that proteins are organic compounds made up of building blocks called “amino acids.” There are about 20 common amino acids. Nine of them are considered “essential” because the body cannot make them, and therefore, they must be supplied by your diet.

This information is important to you only because, if you do not get enough of these essential amino acids, you may suffer the ill effects of protein deficiency.


All or some

Foods that contain all of the essential amino acids are not incomplete proteins, but are called “complete proteins.” These protein foods are generally animal foods. Plant foods do not, as a rule, have complete proteins, but by eating combinations of plant foods, called “complementary proteins,” you can obtain a complete protein.

For example, when you eat Lentil Rice Tomato Soup, you are eating a complete protein. The lentils and rice complement each other, because each has some of the essential amino acids and together, they provide all of the essential amino acids. It is generally believed by nutritionists that it is not necessary to eat these complementary proteins at the same meal.

Most Mexican dishes that contain beans and rice are also examples of completing your protein through complementary choices.

Here is a list of complementary proteins, that is, proteins that when combined become complete.

Click here for a printable copy of this list.

Complementary Proteins

Beans/Peas/Lentils ... with Nuts

Beans/Peas and/Lentils ... with Grains

Beans/Peas/Lentils ... with Seeds

Beans/Peas/Lentils ... with Dairy

Grains... with Dairy

Nuts/Seeds... with Dairy

Nuts/Seeds... with Legumes

Dairy... with Nuts/Seeds and Beans/Peas/Lentils

Vegetarian Nutrition

Vegetarians and vegans need to pay attention to the concept of complementary proteins. By including a variety of proteins from different sources, they can insure that they are getting adequate amounts of the essential amino acids that the body needs.

For more information on vegetarian nutrition click on this link.

Since most foods have some protein and many foods have significant protein, if you are eating three healthy meals a day, you are most likely getting enough protein. However, if you live in a developing country, protein deficiency may be a serious concern. Many in poor countries struggle to meet the minimum requirements for protein in the diet.


For more information on protein, click here to go from Incomplete Proteins page to Protein Facts page.




Bright Hope Kids

Bright Hope International brings hope to those living on less than $1 a day.

Click on this link to help feed the hungry children of the world.

Every little bit you can give will help these kids toward a healthy future. Thank you in advance for you kindness and generosity.


Sign up to receive emails of my blog

Healthy Eating Blog

�ª Grab this Headline Animator

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


Most Recent Articles

  1. Fiber Quiz - What do you know about "roughage?"

    Feb 28, 17 09:24 AM

    Take this Fiber Quiz to see what you know about this important component of a healthy diet.

    Read More

  2. Healthy Eating Nutrition - What you need to know about the science of eating

    Feb 27, 17 08:47 AM

    Healthy Eating Nutrition is an introduction to the major components of the science of food that you need to undertand in order to learn how to eat a healthy diet.

    Read More

  3. Salmonella - Is it Lurking in Your Chocolate Mousse?

    Feb 25, 17 10:24 AM

    A discussion of the use of raw eggs and the potential for salmonella poisoning from the foods you eat, particularly chocolate mousse.

    Read More

Have a question about eating healthy?

Get answers to your healthy eating questions.