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Newish vegetarian

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  • apullumapullum Member Posts: 4,896 Member Member Posts: 4,896 Member
    apullum wrote: »
    I've been seeing a dietician and she's helped me. She told me I have to combine some foods to have a "complete protein". I was low in iron and sodium. Some things have more of a nutrient than others. I guess I'm getting better at this stuff too! Satiety I find drinking water, getting fiber from carb sources, and getting my protein and fats solve the problem.

    Do your research and find out what to eat that's healthy and "clean" and you're headed in the right direction. All of life is a learning process.

    You don't need to combine proteins within the same meal. That is a myth that's been around since the 70s.

    You do need to eat a variety of different foods that contain protein. Proteins are made of amino acids, which are necessary for our bodies, but the human body can make many of them. However, nine amino acids are called "essential" because we cannot make them and must get them from food.

    Animal proteins contain all nine essential amino acids, so they are called "complete" proteins. Most plant proteins contain fewer than nine amino acids, although which amino acid(s) you get and in what quantities varies by food.


    Therefore, people used to think that in every meal, vegetarians needed to combine different proteins to get all nine amino acids in the same meal. However, this is not actually necessary. First, some plant proteins (like soy) are complete proteins. Second, you do not need all nine amino acids in the same meal; you just need to get them all on a regular basis. Third, if you are eating some animal products, then you're still getting some "complete" proteins. So as long as you're eating a variety of protein-rich foods--and not, say, living on nothing at all but beans--then you're fine and do not need to worry about combining proteins.

    ^^This, except for one minor point.

    It's not that most plant proteins don't contain all of the essential amino acids; it's that compared to animal proteins (especially eggs, which are the gold standard in foods for amino acids), many plant proteins have one or more of the essential amino acids in a lower amount (compared to the other essential proteins) that would prevent your body from using all the essential amino acids from that food source to form proteins if that food source were your only source of protein. Your body uses different amounts of different amino acids in forming proteins, and if you have too little (compared to what you need) of any one of the essential amino acids, the leftover amino acids that you can't use because of the limiting essential amino acid go to waste.

    Good point!

    If anyone wants to get *really* into the weeds on this, here is a page that discusses the exact amino acid amounts in various beans: https://vegfaqs.com/essential-amino-acid-profiles-beans/. They also link to discussions for other proteins.

    What I find really interesting, as someone who has degrees in both biology and sociology, is that a lot of cultures have traditional foods that combine vegetarian proteins. Eating beans and rice, beans and corn, etc. is going to get you a variety of amino acids. In other words, a lot of people have been eating a variety of proteins for a long time before anyone started to overcomplicate it :) So another reason why we generally don't have to worry too much about combining proteins is that many of us do it "naturally" (that is, we've been taught to eat those foods together).
  • amandarawr06amandarawr06 Member Posts: 251 Member Member Posts: 251 Member
    I'm a picky eater with a peanut allergy so trying to find protein sources is hard for me.

    I do drink a whey shake with some milk and sometimes a whey based.

    I've tried they beyond meat patty at A&W but have yet to find them in stores.

    Loblaws just started selling them in their meat section actually!
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