Complete protein-What is it and where do I get it?
Proteins are strings of amino acids. There are nine so-called essential amino acids. Meaning our body can’t produce them So we need to get them from food. They have names like histidine, isoleucine, Etc. Etc. They all sound like valley girl names. ‘Oh my god leucine. You’re like so cute right now ‘There’s a lot of talk out there of complete protein and sometimes people just mean a portion of food that contains all those 9 essential amino acids and Sometimes they mean it contains them in a certain proportion. Let’s take a look at this step by step There’s a common belief that animal foods like meat and eggs are complete protein sources Whereas plants are not and maybe there are some exceptions like quinoa that are complete but most plants are incomplete But is there any truth to that? Let’s do some fact-checking According to the official USDA food database beef indeed contains all nine essential amino acids. No surprise there What about chicken? all nine. eggs? all nine. milk? all 9.
Okay, so that checks out What about quinoa? Is it true It has all nine? Yes, Tofu? also all nine Lentils? Yes. potatoes? Yup. broccoli, bananas, rice, cherries, you name it, They all have all nine essential amino acids. In fact, all plants have all nine essential amino acids The opposite would be really surprising. each plant contains many proteins and each protein is a long string of amino acids So it would be really bizarre if we found an entire plant, an entire organism, that was somehow missing one of the building blocks That’s for natural foods. with processed foods, nutrients can be artificially added or removed.
like for example, gelatin Which is a processed food of animal origin and it lacks one essential amino acid Here’s another way to think of this: those nine amino acids we can’t produce, the essential ones? pigs and chickens can’t produce them either So where are they getting them in the first place? Well from plants, of course, Okay, fine. So all-natural plant foods have all nine essential amino acids, but maybe they’re not in the correct proportion Maybe there’s too much of some and not enough of others Maybe a complete protein is not just food that has all nine essential amino acids But also a food that has them in a certain correct proportion and maybe animal foods have that and plant foods don’t? Let’s take a look at some specific foods.
This is the breakdown for chicken, the amount of each essential amino acid, And here’s a bowl of edamame. soybeans. the overall proportions are similar Although you can see some differences, a bit more of some amino acids a bit less of others That’s spirulina, which is an alga. pretty rich in the essential 9 That’s a cup of milk. That’s a cup of lentils That’s an egg. And that’s a peanut butter sandwich The point here is not that plants have more protein We covered quantity in the first video and quantity is gonna depend on the exact food You’re looking at, the precise amount, etc.
Animal foods have plenty of protein, plant foods have plenty of protein what we’re looking at here is an amino acid balance and what we’ve seen so far is that there isn’t necessarily a huge difference It doesn’t mean that every single plant food is gonna be this rich in the essential 9 But it seems we have some pretty good options here. Okay, but this is isolated foods. Who cares, right? What I want to know is at the end of the day after all my meals, 10, 15, 20 different types of food mixed, Do I get all the amino acids I need? Let’s look at this example from the first video breakfast: Blueberry oatmeal and a peanut butter sandwich, a couple of hours later a handful of almonds.
lunch: Lentils rice and broccoli and finally dinner: tempeh and mixed veggies That’s less than 1,500 calories total 2,000 being the ballpark daily intake and yet we already have 80 grams of protein total with every single essential amino acid being maxed out That’s how easy it is to get your daily requirements. And that’s the daily requirements calculated for me I’m 6’1 ”, 185 lbs give or take and I exercise almost every day. if you’re even bigger than me You’re gonna want to have more but if you’re bigger than me You’re gonna have a lot more than 1,500 calories in a day anyway, so that’s not an issue but for the vast majority of people this is already way more protein than you actually need and All we’ve counted is a few light meals and no snacks in between or anything So that’s how easy it is to get your protein.
bottom line, If you like to eat meat eggs and dairy That’s your call But don’t let anybody tell you that you have to eat those foods Because there’s some magical amino acid in there that you can’t find anywhere else It’s your choice and it is a choice Plenty of protein in animal foods, plenty of protein in plant foods, and both have all the amino acids we need. in the words of these two protein experts: mixtures of plant proteins can serve as a complete and well-balanced source of amino acids that effectively meet human physio What about combining proteins? There’s an idea out there that plant protein needs to be deliberately combined so that the individual Deficiencies are averaged out. It is true that the best diet has a variety of plant foods. If your diet is 100% potatoes No, that’s not going to be ideal. But neither is a diet that’s 100% eggs or any animal or any plant food So, yes, you do want to mix it up: greens, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruit. That’s variety But we don’t need to worry about pairing up specific foods at each meal. Our body can store amino acids So even if you have a meal that’s short on one of the essential ones your body can complement it as long as you’re getting That variety of plant foods and you’re getting enough calories overall you’re covered for protein and you’re getting all the amino acids you need No need to worry and you don’t need to take it from me Here’s the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics The terms complete and incomplete are misleading in relation to plant protein-protein from a variety of plant foods supply enough of all essential amino acids As long as caloric requirements are met and here’s the American Heart Association You don’t need to eat foods from animals to have enough protein in your diet Plant proteins alone can provide enough of the essential and non-essential amino acids As long as sources of dietary protein are varied and calorie intake is high enough to meet energy needs.
and they go on to explain: Whole grains legumes vegetables and seeds and nuts all contain both essential and non-essential amino acids You don’t need to consciously combine these foods within a given meal So again, as long as you’re not starving, you’re getting enough calories, You’re good for protein whether you choose to eat animal foods or not Okay, maybe this is fine for you and me, adults But what about kids? they need meat and dairy to grow tall and strong, right? No. here’s the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics again Plant-based diets are appropriate for all stages of life including pregnancy lactation infancy childhood adolescence, older adulthood, you name it. Okay. So this is fine for normal people But what if I’m an athlete? then I need meat, right? plant-based athletes include Venus Williams, Tom Brady, NBA star Kyrie Irving and sprinter Carl Lewis during his prime okay fine, I can be an athlete at the highest level on plants But what if I want to build a ton of muscle then I need meat right? This is Olympian weightlifter, Kendrick Farris He’s a hundred percent plant-based So is this guy and this guy and this guy and here’s professional bodybuilder Nimai Delgado ‘I have beans, I have tofu. I have lots of greens, spinach broccoli All these things are packed with protein. You can build muscle faster. You can lose fat faster So, I mean it’s a win-win for me. ‘
Top 10 Cheapest Protein Foods (Veg & Non-Veg)
It is very important for the daily repair of the body, skin, and hair health. An average person who has a sedentary lifestyle, even his/her body requires 1 gram of protein per Kg body weight. For example, if your weight is 60 kg and you do not work out, even then your body requires about 60 grams of protein. So I have identified 10 best protein sources available in India and ranked them solely on the basis of cost-effectiveness. So here we go. Ranked at number 10 is Tofu. Tofu which is also known as soya paneer is obviously made from soya beans. Tofu is a vegan source of protein that means it is not made from any kind of animal product. Now 200 grams of tofu packets are very easily available in the Indian market which cost about 70 rupees. Now, one serving of tofu is 100 grams. That means 100 grams of tofu is 35 rupees.
So, in that 100 grams of tofu, you are getting about 15 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and about 8 grams of fats. Now, because it has carbohydrates and fats, it is not a lean source of protein. Now you are getting 15 grams of protein in 35 rupees. That means 1 gram of protein costs about 35 by 15 which is about 2.3 rupees. If you are concerned that tofu may cause man boobs or decrease in the testosterone levels, I would say moderation is the key. You can easily have 100 grams of tofu daily without any kind of health problem. Number 9 is fish. Now, there are a variety of fishes available in the Indian market. Now, when it comes to protein, the whiter the fish is the better it is. This is because white fish is a lean source of protein. It does not have any carbohydrates and fats.
Tilapia is one such fish. Then there are other fishes like Indian Salmon and Pomfret. Even though they are not a lean source of protein but they are great because they have essential fatty acids. Now, on average, 1 kg of fish costs about 500 rupees. 1 serving of fish is 100 grams. That is 100 grams of fish you are getting for 50 rupees. Now, in that 100 grams of fish, you are getting 25 grams of protein. So that means you are getting 25 grams of protein in 50 rupees. That means 1 gram of protein in 2 rupees. Fish is a great source of protein and should be included in your diet at least once a week. Number 8 is paneer that is cottage cheese. Now we get 200 grams of paneer packets at about 70 rupees. One serving of paneer is 100 grams which will cost you 35 rupees and it will give you 18 grams of protein but about 20 grams of fat. So you are getting 18 grams of protein in 35 rupees. That is 1 gram of protein in 2 rupees.
Now, because it has a lot of fat, you have to keep its consumption in moderation. However, this problem gets solved if you make paneer at home. Yes, you can buy low-fat milk and make paneer at home. Each packet of milk which has about 1.5 percent of fat which costs about 18 rupees will yield about 100 grams of paneer. That means you are getting 18 grams of protein from 18 rupees and a negligible amount of fat. That means you are getting one gram of protein from 1 rupee from a lean vegetarian source which is great. Now, the making of paneer is a very common practice in Indian homes. All you need to do is boil the milk. Once the milk gets boiled, you need to sprinkle lemon juice or vinegar into it and stir it well. The paneer will automatically get separated. But anyway, if you are getting it from outside, even then you can have 100-200 grams of paneer on a daily basis.
At number 7 is chicken breast. Now, just yesterday I went to a local vendor. The price of the chicken was 230 rupees per kg. I asked him to give the boneless part of the chicken breast. And 100 grams of that boneless chicken breast cost me 35 rupees. And that 100 grams of chicken breast that cost me 35 rupees will give me about 25 grams of protein. That means I am getting 1 gram of protein in 1.4 rupees. Now, whats great about chicken breast is that it is a lean source of protein. It does not have any carbohydrates or fats. So, if you are a nonvegetarian you should definitely include the breast part of the chicken in your diet. Ranked at number 6 are legumes. Now, when I say legumes I mean black kidney beans, chickpeas, and black chana. All three have almost similar nutritional information. On an average, 1 kg of any of these will cost you about 150 rupees.
Now, one serving is 100 grams so that means 100 grams of legumes cost you 15 rupees. Now, when you cook 100 grams of kidney beans, they will expand and their weight will get almost doubled. So that 100 grams of kidney beans that you got for 15 rupees will give you about 15 grams of protein. So that means you are getting 1 gram of protein in 1 rupee. But the problem with legumes is that along with that 15 grams of protein, you will also get about 40 grams of carbohydrates. Now, if you are eating 3 Rotis with chickpeas curry, you are eating way too many carbohydrates in one meal. So you should always take into consideration that legumes are already very high in carbohydrates. Number 5 is milk. Now, when I say milk, I mean low-fat milk. This is because full cream milk is loaded with saturated fat which you should avoid.
Now, 500 ml of milk packet will cost you about 18 to 20 rupees depending upon its fat percentage which will give you about 18 grams of protein and 24 grams of carbohydrates. So that means you are getting 1 gram of protein for 1 rupee. Now, irrespective of the fact that your goal is muscle building or fat loss, you can still have 500 ml of milk on a daily basis. Number 4 is egg whites. Just 2 days back I got a tray of 30 eggs for 105 rupees. That means I bought 1 egg for 3.5 rupees. Now, lets assume that you do not buy it from a whole seller. So in that case you will get 1 egg for about 4 rupees. Now, one egg white has about 4 grams of protein. That means you are getting 1 gram of protein for 1 rupee. Now, whats great about egg whites is that they are a lean source of protein. Also, they get very easily digested in the body. So you can easily eat 5-6 egg whites in 1 serving. Now, it is your choice if you want to have them as an omelet, bhurji, or boiled.
At number 3 are peanuts. Now, you can easily get 1 kg of peanuts at about 120 rupees. One serving of peanuts is about 30 grams which will cost you about 3.5 rupees. And 30 grams of peanuts will give you about 7 grams of protein. That means you are getting one gram of peanut at 0.5 rupees. Now, along with 7 grams of protein you are also getting 14 grams of fat. That fat is a healthy fat and it is very important for the body. So you can have 2 servings of peanuts on a daily basis. Now, it is your choice if you want to roast them or make peanut butter out of them. When I say roasting, I mean dry roasting without the use of salt.
Now, lets take an average value that you will get 1 kg of lentils at about 80 rupees. So now, one serving is 100 grams. So you take 100 grams of lentils which will cost you about 8 rupees. So again if you cook lentils they will again expand and their quantity will increase. So, from 100 grams of lentils, you will get 18 grams of protein and about 40 grams of carbohydrates. That means you are getting one gram of protein at 0.4 rupees which is very cheap. But again the problem is with the carbohydrates. So, all the things that we had applied for legumes, apply here as well. Moreover, lentils are not a complete source of protein. Incomplete as in they do not have the 9 essential amino acids. However, when you mix different lentils like green, yellow, red, and black together, they become a complete source of protein.
Now, before we jump to number one, lets talk about a few honorable mentions. First is whey protein. Now, the cost of whey protein depends upon the brand to brand. The cost of 30 grams of whey protein may vary from 50 rupees to 100 rupees depending upon the brand. Now that 30 grams of whey scoop have about 24 grams of protein. So, that means you are getting 1 gram of protein at about 2-4 rupees. Yes, it is costly but it has its own advantages. Because it is extracted from milk, it can be taken by vegetarians as well. It is a lean source of protein. And it is the fastest digesting protein and there is nothing unnatural about it. Second is nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts. Now the cost of 1 kg of nuts ranges from 700 rupees to 1500 rupees. 1 serving of nuts is about 30 grams which will give you about 7 grams of protein and 14 grams of healthy fats.
So you can easily include 1-2 servings of nuts every day. So, 1 gram of protein from nuts will cost you about 3-6 rupees. Finally, at number 1 are soy chunks. 200 grams of soy chunk box costs about 40 rupees. 1 serving of soy chunks is 50 grams which come out to be 10 rupees. Now, in these 10 rupees, you are getting 25 grams of protein which is very very high. That means you are getting 1 gram of protein at 0.4 rupees. Now, along with 25 grams of protein, you are also getting 18 grams of carbohydrates which is fine. The only thing that you should take into consideration while consuming soy chunks is moderation. So having 50 grams of soy chunks on a daily basis that is 25 grams of protein from them is perfectly fine. It will not cause any kind of hormonal issues.