Proteins are what we’re made of, specifically, amino acids. The body takes amino acids from the foods we eat and converts it protein. Our muscles, tendons, ligaments, organs and glands are made of and maintained by proteins. There are two types of proteins taken from the food we eat, complete and incomplete. If a food can provide all of the amino acids the body needs then it’s a complete protein, if it can’t provide all the amino acids, then it’s an incomplete protein.
A closer look:
Foods that are complete proteins are fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, milk, cheese and eggs. These can stand alone as sources of daily protein.
·Fish is an excellent source of protein and also offers Omega-3 fatty acids.
·Shellfish are a great source of protein and are very low in calories.
·Meat, the leaner the better. For example, beef tenderloin, veal scaloppini, center cut pork chops and wild game are the better protein choices.
·Poultry with the skin and visible fat removed is good cost effective way to get complete protein
·Milk and cheese not only provide protein, but provide vitamins and minerals that boost the performance of protein in the body.
·An egg, aka “The Perfect Protein”, is an excellent source of protein because there is protein in the yolk and in the white. If you are concerned about cholesterol, the egg white still provides protein without the fat.
A closer look:
Foods that contain incomplete protein are nuts, beans, and grains. Incomplete proteins should be combined with other proteins in order to be counted as sources of daily protein.
·Nuts provide antioxidants, vitamins and minerals (calcium, magnesium, and potassium) along with protein. Beware if you are on a restricted calorie diet, just a small handful of nuts can contain 200 calories.
·Grains, particularly whole grains, provide protein, vitamins and minerals. Think brown (brown rice, bread, whole wheat pasta) verses white (white rice, bread, pasta). It takes the body longer to digest whole grains which results in feeling fuller longer.
Interesting fact: The human body is finicky about its daily protein allowance. It will not take extra protein and store it for later use. The unused protein will be store in the body as fat. Metabolic Medical Center helps patients every day figure their proper daily protein allowance to get the best from their body.