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  1. #1
    milkycereal's Avatar
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    Count incomplete protiens?

    Primal Fuel
    Hey guys, I was wondering if your supposed to factor in incomplete protiens when tracking your protein intake.

    I had to do an assignment for class where you track a days worth of food. On this paticular day I had over 150gs of total protein. I usually have more but I used a higher carb day so I don't freak out the proffesor...

    But high protien does make me constipated, and too low carb makes me cranky, so I was looking to lower my protein and up my carbs a bit...without the incomplete proteins i'm at around 90-110 grams of protein, which is perfect for me (i'm 120 pounds)

    My question is if I eat a veggie with an incomplete protien along side some meat or another complete protien, does my meat "complete" the veggie protein? If not, what happends to the incomplete proteins?

    I'm hoping meat does complete the veggie protein, this way I can simply scale back on the meat. If not it's back to the drawing board...

    I feel like I said protein a million times in this post, hope it made sense

  2. #2
    ib4student's Avatar
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    It depends. I only count peanuts, for example, as being 55% protein (that is, 0.55g per 1g of protein). Another reason that I avoid them :-)
    I don't know about other plants. Peanuts are the only one that I've read a paper on analyzing the protein usage by humans.
    "incomplete" proteins aren't necessarily missing anything, it's just that they don't have the proper proportions of amino acids for humans. So, you'd need to eat almost 2g of peanuts to get effectively 1g of protein from meat or another complete protein (soaked/sprouted quinoa or oats, meats, whey, etc.)

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    milkycereal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ib4student View Post
    It depends. I only count peanuts, for example, as being 55% protein (that is, 0.55g per 1g of protein). Another reason that I avoid them :-)
    I don't know about other plants. Peanuts are the only one that I've read a paper on analyzing the protein usage by humans.
    "incomplete" proteins aren't necessarily missing anything, it's just that they don't have the proper proportions of amino acids for humans. So, you'd need to eat almost 2g of peanuts to get effectively 1g of protein from meat or another complete protein (soaked/sprouted quinoa or oats, meats, whey, etc.)
    Idk about that man, i learned that amino acids are like chains of letters. If your missing part of the chain the AA is useless...

    So a complete protien will have a chain like ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    while rice might have ABCDEFGHIJKLMN-
    and beans would have -OPQRSTUVWXYZ

    There's essential AAs ("letters") your body needs, the rest you can make yourself out of other "letters"
    But if you eat a bunch of rice and no beans, what happends?

    Does your chicken complete your rice protien?

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    Quote Originally Posted by milkycereal View Post
    Idk about that man, i learned that amino acids are like chains of letters. If your missing part of the chain the AA is useless...

    So a complete protien will have a chain like ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    while rice might have ABCDEFGHIJKLMN-
    and beans would have -OPQRSTUVWXYZ

    There's essential AAs ("letters") your body needs, the rest you can make yourself out of other "letters"
    But if you eat a bunch of rice and no beans, what happends?

    Does your chicken complete your rice protien?
    If you have a food that's said to be an "incomplete protein" it doesn't mean that the amino acids comprising it are "useless" to your body. It just means that it doesn't contain every one of the essential amino acids. Your body can still use the ones that ARE in the food, of course. There are 10 essential amino acids (for most of us.)
    The chain of letters analogy to describe individual amino acids is a bit strange. The primary structure of a PROTEIN is made up of a sequence of amino acids. Amino acids themselves are individual molecules.

    Protein combining- the idea that you have to actually eat them together, at the same time, is rubbish. Unless you're eating nothing but plain white rice every day, eating even the slightest variety of food will ensure that you are not deficient.

  5. #5
    milkycereal's Avatar
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    So all 150 grams of protien should "count"?

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    Milkycereal, I believe they should not. J. Stanton covered this in an excellent article, one takeaway of which is "If your body is short on any essential amino acid, it will still have to disassemble itself to get the one it needs, regardless of how much of all the others are available."

    Plant protein tends to be very deficient in lysine. You could take a lysine supplement, but it's much better I think just to eat animal protein, which already has all the essentials in roughly the optimal ratio.

    The whole article is well worth a read:

    Why Snacking Makes You Weak, Not Just Fat - GNOLLS.ORG

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    Meat doesn't "complete" an incomplete protein. To do that, you need to eat a complementary protein, i.e. one that's higher in the proteins the other one is missing. Otherwise you're just piling up a bunch of extra amino acids that will either be converted to glucose, or filtered by the kidneys and pissed away.

    The limiting factor in protein utilization is always the least abundant amino acid (relative to your body's needs: you don't need as much tryptophan as you do lysine, for instance). Imagine that you're trying to build cars: you might have 400 tires and 100 engines, but if you've only got 20 steering wheels, you can only build 20 cars. And receiving exactly the right parts to build 100 more cars (complete protein) means you've still got 320 extra tires and 80 extra engines.

    In the case of our bodies, we have no parts warehouse. Amino acids can only sit around for perhaps a day or two in the bloodstream...so those extra tires and engines have to be either burned for energy or thrown away.

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    Fury's Avatar
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    There are a variety of methods used to determine protein "quality", and they measure different things

    The bigger picture is not whether the amino acid mixture of the protein/meal is "complete" or well balanced (easily accomplished in a mixed diet), but the actual bioavailability of the proteins to your body. Older methods compare the balance of aminos against egg protein, but says nothing about how well the human body absorbs and utilizes the proteins. All sources of protein "count" for something, but you can't treat 10g of wheat protein as the same as 10g of dairy protein, digestion efficiency of the milk is considerably higher

    Peanuts may be decent from a amino balance standpoint, but the protein is not well digested absorbed/utilized (as mentioned above something like 55%) when compared against animal protein sources. A mix of wheat+beans, while closer to "complete" still has a BV 25-40% lower than proteins in milk, eggs, meats, etc...

    For further info and charts check out BV (Biological Value) and PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score), comparing the two should give you a decent idea of availability and amino balance completeness.
    Last edited by Fury; 10-05-2011 at 03:44 PM.

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