Proteins are critical for nearly every life function, from energy provision to the creation of structural and functional cell components as well as building lean body tissue.
There are two types of protein - complete and incomplete. Let's take a closer look at each type.
Complete protein - This contains all the essential amino acids in adequate amounts that are a part of a well balanced diet.
Generally, complete proteins come from animal and fish products. A complete protein must not lack in any one of the essential amino acids in order to be considered complete.
Sources of complete proteins include meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs, cheese and yogurt.
Incomplete Protein - This is a protein that lacks one or more of the essential amino acids in the correct amounts. Most incomplete proteins come from plant sources.
If a protein contains all the essential amino acids but in incorrect amounts, the protein is considered incomplete.
Examples of incomplete proteins are beans, nuts, most vegetables, grains and legumes.
Proteins can be combined to form complete proteins. Examples include grains with dairy; nuts with legumes; and legumes with seeds.
Get creative in planning your next meal. Using complimentary proteins will ensure that you are getting all the essential amino acids as well as creating some very tasty dishes for you and your family.
For more information on nutrition and the "Nutrition Ammunition" program, call the Williamsport YMCA at 323-7134.
English is a certified person trainer and nutrition coach at the Williamsport YMCA. He may be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.