Complete Proteins and Incomplete Proteins

Proteins are combinations of amino acids used for growth and repair of bodily tissues. These combinations are selected from 20 different amino acids, 9 needing to come from the diet (essential) and the other 11 naturally produced in the body (non-essential).

Red meats, poultry, milk, eggs, and fish contain what is called complete proteins. Complete proteins satisfy the body’s protein requirements by including all the essential amino acids in the right portions.

Individual plant-based proteins, excluding soy, contain what is called incomplete proteins. Incomplete proteins lack in the body’s protein requirements by missing one or more essential amino acids.

However, these incomplete proteins can be made up by having numerous incomplete proteins together. So, for individuals who do not incorporate meat and dairy in their diet, a wide selection of plant-based foods can satisfy protein requirements.

Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR): 15-25% of calories.

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