Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Raw Foodists and Protein Revisited

According to NutritionData.com, here are the essential amino acids the human body needs from foods to create a complete protein.


Essential Amino Acid
mg/g of Protein
Tryptophan 7
Threonine 27
Isoleucine 55
Leucine 25
Lysine 51
Methionine+Cystine 25
Phenylalanine+Tyrosine 47
Valine 32
Histidine 18

NutritionData has this cool feature where you can look at the amino acid content of individual foods, so I thought I would revisit the protein controversy. The website acknowledges that their assessment of protein quality is affected by the body's ability to digest it and how the food is prepared (quote: "protein digestibility depends on the type of protein (animal proteins are more digestible than plant proteins), as well as the method in which the food was prepared")*

What I like about the analysis page is that regardless of whether the protein is actually digestible, I can see what amino acids exist in the food in the first place. If someone says I can get all the protein I need from raw vegetables but I don't see that all the amino acids even exist in the vegetable in the first place, I can't help but be a little doubtful about that, you know?

NutritionData takes the lowest amino acid in any food you look up and lists complementary foods that are higher in that amino acid (to make up for what you are missing) and/or lower in the amino acids that are sufficient. I looked up mushrooms and found that the ones I chose were low in methionine+cystine. A link led me to a list of 999 foods that they say complement the mushrooms by providing methionine+cystine. Luckily, the list is broken down into food groups, such as "nuts and seeds" and "vegetables & vegetable products", etc. It was way too long a list for me to wade through, but I did see that Brazil nuts have the amino acids missing from the mushrooms.

To read what NutritionData has to say about proteins, click the link below.

* http://www.nutritiondata.com/images/protein-quality.jpg

1 comments:

violetindigo99@yahoo.com said...

okay, i was at work earlier and i just wanted to ask if we could chat or something. we are in the same boat right now, i, too started in jan. have you done a fast? cleanse? i can be reached at violetindigo99@yahoo.com. i would really like to chat with you. what are you doing for exercise? what is working? not working? anyway. hope to hear from you soon. excellent blog.

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