You’ve probably heard about complete and incomplete proteins. A complete protein is one that has all nine essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
Here are foods that qualify as complete proteins:
- dairy – milk, yogurt, cheese
- soy protein
It’s important to consume adequate protein throughout the day. Protein is not only needed for muscle growth. Protein is needed for:
- cell growth, repair & maintenance
- forming hormones & enzymes
- maintaining adequate fluid & electrolyte balance in the body
- maintaining proper pH in the body
- forming antibodies to fight off harmful antigens
It’s important to get some sort of protein in at each meal and snack, not only for all the functions protein has in your body, but protein is the most satiating nutrient of all!
Here’s a photo of some of my favorite complete protein sources I consume during the day:
I do eat beef, poultry & fish, but usually they are a part of my dinner.
I consume milk or yogurt with my breakfast daily. I consume eggs during the weekend for breakfast, or sometimes lunch during the week (egg salad). I eat low fat cheese and cottage cheese for snacks.
Up Next: It is possible to consume incomplete proteins and get all your essential amino acids. Monday I will talk about “complementary proteins”.