How do they figure that kale and broccoli are 45% protein and spinach is 49% protein? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-28-2012, 08:21 AM
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     Hi! my name is Felicia. I have been vegan for about 3 years now and love it. I am a new member, and this is my first time posting. It will be good to meet some new people.

 

   I have seen various graphs compared with meat proclaiming that they are that amount. These claims seem so unrealistic, unbelievable and misleading. If you go to a nutrition data website the numbers are much lower percentage wise. When I looked up beef the numbers were more closely resemble the ones on the chart.

 

 

Just one example...  http://www.project.nsearch.com/profiles/blogs/10-sources-of-veggie-protein

 

    A 100 gram serving of broccoli yields 3 grams of protein - http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2816/2  and a 100 gram serving of kale with the same http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2461/2 

 

    I am vegan, and am all for supporting and promoting veganism, but at least post accurate information, right? Furthermore I really think that protein that they say we need in our diets is over rated.

 

    Anyway, moving on, although it has been a while since I took a math class, I don't believe I am that rusty. Those calculations do seem to me to be a far cry from 45% protein. I'm just wondering how people ever came up with these numbers? I find this quite misleading. I have an appointment today with my daughter's school about her lunch and her diet, and was going to bring vegan print outs for vegan sources of protein and I'm just glad I caught this before I went in looking like an idiot. Anyone have any comments on this?

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#2 Old 09-28-2012, 05:29 PM
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That chart is wrong.  Check out nutritiondata.com for correct info.

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#3 Old 09-28-2012, 05:36 PM
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Those links don't work for me, so I'm not sure exactly which broccoli or kale you are looking at. The nutrition data on a lot of things will change depending on whether the food is raw or prepared.

 

For instance, if I look at "Broccoli, raw" that is 35 calories in a 100g serving with 3 grams of that coming from protein. To compare, "Broccoli, stalks, raw" is 28 calories in a 100g serving with 3 grams coming from protein, and "Broccoli, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt" is 35 calories  with 2 grams of protein.

 

There are 9 calories in 1 gram of fat, 4 calories in 1 gram of carbs, and 4 calories in 1 gram of protein.

 

So, in a 100g serving of "Broccoli, raw" there are 35 total calories, with 12 of those calories coming from protein (34%). There were 3 grams of protein and you multiply each gram by 4 (the number of calories in a gram of protein). Not very close to the 45%.  But, if you look at "Broccoli, stalks, raw", which is 28 total calories with 12 of those calories (43%) coming from protein.


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#4 Old 09-28-2012, 06:34 PM
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#5 Old 09-28-2012, 09:57 PM
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I see now what they did here. They are comparing apples and oranges so to speak. They took the vegetables and reduced it down to caloric value, (Macronutrients) but for the meat they used the full weight of the item to get the percentage. That is an unfair and inaccurate portrayal of protein content comparasons. Anyway, moving on, how did you come up with 20%? I clicked on your link and changed it to a 100 gram serving and there is only 3 grams of protein from the full weight of the vegetable which would be only 3%?
 

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#6 Old 09-28-2012, 10:03 PM
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lol  Every food has a percentage of Protein and Fat, and also most have also Carbohydrates, although some don't.  This must add up to 100%.

 

It doesn't matter if you go by 91 g. of broccoli, 608 g. of broccoli, or 1/2 c. of broccoli.

 

Look at the pyramid to the right. 

 

Broccoli has 20% calories from protein, 9% from fat, and 71% from carbs.  The grams or cups measurement doesn't change this.  lol

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#7 Old 09-28-2012, 10:23 PM
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My thought it that kale has a lot of protein from aphids and the occasional cabbage worm.  Some say that bugs are the only protein that vegans get.  I'm not sure if they're right or not.


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#8 Old 09-29-2012, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Irizary View Post

My thought it that kale has a lot of protein from aphids and the occasional cabbage worm.  Some say that bugs are the only protein that vegans get.  I'm not sure if they're right or not.

 


No. A protein is simply chains of amino acids held together by peptides. Amino acids are just as important to plants as they are to humans. The body takes those protein chains and breaks them down into their constituent amino acids and then rearranges them to whatever it needs. For plants, those amino acids basically play the same role, except they end up assembling them in a different way - for example, they construct cell walls (where animal cells simply have plasma membranes) and chloroplasts.

 

Seeds are good sources of protein because they store amino acids that are required for germination and the overall kickstart of a new plant.

 

The difference is that not all plants utilize all the amino acids, which is why there's all the buzz about quinoa or hemp being "complete proteins" - they have the complete amino acid profile as is relevant to humans. And why we're always told to eat a variety of vegetables (if you aren't eating quinoa or hemp).

 

As for why some vegetables are higher in protein than others, I imagine the same question can be made of corpse-flesh - some of it is denser in protein than others. I think also when you factor in other macronutrients (ie fat, carbs) the percentages start to fall in comparison - so two plants with the same gram value of protein will have a different percentage if the overall macronutrient profile is different.

 

The major argument, among nutritionists/scientists/hardcore strength athletes, isn't whether plants have protein (amino acids), it's whether or not that protein is more easily absorbed or more efficiently absorbed than dead animal flesh protein.


I always wonder about people who say they "love" animals, but continue to eat meat. If that's your idea of love, I question what sort of twisted world view you must have.

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#9 Old 09-29-2012, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by luxdancer View Post

 

The major argument, among nutritionists/scientists/hardcore strength athletes, isn't whether plants have protein (amino acids), it's whether or not that protein is more easily absorbed or more efficiently absorbed than dead animal flesh protein.

 

Not much of a debate, protein from animal sources is more readily absorbed (usually around 90%) than plant-based proteins.  The only plant-based proteins that come close are cooked grains and legumes, where 70% and 80~90% are absorbed.   Proteins in raw vegetables are pretty poorly absorbed.

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#10 Old 09-30-2012, 06:21 AM
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Oh, I see now, I didn't notice the pyramids! If you break it down to caloric value, percentage wise they seem to be pretty close for protein. But ounce for ounce though beef wins for protein content because of all the water and fiber in broccoli. You would have to eat almost 6 times the amount of broccoli to get the same amount of protein that is in beef. That is a LOT of broccoli! But, yeah, I do think that the amount of protein that they say that we need in our diet is way over rated.

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#11 Old 09-30-2012, 02:58 PM
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Everyone uses different amounts of protein depending on physical activity, genetics, etc.  The recommended daily intake of protein is based on a value that is safe for pretty much everyone, that is its based on the higher end of the range rather than an average.  But since there is no easy way for you to determine your actual protein needs, its the value that should be used by individuals.     Its not hard to met the daily recommended intake of protein on a vegan diet though, you just have to include moderately dense foods that are high in protein (grains, legumes, quinoa, etc).  

 

Also, your body will adjust to lower protein intake so its really difficult for you to know, short-term, whether you're under-consuming protein.  But chronically low protein intake will have undesirable health consequences in the long-term as such sticking with the recommended values is safest.  

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#12 Old 10-02-2012, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Felicia Loprete View Post

Oh, I see now, I didn't notice the pyramids! If you break it down to caloric value, percentage wise they seem to be pretty close for protein. But ounce for ounce though beef wins for protein content because of all the water and fiber in broccoli. You would have to eat almost 6 times the amount of broccoli to get the same amount of protein that is in beef. That is a LOT of broccoli! But, yeah, I do think that the amount of protein that they say that we need in our diet is way over rated.

 

Green vegetables in general are not going to have a large amount of calories (whether it be protein calories or carbohydrates), but they have a lot of water, fiber and micronutrients. 

 

Here's some vegan sources of protein considered at 100 grams (these are just estimates from the same site):

 

Wheat gluten (seitan): 75g protein (81% protein)

Tofu: 16g (38%) 

Tempeh: 19g (33%) 

Soybeans: 17g (33%) 

Lentils: 9g (27%)

Whole Wheat Bread: 13g (21%) 

Peanut Butter: 25g (15%)

Quinoa: 4g (15%) 

Mixed Nuts, Dry Roasted: 17g (10%)

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#13 Old 03-24-2013, 03:20 PM
 
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Check out the super food Spirulina which blows all meat protein out of the water in levels. Spirulina is a blue-green algae containing complete, balanced protein and a wide range of valuable nutrients. Spirulina is approximately 70% easily digestible protein. It contains 18 out of 22 amino acids and all of the essential amino acids, making it a unique vegetarian source of complete protein. Better yet, Spirulina protein is 95% digestible compared to meat sources, which are often difficult for the body to break down. In fact, beef protein is estimated to be only 20% digestible.

If raw meat is 27% protein and soybeans are 34% protein, Spirulina is 65% complete protein, making it the world's highest known source! On top of that, in comparison, proteins from animals form relatively large amounts of uric acid, which can contribute to osteoporosis, gout, arthritis, lack of energy, acid body chemistry, and aging.

 

Spirulina is a wonderful way to consume high quality protein that's easy on the body. It contains enzymes, which naturally assist in the digestion process.

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#14 Old 03-28-2013, 11:50 AM
 
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Logic, The problem with the modern western diet is NOT getting enough protein, it is getting too much protein.  The actual amount of protein needed by the body is substantially small that the amount ingested.  The remaining protein is NOT stored, but instead used as substrate for energy production . . .  calories.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Amino_acid_catabolism.png

 

Whatever amino acids enter this cycle product ammonia (from the "amino" part of amino acids), which is toxic to the body.  Ammonia is converted to urea (because it is not as toxic as ammonia), which is eventually excreted in urine.

 

You make it sound like the goal is to maximize protein consumption.  Not so for a variety of reasons:

 

(1) In terms of health, it is physiologically undesirable to obtain protein from animal sources because of the lack of the broad spectrum of antioxidants that are obtains from plants, the lack of significant fiber, the substantial amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol, and the frequent creation of carcinogenic compounds during cooking (especially grilling).

 

(2) In terms of environmental impact, animal protein production is devastating our resources and environment.  Look up how much protein is produced per acre from animals versus plants.  Then, look up how much fuel and other resources are used to simply transport the food needed to feed the animals.  Then look up the production of waste and runoff from Animal Farm...s...

 

(3) In terms of ethics, it is not justifiable to kill animals unnecessarily.  The only justification provided is that it tastes good, while health, efficiency, environmental and ethical considerations are against it.  Do kindergarteners taste good?  Uhh ohh.  Watch out for Logic.

 

I guess it comes down to how selfish you are and how  your hedonistic desire of taste overwhelms the physiological, environmental, and ethical considerations that are partly described above.  

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#15 Old 03-29-2013, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by George Jimenez View Post

Logic, The problem with the modern western diet is NOT getting enough protein, it is getting too much protein.  The actual amount of protein needed by the body is substantially small that the amount ingested.  The remaining protein is NOT stored, but instead used as substrate for energy production .
I didn't say anything about the "modern western diet", I said something about protein recommendations and the absorption rates of protein in food.

I also didn't say anything about maximizing protein consumption, instead I said one should consume at least the daily recommended value (.8 grams per 1 kilo of lean body mass). Vegans/vegetarian should probably consume more like 1 gram per kilo since plant proteins are absorbed at lower rates.

I am selfish though, I hope that counts for something.
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#16 Old 05-02-2013, 08:08 AM
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In terms of macronutrient density I don't believe there is a beef that is 27% protein or any meat for that matter. All meat in general has a very high protein content, being at least over 50% protein. The remaining percentage would be fat as there are no carbs in meat.According to Self Nutrition Data Spirulina has 47%  protein and sirloin beef has 53% protein. I am not accounting for absorbability but I thought I would just  point that out.

 

Beef - http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beef-products/6197/2

Spirulina - http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2765/2

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#17 Old 05-02-2013, 08:11 AM
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In terms of macronutrient density I don't believe there is a beef that is 27% protein or any meat for that matter. All meat in general has a very high protein content, being at least over 50% protein. The remaining percentage would be fat as there are no carbs in meat.According to Self Nutrition Data Spirulina has 47%  protein and sirloin beef has 53% protein. I am not accounting for absorbability but I thought I would just  point that out.

 

Beef - http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beef-products/6197/2

Spirulina - http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2765/2

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#18 Old 05-21-2013, 10:40 PM
 
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Good on you for being a vegan but you must know that it is VITAL for your system to have an adequate amount of protein. Go to a naturopath to see what sorts of foods you should eat and how to get as much nutrients as you can from each serving. Your body needs protein because they are made of amino acids which make your entire body to function. With a deficiency of amino acids it can lead to physical disfunction as well as mental issues too due to chemical imbalances in your body. As a vegan your best source of a complete protein would be to get tofu as this gives you all of the different amino acids you need. Eat nuts and legumes too but a mix of them as they are all incomplete proteins. 

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