Complete protein, HCLF Q - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-25-2016, 02:24 AM
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Complete protein, HCLF Q

I am a new vegan, 4 weeks in. Is protein something I need to be worrying about. I have been logging my foods into My Fitness Pal and I have around 50-60g protein a day but do I need to be making sure I have complete proteins daily?

I get my protein from chia, flax, beans, rice.... I don't like nuts on their own but I will eat them in a Nakd bar or granola.

Do any of you eat high carb, low fat? Another thing I have noticed since tracking is my carbs are around 220 a day and my fats can be 60-70g too which I think is making me gain weight around my middle even though both are coming from healthy sources. I don't really want to gain weight as I am a healthy 115lbs (5ft tall) 36 year old female.
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#2 Old 04-25-2016, 02:38 AM
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I eat high carb...sometimes low fat sometimes lots of fat sometimes over 100g of protein a day. I honestly don't pay much attention to macros. Also I do not understand what a complete protein means. Nobody has ever been able to say when I ask them and no website has a definition that makes any sense. Anyways that's just me kinda going off topic :P

As to a better response to protein.....maybe you would need to pay attention? I am not sure. You can check though if you go to www.cronometer.com. Make a free account and you can enter what you eat into it and it will break it down for you. The thing you need to worry about with protein is getting all of the amino acids listed there. Make sure to enter your weight/height as that will change the amount it recommends you get. If you're meeting those needs it's almost certain you're going to get enough total protein as well, though it has a recommended amount for that as well that it totals up for you.

As to fats making you fat....they certainly can. They are very calorie dense. It's more of a total calorie thing though, I am not saying fat makes you fat.

There are other things I'd like to share with you, but since you're new it's probably best to just get everything you're currently looking at to be easy first.
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#3 Old 04-25-2016, 04:18 AM
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Hey there!

The thing to remember about proteins and their "completeness" is that you can override this by simply eating more protein; with each food containing a different Amino Acid profile, eating enough of any of these protein sources will eventually bring you up to consuming an optimal Amino Acid intake on a daily basis.

Alternatively you could continue eating at your current protein intake but ensure variation in your protein sources, soy is a great place to start with it being one of the most complete protein sources you will find!

I hope this helps!

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#4 Old 04-25-2016, 07:17 AM
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Thank you

From what i understand complete proteins are those containing the important amino acids that you get from animal products.

Feel free to share any advice :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by odizzido View Post
I eat high carb...sometimes low fat sometimes lots of fat sometimes over 100g of protein a day. I honestly don't pay much attention to macros. Also I do not understand what a complete protein means. Nobody has ever been able to say when I ask them and no website has a definition that makes any sense. Anyways that's just me kinda going off topic :P

As to a better response to protein.....maybe you would need to pay attention? I am not sure. You can check though if you go to www.cronometer.com. Make a free account and you can enter what you eat into it and it will break it down for you. The thing you need to worry about with protein is getting all of the amino acids listed there. Make sure to enter your weight/height as that will change the amount it recommends you get. If you're meeting those needs it's almost certain you're going to get enough total protein as well, though it has a recommended amount for that as well that it totals up for you.

As to fats making you fat....they certainly can. They are very calorie dense. It's more of a total calorie thing though, I am not saying fat makes you fat.

There are other things I'd like to share with you, but since you're new it's probably best to just get everything you're currently looking at to be easy first.
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#5 Old 04-25-2016, 07:19 AM
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Thank you.

I avoid soy because I have a thyroid problem and have been told it's best not to eat it, unfortunately as i like tofu.

Great advice!

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Originally Posted by 10LitresFitness View Post
Hey there!

The thing to remember about proteins and their "completeness" is that you can override this by simply eating more protein; with each food containing a different Amino Acid profile, eating enough of any of these protein sources will eventually bring you up to consuming an optimal Amino Acid intake on a daily basis.

Alternatively you could continue eating at your current protein intake but ensure variation in your protein sources, soy is a great place to start with it being one of the most complete protein sources you will find!

I hope this helps!

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#6 Old 04-25-2016, 07:54 AM
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Yeah, complete protein simply means all the essential amino acids. You can combine foods to create a complete protein, doesn't have to be in the same meal, as long as it's in the same day. For instance, beans and rice make a complete protein, but you could have the beans in a separate meal to the rice. You might find this article helpful (it says vegetarian, but a lot of the items on the list are vegan) : http://greatist.com/health/complete-vegetarian-proteins
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Last edited by Ember Ruby; 04-25-2016 at 07:57 AM. Reason: Typo
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#7 Old 04-25-2016, 02:53 PM
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Here is the thing though. Both beans and rice have all of the essential amino acids. Actually almost everything does.

If you look at 100g of kidney beans. You have 22.5g of protein, 40% of your(my) RDI. Beans are lowest in methionine(which may be good actually) but you still get 46% of your RDI. So you're going to meet your essential amino acids BEFORE you meet your total protein needs which sounds very complete to me. You can eat nothing but beans for protein and still cover everything perfectly.

Now let's look at rice. Rice again has all of the essential amino acids. Lysine is the one that is has the least of, but if you eat enough rice to meet your protein needs you're going to get 91% of your RDI.....eat just a little more rice and you meet all of your recommended amino acid intakes. Again you can "complete" your protein with just rice.


Let's look at something less obvious....like broccoli. If you eat 2kg of broccoli in a day you would meet your protein requirements. You would meet all of your amino acids minus leucine of which you would be at 89% of your RDI. Eat just a little more broccoli and you've "completed" your protein again. Of course, that's like 2.2kg of broccoli.


I very much do recommend you make an account on www.cronometer.com and just type in a few foods to see protein breakdowns. You could also use nutritiondata.self.com for which you do not need to register, but it's also a fair amount more work because you need to do the calculations yourself.

I think if you look into it you will find you have no idea what a complete protein is.




okay so the other things I think you should know...
Make sure to get at least 1g of omega 3s for every four grams of omega 6 you take in(flax, chia, other things)
Make sure you're getting your B12(supplements/fortified foods)
DHA might be something you need, but I have no idea. I take some once in a while to feel safe.

They're not something you need to worry about right away though.

edit-----
Sorry I didn't type four.....at least 1g of omega 3s for every four of omega 6s

Last edited by odizzido; 04-25-2016 at 08:12 PM.
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#8 Old 04-25-2016, 04:15 PM
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Hi Jue35:

You imply you're on a HCLF version of a vegan diet. Are you familiar with Dr. John McDougall (see https://www.drmcdougall.com/ ), whom I view as chief proponent of this kind of vegan diet? I have watched dozens of Dr. McDougall's videos on YouTube and elsewhere, and he always says the following when asked about getting enough protein on a HCLF vegan diet: As long as you are getting enough calories, you'll be fine when it comes to getting enough protein.
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#9 Old 04-25-2016, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jue35 View Post
Thank you.

I avoid soy because I have a thyroid problem and have been told it's best not to eat it, unfortunately as i like tofu.

Great advice!
I have had hypothyroidism for 28 years and take Synthroid, but I still consume soy from time to time. Not everyday but maybe a few times per week. As long as I am not eating it morning noon and night I have not had a problem with it. I personally think the superior nutrition it affords (amino acids, iron, calcium for example) is too important to cut out entirely unless one has an allergy to it. For a long time I did not consume tofu due to having bad reactions to it (cramping diarrhea right after consumption) but I ate fermented tempeh, miso, and sprouted Ezekiel bread a few times per week. I actually had my Synthroid dose lowered for a while and was taking less than as an omnivore for several years as a vegan and functioning better in that regard. Though later I discovered it was probably because I was a bit underweight for a while (dose seems to be somewhat dependent on weight). Once I gained back up to a healthy weight I actually needed my dose increased to the next one up as my TSH was again out of range. I can tolerate tofu now but still only eat it a few times each month.

I don't religiously keep track of my macronutrients. I used to. On occasion I look at them. I generally seem to fall into 70% carbs, 15% protein, and 15% fat on average. Some time ago I tried 10% fat or less and 80% carbs but I felt weak and had less stamina with so little fat. Too much fat though seems to make me more lethargic and have upset stomach. I think it is a very personal thing for each body. You just have to find what works for you. I am active, but do not consider myself an athlete. I workout 1.5 hours five or six days per week (free weights, calisthenics, contemporary dance, cardio, cycling to work and gym, etc) and some weeks also do long distance snowshoeing, canoeing, hiking, or mountain biking (off road trails), but not every week. I have not had any trouble with muscle tone and getting stronger as long as I eat enough, manage stress and get enough sleep. My protein intake averages about 45-55 grams per day (my weight in kilos is 51 kg). I tend to eat a variety of grains, beans, seitan, tofu, tempeh, green vegetables, sweet potatoes, seeds, nuts each day to get my protein. If my protein intake falls under 40 grams (which it did often when I restricted intake heavily) I strain muscles more easily.

I think if you are eating a variety of plant foods you will naturally meet all your protein needs. If you stress out about every detail of your diet you will drive yourself crazy and not accomplish anything. And diet is only one component of health. Hormones (cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, insulin, etc) all play a role in regulating metabolism, body fat, energy etc. The body is a complicated machine. There is not a miracle food or percentage of any macronutrient that is going to fix everything.

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#10 Old 04-25-2016, 07:35 PM
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As others have recommended, definitely try using http://www.cronometer to track your nutrition. Cronometer tracks each type of essential amino acid. I think you'll find that you're getting enough of each amino acid.

_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#11 Old 04-26-2016, 06:37 AM
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You should be eating 0.5-1 gram of protein for every pound of lean body mass

You can master this area of your diet with a few vital principles:

You should be eating 0.5-1 gram of protein for every pound of lean body mass you have.

Here are some solid foods full of protein:

Peanut butter and peanuts
Almond butter and almonds
Cashew butter and cashews
Sunflower seed butter and sunflower seeds
Macadamia nuts
Lentils
Soy yogurt
Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP)
Spinach
Kale
Parsley
Cacao
Chia seeds
Hemp seeds
Walnuts
Oats
Black beans
Quinoa
Geen peas


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#12 Old 04-26-2016, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devonfoodie View Post
You can master this area of your diet with a few vital principles:

You should be eating 0.5-1 gram of protein for every pound of lean body mass you have.

Here are some solid foods full of protein:

Peanut butter and peanuts
Almond butter and almonds
Cashew butter and cashews
Sunflower seed butter and sunflower seeds
Macadamia nuts
Lentils
Soy yogurt
Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP)
Spinach
Kale
Parsley
Cacao
Chia seeds
Hemp seeds
Walnuts
Oats
Black beans
Quinoa
Geen peas


Consuming 1 gram of protein per lb. of body weight is appropriate for hardcore strength-training, but you don't need that much protein to maintain your health and energy.


Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States, recommends that a vegan diet include 0.36 gram of protein per lb. of body weight (see page 10 of their Plant Based Diet Guide: https://share.kaiserpermanente.org/w...et-booklet.pdf ). The World Health Organization makes a very similar recommendation.


Jue, for a person of your size, this would be (0.36 gram / lb.) x 115 lbs. = 41 grams of protein. Your intake of 50-60 grams of protein is more than adequate.

_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 04-26-2016 at 05:26 PM.
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#13 Old 04-27-2016, 10:17 AM
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You totally don't need to worry about complete proteins. This article explains: http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/protein.html
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#14 Old 04-27-2016, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by terra biped View Post
You totally don't need to worry about complete proteins. This article explains: http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/protein.html

Unfortunately, the Michael Bluejay article misquotes the protein recommendations of the World Health Organization. Michael says that humans only need 2.5% to 11% of calories from protein. Not true!


The World Health Organization states that a safe intake of protein is 0.83 gram per kilogram of body weight (or 0.38 gram per pound of body weight, almost the same as Kaiser Permanente's recommendation). See page 126 of the World Health Organization's report: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/1...RS_935_eng.pdf . For a 165-pound man eating the recommended 2300 calories per day, 0.38 gram of protein per pound of body weight equals 63 grams of protein, or 11% of calories from protein. It is not safe to eat a lower percentage of protein.

_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#15 Old 04-27-2016, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David3 View Post
Unfortunately, the Michael Bluejay article misquotes the protein recommendations of the World Health Organization. Michael says that humans only need 2.5% to 11% of calories from protein. Not true!


The World Health Organization states that a safe intake of protein is 0.83 gram per kilogram of body weight (or 0.38 gram per pound of body weight, almost the same as Kaiser Permanente's recommendation). See page 126 of the World Health Organization's report: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/1...RS_935_eng.pdf . For a 165-pound man eating the recommended 2300 calories per day, 0.38 gram of protein per pound of body weight equals 63 grams of protein, or 11% of calories from protein. It is not safe to eat a lower percentage of protein.
Nice catch. I really don't know how someone would get down to 2.5% eating typical vegan meals at normal calorie levels, so it seems like a weird hypothetical.

Circling back to the OP, my own experience with cronometer.com has been that it is easy for me to get over 11% of my calories from protein, including all the essential amino acids, just eating eating typical plant based foods like whole grains, veggies, and legumes, without worrying about food combining or making an effort to seek out uniquely high protein plant foods.
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