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· Ex-*****
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm interested in learning more about combining protein. More specifically, I'd like to know which foods contain which amino acids and also the amounts of each amino acid in the foods.

On a related note, I've heard that while nuts do contain a lot of protein, their amino acid profiles are such that it doesn't match well with any other food, i.e. there's no way to combine nuts with another food in order to get a significant level of complete protein.
 

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I wonder if this has been investigated much since Frances Moore Lappe published "Diet For A Small Planet"? I think I mentioned someplace that she has revised her original assumptions somewhat, but mixing proteins from different sources does help your body use them with less waste.

One main problem with nuts as a protein source is that many of them contain a lot of calories for the protein you get. This is apparently not so for peanuts (actually a legume, as you probably know) or some other kinds. Lappe didn't include amino acid profiles for some of these higher-calorie kinds such as hazelnuts, almonds, chestnuts, macadamia, english walnut, and pecan(?). Peanut does have a strange profile which wouldn't be easy to match; I don't remember what pistachio, cashew, pignolia, and black walnut had.
 

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Don't try to be too perfect!!! You can never "know" how much protein your body needs. You can make approximations, but there isn't any real reason to do so. You don't have to combine your proteins. But you also don't have to avoid doing so, because most of the times we already combine.
 

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Yeah, what Lothar said... you don't have to combine your proteins. (Though it doesn't hurt if you want to, just no need to go to any extreme or worry about it)

If you're eating a balanced diet, you'll be combining proteins automatically because almost all foods have *some* amino acids.

Though it's probably not what the OP is concerned with, I'll add that an actual diagnosed "protein deficiency" (in someone who's otherwise eating enough calories) is virtually unheard of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys, those were some good links!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lothar M Kirsch View Post

Don't try to be too perfect!!! You can never "know" how much protein your body needs. You can make approximations, but there isn't any real reason to do so.
No, I'm not on some perfectionist crusade or anything of the sort. I never bother to calculate the calorie content of what I eat, I very rarely bother to find out my weight, and I certainly won't be meticulously calculating the amino acid contents of what I eat. All I want to find out is which foods make good combinations w.r.t. protein.

Quote:
You don't have to combine your proteins. But you also don't have to avoid doing so, because most of the times we already combine.
I know you don't have to combine amino acids in one and the same meal. Are you saying there's no need to worry about it whatsoever? That I can safely skip the legumes because there will be enough complete protein in the rice or pasta or bread or whatever?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofu-N-Sprouts View Post

If you're eating a balanced diet, you'll be combining proteins automatically because almost all foods have *some* amino acids.
Well, so what is a balanced diet? Is it a diet which has all the essential amino acids in sufficient amounts?


Quote:
Though it's probably not what the OP is concerned with, I'll add that an actual diagnosed "protein deficiency" (in someone who's otherwise eating enough calories) is virtually unheard of.
That is interesting. Hm. But even if you're not deficient, could more protein still be beneficial for some people?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indian Summer View Post

...

I know you don't have to combine amino acids in one and the same meal. Are you saying there's no need to worry about it whatsoever? That I can safely skip the legumes because there will be enough complete protein in the rice or pasta or bread or whatever?
In a diet of great (?) variety and adequate amount of calories it's impossible to produce a state of protein deficiency. I wouldn'd skip legumes, because they contain more than a specific pattern of amino acids.

The less variety your food selection has, the more problems you encounter. E.g.: cassava contains only small amounts of protein and even if you eat to your fill it cannot cover your protein needs. On the other hand, if you eat only spinach, your protein needs are met, because most of the calories in spinach come from protein.

Great variety or balanced diet aren't easy to define, but in the core it means to diversify in order to get all nutrients and then you don't have to worry about the contents of one amino acid for instance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm bumping this thread just to say that I found this very enlightening article on protein combining on Wikipedia. Especially the table at the end of the article is interesting: It shows that amino acid requirements can be met by brown rice! So actually it looks like legumes aren't all that important in covering amino acid requirements. (Not that there's anything wrong with them either, of course!)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_combining

So yeah, I suppose that means Lothar is right! (Which is not so unusual, I suppose
)
 
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