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I've just started working out again after a six month break, and i've been looking into whether my vegan diet gives me all of the necessary nutrients, vitamins, etc. that i need. i take a centrum multi-vitamin every day, so i'm not worried about that area much. however, i really have no idea if i'm getting all of the essential amino acids that i need in my diet. i eat a lot of soy products and i started putting Bragg's liquid aminos on some of my stuff. but, are there some amino acids that you can only get from an animal diet and how does a veg*n make this up in his diet?
 

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I'm copying this directly off the back of my soy milk carton..<br><br><br><br>
"Nature's only complete plant protein, Soybeans contain all the amino acids essential to human nutrition, making whole soybased foods like Full Circle Foods Soymilk the perfect protein substitute for people who want to avoid the saturated fat in animal-based foods like meat chicken, and milk. Whole soybased foods alos contain phytonutrients (including isoflavones) which may have significant health benefits... blah blah blah..."
 

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Omega fatty acids are completely different than amino acids. Amino acids are proteins, while omega fatty acids are, well...fatty acids. Omega fatty acids come from nuts and seeds, and some plants.<br><br><br><br>
I've heard a lot of debate about soy being a complete protein. I have also heard that hemp seeds are second only to soy as a protein source. Some amino acids are manufactured by the body, or from other amino acids that have been ingested.<br><br><br><br>
Here are some vegan sources of amino acids:<br><br><br><br>
Arginine: carob, cocoa, coconut, oats, peanuts, soybeans, walnuts, and wheat<br><br><br><br>
Glutamine: raw spinach & raw parsley<br><br><br><br>
Histidine: rice, wheat, and rye<br><br><br><br>
Isoleucine: almonds, cashews, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lentils, rye, most seeds, & soy protein<br><br><br><br>
Leucine: brown rice, beans, nuts, soy flour, & whole wheat<br><br><br><br>
Lysine: lima beans, potatoes, soy products, & yeast<br><br><br><br>
Methionine: beans, garlic, lentils, onions, soybeans, & seeds<br><br><br><br>
Proline: eggplant, (other stuff I don't remember <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("> )<br><br><br><br>
Serine: soy, wheat gluten, & peanuts<br><br><br><br>
Threonine: grains (although very low content)<br><br><br><br>
Tryptophan: brown rice, peanuts, & soy protein<br><br><br><br>
Tyrosine: almonds, avocados, bananas, lima beans, pumpkin seeds, & sesame seeds<br><br><br><br>
Valine: grains, mushrooms, peanuts & soy protein<br><br><br><br>
Most of this information is from a book. Some people are still a little "scared" of the idea of hemp seeds being used for food, so I don't know which amino acids hemp seeds have.<br><br>
The amino acids not listed above are formed in your body. One thing to note: Carnitine is usually deficient in vegetarians because they don't have a sufficient amount of methionine and lysine, two of the key constituents from which the body makes carnitine. Supposedly, vegetarian sources of methionine and lysine are very low in potency.<br><br>
Basically, the best source of amino acids I know of is nutritional yeast. KAL is my favorite brand because it's also high in B vitamins including B12....and sufficient amounts of B vitamins are needed for the synthesis of some amino acids.
 

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looks like soy, grains, and rice are pretty much all good sources. i think with things like this the key is to eat a lot of variety. i've read that before in Peta's vegetarian beginners guide, that to get all the necessary proteins we just have to make sure we eat a lot of different things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for all of the info. i never have really thought of deficiencies in my diet, but my gf who's a vegan has recently been complaining about her skin, so it just got me thinking if i really am as healthy as i could be. but, since i eat a lot of soy and quite a variety of other foods, i'm probably doing fine with the amino acids at least.
 

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While soy may have all the "dietarily essential amino acids" (deaa) there is no known reason why you should have to get all your deaa's from one source. Generally, by eating any 2 different kinds of sources of protein, you get all your deaa's, by getting some from one and some from the other, plus there is an overlap. For example a legume and a leafy green. The amino acids in the leafy green may make up for the deaa's that are in short supply in the legume.<br><br><br><br>
However I question the assertion that soy is the only vegetable ingredient that has all of the deaa's. I think many legumes and nuts do.
 

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I guess if you eat soybeans then you get all your amino acids. But if you dont then make sure you eat a variety of foods with protein like vegetables and grain products so you can get all of them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by soilman</i><br><br><b>.<br><br><br><br>
However I question the assertion that soy is the only vegetable ingredient that has all of the deaa's. I think many legumes and nuts do.</b></div>
</div>
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The way I heard it was that many legumes and nuts do contain all your amino acids, but soy is the only one that contains them in the precise percentages that your body requires. Different combinations/percentages of amino acids will make up different protien chains, and the protien chains needed to live will differ from species to species. By co-incidence, soy contains the exact protien chain that is needed by the human body.<br><br><br><br>
This doen't at all mean that soy is necessary - if you eat a wide variety of other foods you will ingest all your amino acids and your body will automatically pick and choose the ones it needs to make up the protein chains required by the human body. The excess amino acids are simply excreted. (As opposed to excess complete protien which causes more of a problem for the body.)
 

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luckiecharms writes:<br><br>
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I guess if you eat soybeans then you get all your amino acids. But if you dont then make sure you eat a variety of foods with protein like vegetables and grain products so you can get all of them.<br><br>
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Yup. Or other legumes and leafy greens -- along with wheat, potatoes, cornmeal products, rye, or oats -- rice is a lot lower in protein than the other grains.<br><br><br><br>
kiz writes<br><br>
=========================<br><br>
but soy is the only one that contains them in the precise percentages that your body requires.<br><br>
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Soybean amino acid ratios are a closer approximation of the deaa ratios we need, than the amino acid ratios of other legumes, but I don't think soy contains the "precise" ratios we need. One generally gets more than 2x the actual protein one needs -- so amino acids that are far from ideally proportioned, are quite sufficiently proportioned.<br><br><br><br>
kiz continues<br><br>
======================<br><br>
The excess amino acids are simply excreted.<br><br>
======================<br><br><br><br>
The amino acids that we don't use as building materials -- are converted to carbohydrates and fats, which we "burn" for energy, or store (as glycogen or body fat) to burn later.<br><br><br><br>
One portion of each amino acid, containing a nitrogen atom, is compounded into urea, and excreted in our urine, but the remaining portion of each amino acid is made into carbohydrates. This splitting of the amino acid, into urea and carbohydrates, requires energy, and excretory function, which is why direct consumptin of carbohydrates is a more efficient, and less toxic, source of carbohydrates, and energy, than protein. Which is why it is best, to be on the safe side, to get more protein than you need, but not a too much more, and to get as much carbohydrates and fats as you need -- so that you don't have to break up proteins to get energy -- if you want to feel well and have energy.
 

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We construct proteins out of the 8 or so amino acids that are dietarily essential, but we also construct proteins out of the other 12 or so amino acids that are <b>not</b> dietarily essential. Duaa's can be made from other duaa's -- or from deaa's that we have in excess, because we ingested these deaa's in a ratio that exceeded the ratio we need. In other words, if we have too little of one deaa and too much of another, if their ratio is not the ratio we need them in, the ones that we have an excess of, can be converted to amino acids that are dietarily un-essential, as well as converted to carbohydrates and used for energy. So this idea that we need deaa's in ratios that match those in our own human proteins, or in some specific ratio -- doesn't seem to be true. It seems to be a figment of the imagination of the vegaphobic.
 

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Correct me if I'm wrong - but I thought that quinoa was also a source of "complete" protein, besides soy.<br><br>
As far as any information about veg*n nutrition goes - I highly recommend the book "Becoming Vegan," even the non-veg*ns out there find it very informative.
 

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Thank you for the correction, Soilman. Like I said "the way I'd heard it was....." I'll state now for the record I'm no nutrition expert. The other one I'd heard was that soy was treated by the body exactly like chicken, and its protien was identical to chicken, but I've got so many doubts about that statement that I didn't even bother to bring it up.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by orangutan</i><br><br><b>are there some amino acids that you can only get from an animal diet and how does a veg*n make this up in his diet?</b></div>
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I would say that Vegans get everything they need in their diet.<br><br>
As long as it is a good balance diet.<br><br>
(Do you think meat-eaters have a balanced diet?)<br><br><br><br>
The only real issue for me is Vitamin B12.<br><br>
A Vegan should take a daily supplement for this, or use "fortified food"
 

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By the way I do believe the legend on the soymilk container, that soy is "natures only complete plant protein" is simply not true.
 

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1vegan- As for Vitamin B12....nutritional yeast is an excellent source. You can make some GREAT vegan cheeses using this stuff. My husband and I have made melty nacho cheese with it before and it was simply amazing. Now, as far as heating it........ I'd imagine that it would lose some of it's nutritional value. But it's so high in B12, and your body only needs such a tiny amount, that I'm sure there should still be enough there.
 

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Herself, nutritional yeast is not itself a food item that naturally contains vitamin b12 in any substantial quantity. You might say the vitamin b12 is "nutritional" yeast is in there, because they put a vitamin b12 tablet in there. So nutritional yeast is not really a "source" of vitamin b12, any more than milk is really a source of vitamin D. It is just commonly "fortified" with b12 -- they add the same b12 that b12 tab makers use.<br><br><br><br>
It is hard to tell what kind of culture medium yeast is grown on. It could be dairy. Usually it is plant-origin though.
 

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Actually, the nutritional yeast I use has not been fortified with B12 exactly. I guess you can say that it was in a way. What they've done is .....they grew the yeast on molasses. (nothing has been added) Are you looking for a natural source of B12? As far as I know, the only vegan way of getting B12 from nature is if you grow your own veggies and don't wash them off completely. Is this true? or do you know of something different? I personally don't think there's anything wrong with nutritional yeast...especially when it makes such wonderful cheese alternatives.
 
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