WHAT TYPE OF PROTEIN DOES THE BODY REQUIRE?
There are a number of factors when evaluating the type of protein the human body requires For adults, 8 ‘essential amino acids’ are required:
Amino acids are required by the body in a specific ratio, as presented in chart 5 below. No food provides the exact same ratio but many foods provide a reasonable balance of the essential amino acids. Any food that supplies the 8 essential amino acids is termed a complete protein food. All grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, dairy, meat, poultry and fish supply the 8 essential amino acids. The best protein foods are low in saturated fats and require the least cooking plus they supply a good amino acid balance. Foods that provide their amino acid balance in a ratio similar to that in chart 6, are termed ‘high quality protein foods’. The term ‘Net Protein Utilisation’ (NPU) is used as a measure of protein foods and their supply of amino acids, compared to the ideal proportion as shown in the chart below. By combining foods such as rice and corn or bread and cheese, for example, increased protein value is obtained due to an improved amino acid balance. Proper food combination can improve the digestion of protein foods. Refer to the food combination chart and information guide.
Excess intake of protein foods can lead to weight gain.