What Are Complete Proteins

The goal of protein nutrition is fairly simpleā€”to provide our body with food protein that closely resembles our own protein and in adequate amounts. Furthermore, since the nonessential amino acids can be made in our body, it is desirable for food protein to provide the essential amino acids, in proportion to human protein. Food sources with levels of essential amino acid content similar to our essential amino acid requirements are considered more "complete" and sometimes referred to as higher biological value. Those that don't measure up to the standard are considered incomplete.

Complete Protein Sources: Animal based protein sources from such as beef, pork, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products are among the more complete protein sources. In addition, soy, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, and spirulina are complete or nearly complete plant based protein sources.

Incomplete Protein Sources: Plant-based foods such as wheat, corn, fruits, and vegetables are considered incomplete or lower biological value as the levels of essential amino acid within their protein does not match our essential amino acid needs as closely.

Complete proteins contain all essential amino acids in proportion with human protein.

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