T Nation

Non-Animal Protein Sources?


#1

I'm shooting for 300 grams of protein a day. After doing some calculations, I can easily get about 255 grams of protein coming from animal sources (Meat, Eggs, Dairy Products, 1 protein shake) and was wondering if it's a huge deal if the other 45 come from non-animal sources.

I'm talking things like beans/lentils, nuts, veggies, etc.

I know that non-animal sources aren't complete proteins, but I figure that having a mixture of plant-based proteins will get me the 45 grams that I'm looking for.


#2

What are you asking?

There are people who get 100% of their protein from non-animal sources.

I think you answered your own question: yeah, they're incomplete proteins. It's debatable weather or not you can really "mix" incomplete proteins to get complete proteins. I think most would agree that it's not as easy for your body to absorb.

I don't know of any veggies that have protein. What are you thinking of? Protein, as far as I know only comes from seeds... i.e. grains, lentils... and uh, seed seeds.

The paleo folks would tell you to avoid those things, since they're inedible raw, our bodies really aren't designed to utilize their brand of protein.


#3

You cant add up all the incomplete sources and expect that to be whole. it doesn't work like that..

Sure, mixing complimentary proteins is a valid way to consume the amino's you need but you not only need to add the correct foods, you need to calculate the actual complete protein available.

For example, 2 complimentary incomplete protein sources with 10g of protein each will not make 20g of whole protein.

They may make 7g of whole protein and the rest incomplete.


#4

Check out quinoa, it's a grain that works as unusually complete protein source.


#5

Almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, pine nuts.

All of the above have reasonably high levels of protein, and can be eaten raw if desired.

Frances Moore Lappe wrote the definitive book on living on vegetable protein sources in the 1970s, Diet for a Small Planet. She claimed that you should combine seeds and nuts, grains and legumes, etc. in the same meal in order to obtain "complete proteins."

Later research showed that this isn't as important as she claimed.

In my opinion, as long as you're eating lots of meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds, and dark green vegetables, and moderate amounts of fruit (I recommend tropical fruits such as pineapple, mango, bananas, avocados and coconut, as well as dark-skinned berries), you will not only get adequate amounts of protein, you will be covered as far as all other aspects of nutrition as well.