I have a question about complete proteins

Forest Nymph

Forum Legend
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Reaction score
2,198
Age
39
Location
Northern California
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Yes they do. A lot of vegans dodge this question because the protein stuff is so exaggerated and annoying...but at the end of the day we need a complete amino acid profile which yes is possible by having peanut butter on bread or with noodles for lunch, then putting corn and peas in your salad at night.

There are literally zero cases I know of Western vegans having protein deficiency. It happens in people who have literally nothing but rice to eat and in anorexics. In vegans in first world nations it's more about feeling full which you will combining tofu with rice or beans with potatoes or peanut butter with bread.
 

Lou

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Reaction score
11,809
Age
66
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
The concepts of "incomplete proteins" and "combining foods" are either myths or misunderstandings.

I decided to use CronOmeters nutrient tracking abilities to prove that peas are complete proteins and that combining them with corn doesn't do any good.

About halfway thru my "experiment", I realized that CronOmeter tracks 11 amino acids. But there are only 9 essential amino acids. The two extra amino acids are cysteine and tyrosine, which are considered "conditionally essential". A little further reading and I discovered that in most cases - the "conditionally essential" are NOT essential. Which means that our bodies can synthesize them anyway.

(I'm not sure why CronOmeter tracks them. As far as I can tell - they are not "essential" unless you are sick or a baby, and can't produce them yourself. Maybe they are important for pregnant mothers. but this goes beyond my understanding of the whole thing - maybe someone else can fill me in.)

if you don't consider the conditionally essential amino acids, it only takes 7 cups of peas, Less than 900 calories to more than meet my protein requirements. If I ate only 7 cups of peas I would be calorie deficient but not protein deficient.

To take this one step further, I put 15 cups of peas in my meal plan. I hit 1800 calories and over 100% of every amino acid (even the two conditional ones), and 120 grams of total protein. This is not a really good idea to do in real life for various reasons. But it just goes to show, that vegetables are Complete Proteins. If you get enough calories - you get all the amino acids. (by the way, you can do this with lettuce even).

There is no reason as far as protein goes to combine anything with peas, and corn wouldn't be a better choice than anything else. It would take 14 cups of corn for me to meet my protein requirement. and that would be almost twice the number of calories of peas. As far as protein goes - it would be more "calorie efficient" to eat just peas than peas and corn. (Dr. Fuhrman would say that peas are more nutrient dense than corn)

Peas and corn do make a tasty vegetable combo. And are really nice toppings on a salad. Sunflower seeds and almond slivers are also good toppings. And while you are at it, add some beans. A good healthy salad can meet almost half your protein requirements before meeting half your caloric requirements.

One of the best articles on the myth of complete proteins and food combining is here.
It's a little long but probably the best article on the subject I've seen.
https://michaelbluejay.com/veg/protein.html

For more on amino acids
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_amino_acid
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jeanine and Sax

Jamie in Chile

Forum Legend
Joined
Jan 3, 2016
Reaction score
1,533
Age
42
Lifestyle
  1. Vegetarian
To be clear what's now widely regarded as a myth is that you must combine the amino acids at the same meal. This was proposed some years ago, but has been generally debunked or at least no longer believed for quite some time.

You do need a balanced diet but the peas don't have to be with the corn. You could just as well have corn at lunch and peas at dinner or the next day.

But it's probably still a good idea to get a balanced diet and eat a variety of different things.

It's generally considered by vegan nutrionists that I have read their stuff that:

- it's a good idea to get some legumes (beans, peas, lentils, soy)
- it's a good idea to get some specific sources of lysine (if you eat legumes you are probably covered)
- it's a good idea to get a generally balanced diet with a variety of different grains, vegetables, etc
- it's a good idea to make sure you eat enough calories

If you do the above things, you should be fine. You should not be over stressing it.

It may even be healthy to eat a low or no legume vegan diet, who knows? But since this is not generally recommended and there isn't the strong evidence to say one way or the other, probably don't risk it.