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Old June 17th, 2010, 03:57 PM
kgehling kgehling is offline
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Protein that "doesn't count."

Has anyone (Georgie) any insight into the idea that certain amounts protein "shouldn't" be counted towards your daily macros?

Such as the protein found in oats, veggies, tortillas, etc.

Certain other exercise plans labels these as "indigestible" and therefore not counted as a protein. I've always counted this in the past and was hoping for an explanation when time permits.

Thank you,

Kelly
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Old June 17th, 2010, 04:59 PM
Georgie Fear 1 Georgie Fear 1 is offline
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Indigestible...? No. Your body has a nice assortment of proteases which do a very thorough job of cleaving all peptide bonds, reducing all kinds of proteins into amino acids and short peptides 2 or 3 amino acids long, which are then absorbed.

The topic you may be getting at is protein completeness. You see, in order for your body to use the amino acids to build new protein, it has to have all 8 essential amino acids. (okay, there's a few more EAA's in childhood, but lets not split hairs).

Some proteins are a bit short on one or more of the essentials:
generally these are found in plant sources. (A completeness score can be calculated for any protein, 1-100, and generally a protein scoring below 70 is termed incomplete.) For exceptions: Soy and quinoa are two of the most complete plant proteins, gelatin is one animal protein that's pretty incomplete.

Wheat, rice, corn and other grains tend to be low in lysine, sometimes in threonine and trytophan as well.

Legumes tend to be low in methionine.

Theoretically, if you consumed all of your protein from a single incomplete source, you would get into trouble, because your body couldn't use all the protein. (It's like trying to build a bunch of cars and you have a whole junkyard of parts, but only 1 steering wheel. You can only build one complete car, regardless of how many hundreds of wheels and axels and rooves and door you have.)

To improve the completeness of plant proteins, you can either combine them with a complete protein such as chicken, egg, or milk, or with a complementary protein that is not lacking in the same limiting amino acid. Examples include:

Complementary proteins: Beans and rice, peanut butter on bread, corn and beans (each is a legume + grain.

Using a small amount of complete protein could be : an egg on a corn tortilla, a sprinkling of cheese on a bean dish.

We used to think that these proteins had to be concumed int he same meal, but current thinking is that timing is not such a problem: choosing a varied diet with different sources of protein is enough for even vegans to attain enough complete protein.

So for the omnivores out there: should you "count" plant proteins or not? I don't know. Its an awful lot like counting total carbs or net carbs, it comes down to why are you counting and just being consistent with one if you are trying to monitor yourself.


Hope this helps!
Georgie Fear RD

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Old June 17th, 2010, 08:48 PM
kgehling kgehling is offline
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As always, thanks Georgie. That answered my question perfectly. I had completely omitted the concept of "complete vs. incomplete" protein in my thinking. And your junk yard analogy makes great sense.


Thanks again,

Kelly
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Old June 18th, 2010, 09:51 AM
Georgie Fear 1 Georgie Fear 1 is offline
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Youre very welcome!
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Old August 10th, 2010, 01:47 AM
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Wouldn't Gelatin fall under a "doesn't count" classification?
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Old August 10th, 2010, 06:45 AM
Georgie Fear 1 Georgie Fear 1 is offline
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Gelatin is pretty poor in terms of amino acid profile, for sure. I don't know anyone for whom gelatin is a major source of their protein - but you are right that it wouldn't work out too well!

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Old August 10th, 2010, 04:24 PM
Roland Denzel Roland Denzel is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa View Post
Wouldn't Gelatin fall under a "doesn't count" classification?
Would pork rinds also be in the "not as valuable" category? Like gelatin, it's primarily collagen, which I've heard is not all that great.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 04:30 PM
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It would be my understading that collagen is still of nutritional value whereas gelatin is denatured to the point making it useless.... any corrections on this?
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Old August 10th, 2010, 04:38 PM
Roland Denzel Roland Denzel is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa View Post
It would be my understading that collagen is still of nutritional value whereas gelatin is denatured to the point making it useless.... any corrections on this?
I'm curious, too. Many packages of pork rinds say "not a significant source of protein" next to the P, even when they have 10g or more. I saw a blurb about it once, indicating that collagen wasn't a good source of P. Hopefully, someone has the answer.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgie Fear View Post
Indigestible...? No. Your body has a nice assortment of proteases which do a very thorough job of cleaving all peptide bonds, reducing all kinds of proteins into amino acids and short peptides 2 or 3 amino acids long, which are then absorbed.

The topic you may be getting at is protein completeness. You see, in order for your body to use the amino acids to build new protein, it has to have all 8 essential amino acids. (okay, there's a few more EAA's in childhood, but lets not split hairs).

Some proteins are a bit short on one or more of the essentials:
generally these are found in plant sources. (A completeness score can be calculated for any protein, 1-100, and generally a protein scoring below 70 is termed incomplete.) For exceptions: Soy and quinoa are two of the most complete plant proteins, gelatin is one animal protein that's pretty incomplete.

Wheat, rice, corn and other grains tend to be low in lysine, sometimes in threonine and trytophan as well.

Legumes tend to be low in methionine.

Theoretically, if you consumed all of your protein from a single incomplete source, you would get into trouble, because your body couldn't use all the protein. (It's like trying to build a bunch of cars and you have a whole junkyard of parts, but only 1 steering wheel. You can only build one complete car, regardless of how many hundreds of wheels and axels and rooves and door you have.)

To improve the completeness of plant proteins, you can either combine them with a complete protein such as chicken, egg, or milk, or with a complementary protein that is not lacking in the same limiting amino acid. Examples include:

Complementary proteins: Beans and rice, peanut butter on bread, corn and beans (each is a legume + grain.

Using a small amount of complete protein could be : an egg on a corn tortilla, a sprinkling of cheese on a bean dish.

We used to think that these proteins had to be concumed int he same meal, but current thinking is that timing is not such a problem: choosing a varied diet with different sources of protein is enough for even vegans to attain enough complete protein.

So for the omnivores out there: should you "count" plant proteins or not? I don't know. Its an awful lot like counting total carbs or net carbs, it comes down to why are you counting and just being consistent with one if you are trying to monitor yourself.


Hope this helps!
Georgie Fear RD

www.Askgeorgie.com
Georgie:

This is one of the most easy to understand and complete explanations of this issue I have ever seen. Thanks for posting it!
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