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Kitchen‎ > ‎Modified KM Manual‎ > ‎Know Your Foods‎ > ‎

Protein Facts

{tab=Dietary Sources of Protein}

Food

Serving

Weight in grams

Protein grams

% Daily Value

Hamburger, extra lean

6 ounces

170

48.6

97

Chicken, roasted

6 ounces

170

42.5

85

Fish

6 ounces

170

41.2

82

Tuna, water packed

6 ounces

170

40.1

80

Beefsteak, broiled

6 ounces

170

38.6

77

Cottage cheese

1 cup

225

28.1

56

Cheese pizza

2 slices

128

15.4

31

Yogurt, low fat

8 ounces

227

11.9

24

Tofu

1/2 cup

126

10.1

20

Lentils, cooked

1/2 cup

99

9

18

Skim milk

1 cup

245

8.4

17

Split peas, cooked

1/2 cup

98

8.1

16

Whole milk

1 cup

244

8

16

Lentil soup

1 cup

242

7.8

16

Kidney beans, cooked

1/2 cup

87

7.6

15

Cheddar cheese

1 ounce

28

7.1

14

Macaroni, cooked

1 cup

140

6.8

14

Soymilk

1 cup

245

6.7

13

Egg

1 large

50

6.3

13

Whole wheat bread

2 slices

56

5.4

11

White bread

2 slices

60

4.9

10

Rice, cooked

1 cup

158

4.3

9

Broccoli, cooked

5 inch piece

140

4.2

8

Baked potato

2x5 inches

156

3

6

Corn, cooked

1 ear

77

2.6

5


{tab=Essential Amino Acids and Complimentary Protein Sources}
An essential amino acid or indispensible amino acid, is an amino acid that cannot be synthesized de novo by the organism (usually referring to humans), and therefore must be supplied in the diet. Nutritional essentiality is characteristic of the species, not the nutrient. Nine amino acids are generally regarded as essential for humans. They are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. In addition, the amino acids arginine, cysteine, glycine and tyrosine are considered conditionally essential, meaning they are not normally required in the diet, but must be supplied exogenously to specific populations that do not synthesize it in adequate amounts. An example would be with the disease Phenylketonuria (PKU). Patients living with PKU must keep their intake of phenylalanine extremely low to prevent mental retardation and other metabolic complications. However, phenylalanine is the precursor for tyrosine synthesis. Without phenylalanine, tyrosine cannot be made and so tyrosine becomes essential in the diet of PKU patients.

Foodstuffs that lack essential amino acids are poor sources of protein equivalents, as the body tends to deaminate the amino acids obtained, converting proteins into fats and carbohydrates. Therefore, a balance of essential amino acids is necessary for a high degree of net protein utilization, which is the mass ratio of amino acids converted to proteins to amino acids supplied.

All essential amino acids may be obtained from plant sources, and even strict vegetarian diets can provide all dietary requirements, though careful monitoring of nutrient levels is important, as limiting factors become significant when no meat is present in the diet.

The net protein utilization is profoundly affected by the limiting amino acid content (the essential amino acid found in the smallest quantity in the foodstuff), and somewhat affected by salvage of essential amino acids in the body. It is therefore a good idea to mix foodstuffs that have different weaknesses in their essential amino acid distributions.  The limiting amino acid for wheat, rice, and corn products, for example, is lysine.  Thus, no matter what combination in what quantity, eating wheat, rice, and corn products alone will result in protein deficiency.  Use the following list as complimentary proteins and your vegetarian/vegan house members will never have to worry about missing out on their essential amino acids.

Legumes (choose one):

  • Kidney Beans
  • White Beans
  • Lima Beans
  • Lentils
  • Chick Peas
  • Green Peas
  • Black-eyed Peas
  • Peanuts

Grains and seeds (choose one):

  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Bulgur
  • Couscous
  • Corn
  • Almonds
  • Sesame Seeds
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