The Different Sources of Protein

The Different Sources of Protein

By Maria England, NDTR, ABS Team Member

Protein is one of the three macronutrients we consume on a daily basis. The recommended amount that we need on a daily basis is 10-35% of our total daily diet, which is a significant amount. Those who are athletic and perform exercises that are muscle building, require more protein in their diet, so they would be closer to the 35% protein margin. However, you still have to eat enough carbohydrates and fats, to be used for energy, so that the protein you eat can be used for muscle building. It is also very important to eat well-balanced meals and snacks that include protein. 

The building blocks of protein are amino acids and there are actually two kinds: nonessential and essential amino acids. Nonessential are amino acids that are body can actually build; where as essential amino acids are ones we have to consume. These essential amino acids are found in a variety of foods that contain protein. So what are some of the best sources of protein for essential amino acids? 

There are two types of protein sources, which are animal and plant based protein. Plant based protein does contain essential amino acids, but they do not have all 9 essential amino acids that we need in each plant based protein source. However, animal protein does contain all 9 essential amino acids. To create a complete protein source from plant based proteins, you typically have to combine plant-based foods to create a better protein source. This makes animal protein a better source for protein, since you do not have to combine the different animal protein sources in one meal. Animal based protein also has more protein per measure or weight of food as well, which means you can eat less of a certain animal product and get more protein then the vegetable based source. 

If you are looking to incorporate vegetable protein foods though into your diet, combining them is key to help create complete protein sources. One of the best examples is grains and legumes together. In the past it was actually recommended that you had to eat these pairings at the same meal, but now we have learned that as long as you eat a variety of vegetable protein sources throughout the day you will get all the amino acids you need. 

Often times you will hear people discuss if whey protein or soy protein is better. Soy is a great source of protein and the highest source of protein for plant based foods. However it is not a complete protein, which makes whey protein a better source of protein. Since whey is a milk-based product, it is an animal product, which means it is a complete protein.

 ABS Protein Pancakes uses whey protein as a source of protein and every serving of pancakes has at the minimum 25g of protein. This makes it an excellent source of protein and will give you a good jump-start to your protein goals for the day!

It is best to get protein from both sources to create a well rounded diet. Some of the best vegetable protein sources are legumes, grains, nuts, and soy. Where as with animal based protein it is best to focus on lean cuts of meats and egg whites.


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