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"complete" protein?

when white beans are combined with a complex carbohydrate like pasta, do they make a complete protein? i was always under the impression that they did.....but last night, my friend informed me that beans must be paired with rice in order to become a complete protein. i didn't really have a good scientific explanation to support (or discount) my claim.

i figured there must be some nutritionists/vegetarians/people more knowledgeable than me who can settle this for us...and explain how complete proteins are made out of legumes?


Thu. Mar 2, 2:55pm

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This is from the NIH website:

"The human body requires approximately 20 amino acids for the synthesis of its proteins. The body can make only 13 of the amino acids -- these are known as the nonessential amino acids. They are called non-essential because the body can make them and does not need to get them from the diet. There are 9 essential amino acids that are obtained only from food, and not made in the body.

"If the protein in a food supplies enough of the essential amino acids, it is called a complete protein. If the protein of a food does not supply all the essential amino acids, it is called an incomplete protein.All meat and other animal products are sources of complete proteins. These include beef, lamb, pork, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, and milk products. Protein in foods (such as grains, fruits, and vegetables) are either low, incomplete protein or lack one of the essential amino acids. These food sources are considered incomplete proteins.
Plant proteins can be combined to include all of the essential amino acids and form a complete protein. Examples of combined, complete plant proteins are rice and beans, milk and wheat cereal, and corn and beans."

Thursday, March 02, 2006, 2:59 PM

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Soy is also a comlete protein.

Complete protein isn't superior to incomplete protein. Protein from plants can supply all your protein needs, while lowering the amount of cholesterol and fat you consume. Just eat any grains and any legumes sometime during the same day.

Thursday, March 02, 2006, 4:30 PM

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