#04 Biochemistry Protein Primary/Secondary Structure Lecture for Kevin Ahern’s BB 450/550

January 30, 2014

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Question by princessgirlll: Is the protein in tofu a “whole” protein?
I’ve read somewhere that the proteins in some of the vegetarian sources aren’t “full” proteins and need to be combined correctly in order for it to be fully beneficial to your body. I’m curious about the protein in tofu – does it need to be combined with anything? What about vegetable protein as found it TVP and/or veggie burgers and veggie dogs?

I’ve lost a lot of muscle tone lately and friends think that although I still go to the gym, that I’m not getting enough protein to fully restore my muscles. Could this be true? I actually like tofu (I know it’s weird), but wondering if that’s enough or if it needs to be combined.

I don’t like beans and lentils etc due to the high amount of carbs. I’m looking for low-carb vegetarian (mostly vegan)sources of whole protein.
What about in soy protein nuggets as found in zone-perfect bars?

Best answer:

Answer by JC
Eating a serving of tofu should give you plenty of protein. This business about “whole” proteins is usually used to refer to beans and rice. Beans by themselves have protein, and so does rice, but they aren’t considered a “whole” protein unless you eat both in the same day.

To be honest, the average American eats MUCH more protein than is needed. You can get all the protein you need from a vegetarian or even vegan diet. (If you ever feel like you want a boost of protein, eat a few nuts or a spoon of peanut butter.)

HOWEVER, what you need to do is make sure that you are getting plenty of Vitamin B12. It is very hard for your body to absorb then unless you get it from eating meat or dairy. Consider taking some B12 supplements or, even better, getting a B12 injection.

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