Protein myth blasted

| Post published on July 29, 2019
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Stop asking unnecessary questions, says the journal Nutrients

“Where do you get your protein?” It’s an unnecessary question to ask vegans, according to this new study. They say protein-rich pulses, nuts and seeds provide plenty of protein and that the claim that some plant foods are lacking certain amino acids is wrong.

All plant foods contain the full range of 20 amino acids, including the nine essential ones. Importantly, rather than claiming there are missing amino acids, an accurate statement would be that the amino acid profile may be more varied in some plant foods than others, but this is not a problem if you eat a varied diet that provides enough energy.

The concern of any amino acid deficiency has been substantially overstated, they maintain, and that the term ‘complete protein’ is misleading. They recommend that further study on protein in vegetarian and vegan diets shifts away from unnecessary questions about protein adequacy.

Mariotti F and Gardner CD. 2019. Dietary Protein and Amino Acids in Vegetarian Diets-A Review. Nutrients. 11 (11).

About the author
Dr. Justine Butler
I joined Viva! as a health campaigner in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. My scientific training helped me research and write numerous reports, guides and fact sheets for Viva! including Meat the Truth, Fish-Free for Life, One in Nine (breast cancer and diet) and the substantial report on the detrimental health effects of consuming dairy; White Lies. This accompanied Viva!’s report The Dark Side of Dairy which spelt out the inherent cruelty of dairy farming. We were the first UK group to take on the dairy industry in this way, and many of our supporters go vegan after reading these reports.

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