There’s no such thing as a ‘bad protein’ 

author_img Deepika Rathod Published :  09th July 2021 06:00 AM   |   Published :   |  09th July 2021 06:00 AM
Proteins heavy food

Proteins heavy food

Off late, we have started following too many fads in order to reduce weight, gain muscles, boost immunity, stay healthy and fit and for many other reasons as well. Last week, a client reached out to me asking how she could avoid bad quality proteins from her meal. I was totally lost with this new term. This made me think that there might be many people out there researching on the internet about healthy food and might have come across these ‘bad proteins.’

So, let’s get this straight. There are no ‘bad quality proteins.’ All protein-rich food is beneficial to our body in one form or the other. They help build muscle mass, heal the body and repair tissues. A single protein molecule is composed of a chain of amino acid molecules and there are 20 different amino acids needed to make complete protein. Some amino acids can be made in the body but others cannot be and need to be supplied through food or supplements in the meal. Accordingly, there are three types of amino acids: essential amino acids (cannot be synthesised in the body and need to be supplied through a diet), conditionally essential amino acids (synthesised in the body, but in conditions like stress and illness are needed as a must and that’s where supplementation or adding them through food becomes important) and finally, non-essential amino acids (that can be synthesised in the body if nitrogen {from protein} is available in the diet). From a nutritional point of view, proteins are classified into three categories:

Complete proteins or first-class quality protein — You can also call them good quality protein. They have all the 10 essential amino acids present and promote good growth.

Sources: Whey protein; organic free-range whole eggs; A2 milk, curd and paneer; organic lean chicken, fish or meats.

Partially incomplete proteins or second-class quality protein — These partially incomplete proteins lack one or more amino acids and promote moderate growth. Basically, the idea is to balance out the protein from cereals with pulses. Cereals lack in amino acid lysine and pulses lack in amino acid methionine. When we combine both — we get a complete profile of essential amino acids — meaning the bioavailability of the protein increases. It’s very important to fulfill our protein requirement for the day. And all three major meals should have balanced protein in order to heal and recover.

Sources: Lentils, sprouts, whole pulses like chholé/channa/rajma, nuts and whole grains.

Incomplete proteins — They completely lack one or more amino acids and do not promote growth at all. Protein or should I say, a complete protein is an essential macronutrient required by our body to regulate optimum growth­, maintenance, recovery, healing and repair. So, incorporate a balance of proteins in your meals in order to lead a healthy life.

Source: Gelatin and zein (corn).