do you need animal-based protein?

Protein combining. Complementary foods. Whatever you want to call it.

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for example, corn lacks lysine but has plenty methionine whereas the opposite is true for beans, so succotash gives you a complete spectrum of essential amino acids. Or rice & soy. The former more common in the Americas, the latter in Asia. It pops up in many cultures around the world.

in practice, however, not very relevant

and it probably doesn’t even apply to anyone with an internet connection. I’ve yet to come upon Disease X which prevents one from eating all but a single food item. There are some inherited metabolic disorders which require you to restrict 1 or more amino acids, for example, but that’s like taking a diet from 100 to 95, not 100 to 5 as would be with “Disease X”

further, if you eat enough rice (and nothing else), you can get enough essential amino acids to fulfill your protein requirements. You will be hugely nutrient-deficient, but at least you’ll have those aminos

What about an egg white? It has a great [probably perfect] ratio of amino acids, but you’d still be deficient unless you ate a lot of them — not too unlike the example with rice 🙂

fewer carbs & calories to get the same amount of high biological value (BV) protein with the egg white than rice, sure, but that’s a topic for another day

Enter: vProtein



In the beginning it was “IAA” — YES or NO? does a food have enough indispensable amino acids YES or NO. Binary.

Then there was the PDCAAS — protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score — which combined IAA with BV and rated foods on a scale of 0-1. Better, but still overall uninformative.

What I like more than both, and what is far more interesting/educational, is vProtein. Someone did all the hard work for you…

Maximize high BV protein, minimize amino acid excesses* & deficiencies.

AND GIVE SPECIFIC FOOD COMBINATION EXAMPLES <- 100x more valuable than getting a YES or NO based on IAA or a PDCAAS of 0-1

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