Good Nutrition

Protein

Protein is needed to build, repair and maintain body tissues, organs and cells in all parts of the body. Proteins are complex molecules and are made up of different combinations of smaller units called amino acids. Our body can make some of the amino acids needed to manufacture protein and other necessary substances, but certain amino acids must come from the food we eat each day. These are known as the essential amino acids and are required throughout our life.

If a food provides all the essential amino acids for human needs, it is called a high quality protein food.

Beef and lamb are high quality protein foods with an optimum balance of essential amino acids. A serving of 100g cooked lean beef or lamb provides about 27-30g of protein.

Plant proteins, on the other hand, do not have the correct balance of amino acids for human needs, so are considered low quality protein. Plant proteins can be combined to give the full complement of essential amino acids, eg baked beans on toast.

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