4

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So we have good and bad fats and carbs, but what about protein?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 25, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Good fats (n-3, SFA) and bad fats (excessive n-6), good carbs ('taters) and bad carbs (HFCS), but what about good protein and bad protein?

Are there any proteins or amino acids that we would do well to minimize or maximize? What about ones that are potential allergens that someone might not realize they have a problem with?

Edit: Good points on the specific food proteins. What about amino acids? I know Peat has a thing against tryptophan and another one. Are there any similar feelings for/against certain ones?

276a5e631b62f8e0793987c0496364bb

(1644)

on May 27, 2012
at 03:59 PM

Who said I was afraid of food?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 27, 2012
at 03:39 PM

YOu should stop being so afraid of food. Everything is relative.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 26, 2012
at 06:36 PM

Not just incomplete, which can be ameliorated by careful combining, but accompanied by anti-nutrients.

0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on May 25, 2012
at 08:19 PM

It is a joke when VEGs claim beans or whatever have all the esstential AAs, maybe true on paper but in such trace amounts it really doesn't count for much.

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on May 25, 2012
at 04:57 PM

And all the other gluten-like proteins found grains that are ostensibly gluten-free.

217233ef0af8dd0b0d6cdcab4f4b57a1

(70)

on May 25, 2012
at 03:35 PM

Proteins from animal sources are the "good" proteins. Proteins that come from plants will always be incomplete. I know for a fact that the proteins obtained from soy does not contain as many of the aliphatic amino acids. These are essential amino acids and so I would say that would be as much "bad" as there is.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 25, 2012
at 02:19 PM

Good point on the cysteine. Sulfur containing AAs (cysteine, methionine, taurine) are *so* important for detox.

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7 Answers

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8
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 25, 2012
at 02:09 PM

I wouldn't say there are good or bad proteins or amino acids.

Just some basic info though:

  1. Proteins from animal sources are "complete." That is, they contain all the essential amino acids. Proteins from vegetable sources (or grains) are "incomplete." They either do not contain all the essential amino acids, or are so low in some of them as to be considered incomplete. You can get all your essential amino acids from vegetable sources alone, but you do have to be careful about eating a wide variety to make sure you're getting 'em all. (Hence the rice and beans combo in some Central American countries, or even succotash in the South - beans and corn.

  2. Some amino acids convert more readily into glucose than others. Alanine, for example, is considered the "most gluconeogenic amino acid." Bear in mind this is not a bad thing, even if you're trying to lean out or control your blood sugar. I see no reason to worry about limiting alanine intake. (That would be pretty damn difficult to do anyway.) I'm a huge low-carb fan, but even I understand we'd be in big trouble physiologically if gluconeogenesis ever failed us.

  3. A few amino acids have specific roles that can be helpful specifically for certain physical and/or psychological issues. Glutamine is excellent for helping repair the gut (or any cells with a rapid turnover, actually, but it's especially recognized as being good for gut healing). Phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan are precursors to certain hormones and neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, thyroid hormone, epinephrine, etc), and some people have experienced great benefits from supplementation with them for specific conditions like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, mood issues, etc. This isn't to say you should look for foods that are high in these...some of them compete with each other for entry into cells. Depending on someone's needs, some would be more important than others, and it's important to know the intake directions (on an empty stomach vs with food, by itself or in combination with other amino acids or vitamins, etc.)

Overall, I think the simplest advice is the best where protein is concerned: make sure you're getting enough total protein, preferably from animal sources, and if you have a specific condition you'd like to improve, look into supplementation with individual AAs. (And if you're looking to add muscle mass, eat MORE protein!)

14
4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on May 25, 2012
at 01:47 PM

Gluten is a pretty bad protein.

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on May 25, 2012
at 04:57 PM

And all the other gluten-like proteins found grains that are ostensibly gluten-free.

3
26e2364f7966432bbf8acfe930583674

(460)

on May 25, 2012
at 03:25 PM

Nutritionists used to refer to animal proteins as "first class" and plant proteins as "second class" based upon digestibility and completeness of the essential amino acid profile. Then vegans got offended. That's about as far as I care to worry about good or bad proteins, particularly given the bonus stuff that first and second class proteins are naturally packaged with.

0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on May 25, 2012
at 08:19 PM

It is a joke when VEGs claim beans or whatever have all the esstential AAs, maybe true on paper but in such trace amounts it really doesn't count for much.

3
4de2c59d682664a54cfcd4f0979e1115

on May 25, 2012
at 02:04 PM

Glutamine is a good AA -- it's the preferred food of the cells which line the GI tract, and is the most abundant amino acid in muscle tissue. Together with cysteine it's the building block of glutathione, a super critical antioxidant. Glutamine also acts a neurotransmitter (via glutamate) and can be very calming for ADD types.

If you are prone to cold sores (Herpes), lysine is your friend, and arginine should be avoided.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 25, 2012
at 02:19 PM

Good point on the cysteine. Sulfur containing AAs (cysteine, methionine, taurine) are *so* important for detox.

3
92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

on May 25, 2012
at 01:39 PM

Proteins in milk, eggs, grains, nuts and legumes are common allergens. I think the best sources of protein are unprocessed meats.

1
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on May 25, 2012
at 10:11 PM

Soy protein is probably pretty bad. According to Greg Plitt though, "there's no such thing as a bad protein" lol

0
8ce0d41f151bd1229aa952feb3200a16

on May 26, 2012
at 01:08 AM

Best is animals that eat grass like beef, bison, and lamb or wild caught fatty fish. Next best would be animals that eat some grains like pastured pork or chicken. Last would be factory farmed meat or fish. Check out the Bulletproof Exec One Page Bulletproof Diet.

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