08 Jan Nutty Questions
“You mean an apple and peanut butter isn’t a balanced snack?” “Aren’t almonds a protein?” I get a lot of “nutty” questions from clients. 🙂
No, seriously, all questions are good! I’d like to devote this post to explaining the difference between complete and incomplete proteins. I’ll also cover why it’s important to focus on complete protein for optimal results in stabilizing your blood sugar and a faster metabolism, and give you a few examples.
First, it’s important to understand the vital role of protein in your diet. Protein’s main function is to supply your body with building blocks (known as amino acids) for the maintenance and repair of tissue and other biological processes.
Protein is divided into two different groups: Complete and Incomplete. Complete proteins are derived from sources such as beef, dairy, eggs, chicken, fish, lamb, soy and turkey and are termed “complete” because they contain all of the essential amino acids that your body needs. You will note that with the exception of “soy”, the remainder of these protein sources are from animals. This group of amino acids are “essential” to take in via diet or supplementation because your body can not produce them on its own.
Incomplete proteins are those found in non-animal sources such as nuts, seeds, rice, pasta, potatoes, yams and most beans and are termed “non-essential.” Why? Because these are simply protein-containing foods that do not contain all or enough of the “essential” amino acids.
It’s a FACT: Complete proteins are superior in amino acid content compared to incomplete proteins. This is important because the role of amino acids (protein) in your body is to build and maintain tissue (lean muscle mass) and promote the release of fatty acids (body fat). This leads to a faster metabolism. Complete proteins will stabilize your blood sugar best and will yield you optimal results.
Here are some examples of balanced snacks:
- Apple (carb), peanut butter (fat), nonfat Greek Yogurt (protein) sweetened with Truvia
- Almonds (fat), turkey (protein), and a piece of fruit (carb)
- Fruit (carb), string cheese (protein and fat)
I recently coached a Type 2 Diabetic who was closely watching his diet and blood sugar levels. We made the simple modification of adding more complete protein to his diet. Within a few weeks, he lost weight, body fat and his blood sugar numbers improved dramatically. Remember, complete protein leads to more stable blood sugar, which means more energy, a faster metabolism, and we become fat burning machines. So bring on the complete protein!