Protein, the body's building block
Protein builds the body
Protein is made up of smaller parts called amino acids. There are 23 amino acids and most are made in the body. However, there are eight 'essential' amino acids that must come from the food we eat.
You get protein from animal foods like meats, fish, eggs, milk, yoghurt and cheese, and plant foods like legumes (including soy beans, lentils), grains, nuts and seeds.
Vegetarians seldom have a problem getting enough protein in their diets, but protein from plant foods may lack some essential amino acids so combining several plant foods together is the best way to get the complete amino acid set. Popular combinations include:
- cereals and dairy, like oats with milk or pasta with cheese
- legumes and vegetables, like tofu with stirfried veggies
- cereals and vegetables, like spinach pie
- seeds and legumes or cereals, like muesli
Getting a full serve of protein
A food can claim to be a source of protein when it contains 5g protein per serve, and a 40g serve of oats provides 5g of protein from the oats alone. When the oats are made with ½ a cup of skim milk the serving has 10g protein, and it's considered a good source of protein.
Uncle Tobys cereals and snacks that provide 5g of protein per serve include: