Third Session Study Guide 3

Third Session Study Guide

Lesson Three

(Amino Acids Part 2)


If we look at plant foods and the protein in them (as a % of calories) there is an abundance of protein. Here as some examples of protein in plant foods as % of calories:

Brown rice    9 Oatmeal       15 Whole wheat flour   16
Black beans   27 Corn            11 Kidney beans           27
Peas             28 Potatoes       8 Sweet potato            7
Asparagus    42 Broccoli        42 Carrots                   10
Lettuce         40


All the plant proteins have all the essential amino acids.


Animal foods:

Beef             53 Chicken        46
Pork             29 Salmon         43


Dairy products:

Whole milk          21 Skim milk          39 Human milk  5*
Cheddar cheese    25 Cottage cheese   68 Egg              32

Notice the amount of protein in human milk. It is interesting that at the time in our life that we grow the quickest (from birth to three to six months) we only need 5% protein in our food. Everyone agrees that Mother’s milk is the very best food for babies. Can we safely say that the food that is provided especially for us is correct?


With the recommended amount of protein in mind, let’s consider the amount of protein is some typical diets. We don’t lose much protein in a day because that is not our body’s first choice for fuel. (This is based on a 2000 calorie adult diet.)

Daily protein loss 3 grams less than 1%
Minimal requirements 20-30g 4%- 5%
Breast fed infant 3-12 g *5%-6.5%
Asian diet 40-70g 8%-14%
Western diet 75-160g 15%-32%
Zone diet 150g 30%
South Beach Diet 100-250g 20%-50%
Atkins Diet 150-350g 30%-70%


Excess protein has to be metabolized and gotten rid of by the liver and kidneys so those organs are overworked. Excess protein can actually result in some loss of kidney function over a lifetime.


Lesson Three Questions:

1. Is there abundant protein in all plant foods?

2. How much protein is in human milk?

3. How does the protein in human milk compare to the WHO recommendations?

4. Which diets are closest to these recommendations?

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