Tag Archives: protein foods

Vegan Sources of Lysine Amino Acid

It is well established that vegetarians and vegans are often deficient in the amino acid lysine, which can lead to diminished health. Lysine typically comes from protein foods like meats (beef, pork, turkey, chicken, etc.), eggs, fish, and even dairy. However, since vegans do not eat animals or their products of any kind, the deficiencies are worse than for vegans than pescetarian vegetarians (who eat fish), lacto-vegetarians (who consume dairy), or ovo-vegetarians (who eat eggs).

Making sure you have adequate protein intake is the key to getting enough lysine, but are nuts and legumes (including soybeans) enough to provide lysine to a vegan diet? What if you are allergic to nuts? What if legumes do not agree with your system? What other choices are there, and which sources of vegetables or fruits or other vegan foods are highest in lysine?

Vegan foods high in protein

According to a Vegan registered dietitian (RD) a man was thinking about eating eggs again to ensure he had enough protein (including lysine) and fat in his diet, and admitting that he may have been nutrient-deficient, it was suggested that he could get equivalent amounts of protein and fat from vegan sources. For instance, a large egg has about 5 g of fat and 6 g of protein, but so does eating a 1/2 C of beans (topped with 2 Tbsp avocado) OR 1 C quinoa (topped with 1 Tbsp chopped nuts), along with 1/4 C tempeh.

This same vegan RD suggest that vegans can get enough protein (and therefore lysine) by eating a minimum of 3 servings/day of legumes. Servings means 1/2 C of beans or soyfood, or 1 C soymilk; this amount is generous.

There’s no need to be obsessive about lysine, as long as you get enough protein. Your daily regimen should include legumes and soyfoods to ensure your lysine intake.

Protein requirements for adequate lysine intake

Protein requirements and lysine requirements are figured differently. You pounds when doing the figuring below…

Protein requirements:

Multiply your (ideal) weight by 0.45

Lysine requirements:

Multiply your (ideal) weight by 2.5

Lead body mass is what protein needs are based on, so using your ideal weight (rather than actual weight) help calculate the proper requirements. For example, a person who should weight about 140 lbs should need approximately 3010 mg of lysine and 63 g of protein.

1/2 C cooked legumes/beans = 485-625 mg lysine / 7-8 g protein

1/2 C soybeans = 575 mg lysine / 14 g protein

1/2 C firm tofu = 582 mg lysine / 10-20 g protein

1 oz veggie meats = (varies) mg lysine / 6-18 g protein
1 C soymilk = 439 mg lysine / 5-10 g protein
1/4 C peanuts = 310 mg lysine / 8 g protein
1/4 C other nuts* = 80-280 mg lysine / 2-6 g protein
1/2 C grains** = 55-85 mg lysine / 2-3 g protein
1/2 vegetables = 60-165 mg lysine / 0.5-2.5 g protein
* Note that 1/4 C pistachios have 365 mg lysine and 6.5 g protein
** Note that quinoa is higher compared to other grains, with 220 mg lysine and 4 g protein
As you can see, it is not all that hard to find lysine in protein foods as long as you maintain an adequate amount of servings and protein grams each day.

References:

http://www.theveganrd.com/2011/01/vegan-food-guide-protein-and-new-book.html

Amino Acids and Proteins – Dr Weil’s Diet Advice

Dr Weil’s diet advice has been becoming extremely popular. His book shows what you can eat, how the diet works, and what to avoid. It’s a simplified book on basic human nutrition, and tells how we get energy from the food we eat. 

Dr Weil’s diet book advice covers things like fiber and protein and amino acids (like leucine, phenylalanine, or carnitine) are discussed, as well as ethnic intolerances to certain foods. For instance, this famous MD recommends that we have at least 40 grams of fiber each day. This is easily achieved if you eat vegetables (beans in particular), fruits (especially berries), and whole grains.

Dr Weil says to avoid dairy products

Dr Weil’s diet advice also suggest that we avoid milk altogether, and only eat limited amounts of cheese or other dairy products. Many people are lactose intolerant, particularly if you are of African-American or Asian decent, since people of these ethnic background tend to have problems digesting dairy products (lactose intolerance is usually inherited).

Still others may yet be allergic to milk protein, even mildly, and may not even know it. Only a particular group of European decent have the adaptation to be able to tolerate dairy products. Even then, there are plenty of other—better—sources for protein, calcium, and amino acids in the diet.

Take calcium, as an example… Dr Weil’s diet includes wonderful non-dairy sources of calcium by eating things like sardines, leafy greens, various sea vegetables (dulse, nori, and kombu), broccoli, plus tofu, calcium-fortified orange juice, fortified soy milk, and sesame seeds are wonderful sources of this mineral.

Dr Weil’s diet advice doesn’t mention it, but ounce for ounce, raw unhulled sesame seeds contain more calcium than any other food on earth! Try liquefying them with water in a blender for a few minutes, add real maple syrup to taste, and then strain it through a fine-meshed 1-gal sized plastic paint strainer (yes, you read that right!), and wala! You have super-calcium sesame milk!

Dr Weil’s diet on amino acids and more

Proteins build and repair and even maintain the body, plus they can be converted to glucose, which the body needs for energy. This is where amino acids come in. Altogether there are 22 amino acids available to the human body, some of which the body makes, but others must be gotten from food.

If you eat too much protein it makes it harder on the digestive system and puts strain on the kidneys and liver. If you eat too little protein you risk malnutrition, infection susceptibility, and maybe even an early death, says Dr Weil’s diet information.

Other Dr Weil’s diet advice includes limiting carbohydrates (sources of glucose) to low-glycemic index varieties, such as sweet potatoes (rather than white potatoes), other vegetables, plus unrefined grains. Fats and oils should also be limited. The last note is that when implementing Dr Weil’s diet be sure to get an adequate amount of exercise.

Reference:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/dr-andrew-weil-what-it-is?page=2