The Difference Between Complete and Incomplete Proteins
What is the difference between complete and incomplete proteins?
Both are good sources of protein for muscle growth, maintenance, and recovery, as long as enough is consumed.
A complete protein contains all nine amino acids and an incomplete protein does not contain all nine.
Animal-based foods (complete protein) contain all nine amino acids and plant-based foods (incomplete protein) usually lack one or more of the amino acids. This simply means that more plant-based foods are usually needed to achieve the same amount of protein as animal-based foods would, but both types are viable options.
Protein powder contains roughly 18-25 grams per scoop and comes in plant-based and casein/whey variations, catering to many dietary preferences. Protein powder is excellent for supplementing protein and being on the go. Most protein powders mix well with water or milk, and can easily be blended into smoothies. The nutrition benefits of protein powder vary from brand to brand, but most contain added amino acids and various vitamins to enhance recovery.
How to measure protein without using a scale? You can use the palm of your hand as a guide for protein servings (a portion the size of your palm will provide approximately 20-30 grams of protein).
- Hamburger patty, 4 oz – 28 grams protein
- Steak, 6 oz – 42 grams
- Most cuts of beef – 7 grams of protein per ounce
- Chicken breast, 3.5 oz - 30 grams protein
- Chicken thigh – 10 grams (for average size)
- Drumstick – 11 grams
- Wing – 6 grams
- Chicken meat, cooked, 4 oz – 35 grams
- Most fish fillets or steaks, 3-1/2 ounces – 22 grams of protein
- Tuna, 6-oz can – 40 grams of protein
- Pork chop, average – 22 grams protein
- Pork loin or tenderloin, 4 oz – 29 grams
- Ham, 3 oz serving – 19 grams
- Ground pork, 1 oz raw – 5 grams; 3 oz cooked – 22 grams
- Bacon, 1 slice – 3 grams
- Canadian-style bacon (back bacon), slice – 5 to 6 grams
Eggs and dairy
- Egg, large – 6 grams protein
- Milk, 1 cup – 8 grams
- Cottage cheese, 1/2 cup – 15 grams
- Yogurt, 1 cup – usually 8 to 12 grams, check label
- Soft cheeses (Mozzarella, Brie, Camembert) – 6 grams per oz
- Medium cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss) – 7 or 8 grams per oz
- Hard cheeses (Parmesan) – 10 grams per oz
Beans (including soy)
- Tofu, 1/2 cup – 20 grams protein
- Tofu, 1 oz – 2.3 grams
- Soy milk, 1 cup – 6 to 10 grams
- Most beans (black, pinto, lentils, etc.) – about 7 to 10 grams protein per half cup
- Soy beans, 1/2 cup cooked – 14 grams protein
- Split peas, 1/2 cup cooked – 8 grams
Nuts and Seeds
- Peanut butter, 2 tablespoons – 8 grams protein
- Almonds, 1/4 cup – 8 grams
- Peanuts, 1/4 cup – 9 grams
- Cashews, 1/4 cup – 5 grams
- Pecans, 1/4 cup – 2.5 grams
- Sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup – 6 grams
- Pumpkinseeds, 1/4 cup – 19 grams
- Flaxseeds, 1/4 cup – 8 grams
If you're busy and on-the-go and trying to ensure that you're meeting your protein needs, supplements are a great addition to a balanced diet.
Looking to level up your supplement game?
If you're looking for a protein supplement that is easy on your stomach and made with quality ingredients, look no further than ATP Lab. This protein is also perfect to carry with you for your shaker cup on-the-go!
I have IBS and I swear by this brand for protein and greens supplements as they do not mess up my sensitive stomach.
Only the good stuff. Whatever your nutrition, health, or performance goals, there’s a high quality, pharmaceutical grade, 3rd party tested ATP Lab product for you.
Here is my affiliate link if interested in discovering the power of levelling up your nutrition game: