|Dietary component||Approximate amounts of the diet intake (% of total energy unless otherwise stated)||General hints|
|Table 1: Source: Kumar Parveen and Clark Michael. Clinical Medicine, sixth edition 2005|
|Total carbohydrate||55 (55-75)||Increase fruit, vegetables, beans, pasta, bread|
|Free sugar||10 (<10)||Decrease sugary drinks|
|Protein||15 (10-15)||Decrease read meat|
|Total fat||30||Increase vegetables (including olive oil) and fish oil and decrease animal fat|
|Cholesterol||< 300 (<300) mg/day||Decrease meat and eggs|
|Salt||< 6 (< 5) g/day||Decrease prepared meats and do not add extra salt to food|
|Total dietary fibre||30 (> 25) g/day||Increase fruit and vegetables and wholegrain food|
It is recommended that 15% of your food should contain protein. A normal human being needs around 0.8 g per kg bodyweight e.g. a person weight 70kg should have around 56g protein every day. Protein also provides energy to the body, 1g provides 17 KJ (4 kcal).
Different types of protein
|Vegetable protein||Per 100g||Animal protein||Per 100g|
|Soya flour||36.8g||Skimmed milk product||36.0g|
|Soya beans||34.0g||Cheese 10 %||34.5g|
|Pumpkin seeds||29.0g||Tuna in water||26.0g|
|Yellow peas||26.5g||Cheese 45 %||25.7g|
|Sunflower seeds||24.0g||Mince meat/ lean||23.6g|
|Wheat flour||9.5g||Pork/ lean||20.0g|
Your body needs protein. Protein is built from 20 different amino acids, 9 of which are essential amino acids that your body can’t produce, they must be supplied by your diet. Your body needs the amino acids to build and repair your body and for growth.
The quality of a protein source is based on its level of these essential amino acids along with its digestibility and ability to be utilised by the body. So if a protein source provides all of the 9 essential amino acids in adequate amounts, it’s a very good protein source and is classified as a complex protein.
|In this table you can see biological value of selected protein sources.|
|Animal food: Milk, eggs, meat, etc.||0.75-.96|
Examples of good complete proteins are fish, meat, dairy and poultry. Plant foods are a good source of protein, but grains and legumes especially often lack one or more of the essential amino acids (cereal and legume protein have low levels of lysine and tryptophan). The way you can turn plant protein into a complete protein sources (higher BV) is by combining them e.g. grains with legumes. When they are combined they complement each other, so that mixed plant protein diets exhibit much higher BV values and may be similar to animal proteins.
It’s important to combine different plant proteins, especially for vegans who exclude milk and eggs from their diet. But there is no need to worry, if you eat a varied diet of vegetables, fruit, grains and legumes you’re almost assured complete protein, as long as the calorie content of the diet is high enough.