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Protein is needed for growth and the development of the body.

Excess protein can be broken down and used as a secondary source of energy.

Protein is made up of combinations of amino acids. These are the building blocks of protein.

They are compounds that contain carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen.

1g = 4Kcal

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Sources of Protein

Animal Protein - found in meat, fish, eggs and in dairy products.

Plant Protein - foudn in cereal products, nuts and pulses.

Novel Protein - found in tofu and soya products e.g. Quorn.

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The body is able to make most amino acids itself and these are known as 'Dispensable amino acids'.

There are some amino acids the body cannot make. They are called 'Indispensable amino acids'. (IAA) or sometimes known as 'Essential Amino Acids'

It is essential that these are provided in the diet as the body cannot make them.

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Biological Value

It isnt just about the amount of protein but the Quality or Biological Value of the protein that needs to be considered.

If a protein conatins all of the INdispesable amino acids, it is said to have a 'HIGH Biological Value' (HBV). If a Protein doesnt contain all the INdispensable amino acids, it has a 'LOW Biological Value' (LBV).

Sources of HBV (Animal Foods) - Meat, fish, eggs and GELATINE

Sources of LBV (Plant Foods) - Cereals, nuts, pulses, quorn and SOYA

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Protein Complimentation

Definition - When 2 LBV (Low Biological Value) Protein foods are eaten together, it compensates for the limiting amino acids of the other, resultuing in a meal of HBV - High Biological Value.

This is relevant for Vegetarians and Vegans.

e.g. Beans and toast or Lentil soup and bread.

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Ages & Stages

Babies and children have a high need for Protein because they are constantly growing.

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