We make a dis­tinc­tion be­tween glob­u­lar and fib­ril­lar pro­teins. The for­mer are mostly spher­i­cal and ful­fil a wide va­ri­ety of func­tions whereas the fib­ril­lar pro­teins give struc­ture to cells and the body. Hair and nails, as well as con­nec­tive tis­sue and mus­cles, are all formed from fib­ril­lar pro­teins. The glob­u­lar pro­teins are found in the blood and are com­po­nents of our en­zymes and hor­mones. As well as con­trol­ling bio­chem­i­cal re­ac­tions and the most var­ied meta­bolic processes, they con­vey im­por­tant sub­stances to our or­gans. Pro­teins are formed from amino acids. The human body re­quires twenty dif­fer­ent amino acids, of which eight are “es­sen­tial” to us in that we need to con­sume them through foods.

High-value sources of pro­tein

Not every food sup­plies pro­teins with a high bi­o­log­i­cal value. The bi­o­log­i­cal value is a mea­sure of the ef­fi­ciency with which our or­gan­ism can con­vert a pro­tein into its own sys­tem. Whole egg pro­vides a ref­er­ence value of 100 per cent. High-value pro­teins in­clude low fat milk and lean meat. Al­ter­na­tives to an­i­mal pro­tein in­clude pota­toes, pulses and wheat germ. These are among the most valu­able sources of veg­etable pro­tein.

A study con­ducted by Mintel in 2015 showed the in­creas­ing im­por­tance of pro­tein-rich foods. Around 10,000 new prod­ucts claim­ing to be “high pro­tein” en­tered the global mar­ket be­tween 2010 and 2015: good news for our bod­ies.  

Inside Protein Chart


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