The Myth of Incomplete Proteins

Posted on March 6, 2016

It’s a long-running myth in the exercise and fitness community that plant proteins are somehow inferior to animal proteins, and that they do not contain the amino acids needed for good health and building muscle. Nothing could be further from the truth, as plant sources of protein, including protein bars derived from organic plant-based sources, are every bit as effective as animal-based proteins.

The myth of “incomplete proteins” has its roots in a 1970s-era book on the vegetarian diet called Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe. Many readers have mistaken the author’s intent when she was referring to wasted proteins, misinterpreting the work to suggest that plant proteins are somehow inferior to animal proteins. Because of this myth, many people feel that they must supplement protein derived from plant sources with protein derived from animal sources because they think plant-based proteins are deficient in amino acids, a critical component of protein.

The point the author was actually trying to make was that plant proteins are wasted when they are converted into animal proteins and then consumed by humans. Instead of eating animals for protein, the author argues that humans should go straight to the source and consume plant proteins. The author wanted to convince the public that eating a plant-based diet was good for both themselves and the planet.

As a result of the misconceptions around Lappe’s work, and other faulty reasoning, many people believe that plant proteins are incomplete, and that they must combine them with other proteins to get the amino acids they need.

Modern nutritional research has found that a diet that includes plant based proteins will provide all of the necessary amino acids that people need to be healthy and build muscle. The truth is that there is a wide variety of vegan foods and snacks, such as peas, almond butter, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, rolled oats, and specially formulated vegan bars, among others, that include protein. This is excellent news for people who want to eat healthy and get in shape without consuming animal products.

Pure Bar offers wholesome, organic vegan snacks for people seeking a nutritional alternative that’s good for them and good for the planet.