Difference Between Complete and Incomplete Proteins

The key difference between complete and incomplete proteins is that complete proteins contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids while incomplete proteins lack one or more of nine essential amino acids.

Proteins are macromolecules that perform many important functions in our body. As they are highly diverse, these proteins carry out many different functions in our body, including enzyme catalysis, defensive, transport, supportive, motion, and regulatory functions.

Twenty different amino acids act as the building blocks to make huge protein molecules. Generally, amino acid sequences and the chemical nature of their side chain (R- group) determine the primary structure, size, shape, and the length of each protein molecule; hence, each protein is unique in our body.

The amino acids that occur in the proteins can be categorized into two: essential and non-essential amino acids. Non-essential amino acids can be produced in the body itself while essential amino acids must be obtained via foods as they cannot be produced by the body itself.

It is essential to take protein-rich food in order to obtain all the essential amino acids required to maintain the most important functions of the body. The terms ‘complete’ and ‘incomplete’ mainly categorize protein sources based on the type of amino acids present within them.

What are Complete Proteins?

Complete proteins are the proteins that contain sufficient quantities of all nine essential amino acids. Some food contains proteins with all the essential amino acids required for the body.

Usually, animal sources of proteins contain complete proteins. Therefore, protein sources such as fish, meat, poultry, dairy products, and eggs contain complete proteins.

In addition, plant products such as soybeans and quinoa contain complete proteins. Therefore, vegetarians can consume these plant products daily in order to fulfil their protein requirement.

What are Incomplete Proteins?

Incomplete proteins are the proteins that lack one or more essential amino acids. Most plant products contain incomplete proteins. Thus, cereal grains and legume-like plant products contain incomplete proteins.

Foods with the incomplete protein, when eaten in combination, for example, milk and beans, can provide all the essential amino acids required for the body. Therefore, we should consume more than one source of incomplete proteins in order to fulfil our protein requirement

What are the Similarities Between Complete and Incomplete Proteins?

  • Complete and incomplete proteins are the two main types of proteins.
  • Both contain essential amino acids and are made up of amino acids
  • Moreover, they are important nutrients for the proper functioning of our body.
  • Plant products contain both complete and incomplete proteins.

What is the Difference Between Complete and Incomplete Proteins?

Complete and incomplete proteins are two types of proteins. Complete proteins contain all essential amino acids, while incomplete proteins lack one or more essential amino acids. Thus, this is the key difference between complete and incomplete proteins.

Due to their composition, one type of complete protein source is sufficient to provide a person’s protein requirement, but more than one incomplete protein source or a combination of incomplete protein sources are required to provide the protein requirement of a person. So, we can consider this as another difference between complete and incomplete proteins.

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