Protein: consumption, assimilation, proper and improper combinations

Protein: consumption, assimilation, proper and improper combinations

Learn more about the protein structure and its biological role. In this article, I am going to talk about its assimilation in the human body. 

Even upon thinking of eating that protein-rich food, you body starts producing the ferment known as trypsin, released by the pancreas; but before entering the stomach, proteins "get attacked" by both the ferment pepsin and the hydrochloric acid (HCl), contained in the stomach. No sooner does the ferment trypsin start functioning than these two kick in the process itself.

Next is the ferment erepsin (in the small intestine) which converts proteins into amino acids, entering the blood. In people with diabetes the protein assimilation, happening in the small intestine, lasts longer.

Proteins should not be mixed up with sweetened or iced beverages or fruity desserts since they cannot be fully assimilated which results in decaying, producing toxins and poisonous substances.

Keep in mind that pepsin only functions in an acidic environment.

Proper combinations of concentrated proteins

Concentrated protein-rich foods, such as meat, fish, cheese, Bulgarian kashkaval cheese, eggs, etc., combine well with non-starchy (tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, green salad, leek, eggplant, zucchini, dock, turnip, radish), neutral and fat-rich ones.

Proper combinations: 

  • Concentrated protein-rich food with a non-starchy salad;
  • Concentrated protein-rich food with a green salad;
  • Fish with tomato salad;
  • Bulgarian kashkaval cheese with a green salad;
  • Cheese with a green salad;
  • Meat with non-starchy veggies; 
  • Meat with mushrooms;
  • Meat with cabbage;
  • Meat with green beans and green peas;
  • Peppers with cheese;
  • Fish with leek and tomatoes;
  • Nuts with a sour fruit;

The concentrated protein-rich food has to consumed in a small portion per every meal since it is quite hard to digest.

Improper combinations: 

  • Eggs with yogurt; 
  • Eggs with cheese;
  • Eggs with milk;
  • Eggs with Bulgarian kashkaval cheese;
  • Eggs with meat;
  • Eggs with nuts;
  • Walnuts with meat;
  • Walnuts with eggs;

Do not combine different types of proteins at the same time

All types of proteins are digested by a certain set of ferments since all enzymes in the human body have a specific role. For example, the combination of milk and eggs leads to incomplete assimilation which slows down the digestive process. 

Acids and proteins don't combine very well together so avoid consuming both of them per meal.

Improper food combinations between proteins and acids:

  • Cheese with yogurt; 
  • Bulgarian kashkaval cheese with yogurt;
  • Meat with yogurt; 
  • Eggs with yogurt;
  • Meat with a tomato salad;
  • Meat with a sour salad;
  • Ditch the egg-flower mixture when cooking soups; 
  • Add a touch of vinegar to meat soups; 

Do not combine starchy foods with protein-rich ones!

Proteins and sugars

When consumed with other food, sugars contribute to its remaining in the stomach for a longer period of time, so the food starts swelling until it turns into alcohol.

Natural or not, all type of sugars harass the stomach as well as the juice secretion since they are processed in the instestines which is why they should be consumed alone.

Improper combinations between proteins and sugars:

  • Nuts and sugary fruits; 
  • Nuts and desserts; 
  • Cheese and sugary fruits; 
  • Eggs and desserts;
  • Fish and fruits;
  • Fish and sugary sauces;
  • Fish and fruits; 
  • Fish in ketchup;
  • Meat and fruits; 
  • Meat in sugary sauces; 
  • Meat in ketchup;

Don't consume desserts with sugary juices after a protein-rich meal since it hinders the digestion.

Proteins and fats - improper combination 

Fats decrease the amount of pepsin and hydrochloric acid in the stomach juice which slows down the protein digestion. Besides, the motoricity of the stomach is slowed down twice as much when there are fats, which delays the digestion with about 3 hours. It is analogous to acidic foods.

Adding fats to your protein-rich meal is super unhealthy since you've got two types of fat - the fat in the protein itself and the added ones.

Nature has given us foods that are rich of protein and fat at the same time, such as walnuts, however, their assimilation is quite hard.

You can speed up the digestion by means of combining protein-rich foods with more veggies low in starch (leek, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, cucumbers, lettuce, etc.) 

It is the same when eating fats with salads, which speed up and facilitate the digestion.

Bad combinations: 

  • Fried meat and sausages; 
  • Fried meat and more fats;
  • Meat and butter;
  • Cheese and fats;
  • Bulgarian kashkaval cheese and fats; 
  • Eggs and fats; 
  • Eggs and butter; 

Useful piece of advice:

  • Do not fry any meat but steam or roast it; 
  • Do not add more fat while roasting it; 
  • Eat meat with non-starchy green veggies;
  • Eat proteins with starchy green veggies; 

Any questions? Sound off in the comment section below :) 

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