Proteins come under the ‘macronutrient‘ category and are one of the three components.  Proteins are essential for repair and growth of tissues in the body and are made up of amino acids.

The human body needs 20 amino acids, but cannot produce 9 of the essential amino acids and needs to be consumed by food sources of protein.

Proteins are measured in two different ways: low-biological value (LBV) and high-biological value (HBV) and each food source of protein are given a biological value.  Additionally, there are two types of protein sources: animal and plant.  Animal food sources provide high-biological value as they contain more amino acids.  However, plant food sources provide low-biological value as they lack one or more of the essential amino acids.

Children and adolescents require up to 80% more protein in their daily diet than adults as the protein allows them to grow and gain skeletal muscle.  This is essential for young children, as a protein deficiency would result in lack of growth.

Animal food sources of protein:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Dairy

Plant food sources of protein:

  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Pulses
  • Seeds
  • Broccoli
  • Leafy greens


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