Have you ever stopped to consider the quality of the protein you incorporate into your diet? Quality protein affects the body’s overall growth and development, and many protein sources can also greatly benefit your bone health, skin health, muscle recovery after a workout, and more. The key is learning how to evaluate the quality of protein you consume.
How to Evaluate the Quality of Protein
Why do we need protein? “Protein provides vital amino acids for proper functioning and structural integrity of nearly every system in the human body” (source). Each protein has a different structure, which affects the way it is absorbed and used by the human body. These proteins vary in their structure, nutrition, performance, and even function.
Complete proteins contain an adequate proportion of all nine of the essential amino acids that you must consume to meet your body’s needs: tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine + cysteine, phenylalanine + tyrosine, valine, and histidine. For this reason, it’s important that you incorporate plenty of complete proteins into your diet. And if you want to learn how to evaluate the quality of protein, first consider the protein’s amino acid content. Does it contain all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein?
Next, take a look at the amount of the protein needed to meet a standard daily requirement. You can easily find this by looking at the Percent Daily Value of protein in your food.
Percent Daily Value
For the average consumer, the nutritional panel on the back of a food package can be very instructive. The Percent Daily Value factors in the amino acids present in your food, reflecting both the protein quality score and the amount of protein in the food. Generally, the higher the Percent Daily Value, the better. When it comes to protein, the Percent Daily Value is determined by two different metrics: PER and PDCAAS. Take a look at these numbers if you’re wondering how to evaluate the quality of protein you consume:
The Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER)
The PER was the first method adopted for routine assessment of the protein quality of foods. To find the PER of a protein, researchers take the weight gain of the test subject and divide it by the test subject’s intake of a particular protein during the testing period. Until very recently, it was the preferred method of the USDA for evaluating proteins. Although the USDA has switched to the PDCAAS when determining the percent of the U.S. recommended daily allowance for protein displayed on food labels, the FDA still utilizes the PER for some regulations.
The Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS)
Since 1993, PDCAAS has been the preferred method of measuring the protein value in human nutrition by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) (source). Rankings for this metric are determined by comparing the amino acid profile of the specific food protein against a standard amino acid profile (with the highest possible score being a 1.0). The score uses the essential amino acid requirements of preschool-age children (greater than one year but less than four years of age), because they are considered the most nutritionally demanding age group.
Studying the Metrics at CHiKPRO™
So if you’re looking for protein-packed foods that can benefit your body and contribute to your strength and muscle gains, research the protein’s amino acid content, PER, and PDCAAS. At CHiKPRO™, we look at PDCAAS and PER to keep track of the quality of the protein in our protein powders, we always seek to go above and beyond industry standards.
Still wondering how to evaluate the quality of protein in your food? Contact CHiKPRO™. We know that finding the best proteins for your recommended daily intake needs can be challenging. That’s why we’ve developed an awesome protein powder that is a complete protein, highly digestible, and rich in the building blocks your body requires for wellness. Versatile and easy to use, this high-quality and highly efficient protein supplement contains 25 grams of protein in each 30-gram scoop! Plus, you can use it in pizza, waffles, smoothies, frittatas, and many more delicious recipes. It is non-allergenic, dairy-free, and gluten-free. To learn more, please visit the CHiKPRO™ website or contact us for more information. We’d love to hear from you!