Do you know the Maths to load up on proteins?

Written by Sara Rocci Denis
February 28, 2022

Which is Better? Animal or Plant-based Protein?

Quite frankly, eat whichever you want to. What counts is how you process it and what you combine it with, as well as how frequently meat, sausages, and cold cuts come to your table.

The medical-scientific community agrees that a plant-based protein can go head-to-head with an animal-based protein and pack arguably just as formidable a punch. According to the Italian Society of Human Nutrition, legumes as a source of protein are, in fact, placed right alongside animal-based protein sources.

However, legumes on their own provide, neither quantitatively nor qualitatively, the same proteins that animal derivatives can. Science has shown that vegetable-derived proteins are deficient in certain amino acids. In particular the sulfur amino acids – methionine and cysteine, for the nutrition geeks among us.

Proteins from animal sources are mostly considered high-value ones, legumes are defined as medium biological value proteins, and proteins contained, for example, in cereals are considered low-value.

So, how do we get the most from a plant protein? We figured out a couple of tips and tricks to boost the uptake on plant-based proteins, so they function like their animal-derived counterparts.

It’s simple Mathematics. If you combine a foodstuff with proteins of low biological value with one containing medium-value proteins, with little exception, you will obtain a protein with a high biological value, which is very close to what you get from meat, fish, or eggs.

The science behind this is that when we combine a plant-based protein with whole-grain cereal, for example, we create a complete amino acid chain or a mutual protein compensation. Also, a cheeky benefit of the legume-whole grain combo is that you up your fiber intake and mediate the glycaemic load of your meal.

Particularly in the outdoors, under environmental stress, the trekker needs to keep hydrated, stay regular and avoid harmful dips and spikes in insulin. That’s why, when we designed the ‘Shrimp and asparagus rice with pomodorini and pesto alla genovese‘, or the vegetarian ‘Wholegrain wheat couscous with vegetables and legumes‘, we intentionally paired ingredients that maximize the bioavailability of the nutrients and support their even, paced absorption.

At EAT freedom we aim to preserve the inherent goodness in the ingredient itself and ensure adventurers receive each ingredient’s highest nutritional benefit. When we speak of bioavailability, we are referring to our bodies’ ability to best receive, assimilate and digest the nutrients from the food we eat.  In the future, we’ll explore how processing and cooking can affect bioavailability.

For all my backpackers out there, start with top-quality ingredients, handle them with care, and combine them smartly to maximize their absorption and power. Food contains so much information that we can harness to boost our well-being and performance.

While our meals feature hearty meat and pescetarian options, it was important to us that our vegetarian and vegan trekkers would be served, too. Check out some of our protein-rich treats for meat lovers and vegans!



Sign up now for a 20% off upon launch