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Low calorie complements to legumes for complete protein

I've been trying to optimize my vegan diet to reduce calories and increase the percent of calories from protein as high as possible without supplements (30% protein is a reasonable ideal for maintaining / gaining muscle while losing bodyfat).  This is pretty easy since I like leafy greens and legumes, and can do without the junk carbs (ex. fruits, sweets, potatoes, rice, and anything else with a low protein percentage).  Unfortunately this still leaves me with too many carbs due to grains (wheat, corn, etc), which also constitute the most highly processed and calorie-dense / nutrient-poor part of my diet.

Unfortunately I'm not sure how far grains can be reduced, because my main source of protein, non-soy legumes, are not a complete protein, and require the amino acid methionine, which in vegan diets traditionally comes from grains.  Could someone point me to a way of making beans into a complete protein while adding as few non-protein calories as possible?  Does anyone here take methionine supplements?  Are there any side-effects?

Thank you in advance!

No idea, but I eat oatmeal and Trader Joe's multigrain (rye, barley, oats, and wheat) hot cereal for my grain.

I don't try to get anywhere near 30% of my calories from protein, though.  That's a lot.  I look to the China Study (6% to 10%) and I think most Americans get (15%).

This article may or may not be helpful:  http://www.raw-food-health.net/VegetableProtein.html

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methionine#Dietary_sources
^^What did we do before Wikipedia?
The section below the linked one may also be relevant.

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Thank you very much for your input.

No idea, but I eat oatmeal and Trader Joe's multigrain
(rye, barley, oats, and wheat) hot cereal for my grain.

Yeah, but I'm trying to come up with a diet that is both vegan and in the "zone", so to speak, when it comes to carbohydrates.  That would make it possible to reduce calories and lose weight while still getting all the protein a weightlifter needs.  With many leafy greens, legumes, mushrooms, and a few other vegetables having ~30% calories from protein this could be doable, just as long as I find a way to get the missing methionine without diluting the protein percentage.  For example, black beans may have 27% calories from protein, but if you eat an equal weight of bread to make a complete protein the percentage goes down to 19%.  This article recommends proportioning 1/3rd legumes to 2/3rd grains, which would bring it down to 17%.  If it's rice instead of bread, then protein percentage of calories is only 14%, half of what it should be.

According to WolframAlpha.com (where you scroll down below the nutrition summary and click "more" next to "protein and amino acids"), it would take 650 grams of rye to get 1.0 gram of methionine - that's a total of 2197 calories at only 12% protein!  (You get a calories-from-protein percentage by multiplying protein grams times 4 calories per gram of protein, dividing by total number of calories, and convert to a percentage, in this case: 67*4/2197*100.) 

I'm in the process of putting together the following table of both traditional and best complement foods to low-methionine legumes.  (I will edit it and add more foods later.)  All data is from WolframAlpha, except that it seems to be missing amino acid data from certain foods (ex. oats), in which case another reference source is hyperlinked.  The "Weight" and "Calories" columns are per 1.0 gram of methionine.  The table is sorted by the calories-to-methionine ratio, thus putting on top the foods that (from what I understand) one should eat along with low-methionine legumes to get a complete protein:

FoodstuffProteinWeightCaloriesSesame">http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=61g+sesame+seeds+flour&a=*EAC.Expan... Flour, Low Fat61%__61g_203
Laver Seaweed67%_700g_245
Spirulina77%__90g_261
Sesame Flour39%__75g_310
Sunflower Seed Flour    59%__96g_313
Pumpkin">http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=1850g+pumpkin+leaf&a=*MC.%7E-_*Expa... Leaf 66%1850g_352
Spinach49%1900g_437
Sesame">http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=100g+sesame+seeds+flour&a=*EAC.Expa... Flour, High Fat    24%_100g_526
Watercress84%5000g_550
Brazil Nuts_8%_100g_656
Mushrooms56%3300g_726
Wheat Germ28%_200g_742
Tofu38%_790g_798
Sesame Seeds13%_140g_843
Broccoli39%2850g_855
Tahini 12%_170g1003
Pumpkin Seeds19%_200g1020
Oatmeal13%_323g1240
Corn15%1500g1290
Sunflower Seeds13%_240g1434
Kale26%3000g1500
Barley12%_690g1646
Wheat14%_550g1711
Peanuts18%_330g1840
Buckwheat16%_600g2058
Rye12%_650g2197

The problem is that most of those methionine champs are hard to find, relatively expensive, and/or not always easy to integrate in a meal.  Seaweeds are a bit iffy, because some contain way too much iodine, sodium, and other harmful things.  Spinach and pumpkin leaf might also be relevant, but all other vegetables are just too bulky.

Conclusion: methionine supplements are needed.

Please let me know if this makes sense.

I don't try to get anywhere near 30% of my calories from protein, though.
That's a lot.  I look to the China Study (10%) and I think most Americans get (15%).

From what I understand, The China Study found a correlation between consumption of animal foodstuffs and various illnesses, but it didn't find this correlation for vegetable protein.  (It should also be noted that the subjects of that study, the people of rural mainland China in decades prior to its recent economic leap, had limited access to refrigeration, and most of the meat they consumed was probably pork, which many cultures consider "unclean" for its relatively high toxicity and perishability.)

If you get only 10% calories from protein and you're trying to lose bodyfat, then 1600 calories per day would only get you 40g protein, which means you'll lose muscle mass.  If you're trying to gain / maintain muscle mass and need 300g of protein per day (1g protein per 1lb bodyweight), you would need to eat an astonishing 12,000 calories per day - way more than even full time bodybuilders can burn, so it will turn to fat.

This is why traditional high-carb veganism is bad for weight loss and muscle enhancement, and people on high-meat low-carb diets achieve better results.  In order to change that, the vegan diet needs to have higher protein percentages.

This article may or may not be helpful:  http://www.raw-food-health.net/VegetableProtein.html
That seems to be a very introductory article, which doesn't mention methionine specifically.

After many years of searching, I've never ever seen a long-term vegan bodybuilder who didn't look skinny and awful.  All people who look good and achieve high performance eat lots of protein.  Schwarzenegger says 150-300g protein (30-50g every 3 hours), 60-100g carbs (after exercising), and don't avoid unsaturated fats.  Kurt Angle says 350-400g of protein, 150-200g carbs, and 55g fat.  That's probably a little extreme for most people, but 30% calories from protein is a reasonable amount.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methionine#Dietary_sources^^What did we do before Wikipedia?
The section below the linked one may also be relevant.

Yes, I saw that, thank you.

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Isn't vital wheat gluten basically the protein from wheat after most of the rest of the wheat has been rinsed away? If so, then I'd imagine it has the same methionine-to-protein ratio as wheat, which would yield numbers something like

FoodstuffProteinWeightCaloriesVital Wheat Gluten76%__81g_324

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Wow, awesome!  Thank you very much.  ;)b

I think the myth that it's hard to get >30% calories from protein on a vegan diet is finally being laid to rest!

Hope more information will be contributed as well.  It would be great to hear more details and find out all the options that are available.

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I found the Bob's Red Mill 22oz Vital Wheat Gluten that kuzu linked to above in my neighborhood ShopRite supermarket for $5.99.  Mixed some in into my bean stew about 10 minutes before it was done cooking.  Not bad.  Definitely better than adding soy powder, which tied my guts in a knot.  Instead of just mixing it in I should probably look into preparing it separately, so that it resembles chunks of meat.  Eating that stew without bread will take some time to get used to, but it's great that I can complete the protein balance without flooding it with carbs.  My next step would be to figure out if I can bake my own high-protein bread that utilizes gluten and sesame / sunflower seed flower.

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Moringa is great stuff!  :)>>>
I did a quick search for it + methionine and, lo and behold, it does have it! 
I don't know where you live so I'm not sure you could get it fresh, but it's sold dried as a supplement.  We grow it in our yard and add it fresh to dishes.
I've heard of a few MMA fighters that are vegan: http://astigvegan.wordpress.com/tag/mma/ 
[url=http://blog.peta2.com/2008/07/vegan_mma_fighter_ricardo_moreira.html

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Quote:
After many years of searching, I've never ever seen a long-term vegan bodybuilder who didn't look skinny and awful.  All people who look good and achieve high performance eat lots of protein.  Schwarzenegger says 150-300g protein (30-50g every 3 hours), 60-100g carbs (after exercising), and don't avoid unsaturated fats.  Kurt Angle says 350-400g of protein, 150-200g carbs, and 55g fat.  That's probably a little extreme for most people, but 30% calories from protein is a reasonable amount.

http://www.mikemahler.com/articles/macdanzig.html
http://www.mensfitness.com/fitness/general-fitness/fittest-guys-america

Not a body builder but I hear he's a pretty good fighter.

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have you looked up Robert Cheeke at all? He's a professional vegan bodybuilder and has written a book or two. When it comes to working out on a vegan diet, he's the one I send people to for info.

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have you looked up Robert Cheeke at all? He's a professional vegan bodybuilder and has written a book or two. When it comes to working out on a vegan diet, he's the one I send people to for info.

He looks amazing and is a long term vegan body builder that does not look skinny and aweful. 

Do seseame seeds have the nutrient you need, so what about tahini...can you eat hummus? 

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OK, I must admit that my "I've never ever seen a long-term vegan bodybuilder who didn't look skinny and awful" comment was unnecessarily derogative and subjective.  It's true that vegan bodybuilders don't look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but one probably needs to be an expert on bodybuilding to appreciate the difference, and aesthetics don't always have a perfect correlation with health and ability.

That isn't the point of this thread, which is how one could get more protein on a vegan diet - if one so desired.

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Wheat gluten is awesome!  It also happens to be one of the cheapest sources of protein out there (1.302 cents per gram of protein), behind only dried beans, peas, and lentils (1.0 cents per gram, or less if bought in bulk).  This is significantly cheaper than: dried pasta (~1.5), oatmeal (1.66), instant noodles (2.0), bread (2.1), peanut butter (2.3), tamari soy sauce (2.5), soy milk (4.6), potatoes (4.7), etc - and of course way cheaper per gram of protein than all animal-based proteins!

However, I still can't find the exact amino-acid breakdown data for gluten to confirm that it retains all the methionine...  Does anyone know where I can find the specific numbers?

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Still can't find methionine numbers on wheat gluten anywhere...  :-\

Maybe the "evil meat industry" had realized they were the keystone to discovering a high-protein low-flatulence vegan diet and hid them from sight!  :P

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Speaking of vegan bodybuilders, here are a few:
http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/?page=bios

Also, here's an album (of vegans) by Melissa Schwartz that includes many bodybuilders such as Frank Medrano... http://tinyurl.com/3cyol6s

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I could comment on that extensively, but let's keep this thread focused on natural high-protein vegan diets, and specifically balancing out legume amino acids.

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I posted those links for you in response to your "I've never ever seen a long-term vegan bodybuilder who didn't look skinny and awful" comment... thought you might find them helpful. Oh well! Good luck with your search.

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potatoes and rice are junk carbs? really? Theyre not exactly white bread and sweets. More healthy grains would probably do you good, and sort out your protein issue.

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