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Nutrients 2017, 9(12), 1333; doi:10.3390/nu9121333

Protein Adequacy Is Primarily a Matter of Protein Quantity, Not Quality: Modeling an Increase in Plant:Animal Protein Ratio in French Adults

1
UMR PNCA, AgroParisTech, INRA, Université Paris-Saclay, 75005 Paris, France
2
NUTRIPASS, IRD, Université Montpellier, SupAgro, 34394 Montpellier, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 3 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
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Abstract

A downward trend in animal protein (AP) intake has been observed in western countries over the last decade and the effects of such a transition on protein adequacy remain debatable. Using the probability approach and diet modeling with data on 1678 adults from a representative French national dietary survey, we studied the sensitivity of the adequacy of protein and amino acid intakes to changes in animal:plant protein. We simulated the gradual substitution of AP with different mixtures of plant protein (PP), containing various proportions of PP already consumed and legumes, nuts and seeds (LNS). We found that protein and amino acid intakes met dietary requirements in virtually the entire population studied. Up to 50% of PP in diets, protein and amino acid intakes were adequate in all models. From 50%, protein inadequacy was primary due to protein quantity, and from 70%, to protein quality (as lysine inadequacy). The introduction of LNS in the mixture substituting AP led to adequate protein intakes for higher percentages of PP. An increase in PP based on the current pattern of plant protein sources, low in protein:energy, could lead to inadequate protein intake, but the contribution of LNS ensures the safety of a further transition. View Full-Text
Keywords: plant protein; animal protein; protein adequacy; amino acid adequacy; modeling study plant protein; animal protein; protein adequacy; amino acid adequacy; modeling study
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de Gavelle, E.; Huneau, J.-F.; Bianchi, C.M.; Verger, E.O.; Mariotti, F. Protein Adequacy Is Primarily a Matter of Protein Quantity, Not Quality: Modeling an Increase in Plant:Animal Protein Ratio in French Adults. Nutrients 2017, 9, 1333.

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