Kitchen Lab: Finding the best protein choices

Find the best meat and best protein choices for your health and the environment.

Meat is a very efficient deliverer of protein. Because the muscles of animals and humans share the same components, eating animal tissue is an easy way to get this necessary nutrient.

Proteins are made up of amino acids. Amino acids determine the structure and function of proteins. Among other things, amino acids help build cells and repair tissue, form antibodies, and carry oxygen throughout the body.

There are twenty-two known amino acids, eight of which are called essential, meaning that our bodies can’t manufacture them and must get them from the foods we eat. The table below shows the essential amino acids, the function of the proteins they’re found in, and where you can get them in your diet.

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