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Protein

Different foods contain different amounts and combinations of amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Vegans and vegetarians can get all the protein they need by eating a variety of nutrient rich foods.

The amount of protein in food varies but the main sources include meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, cereals and cereal products (e.g. bread), nuts and pulses (peas, beans and lentils). Two thirds of the average intake is obtained from animal sources such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy foods. A further quarter is also obtained from cereal products, and most of the remainder from nuts and pulses. Cereals, nuts and pulses are the main source of protein for people on a vegan diet.

It is necessary for the growth and repair of body tissues. For grown adults an average requirement of 0.6g of protein per kilo bodyweight per day is estimated.

It is also a source of energy. At present, protein provides around 14% of energy in the average diet.

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