Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Protein Recalculations

Today had an unexpected surprise! Micah's nutritionist emailed me and said they had attended a conference that discussed amino acid levels in different types of protein. They (I'm hoping for researchers and scientists here!) decided that there are differing amounts of leucine in different types of protein. In other words, the amount of leucine in a gram of protein from fruit is not the same as the amount of leucine in a gram of protein from meat. We had been calculating his leucine levels like this. 1 gram of protein= 90 mg. of leucine. Now based on his weight, this meant he got 800mg. of leucine or 9 grams of protein. But now it looks like this
Fruit = 40 mg. of leucine per gram of protein
Veggies = 50 mg. of leucine ...
Bread, Starches = 70 mg. of leucine ...
Meat = 80 mg. of leucine ...
Dairy = 100 mg. of leucine...
With this method, he can eat a lot more food. Just to see the numbers I added up his food from today plus what I planned on feeding him at dinner
Oatmeal (w/ fruit) 2.5 g. protein and 175 mg. leucine
Carrots minimal
Cheese 1 g. protein and 100 mg. leucine
Peas (1/2 jar) 2 g. protein and 100 mg. leucine
Bread (1 slice) 3 g. protein and 210 mg. leucine
Total: 8.5 g. protein and 585 mg. leucine
Now that's 8.5 out of 9 grams of protein, but only 585 mg. out of 800 mg. leucine! See what a difference that makes? So he ate a bigger lunch :)

And who would have ever thought I would be able to (or need to) calculate leucine levels? I feel pretty smart!

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