Ever heard of this term? Nothing too complicated…. It the value that tells us how best a protein is absorbed and utilized by the body. So higher the biological value of protein the better the body can absorb, use and retain it as lean muscle mass.
Generally animal sources of protein, namely from meat ,poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt are said to have high biological value proteins.
Proteins from plant sources – legumes, grains, nuts, seeds and vegetables are classified as low biological value proteins.
Here is the biological value of some foodstuffs
Whey protein – 104
Egg protein – 100
Cow’s milk – 94
Beef protein – 80
Casein – 77
Soy protein – 74
Wheat gluten – 64
Bean protein – 49
Here 100 is taken from the value of egg. So the food stuffs having more nitrogen than whole eggs will have a value more than 100.
There is one point that has been under criticism. These values don’t change when the protein is cooked or its value when it is absorbed by the body. For example, the raw food[vegetable /plant source] will have a tough cell cover and lesser digestibility than the same food which is cooked. Moreover the exception of digestibility in calculating the biological value of protein leads to misunderstanding and misinterpretation when you want to decide if a food has high / low biological value.
The biological value of the diet will also depend on the age, height, weight, sex , recent diet etc and also the biological value of the same food will vary from species to spices .But a high biological value protein will be utilized far more effectively than a low biological value source irrespective of the above sources.
Labels: Nutrients demystified