Is Cashew Protein Complete?
No, it isn’t. However, it so close to being complete that it would be hard to argue that it isn’t on anything but a technical definition. The issue, as is so commonly the case, is with lysine. Take a peak at the chart below.
Protein Density of Cashews
The protein density of cashews really isn’t that great. If anyone tries to tell you cashews are a great source of protein they’re basically lying to you.
Relative to calories a Russet potato has more protein than a cashew and NO ONE says potatoes area great source of protein. We express protein relative to Calories in the equivalent “Caloric cost of one gram of protein”… check out the table below.
|Source||Density (Calories per g of protein)|
Comparison with Soy and Lentil Protein
Not bad. Great in methionine but terrible in lysine. More interesting is that it’s leucine content is right up there just a tad under soy.
Comparison with Whey Protein
Our last benchmark is with Whey which is a great source of leucine (along with being complete). We see here that it does ok in terms of leucine. Nothing to right home about.
If you love cashews then eat them. They’re a good source of fats and vitamins that we all need in our diet. Cashews tend to be carb heavy when compared to other nuts like walnuts but that’s probably why we can eat them like candy.
That said, don’t eat them with the thought that you’re doing it for the protein. You’re not. The density of protein relative to calories is just too low.
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