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Is there a difference between the protein found in red meat (like beef and ostrich) and white meat (like chicken and pork) and protein from fish and should you aim to get these in in any particular ratio to one another? Or could protein intake coming mostly from just one of these types be sufficient?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Realistically, protein is just protein. Certainly there are some minor differences in types of protein as there are differences in carbohydrates and fats as well. The primary difference in terms of digestion, however, is what you are getting with your protein.

Protein in fish contains a very small amount of fat compared red meat. It's difficult to take in the fat that the body needs without eating it in meats unless you want to upset another ratio of your diet (e.g. you could drink milk to increase fat, but would jump your carbohydrate intake as well).

The primary idea is that you would want to balance your ratios of protein, carbohydrates, and fats to suit the type of diet you are undertaking, but don't worry too much about the various types of protein.

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+1 The main difference is what you get with your protein. But, it's not hard to eat fat without getting it directly from meats at all! Use any oil, or butter, or lard. That said, vegetable oils are to be used sparingly to avoid OD'ing on omega-6... – Greg Mar 7 '11 at 22:26
@Greg - yes, but you'll get even more protein with almost all your fat intake as well (although I will say with things like butter you won't get much). And yes, overeating another substance to compensate will almost always throw something else off (like the omega-6 from vegetable oils). – Nathan Wheeler Mar 8 '11 at 15:24
Sunflower and flax seeds are not meat and are 40-50% fat. Including significant amount of them in the diet you can get enough fat without overly increasing carbohydrate intake. And they have significant amounts of Omega3's also. – miernik May 20 '11 at 20:14

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