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Protein is one of the necessary building blocks of the body that helps to keep a person healthy. Although there are restrictions as to what can be eaten on a halal diet, much of what is permitted is actually very high in protein. Halal protein includes nearly all meats, with the exception of pork products, which are banned by Islam. There are a number of non-meat sources, such as beans, grains and rice, which also can provide halal protein. One other type of food that contains halal protein is seafood, including tuna, scallops and flounder.
There are actually several types of proteins that the body can use, but they can be broadly categorized as complete proteins and incomplete proteins. Meat is permissible, assuming it is slaughtered and prepared following halal guidelines, so a complete halal protein can come from meats such as beef, goat, lamb and chicken. These are complete proteins, meaning they are readily broken down and used by the body. The primary difference between the different meats is the fat content. The parts of the animal with the most protein tend to be the internal organs, such as the liver and the heart.
According to the Quran, all seafood is permitted, making it a good and healthy source of halal protein. As with the meats from land animals, seafood presents a complete protein that can be processed immediately. The types of seafood that contain the most protein are flounder, prawns, tuna, scallops, lobster, cod and haddock.
Several non-meat foods also hold halal protein. One type is grains. These are incomplete proteins, meaning they only contain certain types of amino acids and should be paired with complementary foods to complete the proteins. Quinoa is a type of seed that is often mistaken for a grain and has a high protein content. Some baked whole wheat, rye and spelt products such as breads have a fair amount of protein, as well.
Beans are another choice food that contains halal protein. These include soy beans, kidney beans, chick peas and lentils. For someone with blood sugar problems, lentils are of particular interest, because they have a glycemic index of zero. The beans are incomplete proteins, meaning they should be eaten with a complementary food. Rice is often eaten with beans, especially kidney beans, because it fills in the missing amino acids.
There are many other ways to get halal protein into a diet. Eggs, some cheeses and milk are all halal foods that contain protein. Some whey dietary supplements that are halal can be used to help get even more daily protein. Nuts such as peanuts also are high in protein. Foods that have been processed need to be checked for halal certification before being eaten and should be avoided if a seal cannot be found.
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