Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
Are beans and legumes a better source of quality protein than eggs or dairy products?
A: Legumes, beans, and various nuts are a good source of protein; however, there are some 20 essential amino acids, or protein components, that can be obtained only from animal products. Eggs are a good source for many of these amino acids, but meat is the best source. Depending on your dietary preferences, you should choose a balanced diet that can incorporate as many of these sources as possible.