What ratio of rice is needed for lentils to be a "complete protein"?

I realize this was asked before, but I insist it was never answered. I am biased because I had the same question, but within 2 seconds I saw the moderator's answered missed the actual question.

Not only is ratio relevant - it IS the question. The question wasn't about nutritional advice or dietary statistics. There are x amount of essential amino acids and y amount of those cannot be converted by the human body. It is implied by putting "complete protein" in quotes that the question is referring to this aforementioned fact.

If rice contains n grams of protein, "k", per m grams of rice and lentils contain j grams of protein "l" (a "complete" compliment to "k"), then what is the ratio of lentils to rice that makes a complete protein?

The point was to be able to find someone else asking the same question and not have to do the research ourselves. If no one can answer, I guess I'll just do the research and answer my own question so that others asking the same question can find this answer.

sidebar: perhaps irrelevant now that LLM search bots are freely available. I wonder if a predictor of words can appear to ascertain the meaning of the question within a few seconds as well.

  • Nope, even gemini could not answer this. Commented Jul 5 at 16:29
  • What makes it complicated is that there are 9 essential amino acids, there is variability in each of the ingredients of question, and the answer could be different from the perspective of adding rice to lentils, lentils to rice, or if you are trying to maintain some ratio of carbs to protein or protein per meal - The latter of which was never part of the question, but always gets included in answers which is why LLMs also always include it ( because it is just a language predictor fed by the internet - it is not generalized AI ). Commented Jul 5 at 16:36
  • Lets pretend 1. There are only 3 essential amino acids (which is where all proteins come from): MAJORine, LENTILine, & RICEine. 2. Rice contains 1g of RICEine and 1g of MAJORine per kg and Lentils contain 200g of MAJORine and 100g LENTILine per kg. Commented Jul 5 at 16:43
  • 1
    In this scenario - A. Adding lentils to rice to make a complete protein: 0.01 : 1 - B. Adding rice to lentils to make a complete protein 1: 0.001 - C. It does not matter that rice isn't sufficient for your daily dietary recommended protein intake. All that matters pertaining to the question is that all 3 are present. It took 2 seconds to see that was what the original question was asking. Now answer with there being 9 essential amino acids and that there is variability in content in both lentils and rice around the world. Commented Jul 5 at 16:44
  • Lentils contain all essential amino acids in some quantity. So I guess the ratio you’re looking for is “1:0”. Though I have no idea what kind of a distinction you’re trying to draw between “adding rice to lentils” and “adding lentils to rice”… your body doesn’t know which one was on top.
    – Sneftel
    Commented Jul 5 at 17:10

1 Answer 1


There is no answer to this question. This was a bad question.

USDA Link 1
USDA Link 2
Wikipedia: Essential amino acid

These lead to ratios of roughly 18% and 9% and both lentils and rice have double digit negative ratios of these as compared to the ideal ratios from the daily recommended intake.

New contributor
Mike Steele is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
  • Nah the other article is wrong as well. There is no answer because it does not make a "complete" protein. I can provide people with the math based on the Nutritional data and the USDA recommended intake if anyone is intertested. This forum is not a good medium for it. Commented Jul 6 at 15:49

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.