The Protein Myth

By | 2017-10-29T15:41:42+00:00 March 19th, 2012|Health Tips, Nutrition|

eating meat hamburger vs vegetarian

In North America we are obsessed with protein. Discover the myths you may have about this important topic and surprising truth.

Myth #1 You need more protein to be healthy and strong. 

Truth: The average man in the US eats 175% more protein than the recommended daily allowance and the average woman eats 144% more.  Surgeon General’s Report, 1988

Myth #2 Plant proteins are incomplete and need to be complemented for adequate protein.

Truth:  All vegetables and grains contain eight of the essential amino acids and the 12 other nonessential ones.  Beans have more protein per calorie than meat.

Myth #3 To build muscle you need lots of protein daily. (Bodybuilders say you need 30% -40 % protein or more!)

Truth: Athletes and very active people only need 1.6-1.8 g/kg BW per day says research but inactive people need less.  Human breast milk is only about 6% protein and a baby grows lots of lean tissue on a diet of exclusively mother’s milk.

Myth #4 The best place to get protein is from meat. 

Truth:  Moderate consumption of red meat, as little as one serving a day poses a more serious health risk than first thought. ~ Research from the Harvard School of Public Health.

There has been too much focus on protein in the diet!

Protein is needed by every living cell for structural and functional purposes and also we need carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and healthy oils for the body to fully function.  A balanced diet with a range of whole foods is needed for a healthy body.

One of the major reasons the average diet is so poor is that we equate protein with good nutrition and think animal products are the only way to get it into our diet. 

Vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds are filled with good protein.  Green vegetables, peas and beans have more protein per calorie than meat and plant food proteins are rich in nutrients and phytochemicals and low in calories. Even fruit has small amounts of protein.  There are no antioxidants and phytochemicals in animal foods.

People do not die from protein deficiency in the western world

Visit any U.S. hospital and ask: 

“How many patients occupy beds here because they do not eat enough protein?” 
The answer you will get is, “Zero.” 

Hospitals are filled with Americans who have eaten too much dietary animal protein.

  • High Protein Diets may shrink the brain as well as the waistline, raising the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in later life.
  • Eating protein in excess of the body’s needs creates extra work for the liver.
  • “The weight of the evidence certainly points to a link between high-protein foods and resultant cancers.” Dr. Colin Campbell
  • Too much protein in your diet can cause your body to produce too many organic compounds in the bloodstream that is a by-product of abnormal fat metabolism, which can cause organs to fail and result in gout, kidney […]