You don’t eat meat? Then where do you get your protein?

I know, I’ve blogged about this more than any other subject.   But I’m going to say a few more things about it today, just in a slightly different way, because of that old statistic that people have to hear something 11 times before they believe it.   And because that’s the question we plant eaters get most often, “But where do you get your PROTEIN?”

 

The World Health Organization says humans need 5 percent of daily calories to be protein.   The USDA says 6.5 percent.   On average, here’s what plant foods contain:

 

Fruits                                                                                                   5 percent

Vegs                                                                                                 20-50 percent

Sprouts, nuts, beans, grains, seeds:             10-25 percent

 

So you get plenty of protein from plants.   When you eat these proteins raw, they’re undamaged by heat and therefore more usable by your body, too.   Greens are highest in protein of the vegetables, so they are ideal for building and repair in the body.   We have a protein excess in the Western diet, not a protein deficiency.

 

Amino acids are protein’s building blocks.   Animal flesh combines those amino acids in a highly structured way–that’s all it means when people talk about “quality” proteins.   On the other hand, vegetable proteins are comprised of free-floating amino acids.   The first 8 amino acids are called “essential” because we have to acquire them from food.   The last 14 are built from the first 8.   Vegetable proteins, in free form, are easier to digest, give you more energy, and contribute to beauty and feeling well!

 

Some say, “But I feel better when I get much more protein.”   Years ago, I felt the same way–I noticed I had more energy eating chicken and fish.   Then I recognized truth when a book I was reading said that many animal protein eaters experience weakness/fatigue when they go off animal protein because of the inevitable cleansing that results.   So they attribute the difference in the way they feel to “needing” meat rather than feeling poorly when they cleanse as an adjustment to ending an addiction.   (These opinions are then further supported by diet-plan promoters who advocate for unnatural amounts of protein, as well as scientifically unsupported “blood type” and “metabolic type” authors.)

 

I put the idea that my “feeling better” was related to cleansing, not need, to the test.   I can honestly say I have more energy now than ever before.   It’s not true what people say, that you’re just going to feel worse in your 40’s than you did in your 20’s!   I feel MUCH better at 41 than I did in my 20’s!   I just had to go off chicken and fish for LONG ENOUGH.   I plan to never go back to eating those foods  full of antibiotics, steroids, foodborne bacteria, and all kinds of pathogens.

Need motivation to eat less meat and more plants? . . . part 7 of 12

Today, good stats about the fact that Americans need EDUCATING on the subject of a plant-based, whole-foods diet. (You know GSG.com has an agenda to get YOU to help spread the word–and many of you already do so, brilliantly.)

 

98 percent of the wheat eaten in the U.S. is eaten as white flour.   Only 2 percent is eaten as whole wheat flour!   In traditional diets, 75-80 percent of total dietary energy comes from whole grains.

 

U.S. children who eat the recommended levels of fruits, vegs, and grains: 1 percent

 

American who are aware that eating less meat reduces colon cancer risk: 2 percent

 

American men who are aware of a link between animal products and prostate cancer: 2 percent

Tell me: How can YOU help, you being much more educated about nutrition than, well, basically almost everybody?

Need motivation to eat less meat and more plants? . . . part 6 of 12

Are plant sources of protein sufficient?   Today, good stats about the need for protein:

 

Protein in human mother’s breast milk: 5 percent of calories

 

Minimum protein requirement according to the World Health Organization: 5 percent of calories

 

U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adult protein intake: 10 percent of calories

 

Percent of calories from protein in broccoli and spinach: more than 40 percent

 

Percent of calories from protein advocated for by Dr. Atkins, Dr. Sears (The Zone), etc.: 30 percent or more

 

Organizations that have condemned high-protein, low-carb diets: World Health Organization, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Dietetic Association, Surgeon General of the U.S., and American Institute for Cancer Research.

 

Two Barry Sears’ (The Zone Diet) quotes: “Humankind has been genetically unable to cope with . . . grains.”   Also, “About one-third of Americans are . . . suffering from protein malnutrition.”

 

Most of the human race for thousands of years has relied on, for most of its caloric energy: grains

 

Position paper quote from the American Dietetic Association:   “Plant sources of protein alone can provide adequate amounts of the essential and nonessential amino acids.   Conscious combining of these foods within a given meal as the complementary protein dictum suggests is unnecessary.”

 

Tell me: Have you given up the idea of needing to pack in more protein to your diet every day?   Or are you still clinging to some of that brainwashing you’ve received over many years?   Try it out.   Switch to plant sources of protein (or just quit worrying about protein altogether) and see what happens.   Give it some time, because  detox symptoms of going off meat/dairy are likely.

Need motivation to eat less meat and more plants? . . . part 4 of 12

Do certain diets prevent cancer?  Today, good stats on health implications  of eating meat:

 

Risk of colon cancer for women who eat red meat daily, versus those who eat it less than once a month: 250 percent greater

 

Risk of colon cancer for people who eat red meat once a week compared to those who abstain: 38 percent greater

 

Risk of colon cancer for people who eat poultry once a week compared to those who abstain: 55 percent greater

 

Risk of colon cancer for people who eat poultry four times a week compared to those who abstain: 200-300 percent greater

 

Risk of colon cancer for people who eat beans, peas, or lentils at least twice a week compared to people who avoid these foods: 50 percent lower

 

Impact on risk of lung cancer for people who frequently eat green, orange, and yellow vegetables: 20-60 percent reduction

 

Impact on risk of lung cancer among people who consume a lot of apples, bananas, and grapes: 40 percent reduction

 

Rate of lung cancer in British vegetarian men compared to the general British population: 27 percent

 

Rate of lung cancer in German vegetarian men compared to the general German population: 8 percent

 

Dr. Diane Courtney is head of EPA’s Toxic Effect Branch and told Congress, “Dioxin is by far the most toxic chemical known to mankind.”   The EPA says that up to 95 percent of human dioxin exposure comes from red meat, fish, and dairy products.

 

The American Institute for Cancer Research, and the World Cancer Research Fund, analyzed more than 4,500 studies and said that 60 to 70 percent of all cancers can be prevented by staying physically active, not smoking, and adhering to the following diet:  “Choose predominantly plant based diets rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits, legumes, and minimally processed starchy staple foods.”

 

Tell me: you gonna have a slab of steak for dinner tonight?   Or, will you choose a diet that will help you prevent disease?    

Need motivation to eat less meat and more plants? . . . part 3 of 12

More today on whether dairy products contribute to health:

 

Calcium absorption rates according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

                      Brussels sprouts                       64%

                      Mustard greens                       58%

                      Broccoli                                           53%

                      Turnip greens                         52%

                      Kale                                                     50%

                      Cow’s milk                                 32%

 

Suzanne Havala is a fellow of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and says this:

“Milk is species specific.   Each species’ milk is tailor-made for its own kind.   So how on Earth did people start drinking milk from cows?   Even adult cows don’t drink cow’s milk.   And if we drink cow’s milk, why stop there?   Why not drink dog’s milk?   Or bear’s milk?”

 

Neal Barnard, M.D., is president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.   He said this:   “The dairy industry continues to whitewash the dangers of cow’s milk.   The ubiquitous ‘milk mustache’ campaign makes misleading claims about milk preventing osteoporosis, lowering blood pressure, and enhancing sports performance.   Recent studies, including the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, have show that milk offers no protection against broken bones.   And, unlike prescription drug ads, the mustache ads don’t reveal the many unwanted side-effects of milk, among them increased risk of prostate and ovarian cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.”

 

Tell me: Is the “Got Milk?” ad campaign seeming stupider and more dishonest to you, every time you see a new paid celebrity with a milk mustache on the side of a bus? Eat less dairy and get your calcium from plant foods instead!

Need motivation to eat less meat and more plants? . . . part 1 of 12

I’m going to bombard you with a bunch of statistics and expert quotes about a plant-based diet versus an animal-protein diet, for 12 days.   These gems are gleaned from one of my favorite sources, John Robbins’ The Food Revolution.   He quotes 60+ sources in every chapter.   Where Campbell’s The China Study is the “grand prix” of nutrition and epidemiology, Robbins is the “slam dunk” aggregation of all the studies showing a plant-based diet to be superior.   I’m not going to  kill space listing all the sources in this blog series, but you can find them in Robbins’ book, which is a deeply compassionate “voice” for both people and animals.

 

I’m not going to comment after each series of statistics, because they speak for themselves best.   I believe you will, however, find the data astonishing in aggregate.   I will ask a provocative question at the end of some of the blogs.   I hope you comment on them.

 

First, I think it’s fun to mention that John Robbins is the only male heir to the co-founder of Baskin Robbins.   He grew up with an ice cream cone-shaped swimming pool, cats named after the 31 flavors, and often ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.   He said no thanks to that legacy when he became convinced that his future career would be to line his own pockets making people sick.   For many years, he and his wife lived on less than $1,000/year, very happily, in a cabin in the woods.   I think John Robbins is a great American hero, and his outstanding books Diet for A New America, and The Food Revolution are worth owning and reading.

 

If you’re looking for motivation to give up dairy and meat–maybe even completely–reading this blog every day for the next 12 days should be an eye opener, if not a mind blower, towards that end!

 

Tomorrow, we start with stats about whether dairy products contribute to your health.   The series will continue with important data about how meat eating affects health, how much protein we really need, where the main sources of foodborne illness come from, how animals raised for food are treated in America, and how vegetarians’ health compares to meat eaters’.  We’ll also cover info about how much education Americans understand about nutrition, how eating high on the food chain affects world hunger, and how eating high on the food chain affects the environment.