Vegetable Protein VS. Animal Protein

I must admit that once I decided to change my life and choose to increase the vegetable products in my diet and lose the animal products, I received alot of animosity from many friends and family members.  This wasn’t a bad thing, but of course it made me feel a little uncomfortable, but I stuck to my guns and made sure it was a choice I made and I would not force any of my family to adhere to what I believed against their wishes.

The Vegetable/Protein debate has been around a very long time as the Vegetable/Calcium debate!  If you do your own research, you too will learn that animal is NOT the only way to get your protein and calcium.

Protein is a required nutrient that aids in the healing process in our tissues.  Most of us consuming the modern western diet, are consuming much more the amount of protein that our bodies need.  And of that, our main source of protein comes from animal products, which are also high in fat (even those “better” meats and milks).  The recommended dietary allowance for protein for the average sedentary adult is actually only 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.

Body weight (in pounds) X 0.36 = recommended protein intake (in grams)

This is recommended, but it actually still a little high for what we actually need.  Protein should be higher for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as those who live a more active lifestyle.

If you look at how we have been made, you can see that we really are not meant to eat animal.  Look at our teeth and compare them to your dog or cat.  Do you have sharp teeth?  The teeth of a carnivore are razor sharp, meant to bite and chew through the tough outer skin of an animal…we can’t eat it like that, we need it to be processed for us.  A bigger one for me at least is our intestines…a carnivore’s intestines are only 6 feet long, because meat is not meant to hang out in the gut very long.  Our intestines are 20 feet long.  When we eat meat, it takes a full 72 hours to pass through our intestines.  3 full days!!  3 days in a body that is kept at approximately 98.6 degrees…it’s like putting a steak out in the hot sun for 3 days.  It won’t take long before it starts to rot…that is exactly what is happening inside of our bodies when we eat meat!

High protein diets are not healthy (and I, too have tried them).  The best “diet” is that which is high in carbohydrates (not processed, or sugars), low in fat and moderate in protein.  Those carbs should come from whole grains, fruit, and vegetables.  A diet high in protein can contribute to many disease, which include:

Osteoporosis~high protein can actually strip the bones of the calcium they need.  You can get your calcium from leafy green vegetables, beans, some nuts and seeds, non dairy milk, some juices.

Cancer~fat usually is what people find is the cause of cancer, but animal protein plays a large role.

Kidney Problems~The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that high animal   protein intake is largely responsible for the high prevalence of  kidney stones in the United States and other developed countries and recommends protein restriction for the prevention of recurrent kidney stones.

Heart Disease~A diet high in fat (mainly from animals), can cause high cholesterol, high blood pressure and clogged arteries.  Animal protein has been proved to be a huge cause of these problems and once a person switches to a diet rich in plant based proteins they can reverse the damage that has been done.

Get 5 or more servings of grains each day, 3 or more servings of vegetables each day and 2-3 servings of legumes each day.

Healthy Protein Sources                       (in grams)

Black beans, boiled (1 cup) 15.2
Broccoli (1 cup) 4.6
Bulgur, cooked (1 cup) 5.6
Chickpeas, boiled (1 cup) 14.5
Lentils, boiled (1 cup) 17.9
Peanut butter (2 tbsp) 8.0
Quinoa, cooked (1 cup) 11.0
Seitan* (4 oz) 24.0
Spinach, boiled (1 cup) 5.4
Tempeh (1/2 cup) 15.7
Tofu, firm (1/2 cup) 19.9
Whole wheat bread (1 slice) 2.7

Please check out PCRM for an article with more detail.  Dr. Neal Barnard is a one of the great doctors that I have been following while I have been on this journey.  Great website to learn from…check it out!!

Alicia Silverstone has a blog that is wonderful…The Kind Life.  Also, Alicia Silverstone’s book “The Kind Diet” was a fantastic read!!!  Please check it out!!

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