The consumption of protein has greatly become an obsession in today’s society. The idea that protein is the primary need for your body couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, the primary function of protein is tissue repair, growth, and cell replacement; not to be confused for increasing energy, staying strong, or to prevent from getting sick which is what most are under the impression of.
Protein is a minimal requirement in adults compared to a growing and developing child which has the greatest need for protein per calorie of all humans. On average, a mother’s milk provides about 6% of calories from protein for growing infants.
Once we are fully grown, our bodies have very little need for the raw materials in which we are made of. Too much protein creates emergency health conditions and in turn keeps the body in a constant state of toxicity.
The truth is, when you consume large amounts of protein or what you think is a high protein diet is really more of a high fat diet with the consumption of less than 20% of calories from protein. Foods such as meat, eggs, and dairy products as well as nuts and seeds all contain an overwhelming amount of fat which actually cause your protein numbers to dramatically go down as a percentage of total calories consumed.
Below is an example to give you an idea of just how much fat we’re talking about:
- Eggs alone contain more than 60% of fat
- “70%” lean” ground beef also equates to 60% of fat
- Cheddar cheese contains 72% of fat while cream cheese 88%
- Sunflower seeds and almonds both contain a high 73% of fat
Following a well-balanced, raw, plant-based diet consisting of the 3 major macronutrients in the percentages below, will lead you to reach optimal health, athletic performance, and ultimately leading you to live your very best life:
- Carbohydrates from fruits & vegetables – 80%
- Protein from fruits, vegetables, nuts & seeds – 10%
- Fats from fruits, vegetables, nuts & seeds – 10%
Extra Protein is Not Necessary for Physical Activity
According to an extensive study of protein requirements conducted by the Institute of Medicine/Food and Nutrition Board, it was concluded that no additional protein needed to be added to the RDA to account for physical activity.
Bodybuilders have found that in following The 80/10/10 Diet, their need for protein decreases dramatically. This is due to increasing the consumption of an adequate supply of calories from carbohydrates. As a result, their energy to train as well as muscle growth both increase.
A couple of powerful examples…
Keep in mind that increasing calories from carbohydrates is key in order to increase energy, optimum health, and optimal athletic performance, not protein. My Fitness Pal is a great tool for keeping track of your daily calories from carbs, protein, and fat. Best of all, it’s free!
Another free tool to help you in calculating your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and BMI (Body Mass Index) can be found HERE. These are both excellent weight management tools for determining your body composition and the number of calories your body burns while at rest for its basic physiological functions that work day in and day out to keep you alive and well.
Natural Protein Sources
What may shock you is that dietary protein is not our only source for protein. Our body is a pretty well efficient power machine with the ability to recycle anywhere between 100 to 300 grams of its own protein daily.
We are well equipped with an internal amino acid pool from which to build new proteins. Amino acids are added to the pool by breaking down the proteins we eat as well as the proteins in our bodies.
It’s not difficult to meet your body’s protein requirement on a vegan or vegetarian diet. You can obtain more than enough protein from vegan and vegetarian foods alone. There is no need to pay so much attention and focus on selecting certain protein foods for every meal. It’s just not necessary.
Below are percentages of calories from protein in 21 commonly consumed fruits and vegetables to give you an idea of how protein can easily accumulate throughout the day given a plant-based diet.
- Apricots – 10%
- Bananas – 4%
- Cherries – 6%
- Cucumbers – 11%
- Red Grapes – 4%
- Oranges – 7%
- Peaches – 8%
- Strawberries – 7%
- Nectarines – 8%
- Watermelon – 7%
- Red Tomatoes – 12%
- Asparagus – 27%
- Broccoli – 20%
- Cabbage – 15%
- Carrots – 6%
- Corn – 10%
- Kale – 16%
- Green Leaf Lettuce – 22%
- Spinach – 31%
- Zucchini – 18%
The truth is, the media in support of the meat industry and marketing ploys in their attempt to sell commercialized protein products have over dramatized the need for protein. I have to admit they do a great job getting you where they want you.
We have never heard about anthropoid primates in the wild needing more protein than what they get from their already existing natural plant-based diet which primarily consists of fruits and vegetables.
Just as we’ve never heard of a chimpanzee or an orangutan, which are generally five times stronger than humans pound per pound, requiring more protein for survival than what they already get from their plant-based diet.
You must realize, for the sake of your health, that this is a money making industry, one that is not looking out for what’s in your best interest but more so for their own.
According to T. Colin Campbell PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II in The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health, “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease … People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored.” (The China Study)
Eating More Than 10% of Protein is Dangerous
The dangers of overeating protein are real and an ongoing problem in the world today.
According to the meat industry, eating meat three times a day is pertinent to our health and an absolute requirement. On the contrary, eating any kind of meat including chicken, turkey or seafood leads to health complications and fuels the development of disease.
Eating animal protein is a good way to create an even greater toxic living environment within your body. It is also associated with all kinds of health conditions including constipation and other digestive disorders. As a result, these disorders often lead to toxemia (toxic blood and tissues), and eventually cancer.
Eating more protein than your body actually requires, also leads to autoimmune disorders, arthritis, premature aging, impaired liver function, kidney failure, osteoporosis, and many other degenerative and pathogenic conditions.
All in all, eating protein-based foods are highly acid forming in the body and can wreak havoc on your health at any given time as conditions develop.
When you consume too much protein, your body works extra hard to maintain homeostasis by working to offset the acidity levels caused by this consumption of excess protein. The way the body does this is by pulling the alkaline mineral, calcium from the bloodstream and replacing it back in where calcium levels must remain constant. The body does this by removing calcium from your bones and teeth, setting the stage for osteoporosis and tooth decay.
Sound like a wakeup call? It’s never too late to change your eating habits or transition into a healthier way of life for optimal health and vitality. The important thing is that you start somewhere. Getting started is half the battle. With the right direction and guidance, the rest will fall into place.
Your body is your temple. It’s where you must live for the rest of your life. Make it a point to take great care of it and I promise you, it will take great care of you right back.
Has this article inspired you to take action towards a healthier lifestyle? Share your thoughts below. I would love to hear from you.
Until next time!