What About Protein? Part 1

"To wrongly suggest that people need to eat animal protein for proper nutrition encourages consumption of foods known to contribute to the incidence of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, many forms of cancer, and other common health problems." – Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.1

So why is this "What About..." series so important? 

How many people do you know who struggle with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and allergies? If you're like me, then you might say, "Hummingbird, that's practically everyone I know."
Sadly, that is often the case today. But it doesn't have to be! There is hope for health! There are changes that can be made to prevent disease and often reverse it. But you must know that your best health can not be achieved if you don't have peace with God Almighty (read My Story here).

I admit, just a few years ago, I too thought that not eating animal protein would make me sickly and weak, and therefore anyone who chose to not eat meat was crazy. Educating myself obviously changed my opinion... or maybe now I'm just crazy. :)

There are so many misconceptions about protein, and there are many reasons for that. So, I'm hoping to clear some of those up with Part 1 of "What About Protein?"

Fact #1 – Protein is Important to Life

Contrary to what you might think that I think, I still believe protein to be important even if I don't eat any animal products. I bet you can find Fact #1 in practically every reliable source out there. But in case you doubt, simply follow the links provided below. 2, 3 Science has known for a long time that animals and humans die if they don't get enough protein.

Fact #2 – Protein is Made from Amino Acids

Amino Acids have been called "The Building Blocks of Life." And it's true. There are 9 essential amino acids that the body cannot make, hence the name "essential."4 They have to be provided by the food we eat.5

Fact #3 – All Produce Has Protein

In The China Study, Dr. Campbell talks about how all too often meat is synonymous with protein and protein with meat.To a point, this is understandable because protein was first discovered in meat. But the science is out there, folks. All whole food produce has protein.7 Look it up and see for yourself at Cronometer.com! Type in what I had for breakfast this morning - a 12 banana smoothie - and see that I consumed over 15 grams of protein in one meal.

Fact #4 – "Low Quality" Protein is Better

"Many people think that the best quality protein comes from animals, but science has proven time and time again that the opposite is true." –Dr. Campbell from Forks Over Knives Extended Interviews.8

What is quality anyway? Today, it's often confused with whether or not the source has a complete protein or its efficiency in becoming human protein.9 Quality protein is efficient in body growth which is automatically associated with health. But in reality, animal protein has been shown to increase the risk of cancer. In a study done by Dr. T. C. Campbell, he was able to actually turn off cancer in rats by either decreasing animal protein to <10% or switching them to plant protein, even if he gave them more than 20% plant protein.10 This is a very interesting study that is discussed in the movie Forks Over Knives and its sequel. But that doesn't mean one should isolate the plant proteins. This often creates an imbalance in the body. Dr. Janice Stanger says, "The ratios of one nutrient to another in a varied whole foods diet are perfect. Too much is not better than too little. Supplements over-concentrate a few select nutrients at the expense of others. The person, using them, ends up with too much of one vitamin or mineral, for example, and too little of others."11 It's better to eat whole foods, so that your body will be able to decide how much of each nutrient – including protein – should be released and absorbed into the body. Oh the awesome wisdom of our Creator to put that into His creation!

Fact #5 – Protein Deficiency = Calorie Deficiency

The only way you can have a protein deficiency is if you're not getting enough calories overall.12 Even the very rare disease originally associated with protein deficiency in spite of sufficient caloric intake, known as Kwashiorkor, is now realized to be caused by insufficient calories. It's mainly seen in countries with famine. You've probably seen pictures of those starving children in Africa with the bloated tummies. It is very sad. Dr. McDougall says it best:
When these children come under medical supervision, they are nourished back to health with their local diets of corn, wheat, rice, and/or beans.  Children recovering from starvation grow up to l8 times faster than usual and require a higher protein content to provide for their catch-up in development—and plant foods easily provide this extra amount of protein. Even very-low protein starchy root crops, such as cassava root, are sufficient enough in nutrients, including protein, to keep people healthy.12, 13 
I used to buy expensive vegan protein and meal powders, until I realized that I was calorie deficient, not protein deficient.

Well, I hope this Part 1 of "What About Protein?" cleared some things up!
Check out Part 2 to find out more!

**Don't forget to subscribe to get the latest from Fresh Fruit Fit delivered straight to your inbox. 
**If you liked it, be sure to Like it! Then Share and Comment too! :)

Thanks for reading!


1. http://www.forksoverknives.com/the-myth-of-complementary-protein/#more-13323

2.  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002467.htm

3. http://www.eufic.org/article/en/nutrition/protein/artid/proteins/

4. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/many-amino-acids-body-require-6412.html

5. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002467.htm

6. Campbell, T. Colin; Thomas M. Campbell II (2006-06-01). The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, We (p. 31). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition. 

7. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story/yes-plants-have-protein

8. Wendel, Brian, 2012, Forks Over Knives: The Extended Interviews [DVD], United States: Virgil Films and Entertainment.

9. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002467.htm

10. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/85/6/1667.full

11. http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/302466

12. http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/apr/protein.htm

13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10466163

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting, this will be great for me to explain to my mother who struggles with diabetes and many stomach issues