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protein, etc. - article


VeganDeVil
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In my internerd searches for information on how much protein a moderately active girl such as myself should be consuming, I came across the following article. I knew much of the information stated already, but found it to be very thorough and illuminating. I'll be sending this to any of my meat eating family members who bother me about 'nutrients I'm depriving myself of'.

 

But, as always, I appreciate commentary about the credibility of the sources of my reading. Not everything I've read about the health concerns in regards to dairy and meat has been true, I've found.

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PROTEIN—HOW MUCH IS RIGHT FOR YOU? by Dr. Robert Sniadach

 

Listen up!

There is protein in every living thing – Every organ, every tissue, every cell. That includes every plant as well –fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes – all contain protein.

The human need for protein is roughly 20 to 40 grams a day. The RDA is set at 56 grams a day, doubling the real need for “safety” reasons.

There is voluminous evidence demonstrating the health-damaging effects of too much protein, especially from animal and dairy sources.

So where do you get your protein? Ah, yes, the question on everyone’s mind. It is amazing how much confusion there is on this subject. The better question is, ”Where do you not get protein?” As mentioned above, protein is everywhere around us. Every living thing is made of protein to some degree. Protein is by far the most widely discussed and publicized nutritional requirement of our body. The average American consumes over 100 grams of protein a day, three to five times as much as is necessary. We all know that protein is an essential nutrient, but what most of us have not been told is that excessive amounts of protein are hazardous to our health. The dangers of a high-protein diet are not commonly known by the general public because we have been fed more misinformation and propaganda about protein than any other category of nutrition. A combination of badly outdated animal experiments and self-serving indoctrination disguised as nutritional education has left most people badly misinformed about our body’s protein needs. Several generations of school children and doctors were taught incorrectly that we need meat, dairy and eggs for protein. The meat, dairy and egg industries funded this “nutritional education” back in the early 1900’s and it became U.S. government policy. It is easier to meet our minimum daily protein requirements than most people would imagine... with just fruits and vegetables. Because much of what experts once believed about protein has been proven incorrect, U.S. government recommendations on daily protein consumption have been reduced from 118 grams to 46 to 56 grams in the 1980’s to the present level of 25 to 35 grams. Many nutritionists now feel that 20 grams of protein a day is more than enough, and warn about the potential dangers of consistently consuming much more than this amount. The human body recycles 70 percent of its proteinaceous waste, and our body loses only about 23 grams of protein a day.

What happens if I eat too much protein? Protein is an extremely important nutrient, but when we get too much protein, or protein that we cannot digest, it causes health problems. The metabolism of proteins consumed in excess of the actual need leaves toxic residues of metabolic waste in tissues, causes autotoxemia, overacidity and nutritional deficiencies, accumulation of uric acid and purines in the tissues, intestinal putrefaction, and contributes to the development of many of our most common and serious diseases, such as arthritis, kidney damage, pyorrhea, schizophrenia, osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis, heart disease, and cancer. A high protein diet also causes premature aging and lowers life expectancy.

I’ve heard that “complete proteins” are best. Is that true? The need to consume foods or meals containing “complete protein” is based on an erroneous and out-dated myth. Due to lingering mis-information from a 1914 rat study, many people still believe they must eat animal products to obtain “complete protein.” And for other people, this fallacy was replaced by a second inaccurate theory that proper food combining is necessary to obtain “complete protein” from vegetables. Both of these theories have been unquestionably disproved.

What is the best kind of protein? By far the most usable and best assimilated protein is from plants. Protein is an essential part of our (living) body and there is a difference between protein that has been cooked and protein in its raw (living) form. One of the best-known studies of raw versus cooked foods with animals was a 10-year research project conducted by Dr. Francis M. Pottenger, using 900 cats. The results dramatically revealed the advantages of raw foods over a cooked diet. Cats that were fed raw, living food produced healthy kittens year after year with no ill health or pre-mature deaths. But cats fed the same food, only cooked,developed heart disease, cancer, kidney and thyroid disease, pneumonia, paralysis, loss of teeth, arthritis, birthing difficulties, diminished sexual interest, diarrhea, irritability, liver problems and osteoporosis (the same diseases common in our human cooked-food culture). The first generation of kittens from cats fed cooked food were sick and abnormal, the second generation were often born diseased or dead, and by the third generation, the mothers were sterile.

But I’ve been eating meat, eggs and dairy products for protein all along. Aren’t humans meat-eaters? Cooked meat is not a good source of protein. The reason cooked meat is not a good source of protein for humans is both because it is cooked and because it is meat. Actually, cooked meat is not a good source of protein for any animal (as laboratory tests have shown). And meat in any form is not good for humans. We do not have a digestive system designed to assimilate protein from flesh: We do not have the teeth of a carnivore nor the saliva. Our alkaline saliva is designed to digest complex carbohydrates from plant food, whereas saliva of a carnivore is so acidic that it can actually dissolve bones. Humans do not have the ability to deal with the cholesterol or uric acid from meat. The digestive tracts of carnivores are short, about three times the length of their torso, allowing quick elimination of decomposing and putrefying flesh. All herbivores have long intestines, 8 to 12 times the length of their torso, to provide a long transit time to digest and extract the nutrients from plant foods. And all protein ultimately comes from plants. The question is whether we get this protein directly from plants, or whether we try to get it secondhand from animals who have gotten it from plants.

But I thought that I get strength and energy from meat and protein? Eating meat—or protein in general—does not give you strength, energy or stamina. One of the easiest ways to dispel the theory that meat is required for strength is to look at the animal kingdom. It is herbivores such as cattle, oxen, horses and elephants that have been known for strength and endurance. What carnivore has ever had the strength or endurance to be used as a beast of burden? The strongest animal on earth, for its size, is the silver-back gorilla, which is three times the size of man, but has 30 times our strength. These gorillas “eat nothing but fruit and bamboo leaves and can turn your car over if they want to. It would be hard to argue anyone needs meat for strength. And protein does not give us energy. Protein is for building cells. Fuel for providing our cells with energy comes from the glucose and carbohydrates of fruits and vegetables.

As pointed out by John Robbins in Diet for a New America, many studies have shown that protein consumption is no higher during hard work and exercise than during rest. Robbins writes, “True, we need protein to replace enzymes, rebuild blood cells, grow hair, produce antibodies, and to fulfill certain other specific tasks... (But) study after study has found that protein combustion is no higher during exercise than under resting conditions. This is why (vegetarian) Dave Scott can set world records for the triathlon without consuming lots of protein. And why Sixto Linares can swim 4.8 miles, cycle 185 miles and run 52.4 miles in a single day without meat, dairy products, eggs, or any kind of protein supplement in his diet. The popular idea that we need extra protein if we are working hard turns out to be simply another part of the whole mythology of protein, the ‘beef gives us strength’ conditioning foisted upon us by those who profit from our meat habit.” The National Academy of Science says, “There is little evidence that muscular activity increases the need for protein.” A 1978 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association warns athletes against taking protein supplements, noting, “Athletes need the same amount of protein foods as non athletes. Protein does not increase strength. Indeed, it often takes greater energy to digest and metabolize the excess of protein.”

How about this brief list of some of the world’s greatest athletes, all holders of world records in their field, who happen to be vegetarians: Dave Scott, six-time winner of the Ironman Triathlon (and the only man two win it more than twice); Sixto Linares, world record holder in the 24-hour triathlon; Paavo Nurmi, 20 world records and nine Olympic medals in distance running; Robert Sweetgall, world’s premier ultra-distance walker; Murray Rose, world records in the 400 and 1500-meter freestyle; Estelle Gray and Cheryl Marek, world record in cross-country tandem cycling; Henry Aaron, all-time major league home run champion; Stan Price, world record holder in the bench press;

Andreas Cahling, Mr. International body building champion; Roy Hilligan, Mr. America body building champion; Ridgely Abele, eight national championships in karate; and Dan Millman, world champion gymnast... all vegetarians. Surely if world-class athletes don’t need extra protein, you don’t either.

In summary, practically everything we have been told about protein is wrong. We don’t need as much protein as we have been taught and consuming too much protein is hazardous to our health. We don’t need to eat “complete protein.” Our body needs protein from raw foods, because the building blocks for our living cells need to be living instead of dead. Cooked protein contains mutagens that are hazardous to our health, and some nutritional experts say cooked protein is impossible or very difficult to digest. Cooked meat is not a good source of protein. And protein has nothing to do with strength, energy or stamina.

But protein is important. And our best source of protein is from the same raw fruits and vegetables that provide all the other nutrients—vitamins, minerals, enzymes and carbohydrates—we need. The best way to get all these nutrients, including protein, is to eat a well balanced variety of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. When you consider the health problems caused by consuming too much indigestible (cooked) protein, it should drive home the point that our body is a living organism made up of living cells, and protein composes 15 percent of our body, therefore the protein we take in should be living rather than dead. Consuming a high quantity of dead, cooked protein is similar to taking mega-doses of synthetic vitamins that we cannot assimilate. We would do better to focus on the quality, rather than quantity, of nutrients, and ensure that the protein (and other nutrients) we consume is in a natural, living form that our body can assimilate at the cellular level and use to build healthy new living cells.

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Hey- that's a long article! Have you read "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell? If not I suggest reading it. Sounds like you already know the western diet sucks. Too much protein also causes calcium loss which could lead to bone fractures. The book is right on about protein intake. Why are Americans so obsessed with protein? I have yet to figure that out. I work in the wellness dept. in an organic market and I sell a lot of protein powders!

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Excellent article!! While it's seems (to me) to be 100% true for "most" people, there's still the large body of evidence that claims people trying to build lean muscle (such as most of us on this site) need more protein than 20, 40 or even the USDA's 56g per day.

 

I've thought about this often over the past year: If one consumes 1g of protein per kg of body weight in order to pack on the lean muscle, does that mean that he/she is damaging his/her health by over-consuming protein?

 

Greg

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I've thought about this often over the past year: If one consumes 1g of protein per kg of body weight in order to pack on the lean muscle, does that mean that he/she is damaging his/her health by over-consuming protein?

 

 

I guess if they are consuming that amount at the expense of the other macronutrients then it wouldn't be very healthy. I think 1g per kg is not all that high compared to what most in the bodybuilding world recommend.

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I've thought about this often over the past year: If one consumes 1g of protein per kg of body weight in order to pack on the lean muscle, does that mean that he/she is damaging his/her health by over-consuming protein?

 

 

I guess if they are consuming that amount at the expense of the other macronutrients then it wouldn't be very healthy. I think 1g per kg is not all that high compared to what most in the bodybuilding world recommend.

Yeah, exactly.

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To save you all the boredom of reading my daily food menu, lets just say I make sure I eat alot of protein based meals throughout the day, in the belief that it is helping me build muscle.

 

I eat 120-150 grams of protein per day.

 

After hearing the potential dangers of high protein diet I have decided the following:

 

When I reach my goal weight of 217 lbs, I am going to cut out nearly all the protein in my diet.I am going to only eat the recomended 50 grams a day.And I am going to continue working out, with the aim to maintain the 217 lbs weight.I will observe how it goes.After a long period of weight lifting, I know my body inside out.I know how much it grows per week, on average, over months & months.The huge drop in protein intake I am planning will either have a noticable effect, or possibly, no effect at all.I hope to be at 217 lbs in 6 months time, at which point I will drop the protein intake.I will quickly be able to tell if it is having an effect, & I will definately post about it, to let you all know my personal view.

 

It irritates me that there is no definitive answer to prove that high protein is needed or that it is not.Instead we have a load of contradicting theories & beliefs.So I am going to be the guinia pig.I think others of us should do the same, so that we can get a broader result.Of course, its likely that my result will roughly match others results, considering our biological systems are all in essence, very similar.

 

I look forward to breaking or proving the high protein myth, once & for all.

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DaN-

Thanks for being the human guinea pig. I'll be curious to know what happens when you intentionally cut all proteins. Actually- everything contains some amount of protein, right? Amino acids are in all foods. Do you think you should have a gradual cut of proteins from you diet when you do reach your goal weight? That's what I would do--but as a female of the species--my body obviously responds differently to excessive protein intake.

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I guess really I should cut it out gradually vegnchick, good point

 

So if I am starting at 150, I will drop 50 in the first month, & 50 the next month, so that I end up with just 50 grams per day.I will continue to eat the same calories & do exactly the same routine with the workouts as I have done for the last year.It will be very easy for me to spot any change in strength & weight.

 

I too am really interested to see what happens.We are told protein/amino acids are vital to build & maintain muscle, but there are indications that it is damaging to eat too much.I would rather be skinny on a good diet, than big on a high protein bad diet.But if I can be big on a low protein healthy diet, that would be fantastic!

 

Watch this space!

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DaN- I like being healthy, thin & toned. But it's always good to see a guy put on big muscle with a healthy diet!

 

Definitely keep a log of what you are doing!

 

VeganDeVil-

So great you're going to read The China Study. Also sometime try reading The World Peace Diet by Dr. Will Tuttle.

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Surley when they set that RDA for 56 grams they had the standard american in mind. Not an athlete.

56 grams is really low and if you want to build muscle I would probably aim higher

 

I dont need to aim higher johan, I am already eating 150 grams a day

 

My point is to reduce this to just 50, while continuing the exact workout routine, to see if there is an effect.

 

& to give us all an indication of whether sooo much protein is actually needed to build & maintain muscle.

 

Before I was vegan people told me I needed to eat meat to grow muscle.That was a lie.I am wondering if the idea that you need a small towns worth of protein every day is actually a lie too...

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dan. i'm not saying you need to aim higher. i'm saying that if people want to put on muscle they should aim higher than 56 grams.

I think it's pretty hard to acctually stay under 56 grams and still get enough calories.

even if your "experiment" might give you valuable info on how your body reacts to a low protein diet it is not science, it's just another (unprofessionally exectued) case study. i'm not saying don't do it, i'm just saying that the result of your experiment probably have little value to the rest of us.

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I'm with Johan on this one. There have been plenty of studies done with athletes that point to a larger protein need for athletes, especially bodybuilders who are actively putting on muscle mass. The average person who is merely maintaining a lean mass (which is much lower than a bodybuilder's) will obviously not have the same protein needs.

 

As for the idea that high protein diets damaging health due to calcium loss, that might be true for diets high in animal protein which contains a lot of the sulfur containing amino acids (methionine, cysteine) but not so true for plant proteins.

 

Just my opinion.

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I agree johan, it probably would be difficult to achieve my average 3000 cals a day without exceedeing the 50 grams of protein mark! Even while avoiding protein rich foods it is likely the overall protein will be around 75-100

 

That is however still half what I am eating now.And if I still gain exactly the same as before it will prove that I was eating too much.

 

And I have to politely disagree with the statement that it will be just a case study & not scientific fact.Scientific fact is made up of a theory followed by a case study, followed by a result.

 

I have to disagree aswell when you say it will not help others.If I can prove its possible to eat half the protein all of us body buiders are eating, & still gain weight, then it could help your health & wallet.Of course if you choose to ignore my results then thats entirely up to you.Ditto to DV & beforewisdom.It sounds like you guys have already made up your minds & I am not aiming to change anyones minds, just simply to post my personal knowledge.

 

PS DV, you say plenty of studies point to athletes needing larger quantities of protein, is it possible that they could be wrong, like the studies indicating meat is needed to bodybuild?

 

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PS DV, you say plenty of studies point to athletes needing larger quantities of protein, is it possible that they could be wrong, like the studies indicating meat is needed to bodybuild?

 

I've never seen or heard of a study indicating that meat is needed for bodybuilding. I've seen one that showed that animal protein was better than vegetable protein for building muscle, but that's a completely different thing. Can you please show me these studies, I would love to read them.

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I've never seen or heard of a study indicating that meat is needed for bodybuilding

 

My bad.I meant the common belief that meat is needed for bodybuilding, & indeed the studies you mention yourself indicating that animal protein was better than plant protein.My personal experience has been that plant protein is actually more effective than animal protein....

 

So..

 

My point dude, is that many false beliefs about protein & bodybuilding exist, I think we can all agree on that, cant we? Therefore by extension, I am curious to see if the large quantities of protein suggested are actually neccesary.I think it would be a worthwhile experiment for myself, & then for all of us vegan bodybuilders.I am unaware of anybody else on here who bodybuilds, & has tried drastically reducing protein intake while keeping calorie intake & exercise regimes the same.

 

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