Saturday, June 27 2015
I‘m often asked, “As a vegetarian, where do you get your protein.” And, “Do you get enough protein?” Why do people think that the only source of protein is animal-based? And why is so much emphasis given to protein?
Let’s me address the first question.
There are many sources of plant-based protein. Ample amounts of protein are thriving in whole, natural plant-based foods. For example, spinach is 51 percent protein; mushrooms, 35 percent; beans, 26 percent; oatmeal, 16 percent; whole wheat pasta, 15 percent; corn, 12 percent; and potatoes, 11 percent.
Do I get enough protein? Of course I do! What’s more, our body needs less protein than you may think. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the average 150-pound male requires only 22.5 grams of protein daily based on a 2,000 calorie a day diet, which means about 4.5 percent of calories should come from protein. (WHO recommends pregnant women get 6 percent of calories from protein.) Other nutritional organizations recommend as little as 2.5 percent of daily calories come from protein while the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board’s recommended daily allowance is 6 percent after a built-in safety margin; most Americans, however, are taking in 20 percent or more.
Moreover, plant-based protein is better for you. More plant sources of protein will also offer more health benefits including more fiber and nutrients. There are lots of nutrient dense foods with high protein content.
There are also health concerns of animal-based protein, for the average American consumes well over 100 grams daily—a dangerous amount. But if you eat a plant-strong diet, you’ll be getting neither too much nor too little of protein, but an amount that’s just right.
Why is protein so potentially harmful? Your body can store carbohydrates and fats, but not protein. So if the protein content of your diet exceeds the amount you need, not only will your liver and kidneys become overburdened, but you will start leaching calcium from your bones to neutralize the excess animal protein that becomes acidic in the human body.
Tell me – when was the last time, you knew of someone who was hospitalized for a protein deficiency? Likewise, look around in nature, where you will notice that the largest and strongest animals, such as elephants, gorillas, hippos, and bison, are all plant eaters.
IT’S A FACT: A Plant-based diet is a diet rich in everything you need for optimal health!!