The Protein Myth: Let's Get Down to the Truth Here!
PROTEIN PROTEIN PROTEIN!
A 6-ounce broiled porterhouse steak is a great source of protein—38 grams worth. But it also delivers 44 grams of fat, 16 of them saturated. That's almost three-fourths of the recommended daily intake for saturated fat. That can be really tough on your kidneys. The same amount of salmon gives you 34 grams of protein and 18 grams of fat, 4 of them saturated. A cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein, but under 1 gram of fat. So when choosing protein-rich foods, pay attention to what comes along with the protein. Vegetable sources of protein, such as beans, nuts, seeds, green veggies, fruit and whole grains, are excellent choices, and they offer healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals.
*Please take into consideration that individual nutritional requirements for every person is unique and varies. The most important lifestyle influence that may modify demands for protein is the level of physical activity.
What Food Provides Enough Protein?
"The World Health Organization states that humans need about 5% of their daily calorie intake to come from protein. This constitutes a healthy diet. Actually, by being a raw food enthusiast, you have the option to get your daily dose of protein from a variety of sources. So no longer do you have to think “gee, I should make sure I have chicken tonight so I get my protein.” Now you have multiple ways to get your protein, from your breakfast smoothie to your afternoon snack. On average, fruits have roughly 5% of their calories from protein and vegetables (especially green leafy ones) have 20-50% of their calories from protein."
Here are some great plant based foods that are packed with the proteins your body needs:
* Dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach (2-3g per 100g; great in salads, in juices and green smoothies)
* Fruits such as peaches, avocados (1-4g protein per 100g fruit; great in smoothies), and raisins (consider making a raw trail mix)
* Nuts such as Brazil nuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios (up to 21g of protein per 100g) and seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin seed and chia seed
* Hemp protein powders (23%) added to your smoothies and Blue-Green Algae such as Spirulina (contains all the amino acids) also added to juices and smoothies
After reading all these articles, and finally, reading the article by the World Health Organization "Protein and Amino Acid Requirements in Human Nutrition", I've concluded that we need about for every .83g of protein for each kg of body weight(each kg is 2.5 lbs). In easy to understand terms: divide your weight into a third. That's about what you should get in protein grams. (for a 140 lb person they should obtain around 45 grams per day)
This is from a raw food guy I follow, and this is what he says about protein on the raw diet:
"6% of protein in total calories consumed is plenty, for the following reasons:
1. Human milk only contains 6% protein (by calories). We know that babies are growing fast and need more protein than adult. So there is no reason to think we would need more protein than a growing baby.
2. Vegetarian and fruitarian animals on the planet all eat a low-protein diet and yet build tremendous strength and muscle.
3. Proteins in fruits and vegetables are of higher quality than proteins in grains or beans. They contain all necessary amino acids and are not processed, cooked or coagulated by heat. Therefore, they are easy to assimilate.
In the 11 years I’ve been on a raw diet, I’ve never known any raw-foodist with a true protein deficiency.
However, I’ve met plenty of people who consumed too little food and wasted away, in addition to suffering from many deficiency-related problems.
It’s essential to consume enough calories to meet your needs. If you do that, you’ll automatically get enough protein, along with most necessary nutrients (one exception is Vitamin B12. I recommend supplementing for that)." -Frederick Patenaude
I completely agree that we obsess over the protein controversy and that we actually (on the Standard American Diet) get WAY too much. I'm just not sure if 6% is enough. I'll continue to do research.
Check out other thoughts he has on his blog: http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/blog/
This concept is hard for me to grasp, personally. I'm still addicted to the idea of "getting enough protein" and getting it from fish. I probably only eat fish every other week, but I feel like it's imperative, even though it probably isn't. This year as one of my new years resolutions, I will attempt to eat less fish. I know there are plenty of reasons to not eat fish- i.e. toxins, mercury, poisons but i continue to hold onto the notion of "how good I feel after eating it" (unlike other meats that don't leave me feeling good). I also feel like I'm on cloud nine after drinking a green juice, superfood smoothie or a delicious raw entree. So, would I really miss not having fish in my life? This year will be the test! :)