The number one question that people ask vegans is “If you don’t eat meat where do you get your protein from?” Most of America is obsessed with protein after the high protein diets came on the scene. Many people think meat=protein and if you don’t eat meat then you must not get enough of it and you will become malnourished and could just wither away and die. Of course we need protein to maintain muscles, balance our hormones and to grow properly but the amount and type of protein we need has been completely exaggerated by the media and book authors wanting to sell their ideas of what they think is right and healthy.
The truth is humans need far less protein than what most believe. Women need about 45 grams per day and men need around 55 grams. This can be obtained easily by eating a whole food, plant based vegan diet. Nearly all vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds contain some, and often much more protein than anyone would guess.
Proteins are compounds made up of amino acids. The human body can make some of its own amino acids and these are called nonessential amino acids. The other amino acids that the human body needs are called essential. We have to get these proteins from the food we eat. There is a difference between plant protein and animal protein and how they work in our bodies.
Animal proteins have sulfur compounds in them that are acidic to our bodies and this affects our PH balance. To correct the PH problem calcium comes into play and helps to excrete the sulfur and excess protein from our bodies via our urine. This causes us to become calcium deficient. Animal protein also comes with the hazards of saturated fat and cholesterol which leads to heart disease.
No one would think to ask some of the strongest animals in the world such as chimpanzees, gorillas, elephants, hippos, horses, oxen, rhinos, cows , or goats where they get their protein from if they don’t eat other animals. These creatures eat an all raw, plant based diet and have tremendous strength.
Around 10 percent of calories from protein is the amount listed as the recommended daily allowance (RDA) on food packages and by most doctors and professionals in nutrition. Americans, however average around 15-16 percent of calories from protein or more. Those on the high protein diets get even higher amounts not knowing how dangerous it it really is for their bodies.
According to T. Collin Campbell (The China Study), “…Only 5-6 percent of dietary protein is required to replace the protein regularly excreted by the body (as amino acids). About 9-10 percent protein, however, is the amount that has been recommended for the past fifty years…The relatively few people consuming more than 21 percent protein mostly are those who “pump iron,” recently joined by those on high protein diets.” The only time that humans need milk is during the greatest period of growth that the human body goes through which is just after birth. The sole food at that time is mothers milk, which happens to have six percent of its calories from protein.
So eat your leafy greens, sprouts, beans, broccoli, almonds, tofu, grains and so on and you will stay inside the 5-6 percent parameters of good health and still stay strong and vibrant without the risk of disease. Check out Dr. T. Collin Campbell’s website for more information on his studies and to change your life! nutritionstudies.org