By not getting enough calories
Essential nutrient? Yes. More important than complex carbohydrates? No. Earlier this week, I blogged about the importance of fiber in the diet of herbivores. Today, I want to revisit the old question about protein---because this is a concern that is not likely to disappear during my lifetime.
Even Bill Clinton, who has reversed his heart disease by following the dietary advice of Campbell, Esselstyn and Ornish, still thinks he needs a protein shake to make sure he gets enough. That's fine, as long as he has a plant-based protein shake---he definitely doesn't need to consume ANY animal protein---EVER.
My "Fiber Blog" included an analysis of 13 foods that I consume on a regular basis. They include a few from each category: fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and nuts. Once again, I went to nutritiondata.com and determined how many grams of each macronutrient there were in 100 grams of product. A few showed zero protein and/or fat because the amount was less than one gram. So, in those cases, I checked the chart in the back of "The McDougall Plan" book and, sure enough, every single food had at least some of all three macronutrients.
Grams of macronutrients/100 grams for 13 of my routine foods. (Macronutrients are where we get our calories.) Notice that every single one of these 13 foods has protein in it---some more than others.
Same for carbs and fat---every single one has some of both. And Mother Nature has made sure that all three macronutrients contain just the right amount of all three of our macronutrients. This bears repeating:
- All 13 foods have protein
- All 13 foods have carbohydrates
- All 13 foods have fat
Protein-Carbs-Fat (grams per 100 grams)
- 1 --- 10 --- .5 ---Carrots
- 2 --- 7 ---- .5 ---Broccoli
- 3 --- 4 ---- .5 ---Spinach
- 2 --- 9 ---- 15 ----Avocado
- 9 --- 24 ---- 1 ----Black Beans
- 11 --- 10 --- 5 ---Edamame Beans
- 21 --- 22 --- 49 --Almonds
- 1 --- 14 --- .5 ---- Blueberries
- 1 --- 15 ---- 1 ----Pear
- .2 --- 15 --- .5 ---Apple
- 5 --- 27 --- 1 ----Whole grain pasta
- 13 --- 69 ---7 ---Oatmeal
- 3 --- 23 ----1 ---Brown Rice
*As you may have guessed, water makes up much of the weight of many of these foods---especially the first three.
*Avocado and almonds are in red only because of their high fat content. If you're trying to lose weight, you might want to go easy on these very healthy, whole foods.
Animal sources of protein. The only animal source of protein that we should ever consume is the milk from our own mother. Did you know that her milk is only 5% protein, and that is during the period of our lives when we are growing most rapidly.
By comparison, the typical adult in the Western world is deriving over 15% of her calories from animal protein---and it is literally killing us. On the other hand, it's impossible to consume too much protein when your only sources are whole, plant-based foods.
By the way, even Dr. Spock learned the truth about milk and animal protein before he died. Two final points to remember:
- We are the only species in history that ever consumes the milk of another spices.
- We are the only species in history that consumes ANY milk after weaning.
Still have questions about protein? Visit our Protein Page
—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com