19 Jul 2012
- Written by Dr. Timothy Moore
If you're a vegan like I am and rely solely on a plant-based diet for good health, you may have been approached with this question: "Where do you get your protein if you're not eating meat?"
We are a nation of animal lovers. We raise them as pets, and others we eat as food. If you think about it for a moment, it sounds gross for someone to eat a carcass. Can a pig or hog be someone's pet? I don't know. What about a cow or a little lamb? Lamb chops might taste good to some people, but I can't stomach it.
If you're so concerned about getting protein in your diet, there is a way. Many of the children in war-ravaged Africa and other barren lands are suffering from malnourishment. But you'll never hear about them being deficient in protein. Rice is a staple in those lands, and it is rich in protein.
I used to be a carnivore. Like most people, I consumed my portion and someone else's. I loved it and paid the price, though. My health started spiraling out of control. It didn't take long for me to realize that it was my fault that my health was failing – all because I was greedy and addicted to the carcass.
We are taught that protein comes from cows, pigs, chickens, and other forms of animal products. It is my contention that we don't need animal protein to survive. We really don't. In fact, the top leading authorities are on the wrong side of this issue. The truth of the matter is a plant-based diet will provide all the protein you need to survive.
If you're in ill health, though, you'll have to watch out for heart attacks. They kill 1.2 million people a year, and they're totally preventable. By choosing a low-fat, plant-based diet, lives could be saved, according to the American Heart Association. But death is inevitable if the pathway to good health is blocked because of bad eating habits or consistently consuming a diet of animal carcasses.
So how much protein is required to keep a person healthy? The World Health Organization recommends that men and women obtain 5 percent of their calories from protein. This would equate to 38 grams of protein for a man burning about 3,000 calories a day and 29 for a woman burning 2,400 calories a day.
The issue is the quality of the protein that's needed for an individual. Rice, for example, provides 71 grams of protein, while potatoes provide 64 grams. Lets look at the percentage of calories from plant-based protein, the kind we consume daily:
Green vegetables: Asparagus, 42; broccoli, 42; carrots, 10; lettuce, 40; Onions, 32; mushrooms, 12; and spinach, 51.
Starchy vegetables: Black beans, 27; cassava, 10; corn, 11; kidney beans, 27; peas, 28; potatoes, 8; sweet potato, 7; Grains & Flours: White Rice 7, white flour, 11; whole wheat flour, 16; brown rice, 9; cornmeal, 9; and oatmeal, 15.
Animal foods: Beef, 53; chicken, 46; pork, 29; salmon, 43; whole milk, 21; skim milk, 39; human milk 5, cheddar cheese, 25; cottage cheese, 69; and eggs, 32.
So if someone asks you where you get your protein, just explain to them that eating vegetables and starches will provide more protein than required. Question: Can a plant-based diet help you overcome all your health-related issues? I believe so.
Studies have been done regarding the impact of such a reversal in the diet on the modern man or woman. Many of these studies have shown that human beings who take in a large variety of fruits and vegetables actually have a much lower chance of contracting several kinds of diseases.
You can get protein from fruits and vegetables, but don't be naïve thinking that eating meat provides your only source of protein. That's poppycock!