Getting Past the 'Protein Myth' That Keeps People
from Quitting Meat and Dairy
By Kathy Freston, Huffington Post
Posted on June 3, 2008, Printed on December 30, 2008
When I tell people that I'm a vegan, the most popular question, by far,
inevitably follows: "But, how do you get enough protein?"
There it is again, I think, the meat industry's most potent weapon
against vegetarianism -- the protein myth. And it is just that -- a
myth. There are LISTS of celebs, actors, sports stars, who eat vegies
only. GOOGLE THIS. As In fact, humans need only 10 percent of
the calories we consume to be from protein. Athletes and pregnant women
need a little more, but if you're eating enough calories from a varied
plant based diet, it's impossible to not to get enough.
The way Americans obsess about protein, you'd think protein deficiency
was the number one health problem in America. Of course it's not -- it's
not even on the list of the ailments that doctors are worried about in
America or any other countries where basic caloric needs are being met.
What is on the list? Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity --
diseases of affluence. Diseases linked to eating animal products.
According to the American Dietetic Association, which looked at all of
the science on vegetarian diets and found not just that they're healthy,
but that they "provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment
of certain diseases."
They continue: "Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets
are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during
pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence ... Vegetarians
have been reported to have lower body mass indices than nonvegetarians,
as well as lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease; vegetarians
also show lower blood cholesterol levels; lower blood pressure; and
lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon
Dr. Dean Ornish writes of his Eat More, Weigh Less vegetarian diet --
the one diet that has passed peer-review for taking weight off and
keeping it off for more than 5 years -- that in addition to being the
one scientifically proven weight loss plan that works long-term, it "may
help to prevent a wide variety of other illnesses including breast
cancer in women, prostate cancer in men, colon cancer, lung cancer,
lymphoma, osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension, and so on ...."
So when people ask me about protein, I explain that protein is not a
problem on a vegan diet, that the real problems that are plaguing us in
the West can be addressed in part with a vegetarian diet, and that I get
my protein the same way everyone else does -- I eat!
Beans, nuts, seeds, lentils, and whole grains are packed with protein.
So are all vegetables as a caloric percentage, though they don't have
enough calories to sustain most people as a principal source of
sustenance. And these protein sources have some excellent benefits that
animal protein does not -- they contain plenty of fiber and complex
carbohydrates, where meat has none. That's right: Meat has no complex
carbs at all, and no fiber. Plant proteins are packed with these
Plus, since plant-based protein sources don't contain cholesterol or
high amounts of saturated fat, they are much better for you than meat,
eggs, and dairy products.
It is also worth noting the very strong link between animal protein and
a few key diseases, including cancer and osteoporosis.
According to Dr. Ornish (this may be the most interesting link in this
article, by the way -- it's worth reading the entire entry),
"high-protein foods, particularly excessive animal protein, dramatically
increase the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, and
many other illnesses. In the short run, they may also cause kidney
problems, loss of calcium in the bones, and an unhealthy metabolic state
called ketosis in many people."
The cancer connection is spelled out at length in a fantastic book by
Cornell scientist T. Colin Campbell, called The China Study. Basically,
there is overwhelming scientific evidence to implicate that animal
protein consumption causes cancer.
And just a few quick anecdotal points:
Olympian Carl Lewis has said that his best year of track competition was
the first year that he ate a vegan diet (he is still a strong proponent
of vegan diets for athletes).
Strength trainer Mike Mahler says, "Becoming a vegan had a profound
effect on my training. ... [M]y bench press excelled past 315 pounds,
and I noticed that I recovered much faster. My body fat also went down,
and I put on 10 pounds of lean muscle in a few months."
Bodybuilder Robert Cheeke advises, "The basics for nutrition are
consuming large amounts of fresh green vegetables and a variety of
fruits, to load yourself up with vibrant vitamins and minerals."
A few other vegans, all of whom sing the praises of the diet for their
athletic performance: Ultimate fighter Mac Danzig, ultramarathoner Scott
Jurek, Minnesota Twins pitcher Pat Neshek, Atlanta Hawks Guard Salim
Stoudamire, and Kansas City Chiefs tight-end Tony Gonzalez.
And let's not forget about tennis star Martina Navratilova, six-time
Ironman winner Dave Scott, four-time Mr. Universe Bill Pearl, or Stan
Price, the world-record holder in bench press. They are just a few of
the successful vegetarian athletes. Vegan Politicos? Tzipi Livni, prime
minister of Israel and Vegan writers? George Bernard Shaw who lived to
age 96 and only died as he was up on a ladder, pruning his fruit trees and
fell. The bone wasn't set right. Infection followed. And. Actresses, there
are too many to name. Bionic Lindsay Wagner, Chloris Leachman
who recently competition-danced for weeks on end, age 83.
Alicia (clueless) Silverstone, also Ornella Muti, in Italy, and whoa! Clint Eastwood.
Basically, vegans and vegetarians needn't fret about protein, but many
Americans do need to worry about their weight, heart disease, cancer,
and other ailments -- many of which can be addressed by healthier
eating, including a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Vegetarians and vegans get all the nutrients our bodies need from
plants, and will thus, according to the science, be more likely to
maintain a healthy weight and stave off a variety of ailments, from
heart disease to cancer.
For answers to other popular questions about conscious eating, please
check out my previous post on the topic here. Happy eating!
NOTE: She published this summer 2008. Three months later the CRASH HIT.
Nobody had enough money for a steak. In such cases, do you know how to cook
LENTILS so they are Indian restaurant delicious?
THANK YOU ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ! How do I read the other FREE 7,000 INDEX PAGES?? i.e. THE "DISEASE PREVENTION" file. The "HOW TO SURVIVE THE WORLD CRASH" And the famous EASY PATH TO BECOMING A MILLIONAIRE SEMINAR (How to avoid taxes, how to run a lucrative Cottage Industry, GUERILLA CAPITALISM FOR HONEST PEOPLE, Frugal living. Frugal Gardening, Building a Farm Home, RECESSION TECH SECRETS, Urban Survival, THE GENTLEMAN FARMER ONE GAS TANK FROM THE CITY, NEW AGE METAPHYSICS, HEAD TRIPS, and FUTURE WORLD, the worst case scenario of what's comin' at us and WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT. How to Survive America's ENDLESS ECONOMIC DEPRESSION. JOBFINDERS, THE GIG ECONOMY, etc.
There is a PORTAL TO MORE AMAZING ARTICLES ON SURVIVING HARD TIMES HERE: When you get there you will note EACH LITTLE CARTOON ICON on LEFT SIDE OF that PAGE IS A LIVE LINK. CLICK and maybe save the INDEX URL to a FILE YOU CALL "HEALING 101" or "GUERILLA CAPITALISM 101". PUBLISH THEM YOURSELF. Do your own POSTER'S BLOG. These are life sustaining files that you can share, send to all your friends and family members. Write me if questions. Iím astrology at earthlink dot net.
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