The Protein Controversy
Written by Deborah Marsh, Raw-Riffic Happenings!
The number one question I get when I talk about the raw food diet to raw food newbies and non-rawfoodies is, “Where do you get your protein?”
“Where? From the plant-based foods you eat!”
Okay, so that’s too simple of an answer – I know. But seriously, people have been misled to believe that they can only get sufficient amounts of protein from animal flesh – that’s simply not true! Plus, most people believe that if they don’t have a feeling of being full, that they are not providing their body with sufficient nutrients – especially protein… that’s why they eat so much meat!
Ask yourself this, “Where do animals get their protein from?”
Well, farm animals, such as chickens, cows, and pigs get their protein from grass and greens that are grown in mineral rich soil. These animals naturally have a very high protein, calcium and mineral requirement before even being considered as food for people. The requirement doubles for those animals used for human consumption. Which leads to another issue; commercial farming has introduced the use of growth hormones, chemicals, and antibiotics in order to produce these animals for consumption in large masses, and be able to provide them with the high mineral and nutrient requirements needed for these animals to grow. Instead, you are getting more than protein by eating these animals, you are getting a whole lot of other “junk” the body just doesn’t need, and is actually damaging. “Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?”
Wouldn’t it be more sensible to cut out the “middle-man” (in this case the middle-man would be the animal used for food), and eat the same nutrient rich greens that are grown in the same mineral rich soil that the animal needs to eat? The food would be fresh, the cost to produce the food would be minimal, and since the animals would not be harmed, or mistreated, you could rest your conscious.
Now, if you choose to eat meat – that’ fine. At least eat animals that are organically raised, and are range free, so that their vibration will be one of positive energy, and they will be much healthier and more beneficial to your body. Otherwise, don’t bother.
But wait, another misleading source of protein is the commercially sold “Protein Powder!” Don’t get me wrong, there are some very decent raw protein powders that can actually be beneficial – I use them myself. However, most of the products on the market, although high in “protein”, they are also very high in sugar, fat, and a bunch of other stuff that the body just doesn’t need – and is actually harmful to the body. Some of these commercially sold protein powders can actually cause serious hormonal imbalances, since they are specifically made to help build extreme muscle mass. That’s fine, but as the old saying goes, “Bury me young, but bury me BIG!” You might look super-strong and fit on the outside, but your insides are screaming for help as the body slowly starts to shutdown… “Scary thought, I know!”
As you can see, I didn’t say the products didn’t work. I’m simply stating that overall they are not the best solution for overall health and well-being! Plus, these protein powders are very expensive! Economically it is not the best solution for you, your pocket, or the planet!
Since I’m not a scientist, or a nutritionist, I’m not going to go into the nutritional evaluation of the various plant foods versus animal flesh, and commercial protein products. That’s not my point. Although, if you do the research you can see for yourself that plant-based foods will always be the safer, healthier, most nutritious, and most economical choice for protein, other important minerals and nutrients, and food sources in general.
However, what I have learned through my research is this: protein is a basic nutritional requirement for all living cells. Protein is used in the form of hormones, neurotransmitters, and enzymes (the structure of muscles, hair, skin, and connective tissue) and countless other functions of the body. Protein is one of the basic building blocks of the human body, being about 16 percent of our total body weight. On average, the body itself requires about .6 grams of protein per pound of body weight. If you are an athlete or perform lots of cardio, you would need .8 to 1 grams, and if you are building muscle you would need 1 to 2g. However, for the most part, people who eat the standard American diet (S.A.D.) already consume two times the daily requirement needed; and those people who eat a healthy vegetarian, vegan, or raw food diet are already getting more than enough grams of protein per day to meet their individual needs. “So, obviously as a rule, we are getting plenty of protein”.
In closing, it’s important to remember that as long as you are eating a balanced diet, regardless of whether or not it’s raw or cooked, your nutritional requirements can and will be met. But if you are consuming a diet high in processed and refined sugars, flours, and fats, and you are overeating, and overheating… then you will be sick and your body will be out of balance, regardless of how much exercise you get, or how many supplements you take, or how much protein you consume. Fresh is always best!!! EAT RAW!
Editor’s note. The statements claimed in this article are based on personal research and experience, and have not been evaluated by an authority of any sort. To learn more about the importance of protein and protein sources please conduct personal research. I am not a doctor, but I am very passionate about finding natural alternatives to medicine and over-the-counter processed supplements and vitamins. I encourage you to take responsibility for your own health, research, experience, and find what is best for you. Peace!