Many people are actually causing harm to their bodies when they consume so-called ‘healthy’ proteins. High protein diets are all the rage but they can lead to a variety of health problems like liver disease, weight-gain, high cholesterol, reduced liver function and more!
Are you one of those people unknowingly putting yourself in danger?
So many people still buy into the propaganda that meat is the only complete source of protein available to us. Or that it is the SUPERIOR source of protein. Or perhaps you may have heard that eggs are nature’s ‘perfect protein.’ The list goes on and on. There are a lot of rumors out there of how much protein you should consume and what types.
I’m here to tell you that dairy products, meat, and soy are NOT your best sources of protein. Lets break them down one by one and I’ll explain why.
All dairy products on the market have been pasteurized for your ‘safety.’ That means they have been subjected to high temperatures. When this happens, it completely changes the structure of the molecules rendering the protein unusable to the body. Not only that, it changes the molecular structor so that the protein present in milk actually causes harm to the body.
And the calcium in milk? Forget about it. Milk robs calcium from bones. The protein in cow milk metabolizes to strong acids which can be harmful to the body. So, what does the body do? It uses calcium (from the bones) to neutralize those acids.
Before people start saying it, yes, you can get good quality sources of free-range beef, “I shot it myself” game, and wild caught fish. If those are the only sources of animal protein in your diet, you’re doing all right. However, the majority of people do not have the luxury of eating wild-caught and fresh animals and fish from their natural habitat. Furthermore, if you are one of the people who is eating high-quality meat, you are most likely eating too much.
Your body only needs around 6 ounces of animal protein a day. Anything more than that can lead to ketosis, the buildup of toxic ketones. Ketones harm the kidneys as the kidneys work hard to excrete these substances. This leads to a loss of water through the kidneys. Symptoms of consuming a ketogenic diet (remember the Atkins craze?) include fatigue, headaches, and heart palpitations. It also causes excess stress on the heart, a decline in muscle mass and a decline in bone calcium. The exact opposite of what a high-protein diet is supposed to do.
And unfortunately, most of the meat on the market is loaded with growth hormones, anti-biotics, additives, and other chemicals that aren’t fit for human consumption. You’re much better off eating lower on the food chain, like fruits and vegetables and grains and legumes.
Regardless of what you hear about soy and tempeh being a vegetarian’s best source of protein, I would strong advise AGAINST the consumption of soy products for the following reasons because soy products contain:
- Phytoestrogens: isoflavones- genistein and daidzein, which mimic and sometimes block the hormone estrogen
- Phytates: block the body’s uptake of minerals
- Enzyme Inhibitors: hinder protein digestion
Hemagglutinin: a clot-promoting substance which causes red blood cells to clump together. These clustered blood cells cannot properly absorb oxygen for distribution to the body’s tissues, and are unable to help in maintaining good cardiac health.
I think that sums up soy nicely.
There are plenty of vegetarian sources of protein out there. Allow me to make a list of types and amounts for you so you can see how easy it is to get all the protein you need on a vegetarian diet!
Beans, lentils and legumes - All types are good sources are a good source of protein Here are a couple examples:
1 cup kidney beans - 13.4 grams protein
1 cup green peas - 8 grams
1 cup chickpeas (garbanzos) - 14.6 grams protein
Nuts - All types are a good source of protein. For example:
2 tablespoons peanut butter - 8 grams protein
1/2 cup almonds - 15 grams protein
2 tablespoons cashew butter - 11 grams protein
1/2 cup walnuts - 9 grams protein
3 tablespoons of hemp seeds - 10 grams protein
2 tablespoons chia seeds - 5 grams protein
1/4 cup sunflower seeds - 8 grams protein
1/4 cup sesame or poppy seeds - 5 grams protein
Starches. For example:
1 cup quinoa - 18 grams protein
1 ounce of oats - 5 grams of protein
1 ounce of couscous - 5 grams of protein
1 cup of rice - 5 grams of protein
Superfoods. For example:
Spirulina - 2 tablespoons = 8 grams of protein
As you can see - it's quite easy to get a lot of protein on a vegetarian diet. Don't forget that all foods have some type of protein in them: it's the building blocks of cells. So even fruits and vegetables have protein in them!
1 cup of spinach contains 2 grams of protein
1 cup of broccoli contains 8 grams of protein
2 cups cooked kale contain 4.5 grams of protein
It is said that women should consume around 46 grams of protein a day and men, on average, should get around 56 grams of protein a day. Anything over 60 or 70 grams actually will cause damage to the kidneys and other vital organs over time. I tend to aim on the lower side of that between 25 and 35 (for women) and 35 and 45 for men. The problem is that a lot of people eat TOO MUCH protein. There is practically no such thing as a protein deficiency on a western diet. It’s non-existent unless you have an eating disorder, or are pregnant. Then you could potentially not be getting enough protein in your diet.
Other Problems Associated with Eating Too Much Protein
Your body can only use a certain amount of protein each day. If you take in too much protein, you may gain weight. Each gram of protein has 4 calories. If you take in 100 grams of protein and your body only needs 50, your body will store the extra 200 calories’ worth of protein as fat. If you do this consistently, the pounds will start to add up.
Reduced Liver and Brain Function
When you eat protein, the body produces ammonia, a toxin that your liver filters to make harmless. Too much protein over an extended period of time causes your liver to become overworked allowing ammonia and other toxic substances to build up in your bloodstream. This can lead to hepatic encephalopathy, a condition which shows a decline in brain and nervous system function.
I hope this helps to clarify that getting protein into your diet is not challenging at all. Many people get trapped into thinking that only meat and diary products contain protein. Once again, this is not the case as illustrated above.
If you’re interested in creating a personalized meal plan or health coaching program to suit your individual needs, please reach out! I’m here to help.
Emyrald Sinclaire is a Certified Natural Health and Holistic Nutrition Practitioner (CNHP; CHNP) She specializes in detoxification programs, internal cleanses, and helping clients build strong immune systems. She also travels internationally to do raw food workshops, yoga retreats, and personal coaching. In addition, Ermyrald is a Certified Power Yoga Instructor and a Certified Raw Food Chef from the SunKitchen. For more information, visit PureRadiantSelf.com.