Let's Talk About PROTEIN!

>> Thursday, September 11, 2008


Anyone who is a non-meat eater has most likely been asked the question “where do you get your protein?” I was once one of those individuals so I do not judge. It was only after embarking on the raw food lifestyle that I began to really know or learn about protein (okay, still learning).

Now I’m sure there were be plenty of people who will disagree or not fully agree with my post and maybe successfully argue for the other side or be content with the path they are on. I’m okay with this. Really. This post is more to point out that there are more ways than one in obtaining protein a body needs or hopefully help answer the question often asked.

We all know protein is found in animal-based diets.

vegparadise.com

But protein is also found in plant-based diets. And lots of it! In fact, every whole food contains protein. Click here to see a great chart comparing various foods by amount of protein or check out the big protein stars:

hemp seeds

sprouts

nuts

seeds

spirulina

quinoa

legumes

And don’t forget FRUIT! Fruit can have lots o’protein too. Click here and see.

So again, not just limiting ourselves to the obvious but thinking of all whole foods. It becomes so easy to just say nuts and seeds because they are such quick, wonderful sources of protein. Now, you can say there’s a source everywhere.

Another interesting fact to point out is that you won’t get fat or are less likely to when consuming your protein through a plant-based diet. Typically, when consuming animal protein you’re also consuming cholesterol and fat. I do believe in fats, however the GOOD fats…but that’s a post for another day.

How do you know when you’re getting enough protein? Well, I’ve read various reports that could depend on your age, gender and even weight but looks like on average about 50 grams a day (+/-). I think the amount when consumed from plants primarily should be individually based – so whatever you discover that works best for you IMO. General consensus is that if you’re consuming enough calories you’re consuming enough protein.

Just a reminder that I’m not here to judge anyone who’d rather have a steak than a handful of nuts, however I will say that too much animal protein isn’t very good for you as it can eventually lead to a whole host of health problems. Here’s a quick read that talks about the advantages of a plant-based diet and being properly balanced.

Complete proteins vs. incomplete proteins. Animal-based diets have complete proteins, basically containing all the essential amino acids for dietary needs. Most plant-based foods are incomplete, although there are some that are complete. It was once said and widely spread that one on a plant-based diet needed to compensate their meals with other foods in order to make complete proteins. It has since been “retracted” – there is no need to worry or focus on combining foods. It’s all good.

Wondering about the various plant-based diets out there? I ran across an article authored by the lovely Mary Laredo, which gives an overview of them and also about protein. If you haven’t been to Mary’s blog before I strongly urge you to do so – her story is nothing short of inspiring and amazing.

Speaking of amazing, Kristen’s Raw has also written a wonderful article about protein and so much more. It has a lot of info but definitely worth the time and read. Probably should’ve directed you there first – ha ha. Ah, well.

I enjoyed doing this research – I just hope I was able to convey it in a not-so-convoluted way. I sometimes talk in circles. Gotta love me right? Anyway, I do hope this helped in answering the protein question. There’s a lot of info out there, which you should be able to tell by all the links I embedded! I included so many to give you a chance, if interested, to do further research yourself.

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