05 February, 2012

Protein Mythology: 8 Myths About Protein!

Being told that, "You NEED meat and dairy in order to get protein," is just a myth! "Diet for a Small Planet" by Frances Moore Lappe is a book written and revised in 1975 explaining where protein can be found, how much we need, and it answers the myths about protein! The following are eight myths about protein that are listed in the chapter: "Bringing Protein Theory Down to Earth" in Lappe's book . Hopefully it helps everyone understand protein in broader terms.
This was written in 1975, so when fish or dairy products are being mentioned as a reliable source of protein, it is probably because water pollution and hormone injections were not as big as they are today.

                  Myths                                                                 Facts
              1. Meat contains                                                        1. Containing about 25 percent
              more protein than                                                         protein, meat ranks about in the
              any other food.                                                              middle of the protein quantity
                                                                                                    scale, along with some nuts,
                                                                                                    cheese, beans, and fish.

              2. Eating lots of meat                                                    2. The "average" American actual-
              is the only way to                                                           ly eats almost twice the protein
              get enough pro-                                                             that one's body can use. Thus
              tein.                                                                                most Americans could completely
                                                                                                     eliminate meat, fish, and poultry
                                                                            from their diets and still get (53-
                                                                                                     58 grams) their recommended
                                                                                                     daily allowance of protein from
                                                                                                     all the other protein-rich foods
                                                                                                     in our national diet.

              3. Meat is the sole                                                         3. Except for Vitamin B12 non-meat
              source for certain                                                          sources provide more than half
              essential vitamins                                                         of our intake of each of the 11
              and minerals.                                                                 vitamins and minerals most com-
                                                                                                     monly cited. And meat is not the
                                                                                                     sole source of Vitamin B12-it is
                                                                                                     found in all dairy products.

              4. Meat has the high-                                                     4. The word "quality" is an un-
              est quality pro-                                                               scientific term. What it really
              tein of any food.                                                             means is usability: how much of
                                                                                                      the protein eaten is actually
                                                                                                      used by the body. The usability
                                                                                                      of egg and milk protein is
                                                                                                      greater than that of meat.

              5. Because plant                                                             5. All plant foods commonly eaten
              protein is missing                                                           as sources of protein contain all
              certain essential                                                             eight essential amino acids. Plant
              amino acids it can                                                           proteins do have deficiencies in
              never equal the                                                               their amino acid patterns that
              quality of meat                                                                make them generally less usable
              protein.                                                                            by the body than animal protein.
                                                                                                      However, these deficiencies can
                                                                                                      be matched with amino acid
                                                                                                      strengths in other foods to pro-
                                                                                                      duce protein usability equivalent
                                                                                                      or superior to meat protein. This
                                                                                                      effect is called "protein comple-

              6. Plant-centered                                                            6. Just compare! There are basical-
              diets are dull.                                                                  ly five different kinds of meat
                                                                                                      and poultry, but 40-50 different
                                                                                                      kinds of commonly eaten vege-
                                                                                                      tables, 24 different kinds of
                                                                                                      peas, beans, and lentils, 20 dif-
                                                                                                      ferent fruits, 12 different nuts,
                                                                                                      and nine grains. The variety of
                                                                                                      flavor, of texture and of color
                                                                                                      lies obviously in the plant
                                                                                                      world. . . though your average
                                                                                                      American restaurant would give
                                                                                                      you no clue to this fact.

              7. Plant foods con-                                                          7. Plant foods do contain carbo-
              tain  a lot of car-                                                             hydrates but they generally don't
              bohydrates and                                                               have the fat that meat does. So,
              are, therefore,                                                                 ounce to ounce, most plant food
              more fattening                                                                has either about the same cal-
              than meat.                                                                       ories (bread is an example) or
                                                                                                      considerably fewer calories than
                                                                                                      most meat. Many fruits have one-
                                                                                                      third the calories, cooked beans
                                                                                                      have one-half, and many green
                                                                                                      vegetables have one-eighth the
                                                                                                      calories that meat contains.

              8. Our meat-cen-                                                             8. In fact, the dramatic contrast
              tered cuisine pro-                                                           between our diet and that of
              vides us with a                                                                the "average" Indian is not in
              more nutritious                                                               our higher protein consumption
              diet overall than                                                             but in our intake of sugar and
              that eaten in the                                                             fat. While we take in only 50
              poor world.                                                                      percent more protein, we con-
                                                                                                      sume eight times the fat and
                                                                                                      four times the sugar. Far from
                                                                                                      being undermined by a higher
                                                                                                      consumption of plant food, our
                                                                                                      diet might actually be improved!   


  1. Hi Adi, Nice meeting you. I have read out some posts in your blog since you dropped a comment in mine (http://newsanimals.blogspot.in/)in the post (http://newsanimals.blogspot.in/2011/10/can-animals-comprehend-and-plan-for.html). I have been a silent reader since then, but now I thought I should comment. I like every single posts in your blog. I like the way you revolted against caging birds. Great post. I have always a similar kind of thinking... Some Animals Just Can't be Pets. Anyways, I am feeling lucky again to have found you -- yet another animal lover. Can we share our readers? If you think we can, please get in touch with me through aringsburg@gmail.com

    1. Thanks for reading! Likewise. Well, at the moment I only have three followers, but I can recommend people your blog since it's really good.