A common sentiment for people who do not eat meat is, “Or dear, are you sure that you are getting enough protein?” Protein is the most misunderstood nutrient we eat.
Question: “Are you eating recycled protein?” Read on to find out the answer.
Proteins are a class of organic compounds which are present in, and vital to, every living cell. In the form of skin, hair, callus, cartilage, muscles, tendons and ligaments, proteins hold together, protect, and provide structure to the body of a multi-celled organism. In the form of enzymes, hormones, antibodies, and globulins, they catalyze, regulate, and protect the body chemistry. In the form of hemoglobin, myoglobin and various lipoproteins, they effect the transport of oxygen and other substances within an organism. A daily average of 46g for women and 56g for men is recommended. By including high-protein plant based foods into your diet you reach those protein goals.
It is important to know that amino acids are the building blocks of proteins-not the flesh of animal meats. Twenty amino acids are found within proteins. Your body makes 11 amino acids so we really only need to be concerned about consuming the nine that our body cannot make. The nine amino acids that we need to get from our diet are called “essential amino acids.”
Now consider that animals get protein from plant sources. If you trace back where the protein in all meat comes from you would find it comes from the amino acids that come from plants. The only reason that MEAT contains protein is because the animals eat plants with amino acids and those amino acids cause their bodies to create other amino acids forming, you guessed it, protein. It works that way in our bodies too. If you eat an organic plant based diet, you are getting enough protein and its straight from the source-low in fat and no cholesterol. This also means no antibiotics, no hormones, no caustic animal food additives, no high fat and cholesertol content.
“A vegetarian diet based on a combination of unprocessed starches (eg, rice, corn, potatoes, beans), with the addition of vegetables and fruits, supplies all the protein, amino acids, essential fats, minerals, and vitamins (with the exception of vitamin B12) necessary for excellent health. To wrongly suggest that people need to eat animal protein for nutrients will encourage them to add foods that are known to contribute to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and many forms of cancer, to name just a few common problems.” (http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/105/25/e197.full)
As a surgery nurse, I have seen first hand what cholesterol and fatty build up can cause. To the left is a picture of a clogged artery. The yellow is the build up representing a diet high in saturated fats. The plaque looks and feels like chicken fat only it is a lot stickier. Not hard to understand how it blocks the artery flow. Poor diet has cost trillions of dollars in health caare and many lives. Lesson: Eat smart!
Bon Appétit Cherie