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The Protein Myth

I am looking for some more insight as to why protein is not necessary to consume in large amounts, like society tries to encourage.

"Where do you get your protein?" is probably the most common question I get from non-raw friends/coworkers.

Not to sound ignorant, but I would like some opinions about protein and why you think we are required/not required to consume it in large amounts daily.

Comments

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    I still consume large amounts daily by means of blue green algae because when I don't I don't grow tall enough and I get more cravings. I still think raw foodists should put some effort into getting protein from a source other than nuts and seeds, such as in the form of algae, bee pollen, and other superfoods. Whether people eat raw or not protein is still an essential nutrient. I do agree we need not worry as much but I just feel a lot better energetically when I eat a lot of the algae because of the protein.

  • RawKidChef, which blue green algae do you eat? (spirulina?) And how to you consume them? (in smoothies, etc?) How much do you eat daily? Thanks!!

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    I take the Klamath Wild Blue Green Algae here:

    http://www.iherb.com/ProductDetails.aspx?c=1&pid=6522&at=0

    It's different than spirulina, for some reason I have found spirulina to be indigestible. I like the Klamath stuff much better and the price is well worth it. I take the vegicas as they come in the bottle (though it would be great in smoothies I'm sure) and even though it sounds rather crazy I try to take around 75 caps a day. It's really my only protein source and you don't have to take that much, but it just makes me feel awesome like nothing else does. It's also got lots of B vitamins which I know are hard to get on a raw diet.

  • FeeFee Raw Master

    Have you read Green for Life? It explains in there about how we are 99.4% the same DNA as chimps and they get all their protein from greens nearly. Green veggies have a lot more protein in than you realise, and can be very nice!

  • Thank you RawKidChef. I have been looking to buy some form of blue green algae lately, so your info is rather helpful!

  • Protein is built from amino acids. The amino acids your body needs to make protein are found in plants and fruits. So if you get all of the amino acids from plants, your body can make protein. That's why you don't have to eat protein itself to get protein. In fact, your body breaks the protein you eat down to amino acids to build up the protein it specifically needs.

    So eating protein instead of amino acids is kind of inefficient energy wise.

    I always use that explanation when people question protein.

    As an aside, that is why the high protein diets work for a while. It takes energy to break up the protein you eat, so you lose weight when you eat lots of it. The downside is that metabolizing a lot of ingested protein is really toxic. A little bit is not so bad, but lots of protein is really hard on your body.

  • PirawnaPirawna Raw Newbie

    oy, I get so sick of that question. And even after explaining to them, people are still SO obsessed with protein.

    "How do you get your protein?"

    "The same way that cow you just ate got their protein."

  • blueyzblueyz Raw Newbie

    Pirawna, I LOVE that response :)

    I teach some nutrition when I do the digestive system(7th grade science) and have been slowly been working more and more whole/natural food facts into discussions in class. More to open their eyes on things than to push them one way or the other. Protein does come up, but that same amino acids build proteins seems to work much better with 7th graders than with adults. If I stress anything its more healthy eating overall. Lol and they laugh when I ask if they have ever seen a skinny hippo(and they eat plants). It does make them think twice however!

  • I agree with Fee, green do contain more protein than we think, but I am putting hemp powder in some of my smoothies and thats got pretty well all essental aminos and fills me up as well.

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    Hemp is awesome for protein as well, I just try to stay away from seeds because they don't digest well for me, but I think they are a great protein option and greens definitely are superior as well.

  • We get all the protein we need from fruits, veges and seeds. They all contain protein. Everything contains protein.

    Ounce for ounce, not water weight, many plant based foods have more protein than animal flesh, milk or eggs. Animal products seem to have more protein because they have less water.

    One other thing people forget is that when you heat the protein in animal flesh, milk or eggs it is rendered unusable and in some cases changes them into carcinogenics.

    If you eat a varied plant based diet you will get more than enough protein.

    http://www.howweheal.com/protein.htm is an interesting article, long but informative about all kinds of sources of raw protein, not necessarily vegan

  • ajcajc Raw Newbie

    That is an excellent reply,zucchini breath.

  • My trainer wants me to get 50% more protein each day! I think I'm getting about 60 or more grams right now. Eek! I'm a healthy weight and I just ran my first marathon and now I'm going for the lean muscle and better form overall. Any thoughts?

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Hey rawkidchef, 75 caps a day that is amazing! Do you buy it in bulk?

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    Yes, we just get a whole bunch of bottles from the cheapest stores we can find it. Really plays a huge role, so it's worth it I think!

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    yeah I can imagine it is good!!

    It being wild aswell, it is so good to eat wild food, especially if it is green. I might give your doseage a go one day and see what happens!

  • SuasoriaSuasoria Raw Newbie

    There's two ways I usually deal with this question. (I've been answering the question "where do you get your protein?" for 15 years or so.)

    1. I get protein from plant sources. Protein is only an issue when you get too much of it. Too much protein leads to cancer, osteoporosis, etc. We only need about one-seventh of our total diet to be protein, and Americans take in far more than that. Too much.

    2. Funny, I was just going to ask you: where do you get your vitamins, minerals, nutrients, fiber? Certainly not on the lettuce leaf and tomato slice on your burger. Do you get enough vitamin C? Etc.

  • bananaboybananaboy Raw Superstar

    Humans require their greatest protein intake during the first year of life when our bodies are most rapidly growing. Milk from our mother's breast is our only required food for the first 6-12 months.

    Human milk = 6% protein

    Watermelon = 7%

    Spinach = 30%

    Bananas = 4%

    Cucumbers = 11%

    Oranges = 7%

    Peaches = 8%

    Case closed!!

  • Hi HeartShapedSky,

    I am a raw vegan bodybuilder/figure competitor. I had the same issue, and then I discovered Sun Warrior protein. It is raw vegan, enzyme-processed from sprouted and biofermented brown rice, over 98% digestible, and--believe it or not--tastes delicious.

    I saw immediate gains in strength and muscle, and was so impressed I contacted the company with a testimonial. They invited me to be on their Team Warrior as a spokesmodel. Whoa! I was happy to, because I met the owner/creator and he has great integrity, and is a walking advertisement as well.

    Visit the site here: http://store.sunwarrior.com/?Click=1268

    I also love spirulina and BGA, but I have no problems digesting the sp.

    I get SO tired of this question now, but when I was SAD and on the high-protein low-carb diet, I had the exact same question when presented with the vegan lifestyle. I had a hard time believing you could get enough protein through plant sources, but now I am a true believer!

    I address this question with an article on my website/blog at www.Defiant-Health.com. I get asked that alot, but nobody questions that I have the muscle to back it up!

    And RawKidChef--you are awesome! I love your posts and recipes. Keep it up! And Blueberry is adorable. I would love to introduce him to Jukebox!

  • Bananaboy, are those caloric percentages?

  • According to http://www.healthrecipes.com/healthy_diet.htm

    "Here are more suggestions on protein amounts from various organizations:

    1. Reports from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition estimate that we need 2 1/2 percent of our daily calories from protein.

    2. The World Health Organization sets protein requirementsat 4 1/2 percent of caloric intake per day for both menand women.

    3. The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academyof Sciences gives a range of 4 1/2 to 6 percent as therange for the needs of protein for 98 percent of the USpopulation.

    4. The National Research Council cites a figure of 8 percentof our daily calories needing to be coming from protein."

  • Raw CurlsRaw Curls Raw Newbie

    There are a number of ways to answer that question.

    I usually just say that everything I eat gives me protein.

    If someone asks in an obnoxious way I could turn it around and ask them where they get all their vitamins, minerals and fiber.

    Another good response would be to come back with a question, for instance "why do you ask?" or "why do you think protein is more important than any other nutrient?"

    The raw runner has a great response to that as well. He says "I don't!"

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