We live in a world where protein is everything. Don’t eat sugars, carbs are biggest enemy, cut on fat, eat protein! The more, the better. Today we will talk about the truth about protein and how much of proteins we actually need.
Nowadays we add protein into everything, we can see it everywhere, just look around next time you are doing your groceries. What do you see? Plant milk high in protein, protein shakes, protein bars, protein chips, protein bread, protein tortilla wraps, protein cereals. Isn’t it crazy? And you would be surprised how many people will choose the high in protein option, without even looking on the ingredients, because we have deeply rooted in our head that protein is good for us.
Know one thing, I’m not judging you, nor anyone else. I’ve done the same for many, many years.
The story of protein is part science, part culture, and a good dose of mythology.
If I would ask you, how many % of daily calories comes from proteins in a diet of one of the healthiest population in the world, what would be your guess?
Only 7% of the calories come from protein in the Okinawan diet, one of the longest-lived, most vigorous populations in the world.
Science shows that what’s good for our bodies is also good for our environment.
I gave up meat, I gave up milk and I had no issue whatsoever, but cheese it’s a different story. It’s definitely the hardest from all the addictions. And there is a simple explanation: chemicals in cheese called casomorphins actually mimic the effects of the real morphine in our brains and bodies. Isn’t that scary?
Have you heard the argument about caveman as often as I do? hundreds of years ago people were eating so much meat and they were fine. Every time I hear that I want to scream. But I don’t. I simply try to explain how it actually looked like or just say nothing. I’ve learned that some people are so closed minded and not ready to listen it’s not worth to discus it with them. I found myself frustrated so many times, trying to explain something to someone who didn’t care. Not worth your time, and your nerves.
If you want to know how I deal with that question, check the Were caveman a carnivore? article I’ve wrote before.
The protein paradox: some of us consume protein shakes and skinless chicken breasts in order to lose weight, while at the same time bodybuilders do the same to gain weight.
But carbs will make me fat!
Carbs are not your enemy. Your enemy are the processed, refined carbs that we tend to consume instead of fresh whole fruits and vegetables, beans and whole grains. There is a huge difference between bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruits and sugar-sweetened cereals.
Carbs are not making you fat, unless you are eating too many calories. If you eat more calories than you burn, any additional food either carbs or proteins will turn to fat.
I will shock you now, but in fact proteins are making you fat!
I’m sure you’ve seen similar picture before.
If you eat food with lots of calories, by the time your brain will get the message: “I’m full”, you’ve probably eaten too many calories already.
When you eat plant based you don’t have to worry too much about calories. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber, that means they feel you up quickly and leave you feeling full for longer.
Will eating fruits aka sugar cause me diabetes?
Meat, especially processed meat (bacon, ham, salami etc.) is associated with type 2 diabetes. To tell you more, if you swap consumption of saturated fats with fructose you reduce your risk of developing diabetes by 30%.
If you are not convinced that diabetes is coming from fat not sugar (even if you are you should watch it) you have to watch BCC documentary about pair of twins who went on separate diets for a mont, one high in sugar and the other high on fat.
Do you know where the healthiest community in the United States live?
Loma Linda, California. I believe don’t are not worried about their protein intake. They eat lots of fruits and vegetables and low amount of meat. Here you can read more about their lifestyle
Aren’t proteins are more fueling than carbs?
According to A satiety index of common foods, you will feel the fullest and most satisfied after serving of potatoes.
So, how much protein do we need?
It’s practically impossible to design a protein-deficient diet that isn’t also a starvation diet. If you are eating enough calories, you get enough proteins.
Instead of focusing so much on proteins let’s ditch processed food and focus on eating lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Is meat good or bad for you? Who knows? We’ve all seen evidence for both sides. And if we don’t really know we start to believe in what we want to believe.
References & Worth to Read: