Where do you get your protein?

The most common question I continually hear from anyone who has not read much about nutrition and food beyond what the media tells them. Happens so often, in fact, that 2.5 hours ago someone asked me just that. Americans are so brainwashed by the meat industry that: 1) we believe we are somehow supposed to be consuming massive amounts of protein daily; and 2) we are led to believe that ONLY by eating meat can we obtain protein.

Guess what? Consuming high amounts of protein is bad; the RDA is 0.36 grams of protein per pound that we weigh.  So, if you weigh 180, you should consume no more than 65g per day. If you are having a handful of meat with each of your three meals every day, it’s probably too much (one typical serving of steak is about 40g, chicken about 30g, fish about 20g). For a 120lb female, consume no more than 43g/day. One container of tofu is about that much. There are more foods with protein that are nutritious and not detrimental to your health the way meat is (see the links at the bottom of this post).

If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you’ll need to mix the foods you get your protein from so that you get all of the essential amino acids–unless you consume tofu, soybeans, tempeh, miso, buckwheat, or quinoa, each of which contain all essential amino acids in one shot (just like meat does). Otherwise, combine grains + legumes or nuts/seeds + legumes and you’ll get your amino acids in just fine.

Let’s now compare the quality of the protein you consume. Meat = low quality because it has way too much cholesterol and requires too many precious resources to even get the dead flesh digested (read my pH Miracle post about acid/alkaline). Veggies/grains/legumes/nuts/seeds = high quality because they also contain other important nutrients and your body loves instead of hates them. Let’s compare soy with pork.

Grams of Protein  36 30
Grams of Cholesterol  0 96
Grams of Calcium  277 7

So you get MORE protein, you skip the cholesterol and you get a ton of calcium! Nice! Let’s compare lentils with beef.

Grams of Protein 28 24
Grams of Cholesterol 0 90
Grams of Calcium 51 11

Are you starting to see the pattern here? If not, how about salmon and peanuts:

Grams of Protein 26 25
Grams of Cholesterol 0 85
Grams of Calcium 89 28

Enough said. Stop clogging your poor arteries, stop killing innocent animals, and stop supporting animal cruelty (remember, they don’t die quickly and painlessly in those slaughterhouses; they don’t see the sun or walk on grass their entire lives; they can’t turn around in their crates…ever; and farm factory workers are so used to violence that many of them inflict further torture just for fun)!

UPDATE 10/29/11: More information to add:

  • Our bodies more easily digest protein when it comes from plants. It has to work very hard to digest and create protein from animal sources. Victoria Boutenko says, in her Green For Life book: “the body has to work a lot less when creating protein from the assortment of individual amino acids from greens, rather than the already combined, long molecules of protein, assembled according to the foreign pattern of a totally different creature such as a cow or a chicken” (Raw Family Publishing, 2005).
  • Boutenko makes a great analogy in her book – Pretend you are making a wedding dress. Getting your protein from an animal is like going to a bunch of second hand stores, getting other people’s dresses, ripping them up, piecing them together, and forming an imperfect dress and having a lot of garbage left over (that is the unwanted crap from meat that your body is forced to deal with, which it does in ways that harms the systems of eliminations, especially over time). Instead, if you get your protein from plant sources, that would be like going to a fabric store and getting brand new fabric, beads, lace, etc. and making a custom perfect fit.
  • We almost never consume carnivorous animals. We eat animals that eat plants so that we may benefit from the nutrients the animal receives earlier through consuming plants. Why in the world would we want second-best nutrients? Just go straight to the source and you can skip the animal murder, cholesterol, disease, sluggishness, etc.

More added 11/3/11:

  • View my article on Cancer Prevention. The recommendation by the American Institute of Cancer Research for meat is that you avoid it, but if you do eat it, don’t eat more than 3 ounces of it. Three tiny ounces! That’s about the size of a deck of cards or a bar of soap! [http://www.cancer.org/Healthy/EatHealthyGetActive/TakeControlofYourWeight/controlling-portion-sizes]
  • Plenty of studies have linked high meat consumption to various types of cancers. In a study done in France, they found that “breast cancer risk increased by 56% for each additional 100 g/day of meat consumption”1




  1. Bessaoud, F., Daures, J., & Gerber, M. (2008). Dietary Factors and Breast Cancer Risk: A Case Control Study Among a Population in Southern France. Nutrition & Cancer, 60(2), 177-187.

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