Protein! Protein? Protein…


Conflicting advice?

How often have you seen dietary advice online that looked like this?

Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues, and to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.

There is protein in all foods. Fruit, grains, legumes, vegetables and animal products alike contain protein.

Many people think that only meat and dairy products contain all essential amino acids. This information is incorrect.

Protein is made up of amino acids. The first amino acid was discovered in the early 19th century in 1806 by French chemists Louis-Nicolas Vauquelin and Pierre Jean Robiquet. They isolated a compound in asparagus that was subsequently named asparagine, the first amino acid to be discovered.

Wait what? The first protein was found in asparagus!

Yes, that’s because all plant foods contain the three macro nutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fats. But to continue with protein, once food is in the digestive system the body breaks protein down into individual amino acids (the building blocks of protein). Then your body plays a game of tetris over the course of several days to produce the specific combinations of amino acids for repair, growth and all the other complex processes humans need to stay healthy.


How much protein do people need?

"Enough!" Is the answer. And how much is enough…?

According to the bio chemical researchers like Dr. Colin Campbell 5 to 10% of total macro nutrients for normal bodily functions like growth and repair.

When you ingest more protein then your body needs, the liver and kidneys process and excrete it through urine. This is because the body is unable to store proteins. When excessive amounts of protein are ingested, the excess amino acids produced from digesting proteins are transported to the liver from the small intestine.

I’d like to end this on a cynical note; why do current diet trends suggest such a high percentage of protein intake, 30 to 45% in some cases!?

Could it be so certain industries can make more money…? (that couldn't be it)

Eat lots of meat and take a lot of supplements to get all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs. Don’t eat carbs like fruit, vegetables and whole grains though, they will make you fat.

That sounds natural.