There is a lot of debate about protein. Some say that we need a lot, and others say that we need little. This article promotes the former.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
By Bette Dowdellon 08/29/2011
The government’s food pyramid and leading poobahs recommend that we eat very little protein–a no-science, no-facts recipe for disaster. In fact, most politically-correct thinking about health actually leads to poor health, even disease and death.
How much protein you need is a case in point.
Without protein, your body’s in a world of hurt. Your brain doesn’t work. Your endocrine system doesn’t work. Your digestion doesn’t work. In short, you feel really crummy.
And while you can eat too little protein, it’s hard to overdose on protein. With one huge proviso: The little purple pill so many people take to lower stomach acid–which is usually too low already (and why don’t doctors actually test before they start with the purple pill?) can make it impossible for your stomach to fully digest protein. Chaos ensues.
A friend has been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Now, Crohn’s is a serious diagnosis for a serious problem, but in this case I believe the problem is not Crohn’s, but long years of the purple pill doing a number on her digestive system. Which should be fixable.
However, she made it very clear in the past that she didn’t want to hear my health suggestions, especially about the little purple pill, so I took the coward’s way out and told her husband I didn’t think it was Crohn’s.
Back to the topic.
Growth requires protein, so children and expectant mothers should go for it. Aging gracefully also requires protein. I’m assuming you don’t want to just fall apart.
Weight loss requires protein, too–plus cutting back carbs. That was established in 1863–and argued about ever since. Arguments aside, protein boosts your metabolism.
We need protein with every meal, especially breakfast.
Plant proteins are incomplete. Animal proteins–eggs, fish and red meat, for instance–offer the most nutrition.
However, we have to chat a little about red meat. The nutrition in grocery store meat is severely compromised by the animal’s diet of corn and soy. Ruined might better describe the problem. The unnatural grain diet converts meat’s natural Omega 3, a blessing, to Omega 6, a curse.
And grocery store meat also comes loaded with hormones and antibiotics.
Studies blare out the so-called news that red meat causes colon cancer, but it ain’t the meat; it’s the Omega 6, antibiotics and hormones. Buy 100% grass-fed beef–no antibiotics, no hormones.
Let’s break down a good diet.
To calculate your daily protein needs, multiply your ideal weight by .75. Then multiply your actual weight by .75. For example, if your ideal weight is 150, and your actual weight is 180, you’ll calculate 112 and 135. This means your diet should include between 112 and 135 grams of protein a day, which will come out to about 30% of your diet.
If you have kidney disease or diabetes, ask your doctor to monitor your progress.
Here are some sample numbers to calculate your protein intake:
- Large egg: 6 grams
- ½ C cottage cheese: 15 grams (get organic to avoid antibiotics, carrageenan, etc.)
- 1 ounce cheddar or swiss cheese: 7-8 grams per ounce
- 1 ounce beef, chicken, fish, pork: 7 grams per ounce
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter: 8 grams
- ¼ C almonds: 8 grams
- ¼ C pecans: 2.5 grams
- ½ C cooked split peas: 8 grams
- ½ C cooked beans (black, pinto, lentils, etc.): 7-10 grams
Carbs can also be about 30% of your diet. If you want to lose weight, make sure the carbs are complex and not easy for your body to convert to sugar. Mostly veggies.
These are not rigid rules. For instance, my body likes more protein than carbs, so I cut back my carb percentage. Work it out to where you feel best.
If protein and carbs are each 30% of your diet, then fat, mainly saturated fat, makes up the other 40%. With all the ranting and raving about fat, the very thought of 40% fat may give you heart palpitations, but don’t fret fat; be in peace.
You need fat to satisfy your appetite so you don’t nibble all day. Besides, saturated fat lowers your cholesterol. And did you know your body makes most of its hormones from saturated fat? Plus, if you’re dieting, higher fat levels help.
Consider coconut oil. And eggs give you a fabulous combination of saturated fat and protein. Beef, too.
Adequate protein makes a body sing.
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