Saturday, January 31, 2009

Vegetable Protein vs. Animal Protein

New link on the side bar about protein and the myths of needing "high quality protein". The media tells us that animal protein is high quality because it contains all of the essential amino acids. This article explains why this is not so. Here is a quote from the article:

Vegetable Protein Better Than Animal Protein?

But if you can get all of your amino acids from animal protein, and have to worry about variety for vegetables, why shouldn't you go with animal protein?

The protein found in other animals is very similar to our protein needs because they mostly have the right amount of each amino acid. They can be synthesized very efficiently by our bodies. However, efficiency isn't best, in this case.

According to Dr. Campbell, "The concept of quality really means the efficiency with which food proteins are used to promote growth. This would be well and good if the greatest efficiency equaled the greatest health, but it doesn't and that's why the terms efficiency and quality are misleading. In fact...there is a mountain of compelling research showing that "low-quality plant protein", which allows for slow but steads synthesis of new proteins, is the healthiest type of protein...Plant proteins may be lacking in one or more of the essential amino acids, as a group they do contain all of them." (3)

Here is the full article: VEGETABLE PROTEIN

The second article I read was on a raw food website. It had a lot of interesting information. I found this section the most informational:

Where do raw and living foodists get their protein?
The WHO (World Health Organization) says humans need about 5%
of their daily calories to come from protein to be healthy. The USDA
puts this figure at 6.5%. On average, fruits have about 5% of their
calories from protein. Vegetables have from 20-50% of their calories
from protein. Sprouted seeds, beans, and grains contain from 10-25%
of their calories from protein. So if you are eating any variety of living
plant foods, you are getting more than adequate protein. Numerous
scientific studies have shown the daily need for protein to be about
25-35 grams per day. So if you ate 2,000 calories per day, and ate raw
plant foods that had an average of 10% of their calories from protein,
you would get 200 calories worth of protein, or 50 grams. This is more
than adequate to support optimal well-being. Other studies have shown
that heat treating a protein (such as with cooking) makes about half of it

unusable to the human body. So raw plant food protein is even a better
source than cooked plant foods or animal foods. There is still a huge,
foolish, misguided idea that plant protein is not "complete". This is
based on studies done on rats in the 1940's. This false conclusion was
drawn before we discovered the bodies protein recycling mechanism
and its ability to "complete" any amino acid mix from our bodies
amino acid pool, no matter what the amino acid composition of a
meal consumed.

Here is the whole article: Living and Raw Foods

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