Monday, November 9, 2009

Everyone is an Expert on Protein

From everything that I have read, vegans are asked this constantly, "How do you get enough protein?" I can attest that I have been asked this question often.

Here is the deal, I can only go by what I read, but it makes sense. My summation from Dr. Fuhrman's writings:

The two critical elements of a healthy diet are Macronutrients, and Micronutrients.

Macronutrients: Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrates (calories)
Micronutrients: Vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc. (No calories)

We need calories, but true healthy living is when there is a favorable ratio of nutrients to calories.

Focus more on micronutrients, you probably are getting more than enough macronutrients, and thus too many calories.

Protein: Found in all foods, not just animal products. Fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts and seeds are all rich in protein. (High percentages of protein found in almonds, chick peas, broccoli, and tofu)

What about the right types? You know the 8 essential amino acids? Apparently, all vegetables and grains contain all those amino acids in varying degrees. Eat enough to satisfy your caloric needs and you are covered.

The average adult needs 20-35 grams of protein a day. The average adult consumes 100-120 grams of protein per day. The average vegan still consumes an average of 60-80 grams of protein per day.

I think my salad at lunch was a good feast of protein: spinach, tomato, carrots, broccoli, chick peas, kidney beans, cucumber, sesame seeds. Oil and vinegar.

Had a sweet craving all day, and a salt craving all evening, plus a minor stomach ache...I think different parts of my body are still having a conversation with each other internally, "Is he really going through with this?" "I think he is!" "Wait until I flip some switches in his brain." "Leave him alone." "Oh, he is salivating now!" "Cut it out guys, let him be!" "Look, look at him, he is mesmerized by that Outback Steakhouse commercial!" "That's hilarious!" "That's messed up!" "He's heading to the kitchen!" "Damn, he just grabbed some Concord grapes and granola." "Yea! Told you he was serious!" "Just wait, we'll get him!"

1 comment:

Terrence said...


An email I received from a Nutritionist:

"Protein needs are a bit higher than you listed- at least 50 grams per day. Still you correctly made the point that the amount of protein you need is far less than most people consume, even vegans. Vegetables can have some protein and most fruits have little, if any protein. Produce does contribute important micronutrients.

You wrote, "Eat enough to satisfy your caloric needs and you are covered." I'd revise it to say, "Eat a variety of foods to satisfy your caloric needs and you are covered." As we talked about it's about eating a nutrient-dense diet."