Protein-rich, Health poor??

In doing some research on French diet/lifestyle I came across an article about a new diet by a French nutritionist. His premise was that by eating only protein for 5 to 10 days, then gradually transitioning to vegetables and protein and eventually incorporating carbohydrates one could lose weight, reset your metabolism and hold on to the weight loss by doing 1 protein day a week for the rest of your life. The idea sounds intriguing. It might even work. But with diets, there is no one size fits all. Furthermore, I began to question the healthiness of eating nothing but protein for 5 to 10 days. The toll it takes on your kidneys, your digestive tract, and the increased acidity of your body. Studies have found that high protein diets, in the long run, do more harm than good. The higher the acidity of your body, the higher the incidences of disease. This got me thinking about protein and the best sources for our bodies.

Characteristics of an Acidic Body?

  • Destroys its own cells
  • Weakened immune system
  • Ages rapidly
  • Problems with skin and hair
  • Metabolic issues/Weight problems
  • Allergy prone
  • Disease prone
  • Unable to absorb nutrients efficiently
  • Cannot effectively flush toxins
  • Cannot properly cope with cholesterol
  • Cannot regulate minerals
  • Cannot maintain high levels of oxygen

In our modern day diet – protein is everywhere!! In one way, or another – we are being led to protein. It is no wonder that over the last 50+ years we have seen rates of chronic illnesses – diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, cancers, etc – skyrocket. Yes, there are other things in our diets that shouldn’t be there but I wonder; if we could lower our protein intake and restore our bodies to an alkaline level (7.4 – 7.6 pH) would it be a start in possibly reversing early signs of diseases?

Did you know that the adequate portion of protein for an adult female is the size of her palm? And for an adult male, it is the size of both his palms? In more mathematical terms (per day):

  • Average adult needs 0.6-0.8 grams per 2.2 lbs of body weight
  • Pregnant women need the above plus an additional 10 grams
  • Adolescents need 1.2 grams per 2.2 lbs of body weight
  • Infants may need as much as 2 grams per 2.2 lbs of body weight

Now you know how much protein you need…But what to eat??

It turns out that there are plenty of non-animal protein sources! But you aren’t limited to plant proteins, even though they are often easier for you to digest and absorb. Practically all fruits and vegetables contain some protein. The more variety in your plants, the more protein!

Protein content per 1 cup (unless otherwise specified)

Quinoa – 24 grams (yes, you read right! 24)

Oat Groats – 14 grams

Beans – 15-28 grams

Pumpkin Seeds – 9.35 grams per 1 ounce

Asparagus – 3.08 grams per 8 spears

Almonds – 6.03 grams per 1 ounce (24 nuts)

Spinach – 5.35 grams

Broccoli – 5.7 grams

Brown Rice – 5 grams

Tuna Fish, canned – 39 grams

Egg, hardboiled – 6 grams per egg

Chicken breast, roasted – 35 grams per 4 ounces

Beef, grass fed, strip steak – 26 grams per 4 ounces

Salmon, wild Coho, broiled – 27 grams per 4 ounces

Lentils – 18 grams

Turkey, pasture raised, light meat, roasted – 34 grams per 4 ounces

You’d think a protein is a protein is a protein regardless of whether it comes from a plant or an animal but you’d be wrong. Animal protein is highly acidic while plant proteins don’t have that effect on the body. When one consumes high amounts of animal protein your body will leach alkaline minerals, like calcium, from your bones. Another thing to be wary of is the high amounts of antibiotics and artificial hormones in commercial meats; these can exhaust your kidneys and liver as they will have to work harder to get rid of these chemicals.

Bottom line

  1. Vary your protein sources
  2. Go organic, no hormones, no antibiotics, pasture raised, grass fed – whenever possible
  3. Fill half your plate with plant based proteins
  4. Go easy on the animal proteins

 

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