The Protein Myth

5 PAGES
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
previous topic · next topic
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

      quote  
Posted: 17 Mar 2011, 18:21
I've been a vegetarian off and on for most of my adult life. And when people find this out, they want to know "how do you get enough protein?" I myself was quite concerned about this for a long time. But no more.

Protein was the final diet myth to fall for me. I learned that fat wasn't evil first. Then I learned that carbohydrates weren't evil either. But the protein myth still had me until relatively recently. You read it EVERYWHERE. It is THE standard advice for weight loss: eat more protein. Protein makes you full. Protein helps you build muscle. ETC.

Whether you believe this or not, you need to think twice about it and not just buy it without any research. Because now, there are indications that a high protein diet enhances cancer growth. The China Study is an interesting read if you want to know more about this. Anyway, I've come to understand that the protein recommendations we are given (I've given this advice myself in the past) are possibly way too high. I thought I would post about this and see if any lively debate ensues. Regardless of what you think, try having an open mind and really looking into it before you tell me I'm batty Wink

Here's a website that basically covers everything about the protein myth. And next time you read on a website about how you NEED an extreme amount of protein, take note of the advertisements on the page which will likely be for protein powders. Hmmm, is it possible they have an alterior motive?

The Protein Myth

What Is The Protein Myth?

If you regularly hear how important getting your protein is, you know you’re listening to a myth.

You see, the human body requires a moderate amount of protein. If you eat the standard American diet (S.A.D.) you are more likely getting too much protein, along with excess fat and complex carbohydrates that is evidenced in our quite high and rising obesity rates.

Mother’s milk, the essential food for babies during their fastest growth spurts, averages just 7% of its calories from protein. This complete food allows an infant to amazingly grow by as much as 12 pounds in just 6 months.

Yes, healthy and complete protein is an important part of your diet. It was the first nutrient to be discovered and named and is vital to building, repairing and maintaining tissues in your body. Amino acids and are the building blocks of protein and 9 of the 20 amino acids that the body itself can’t produce is synthesized through the food we eat.

These amino acids can abundantly be found in plant based foods, where the animals get them, like cabbage, broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, kale and many more plant foods.

The myth can be traced to two incidents in history.

The first was a statement made by Frances Moore Lappe in her best selling book ‘Diet For A Small Planet’ where she indicated that plant proteins were ‘incomplete’. 20 years later she recanted her theory saying she was badly mistaken (and other research has disproved her original theory as well), but far fewer people read those less popular writings and believe the flawed theory to this day. We do need all of the essential amino acids and plant foods do have them. However we don’t need them at every meal, every day since our body stores and recycles them. You can easily meet your daily protein (amino acid) requirements on a plant based diet.

The second is the meat, fish and poultry industries.

In order to sustain growth and profits in the meat industry, their trade associations promote meat as the only good source of protein. You hear everything from cowboy commercials on Radio Disney brainwashing elementary school children that ‘real cowboys’ eat beef and steak that make them strong and build healthy bones, to magazine and radio commercials touting the virtues of lean beef as healthy and complete sources of protein. The poultry and fish industries also promote, although not as obvious. The virtues of chicken and fish protein as healthy is often promoted through so called mainstream articles written in health related magazines and publications. These articles are written by dietitians, doctors, researchers and reporters often funded indirectly by associations promoting these industries to make sure consumers continue to buy.


***This advice may not apply to bodybuilders who are trying to build extreme amounts of muscle. For the rest of us, we can probably ease off on the protein consumption.
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
Follow me on Facebook for tips, recipes, advice, exercise ideas and more:
http://www.facebook.com/notadiet
an00bis

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 643

      quote  
Posted: 17 Mar 2011, 22:49
k8yk wrote:
take note of the advertisements on the page which will likely be for protein powders. Hmmm, is it possible they have an alterior motive?


***This advice may not apply to bodybuilders who are trying to build extreme amounts of muscle. For the rest of us, we can probably ease off on the protein consumption.


A) Advertisements are generated by the content on the page. Otherwise, you could see knitting ads on a car forum.

B) I just wanted to throw out that your bodybuilding exception is great, but weight lifting is a fat cutting tool as much as it is a muscle building tool. So, protein is a must for muscle building as well as muscle preservation.

As far as the "protein makes you full" thing is concerned, I would have to agree that it does. I hope that's not part of the 'myth'. As an experiment, I picked a random day and ate only 1100 calories (Even though I consume anywhere from 2 to 3 times that amount on a regular basis). The first time, I ate mostly carbs/fat, low protein. I was starving. In fact, had I not drank about 2 gallons of water, I think I'd have quit the experiment. The other time, I ate roughly 200g of protein, 40g carbs, and a few negligible grams of fat. It was barely at 1000 calories. I made it through the whole day with barely any hunger. I just ate a pound of chicken and some turkey with the occasional tomato and low carb/low fat wrap.

Should people use that as an excuse to just eat food from high protein sources? No, but it's neat to know that there's truth to the statement.

My post isn't very 'debate-like' at this point, because I'm really not disagreeing. I just do want to say that after reading The China Study, I'm not convinced in the slightest that meats cause cancer or any of the other diseases mentioned. I think the correlation is incredibly weak. That's a pretty central point to the book, and the author didn't make me question my high protein diet whatsoever. Campbell expresses his ideas well, but by making bold assumptions like he does, I could write a book on the correlation between feminism and cannibalism.
If you think my post is too abrasive, harsh, or offensive, you're:
A) Wrong.
B) Too sensitive.
C) Not going to receive an apology for pointing it out.
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

      quote  
Posted: 17 Mar 2011, 23:27
an00bis wrote:
[quote=k8yk]

A) Advertisements are generated by the content on the page. Otherwise, you could see knitting ads on a car forum.


I realize that. I was more thinking of the articles you find that are "The Awesome Power Of Protein You Need to Know Right Now!" (brought to you by isoawesome purified muscle whey) If you've read as many Bodybuilding.com articles as I have, I am sure you know what I'm talking about.
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
Follow me on Facebook for tips, recipes, advice, exercise ideas and more:
http://www.facebook.com/notadiet
mammasix

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 378

      quote  
Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 06:27
I beleive that extra protein intake is valuable at the start of a weightloss regime, because as an00bis stated, it does curb hunger. I was never sold on the whole, you need extra protein every day to tone. After I had a good handle on the calorie restriction, I really don't aim for any particular protein percentage.
God made man before women because you always make a rough draft before the final masterpiece (stolen from Coach's journal).
Chunkin

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 27

      quote  
Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 06:43
I do not know the science and speak only of what works for me. But I am certain that eating lots of protein throughout the day is the best way for me to not get hungry and to have enough energy. There is a noticable difference in my mood, energy and hunger when I skip the egg or greek yogurt for breakfast.

Like all things, nothing will work for everyone. But it does seem that for a lot of us, protein is really working.
lmc5238

Joined: Nov 09
Posts: 114

      quote  
Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 07:47
Protein may help you stay full... But, so does fiber. Whether or not you believe that protein causes cancer, we have tons of research showing that fiber DECREASES your risk for cancer. Also, you only find fiber in really healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. I don't know about you, but I feel like I'd rather take the safe route.

Now, sure, I am biased because I am a vegan... But, I took a nutrition class at PSU (Nutrition 251), and we covered protein extensively. My professor contends that even body builders don't need a significantly higher amount of protein. She told the class that the only people who need more protein are pregnant/nursing women. Her point is a good one. Her research has shown that, like everything else we put into our body, if we consume too much protein, our body either stores it (more fat) or disposes of it through waste. Now, if you're a body builder/gym rat, I am sure you can use a little more protein than the average person. But, the fact is, you would have to be Mr. Universe for this to be true.

Generally speaking, high ANYTHING diets aren't going to be good for you.
"If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes."
~*L3@H*~
1tarheelfan

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 37

      quote  
Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 08:00
I want to add that I am hypoglycemic. Prior to this diagnosis, my diet was predominately carb based. A higher protein diet helps people like me prevent the large drops in blood sugar (so I don't pass out or become very weak). Do I still eat carbs? absolutely. I will admit that I also try to make my carbs count - choosing whole grains, more veggies and fruits instead of eating french fries, white flour based substances. The combination of increased protein and whole grains have made me feel good for the first time in many years.
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

      quote  
Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 08:37
I was convinced of the "need protein for breakfast" and ate nothing but cottage cheese or Greek yogurt for breakfast for over a year. Then I started wanting to cut out some dairy from my diet, so I decided to try switching to a carby breakfast- 10 grain hot cereal with fruit. I paid careful attention to how long I stayed full and found that there was not a significant difference between how I felt with the protein and how I felt without it. If anything, the cereal kept me full slightly longer and made me feel more energetic.
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
Follow me on Facebook for tips, recipes, advice, exercise ideas and more:
http://www.facebook.com/notadiet
BuffyBear

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 403

      quote  
Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 08:53
Congratulations on your weight loss! And thank you for sharing. Although I find that combining protein and fiber keeps me fullest for the longest period - it doesn't have to be a lot of protein. One of my goals is to add more veggie sources of protein when I get closer my ideal weight.
Eat like your life depends on it.

Chunkin

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 27

      quote  
Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 09:05
Kyk8- OK, that is what works for you. But I have paid careful attention to my mood/energy/hunger and I do better with the protein.

I think it odd that this site and you in particular often talk about no one thing being right for all people and everybody has their own path, but on this issue there appears to be an agenda being pushed.
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

      quote  
Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 09:09
Sorry you took it that way. That isn't the intent.

The intent is to get people to think about this rather than just believing without research. That is all.

If a high protein carnivorous diet works for you, then I'm happy for you.
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
Follow me on Facebook for tips, recipes, advice, exercise ideas and more:
http://www.facebook.com/notadiet
mammasix

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 378

      quote  
Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 09:25
@Chunkin, I think that your post is why k8 put this out for debate. Most (if not all) current diet plans push protein intake for weight loss. There is no real concrete proof that this does any good whatsoever, and some studies are starting to show ill effects from too much protein. To me, that is the agenda being pushed, that all diets must include massive amounts of protein.
I'm a meat-eater, I eat massive amounts of the stuff Smile , but ontop of that diet induced protein, I was also using whey powders, because that is the common basic instruction given to most folks that are on a weightloss/fitness journey.
God made man before women because you always make a rough draft before the final masterpiece (stolen from Coach's journal).
Chunkin

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 27

      quote  
Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 09:26
First of all, I'm grumpy this morning (not related to protein, more about being cooped up inside in beautiful weather) so sorry if I'm snipey.

One thought to introduce though, is why the protein issue has to be tied to the carnivorous issue. You said that my diet was "carnivorous" but I never mentioned meat. (I guess it is up for debate whether eating eggs makes one a carnivore?) I eat a very high protein diet, but only eat meat about three or four days per week.

Obviously, I get that most high-protein sources are animal-based, but not all. Is the issue really about the protein as a nutrient or about the protein-source?
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

      quote  
Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 09:30
Part of the protein myth is that you can only get complete protein from meat eggs and dairy. That is simply not the case. The two things I want people to think about are:
Do I need to worry about getting more protein?
Does my protein have to come from animals?

Chunkin, try not to take my comments personally- they are aimed at everyone.
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
Follow me on Facebook for tips, recipes, advice, exercise ideas and more:
http://www.facebook.com/notadiet
Sheryl10

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 182

      quote  
Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 09:41
I think the type of eating that appeals to different people depends somewhat on their "chemistry", so to speak. I eat some meat, but at times meat repulses me. Other sources of protein appeal to me more and I feel satisfied when I eat them. My husband wants meat all the time and feels satisfied and does well with it. That strikes me as a basic difference in our bodies and what our bodies are telling us they need.

Man who say it cannot be done should not interrupt man doing it - Chinese Proverb

"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." Michael Pollan
PantherIII

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 282

      quote  
Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 09:47
OOOOOOOOOOOOOF. So much terrible information in this thread I want to take a shower in sanitizer to be completely rid of it. I am just going to leave one failsafe point of information, then run away from this thread as quickly as possible. Don't assume that your body is going to digest protein in exactly the same way, in the same speed, every time. It depends on the protein type, the food type it is housed in, and the condition of your body. It also depends on the time of day (your circadian rhythm), when your last meal was, and – and this is extremely important – when your last workout was.

Logging the Spike Diet w/my journal. Add me as a buddy if you want to see how it goes.
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

      quote  
Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 09:58
Aw come on! You have to point out what is terrible if you're going to make a statement like that. How can we have a debate if people don't say what they think? I want to hear it! This isn't one of those "only post of you agree" threads. I find that quite boring. I'm very openminded and am quite willing to consider the opposite viewpoint.
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
Follow me on Facebook for tips, recipes, advice, exercise ideas and more:
http://www.facebook.com/notadiet
Chunkin

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 27

      quote  
Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 10:12
I did a bit of research and it seems that there is a great deal of credible evidence that higher protein diets can result in better weight loss results in women, with a higher percentage of fat loss and more lean muscle retained.

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/133/2/411.full

"Although changes in body weight did not differ between diet groups, the higher protein diet was more effective in improving body composition. Changes in the ratio of fat loss/lean loss (Fig. 1) indicated that the higher protein diet improved utilization of body fat while maintaining lean body mass. The mechanism for these differential effects on body composition is unknown."

And several sites make the point I was trying to get at, which is the source of the protein mattters.

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/pros-cons-of-high-protein-diets

And just to balance it all out:
http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/07/07/the-china-study-fact-or-fallac/
http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/China-Study.html
http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/cancer/the-china-study-vs-the-china-study/
PantherIII

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 282

      quote  
Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 10:19
I'm bias on the subject. I have a very closed-minded way of looking at how people diet. I think high carb dieters are idiots, I think high protein dieters are idiots, and I think high fat dieters are idiots. I have done all three and feel like an idiot for being part of the "problem". The problem being us mindless drones believing this bullcrap that is so irresponsibly conveyed by money grubby fad dieting experts. After reading this, would you want me to continue Smile ? What are my thoughts on dieting(I feel I should say what they are so other people can rebuttle and call me idiot all the same). Eat according to how you live, listen to your bodies, and don't starve your body of any essential carb/fat/protein. Congratulations that pounds are dropping off the scale with your fad diet.. But why are they dropping off? My guess (if your on a fad diet), your losing important nutrients or muscle mass which in the long run kills your ability to lose actual fat effectively. No hate intended in this post even though it may seem like it, do what you're going to do. Just be fore warned that what goes around comes around in the battle of the bulge. I can't think of any more cliche's, so i'm out. I will give props to K8yk for her tremendous weight loss, you look good Smile and seem confident in what you say. If anything, everything you say should come out with confidence, even if its wrong Smile
Logging the Spike Diet w/my journal. Add me as a buddy if you want to see how it goes.
mdep1229

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 387

      quote  
Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 10:22
Kate, my grandmother on my mother's side is Chinese. And I would like to point out something not really being stressed in the "The China Study". Most Chinese do not shun meat (there are some who do for religious reasons, not health). Because of geographic and economic reasons, people don't get to eat meat very often, but on the rare occasion they can have meat, they love the fatty pork and chicken, and until recently, lard was treasured in the kitchen. Veganism was unheard of. Some Buddhists who are vegetarians would still eat animal-source proteins - unfertilized eggs and oysters. Oysters are not considered meat because "they don't bleed". Hypocrisy? Perhaps, but it may also be some age-old wisdom to make room for additional animal proteins to keep the people healthy. (I suspect there is probably more to it than just protein, as oysters are rich in zinc, heme-iron, and B12).

I agree with you that most Americans eat way too much meat. At the same time I feel that the authors of "The China Study" did not do too thorough a study when it comes to Chinese diets.

At the end, like everything else, moderation is the key.



Forum Search
Advanced forum search


Latest Posts

Cornerstone Wellness Program
I've just started the Cornerstone Wellness program so will try to post back as results become known. To respond to Hoser: just can't seem to do it totally on my own any more. In past times I ...
by RiverSong46 on 31 Oct 14 01:38 PM
NO Scales
I have decided to weigh once a month...only. A very hard decision since I am so determined and desperate to lose weight.
by jocanoga on 31 Oct 14 12:36 PM
meat
I found a salad with a can of Tuna in water, satisfies me for a need of protein. Th Tuna is only 90 calories; less the Greek yogurt I used to have. That being said, a BBQ grilled lean meat is hard to beat ...
by jb007 on 31 Oct 14 07:13 AM
after dinner eating
Incidentally, Nutella is not that bad but the question is, can you stop at one spoonful. I can't :-)
by jennyhenrick1 on 31 Oct 14 06:29 AM
GOAL !!!
WOW WOW WOW - well done!! And its not ego! Give yourself a huge pat on the back for achieving such an amazing goal. You must feel like a new person. Keep up whatever you've been doing. Happy ...
by jennyhenrick1 on 31 Oct 14 03:34 AM