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Within the health community possibly one of the more popular debates is the debate in whether or not we should be consuming meat. Is it good for us? Do we need it? There are many sides to the coin and a lot of different beliefs out there. With this article we want to dive into something that relates to meat consumption: Protein!

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In school we are taught the four basic food groups, one of them being meat! We need meat to get our protein. Or do we? The myth surrounding needing meat for protein is one of the most profitable lies in existence. Massive numbers of animals are bred and killed simply to support this myth and we buy into it. On top of that, the meat is making huge profit for pharmaceutical companies because of what it does to the human body health wise. We are not designed to consume meat nor animal cholesterol. It is the number one cause of heart disease because it destroys the inside lining of the arteries causing many heart problems.

“All protein on this planet comes from the sun to begin with. It is collected through the photosynthesis process on leaf.”

-Dr. Brian Clement

“In the next ten years, one of the things you’re bound to hear is that animal protein is one of the most toxic nutrients of all that can be considered. Quite simply, the more you substitute plant foods for animal foods, the healthier you are likely to be.”

T. Colin Campbell
PhD, nutritional biochemist, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY and Project Director on Nutrition, Health and Environment, 1983-1990

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The protein myth is said to have started in two major ways. First, Frances Moore Lappe who published a best selling book reported that we are unable to receive complete protein from plants. This was a huge cause for the myth that we cannot sustain ourselves off of plant based proteins. 20 years later she has come forth stating she was massively mistaken about her research and what she published, however mainstream information has not changed.

The next big contributor, as mentioned above, is the meat industry itself. They are very interested in maintaining high profits which leads them to producing a boatload of  marketing material stating meat is the only good source of protein as if it is a fact. Of course, this information could not be further from the truth.

Heart disease is the number one health problem in the United States today, and according to the American Heart Association, it is the single leading cause of death. Well over the majority  heart disease is diet-related—caused by diets high in animal products.

The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that for every week of 2010, an average of 3340 new cases of cancer, excluding non-melanoma skin cancers, were diagn osed, and 1,470 Canadians died of cancer. – Cancers link to diet
A study published in the July 20, 2009 “Canadian Medical Association Journal” concluded that the prevalence of heart disease in Canada had increased by 20 percent in men, and 2 percent in women, from 1994 to 2005. – Cancers link to diet

The way protein is formed in the body is quite simple. Amino acids are the building blocks for the protein. The body can create 11 of the 20 essential amino acids and the other 9 come from the food we eat. Now here is the catch. When you are eating an animal, you are eating a plant that has been eaten by the animal and synthesized. In essence you are getting second hand protein vs. getting it right from the source. All at the cost of poor health. The missing 9 amino aids can be found in simple foods like cabbage, broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, kale and many other plant foods.

So how much protein do we need? Very little compared to what we are told. Depending on your weight the average person only requires about 30 – 60 grams of protein per day!

Eating animal protein greatly increases the risks of having poor health and a number of diseases. Here are a few of a very long list.

  • Osteoporosis – high animal protein diets have been shown to encourage calcium loss and make bones more brittle and fragile. Plant based diets have show to increase bone strength and avoid osteoporosis.
  • Cancer – Hundreds of thousands of studies have linked animal food diets to most every cancer known to man. Fat is linked in part since animal based diets are normally also higher in fat as well. Often mentioned is also highly heated foods which not only combine or ‘bond’ the proteins and amino acids and become less usable by the body to synthesize, they are also carcinogenic. The FDA admits that all cooked foods contain carcinogens.
  • Kidney Problems – Long term consumption of animal foods has shown risks of complete loss of kidney function. The longer term and more consumption of animal foods shows decline in normal kidney function. Kidney stones are one symptom of high animal protein diets.

There you have it. Myth Busted! We do not need to consume animal protein in order to get protein. Not just that, we are actually much worse off consuming animals than we are by consuming what we are naturally supposed to consume which is fruits and vegetables.

Sources:

www.theproteinmyth.com/

http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/articles/protein-veg-diet.php

http://www.rawfoodexplained.com/the-dangers-of-a-high-protein-diet/the-problems-with-protein.html

http://www.cancerproject.org/survival/cancer_facts/meat.php


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