Note: this post has been updated in September 2020.
Protein is one of the six Essential Nutrients that are necessary for energy and materials for life building processes in the human body. Thus the term essential nutrients.
The question that I get asked most often: “Where do you get your protein?” It is a common fact that my family and friends know that I do not eat meat or dairy and they are not concerned whether I am getting enough protein. They know I am getting protein I need from plants. My answer is that as a whole food plant-based individual who eats varied meals containing vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds. I rarely have any difficulty getting enough protein. Of course, you have to be sure your diet contains enough energy (calories) to maintain weight.
Below is an image of a great meal “Raise the Roof Sweet Potato Lasagna” from Engine 2 recipes. This meal includes the complete proteins that we all need in our diet. If you eat complete meals like this you never need to be concerned about protein.
The present government agencies are heavily influenced by the pharmaceutical, dairy and the meat industries and the large amounts of money spent to influence decisions. The dairy and meat industries particularly have gone to great lengths to keep us thinking that the only way for us to get adequate protein is by drinking milk or eating meat. These industries are huge and have large advertising budgets. Many of their corporate executives set on government boards that influence the decision process. These industries have a great deal to lose if there is a paradigm switch away from dairy and meat. Their power and influence will become less of a factor as more and more individuals start eating a plant-strong diet.
In the United States, the DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogramf body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound. This amounts to:
This equates to roughly 10-15 percent of your total calories—remember that every gram of protein has four calories. Vegetarians and vegans easily get this amount of protein. – information adapted from PETA- How Much Protein Do I Need?
The science confirms that a diet rich in whole, plant-based foods can help you live to the fullest and still get adequate protein. In fact, a growing number of physicians advocate a completely plant-based diet for many of their patients who suffer from diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Check out these great sources Plant-Based Nutrition, 2E (Idiot’s Guides), Nutrition Facts: The Truth About Food and The Forks Over Knives Plan The Forks over Knifes, a simple plan that focuses on hearty comfort foods and does not involve portion control or worrying about obtaining single nutrients like protein and calcium.
The Food Revolution Network is committed to healthy, ethical, and sustainable food for all. Guided by John and Ocean Robbins, with more than 500,000 members and with the collaboration of many of the top food revolutionary leaders of our times, The Food Revolution Network aims to empower individuals, build community, and transform food systems to support healthy people and a healthy planet.
How do you think? Most people eat too much protein. Have you ever heard of anyone that has been told that they have a protein deficiency?
If I can answer any questions or if you an opinion that you would like to express, please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
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