Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What about protein?

Carrying on with our food pyramid talk, we'll now move up to the protein level of the pyramid.  

This is a big concern, this protein thing.  And I get that.  Protein is incredibly important in a healthy diet.  Our bodies really and truly depend on it.  Everything from our hair and our finger nails to tissue repair and muscle building and growing bodies to our brain then all the way to the inner working of our body depend on protein.  It's vital to our health!

You'll notice here in this illustration that the protein level has two sections and the plate has combined it to just encompass protein in general.  Tonight I will just be grouping the two together.  This includes animal and plant protein, and we'll talk about them both.  There is no need to make it two separate categories. 

So which is better then: plant or animal protein?  Well, of course I'll tell you the plant is better, but really there isn't much of a difference between the two. In all of the research that I have done I have found that the only difference between these two sources of protein is a few amino acids.  That's it.  Animal protein, of course, is closer to our own so our body is able to utilize and incorporate it faster and it carries a full set of amino acids, but it also comes with loads of fat and cholesterol, not to mention all the cancer causing agents. 

Plant protein on the flip side does not come with all the extra baggage.  And if you are eating a varied diet with rainbow of different vegetables and fruits you are making up for all of those lost amino acids plus some.  Not to mention all the added goodness of the fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

If you'd like to do some further reading, I have found this really great article by the author of The China Study, T. Colin Campbell which can be read here.  And another great article (by a different author) found here.

There is so much out there to learn and to study.  I really hope that you find this as fascinating as I do.  I encourage you to look for your own answers and do your own reading as that is the best way to really come to an understanding of why you should let this change your life. 

Thank you for reading.  Tomorrow we'll conclude the pyramid break down with more talk on essential fats.