Protein ~ the good, the bad and the harmful
Protein from animal sources is called ‘complete’ because it contains all nine of the amino acids essential to our bodies. The best ‘complete’ protein source from the plant kingdom is quinoa (see this coming Monday’s entry specifically on quinoa ~ nutritional info and easy recipes as well.)
A high protein, meaty diet may increase the chances of getting osteoporosis. Recent research in the Journal of Gerontology found that overweight women on a weight-loss diet who ate meaty, protein-rich foods lost bone density faster than those who ate moderate-protein vegetarian diets. “Meat contains high levels of sulfur-containing amino acids that promote acid production, and that acid load may promote bone breakdown,” says Wayne W. Campbell PhD, professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue.
So when choosing protein-rich foods pay attention to what comes along with the protein. Meat and dairy products come along with fat, extremely unhealthy saturated fats and highly toxic dioxin. Research reveals that people who eat more than 18 ozs of red meat a week have a higher risk of colon cancer. Make beef, pork and lamb only an occasional part of your diet, if you eat it at all. And completely skip the processed stuff ~ bacon, hot dogs and deli meats ~ which has been linked to even higher cancer risk.
The good news is that we do not have to eat all the essential amino acids in every meal. As long as we have a variety of protein sources throughout the day our bodies will take what it needs from each meal.
Vegetable sources of protein, such as quinoa, beans, nuts and whole grains, are excellent choices, and they provide us with healthy and essential fiber, vitamins and minerals. The best animal protein choices are fish and poultry. If you eat red meat, choose the leanest cuts, moderate portion sizes, and make it only an occasional part of your diet.
If you are eating meat everyday, you really need to cut down to avoid sickness and disease. Join us by going meatless on Mondays and begin making the most important dietary change you can for optimal health and well being.