I’m sure you’ve heard the same questions over and over again… Are you getting enough protein? Are your children getting enough protein? How to you get enough protein on a vegan diet?
Well there are a couple of things I’m here to tell you. First, a huge amount of protein is not required for your children to grow at a healthy rate (assuming they are getting an adequate calorie intake). Second, consuming too much (animal or veggie) protein as an adult is a leading cause of weight gain (second only to junk food), as well as chronic diseases, from the obvious – like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, to the more subtle – like constipation, poor mood, loss of mental concentration, as well as a whole host of others.
Let me ask you a question I really want you to think about… When is the last time you heard that someone you know was protein deficient? …. think about it. Think about everyone you know who eats a sufficient diet. I think it’s safe to say no one is protein deficient.
So then why all the focus on consuming large amount of protein on a daily basis? I mean really where did that obsession even come from? We all grew up with the unchallenged belief in the nutritional supremacy of protein. It was stamped in during childhood, reinforced by culture, and echoed by physicians and weight loss experts everywhere. And the diets…Adkins, Low Carb, Palio, all followed suit.
Well I’m here to tell you, seriously be careful of over consuming protein. Because you will just end up gaining weight, getting constipated, and feeling crappy. Protein in important. Its important for muscle repair and growth. We just don’t need as much of it as is normally “prescribed”.
The key is to eat a balanced diet. Protein is satiating so adding some whole food sources to you meal is a good thing. For the vegan, this would be like eating lots of leafy greens, adding chickpeas on salads, lentils in soups, and beans in quesadillas. But where you should seriously consider drawing the line would be adding protein powders to smoothies, eating large amounts of tofu or tempeh, and the like.
For the non-vegan it’s important to consider that meat like beef, pork, poultry and fish are all zero-fiber foods. Milk, yogurt, all types of cheese and other dairy products don’t contain fiber either. Eating too much of the these animal based protiens lead to chronic constipation, brain fog, long term healthy problems, and the weight gain.
So, think plant based and whole vs. refined when it comes to adding protein into your diet and you’ll be on the right rack to a healthy weight, a balanced gut, and a clearer mind.