Monday, September 20, 2010

The Protein and Calcium Debate.......

I had the unbelieveable honor of hearing Dr. Colin Campbell speak on The China Study last night.  This book encompasses decades of research on nutrition and degenerative diseases.  The evidence is overwhelming, comprehensive, and compelling.  In a nutshell, to hedge your bet against degenerative disease we, as Americans, need to reduce or eliminate our reliance on animal protein.  Countries with the best health are generally getting the majority of their protein from a whole food, plant based diet.  Plus, in America we severly overestimate the amount of protein we require.  The rest of the world doesn't do this. In fact, the World Health Organization conservatively puts our dietary protein needs at about half of what the US Government minimimum is.  Why is the infamous American Food Pyramid screwed up? As always it comes back to deep pockets.  Six of the 11 advisory committee members who devised the US guidelines have explicit links to the meat or dairy industries. Specifically, the committee chairman and at least five other committee members have had links to the National Dairy Board, the National Dairy Council, the American Egg Board, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the American Meat Institute, the Dannon Research Institute and other similar groups.  This is why Americans are OBSESSED with drinking milk and eating large amounts of animal proteins.  It is literally and figuratively shoved down our throats by our own government.  I find it very ironically that breast milk contains 6-10% protein.  6-10% protein to grow an infant's brain, bones, tissues, nerve function, etc.  Why would adults (who aren't growing anything but larger pockets of fat) need absurd levels of protein????

American's insistance on drinking milk is equally scary.  In the China Study, Dr. Campbell looked at hip fractures in various countries vs. calcium intake.  America again takes the prize for having the most hip fractures while also having one of the highest calcium intakes.  The answer lies in.........ding ding....the fact that we are getting calcium from animal sources.  Simplistically, meat and dairy both cause an acid environment in our bodies which causes calcium to be robbed from bone to address the excess acid.  Humans are the ONLY species who drinks milk from another species.  Cow's milk is a perfect food for a calf, not a human.

Bottom line..................calcium and protein needs are overestimated in America and all the needs we have can be supplied by a whole food, plant based diet. 

Don't think you can get enough protein from plant sources?  Think again. Below are how a few plant items stack up to animal sources. Remember........the amount or protein we think we need has been told to us by our government and is not necessarily our actual need.
Protein Content
7 grams/ounce
7 grams/ounce
7 grams/ounce
2 grams/ 1/2 cup
Soybeans (dry)
10 grams/ounce
Lentils (dry)
6.5 grams/ounce
5 grams/ounce
6 grams/ounce
Hemp Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds