One of the number one questions we get is “but will I get enough protein on a plant-based diet?”. The answer is YES!! In fact, you’ll get about 40% more than your daily requirement (42 grams) and you’ll be getting all the amazing benefits that come with eating plants, like lots of important fiber (97% of people are deficient in this key nutrient!), phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and water. In fact, 97% of American get more than enough protein every single day, so why is everyone so obsessed? Well, protein does play a vital role in thousands of biological processes like giving cell walls their structure, transporting and storing key nutrients, repair tissues (such as bones, skin, hair and muscles) as well as helping the body rid itself of toxins and waste.
But the protein myth is real. Almost all of us have been taught that more is better, and that protein only comes in the form of animals or dairy. We (along with thousands of medical doctors and scientific studies) are here to dispel that myth and confirm that plant protein is abundant, powerful and nourishing:
“If you eat a variety of whole foods of plant origin (vegetables, legumes, 100 percent whole grains and fruits) and not refined food-like products, it is very unlikely that you could be deficient in protein intake, even if your needs are higher (after major surgery, for example). In other words, if you get enough whole plant foods everyday, you get enough protein.
The more protein—especially animal protein—one eats, the higher the risk of different chronic diseases. For example, in a recent study of more than 6,000 people in the best nationally representative dietary survey in the United States, those between 50 and 65 years old who reported high protein intake had a 75 percent increase in dying from any cause, a four-fold increase in cancer death risk during the following 18 years, and a five-fold increase in death from diabetes. Those with moderate intake had increased cancer death risk three-fold when compared with the low protein intake group! It is important to note that these associations were either abolished or attenuated if the proteins were plant derived. The composition of amino acids, building blocks of protein, derived from animals is different than from plant proteins. What we need are amino acids, not the proteins themselves. As for the amount of protein we eat, it is not practical or very accurate to measure that on a daily basis. 0.8 g/kg is generous. According to the World Health Organization, 0.5 g/kg is adequate for good health. Make sure you get enough calories from unprocessed whole foods of plant origin and you will get more than enough protein.” — Dr Mladen Golubic, MD, PhD, Cleveland Clinic
“Low-carb, high-animal-protein diets promote heart disease via mechanisms other than just their effects on cholesterol levels. Arterial blockages may be caused by animal-protein-induced elevations in free fatty acids and insulin levels and decreased production of endothelial progenitor cells (which help keep arteries clean). Egg yolks and red meat appear to significantly increase the risk of coronary heart disease and cancer due to increased production of trimethylamine N-oxide, or TMAO, a metabolite of meat and egg yolks linked to the clogging of arteries. (Egg whites have neither cholesterol nor TMAO.)
Animal protein increases IGF-1, an insulin-like growth hormone, and chronic inflammation, an underlying factor in many chronic diseases. Also, red meat is high in Neu5Gc, a tumor-forming sugar that is linked to chronic inflammation and an increased risk of cancer. A plant-based diet may prolong life by blocking the mTOR protein, which is linked to aging. When fat calories were carefully controlled, patients lost 67 percent more body fat than when carbohydrates were controlled. An optimal diet for preventing disease is a whole-foods, plant-based diet that is naturally low in animal protein, harmful fats and refined carbohydrates. What that means in practice is little or no red meat; mostly vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and soy products in their natural forms; very few simple and refined carbohydrates such as sugar and white flour; and sufficient “good fats” such as fish oil or flax oil, seeds and nuts. A healthful diet should be low in “bad fats,” meaning trans fats, saturated fats and hydrogenated fats. Finally, we need more quality and less quantity.” – Dr Dean