Let’s Talk About Proteins
There’s a widespread belief in the American culture that large amounts of protein are essential to the health of our bodies. Let’s talk about this for a minute.
Medical science and research, along with many other fad diets, have been pushing protein on us for a long time. Our culture has become so overwhelmed with “facts” about protein that when food shopping, we only consider if food is high or low in protein when making a healthy decision. People don’t know to look at the other elements of the food that may be harmful to their health. Protein is not bad for you; it is the other ingredient in protein-rich foods that is harmful.
Why is Protein So Popular?
According to the Medical Medium, the
misrepresentation about protein began in the 1930s when it became a buzzword in the food industry as a way to direct food purchases to where the industry wanted. This protein fixation was much more about the industry making money, than about supporting our health. If the industry actually had our best interests in mind, an extremely large amount of money would have been put towards encouraging people to eat more fruits, leafy greens, and vegetables, and to pick items based on their vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant levels. Remember the food pyramid? We all have seen it but are quick to forget that the largest section at the bottom – aka what you should be consuming the most of – is leafy greens and vegetables.
Proteins Equals Fats
Ok so this is where it gets interesting. By consuming high amounts of protein, inadvertently we are also consuming high amounts of fat as these proteins and fats cannot be separated. For example, you cannot take the fat out of meats, eggs, or cheese, etc.
High Fats Cause Chronic Illness
Did you know that a high-fat diet feeds chronic illnesses such as cystic acne, chronic fatigue, diabetes, psoriasis, eczema, lupus, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and countless symptoms? So in actuality, it isn’t the protein that causes these issues, it’s the fat, but again the two cannot be separated.
When a diet is too high in fat, it is impossible for the pathogens, heavy metals, and toxins that are responsible for these illnesses/symptoms to leave the body as your blood is too thick from all the fat (this is called dirty blood syndrome which we will get into later).
Fat Harms the Brain
Many believe that the brain is made out of fat and therefore you need to eat “healthy fats” to have good brain health/function. This, however, is not the case – high-fat diets are harmful to the brain. The percentage of the brain made up of fat is extremely small, the rest is made up of sugar. Therefore, it is actually glucose that we need. Without enough glucose (this is the good kind of natural sugar from fruits and starchy vegetables), our brains begin to shrink as we get older due to a high fat, high protein, low carb diet as people who eat this way generally tend fear fruit and potatoes. When in reality it is glucose and mineral salts from fruits, potatoes, and veggies that allow the brain to do its job.
It's Not the Protein Athletes Need
For all of the athletes out there…fat stops us from building muscle (as we said before, fat and protein cannot be separated). For people who drink protein shakes, it’s the hidden ingredients like carbs and sugars that are responsible for your your weight gain. Then it’s the exercise that builds your muscle, not the protein in the shakes.
You Don’t Need Protein to Feel Full
Lastly, many feel that they need protein to combat their hunger. But this is wrong! It is an adequate amount of calories that provides satiation, not specifically eating fats and protein. These foods just seem more satiating because such a small amount of them provides a large amount of fat and calories. Instead, we need to focus on eating enough calories of the food that will be most beneficial to our health such as fruits, leafy greens, and vegetables including potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squash. Again, it's alright to eat foods with fat, just that the majority of our diets should be fruits and vegetables.
What should you eat?
Both those who eat plant-based, as well as animal eaters, are having the same problems when it comes to high-fat diets. If you are vegan, you may be eating too many nuts, oils, avocados, almond butter, chia seeds, or tofu each day, all of which are naturally high in fat. If you eat animal products for each meal, you are also consuming too much fat through meat.
Your next question may be, well what can I eat? Proteins are in all-natural whole foods so you have many options. Here are a few that come to mind immediately. Raw spinach, tomatoes, and nori contain a lot of protein. Potatoes are often looked at in a negative way, but the skin of a potato contains healing protein. Bananas not only contain protein but also satisfy due to their higher calorie count. Also, the carbohydrates in bananas kill viruses in the gut, helping to heal celiac, IBS, Chron’s disease, and colitis.
Oranges and apples help heal the liver, which should be one of our number one priorities. If you are plant-based, you can eat some avocado, nuts, and seeds, but if you are wanting to heal your symptoms, put your focus on plenty of fresh fruits, leafy greens, and vegetables, including potatoes and winter squash. If you eat animal products, try to only eat a smaller serving of animal protein per day while adding more fruits, leafy greens and vegetables to your diet.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what illness or symptoms you have, the golden ticket to help you heal is a low-fat diet.