Friday, October 14, 2011
Protein: The Least Understood Food Group
I began this in 2011 but posted it today, January 13, 2012.
I want to share something here concerning protein and the absurd level of obsession the public has with "getting enough protein." Also, the source from which most people choose to get their protein. First off, it is my belief and experience that protein is NOT a nutrient, in the form in which most people eat. The form I'm referring to (flesh, dairy, eggs, seeds, legumes) is considered "concentrated" protein. Then there are those who gloss over the difference between the essential Amino Acids that make up a protein and the fully realized version listed in the previous sentence. It takes roughly 20 amino acids to form protein.
The major difference between the two states of these 20 amino acids is as follows: When we eat foods rich in amino acids the body collects and stores them until the key 20 are all present. Then the body builds protein. A concentrated form is dealt with in a very different way. Digestion of concentrated proteins is far more difficult than when we take in amino acids from fruits and vegetables. The foods themselves breakdown more easily. Concentrated protein has to be first broken down from the actual meat, eggs, seeds into amino acids, and further down to molecules, when taken from an animal source so the body can convert these molecules into a usable or recognizable amino acid. A recognizable form od amino acids comes from the vegetable kingdom.
A quick note on nuts and seeds. They are extremely difficult to digest because of the very dense nature of the nut. Seeds are covered in an anti-enzyme sheath meant to protect the seed through the digestive stage, so when the animal has a bowel movement, the seed is fertilized and can grow into a plant. What always gets me is the short sighted view taken by so many experts. Simply because they are chock full of nutrients, they are healthy! If they aren't digestible, they aren't nutritious. If we can't break a food down and absorb the nutrients, then how is that food nutritious? I'm sure there's lots of important nutrients in tree bark, but our bodies aren't capable of digesting tree bark. Therefore, those nutrients are useless for humans. It's like receiving a gift in a box, which is wrapped in a coating that can't be opened. The gift is useless.
Eating from an abundance of plant-based, whole foods will provide the body with all the components needed for the intestines and liver to formulate protein and serve your body, as it was meant to do. Funny thing about science, of which I'm a great believer. Science often isolates things to better understand the true nature and function of life. Yet, we believe we can extrapolate physiology from the whole body. This is why we are brainwashed with the worst, most nonsensical information about diet and nutrition. Eat concentrated protein sparingly and for your enjoyment, not necessity!
I wanted this piece to be short. It is. I will post something again soon. Most likely a second part to this, as there is much to share about the myths of protein. Wishing everyone a healthy and happy New Year! Remember, we are the only species that processes and cooks our own food. If a food doesn't exist naturally, it's not food for humans. If we can't properly break it down, and you love the taste, than satisfy that taste, but don't confuse it as life supporting.