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Pain Proof Your Diet

Power of Protein

We have been brainwashed for decades that “more veggies” is the only answer to pretty much any and all health ailments. But is that the best advice? Not necessarily. Produce does contain vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy body, but that does not …

We have been brainwashed for decades that “more veggies” is the only answer to pretty much any and all health ailments.

But is that the best advice? Not necessarily.  

Produce does contain vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy body, but that does not mean it should be the primary source of what we eat. Fruits and veggies are wonderful, but they are not the best option for protein.

Animal protein sources are the star of the show when it comes to protein.

The general government guideline for protein is 0.6-0.8 g/kg of body weight. This is not nearly enough to gain, maintain, or retain any type of muscle.  

Dr Lyon, DO, advocates heavily for protein as the macronutrient of longevity.  Board-certified in family medicine, she specializes in geriatrics and is fluent in the importance of protein as we age.  Lyon teaches her patients and followers that “Muscle-Centric Medicine® dramatically improves your muscle health through a protein-smart diet, exercise, and lifestyle shifts.”

Why have we been taught to consume less protein?  Especially complete sources of animal protein? 

Robb Wolf and Diana Rodgers explain the inconsistency and inaccuracy in detail in Sacred Cow. The FDA guidelines are for borderline mythical women and men based on average height and weight.  In their book, they explain those numbers and calculations don’t add up.

In addition, it’s important to choose animal sources (over plant sources) that provide the complete amino acid profiles plants lack.  Fish, red meat, or poultry contain more grams of protein per gram than any plant-derived sources. For example, when comparing the amount of protein in beef and broccoli, the quantity of broccoli increases to get the same amount of protein per gram.  The carbohydrate count increases dramatically with plant sources of protein, too.

For those who are not calorie or macro counters, how do you know if you are getting enough protein?
A tip I share with my patients and clients is to fill half of their plates with animal protein.  It’s really that simple.  Smaller people tend to eat less. Bigger people eat more. Using the guideline of the “1/2 plate” tends to work out to roughly the recommended amount.  Again, these are basic guidelines.

I also recommend eating your protein first. You’d be surprised how quickly your body doesn’t crave sweets once it has real nutrient-dense food on board. Try it.

Remember:  Just as eating one healthy meal doesn’t inherently make you healthy, eating one sub-optimal meal doesn’t make you unhealthy – Consistency is key.

It takes an average of two weeks of consistently eating enough protein at every meal to start to reduce sugar cravings.  Stick with it.

You’ll be on your way to a healthier weight, more energy, and more regular bathroom trips.

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