Fiber & Protein 101

All nutrients come from the sun or the soil. Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is created when skin is exposed to sunlight. Everything else comes from the ground.

field-of-poppies-50588_1280Minerals originate from the earth, and vitamins from the plants and micro-organisms that grow from it.

cows-cow-203460_1280
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PROTEIN?

Protein contains essential amino acids, meaning out bodies can’t make them and so are essential to get from our diet. But other animals don’t make them either.8113_11

ALL ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS ORIGINATE FROM PLANTS (AND MICROBES), AND ALL PLANT PROTEINS HAVE ALL ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS.


THE PROTEIN MYTH

The idea that all essential amino acids must be eaten together at each meal isn’t true like we used to think. One can eat a variety of foods that are rich in essential and non-essential amino acids, and completely get their fill of protein.

Many plant-based foods are filled with all essential amino acids (hemp, chia, sprouted brown rice, and spirulina, etc).

Plus, think about this: cows and gorillas grow big and strong from eating nothing but plants (or at least in their natural habitats, that is).

Considering that a cow needs nothing more than grass to grow big and strong, why should we think any differently for ourselves? Even vegan bodybuilders know that getting enough protein is absolutely no problem. 


PROTEIN 101

Contrary to popular belief, consumption of meat and/or dairy at every meal, or even daily, is not necessary for optimal health and wellness.

Diets high in animal products — chicken, red meat and ultra-processed meat — has been repeatedly associated with an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, and premature death.chicken-559892__180

While it is true that animal products contain substantial amounts of 2 and iron, these foods are also high in cholesterol and saturated fat and, being at the top of the food chain, tend to accumulate pesticides and other potentially harmful substances including heavy metals.

Furthermore, cooking meat and poultry at high temperatures results in the production of carcinogens.

If that weren’t enough, our obsession with meat has also been cited as one of the leading causes of antibiotic resistance — one of the greatest public health threats of our time — and environmental destruction.


NOTES

  1. Protein Requirements.
    Protein requirements are 0.66 – 0.80 g/kg/day. Notice the requirement is per kilogram (kg), not pounds (lb). Protein needs are not 1 gram per pound of body weight.
  2. Protein is not stored in the Human Body.
    -When we eat more protein than we need, our body converts the extra protein to glucose (via gluconeogenesis) or ketone bodies.
    -In other words, extra protein is either converted to energy for immediate use (e.g., low carb diets) or stored as fat.
    -Considering carbohydrate and protein both provide 4 kcal/gram, it makes very little sense to avoid complex carbohydrates considering protein is converted to glucose when intakes are low.Source:  A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats*Considering the potential risks associated with a high-protein diet (e.g. osteoporosis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and kidney disease) it should be obvious that a [whole foods] plant-based diet is the optimal lifestyle for optimal health.
  3. All fruits and plants contain protein – even celery.
  4. Vegetarians do not need to combine proteins (e.g. rice & beans). 
    – Vegetarians do not need to combine proteins. (Source)
    – In a study published in 1971, Edwards et al. reported that North American adult males maintained both body weight and nitrogen balance for 60 days while consuming a strict diet of wheat and potatoes.
    -In the same year, Meyer et al reported adults consuming a mainly fruit diet supplemented with nuts and seeds for 6 months improved nearly every health parameter.

Protein intakes are excessive.
-Nearly all adults currently exceed daily requirements for protein — even vegans.
-According to the joint WHO/FAO/UNU report, all healthy adults living in the Western World already exceed daily requirements for protein.


FIBER 101

The daily recommended intake for fiber is set to 25-30 grams per day for adult men and women. To do this, be sure to be getting enough whole plant-based foods such as greens, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, and legumes.

Benefits of Fiber: Fiber not only promotes health, it also help reduce the risk for some chronic diseases. For instance, fiber prevents constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulosis
.
Fiber is also linked to prevent some cancers especially colon and breast cancer. In addition, fiber may help lower the LDL cholesterol (the Bad cholesterol) and the total cholesterol therefore reducing the risk of heart disease.
beans-4785__480
Furthermore, fiber can help lower blood sugar therefore help bet
ter manage diabetes.

Types of Fiber: Soluble & Insoluble
Both soluble and insoluble fiber are undigested. They are not absorbed into the bloodstream. Instead of being used for energy, fiber is excreted from our bodies. Soluble fiber forms a gel when mixed with liquid.

Food Sources of Soluble Fiber: 
– Vegetables such as green beans and dark green leafy vegetables
– Fruit skins and root vegetable skins
– Whole-wheat products
– Wheat bran
– Corn bran
– Seeds & Nuts

Food Sources of Insoluble Fiber:
Oat/Oat bran
– Dried beans and peas
Nuts
– Barley
Flax seed
– Fruits such as oranges and apples
– Vegetables (e.g. carrots)
– Psyllium husk


 

Good food sources of fiberNOTES

  1. The primary macronutrient lacking in the modern Western diet is fiber, not protein (source).
  2. 97 % of American get enough protein, Less than 3% of American get even the recommended minimum adequate intake of Fiber.
  3. This deficit has been protectively associated with the risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and various cancers, as well high cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugars.*
    By definition, fiber is only found in plants.

CONCLUSION

– As long as you consume enough calories, there is absolutely no need to worry about not getting enough protein.
– Plant-based consumers do not need to be at all concern about amino acid imbalances from the plant proteins that make up our usual diets (source).

Mother Nature’s got it covered for us in all areas of nutrition; we sure don’t need to insult her and go through the poor cow or chicken to get our protein. Eat your plants people and rock on with your protein-rich selves!

*Here’s what each essential amino acid does and where to find it → CLICK ME.
*Here are some of the best fruits and vegetables to eat for their high quality carbohydrate content → CLICK ME.
*Here’s why you need complex carbs  → CLICK ME.
*Here’s why Carbs are your best friend → CLICK ME.


Sources:
Image Credit: Avery Muether
http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/need-protein-amino-acids-found-abundantly-in-plants/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8172124
https://medlineplus.gov/dietaryfiber.html
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18469286
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23988511
http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/nutrientrequirements/WHO_TRS_935/en/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19562864
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5573330
http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/24/2/181.abstract?ijkey=3746874313082c792a657ab3e211e075b140fcff&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19562864
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4258944/

2 thoughts on “Fiber & Protein 101

  1. Pingback: Know Thy Neighbors | Hannah the Vegan

  2. Pingback: Vegan FAQ – Hannah the Vegan

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