Hello guys 🙂
I’m back after a longer break. I’ve been keeping eating healthy food with lots of veggies and fruit and almost no sweets, I still work out 5 times a week and I drink so much water, I’m sure I have never drunk so much before, but the days are hot and I’m thursty all the time. I also got a new student job at a small restaurant in the town center, so I broke my writing habit, but I’ll continue right now. 🙂
A few days ago I finally finished the book Diet 80/10/10 by Dr. Douglas N. Graham. I heard of it about 1 year ago, following many vegan pages and groups on Facebook. I had no intension to read it, if I haven’t found it in the superfood store where I had worked before, I’d probably never read it. But thanks to the boredom at workplace with almost no custumers, the book came in my hands.
I knew about the meaning of the numbers before: 80% carbohydrates, 10% protein, 10% fat. As a recreative athlete I am hearing and reading all the time about the importance of protein. Not only that our muscles are consisted of them, but also our skin, nails, hair, bones, teeth… I try to get them mostly from whey, plant sources (beans, peas, chickpeas, brown rice, quinoa, tofu, soy milk, broccoli, spinach, seeds, nuts, hemp powder…) and also eggs sometimes. Eating dead animals bodies is just disgusting, I never wanted to do it and I’ll never do it again. Maybe I’ll even move forward and go vegan one day. I like cheese too much, but giving up dairy is not the problem that cannot be solved. I have to go living on my own first, right now I have to be happy there are no more arguments between me and whole family of meat eaters. Going back to topic, proteins are good for us. And what does Graham’s book say – only 10% of protein? I’m not sure if it is enough.
What I learnt from the book about proteins:
1. American government reccomands between 10 and 35 percent of protein in your daily food intake. Did you know that the average percent of protein from all the food a person eats in one day (talking about an average american, who eats everything including meat, fish, eggs, dairy…) is just 16. It is closer to 10 than 35, right? Actually people hardly hit the number 25, unless they strictly eat mostly protein powders and egg whites. As Graham says, 10% or little less than that of protein from your food is completely enough. Once we stop growing, we need very little “building material”. Even athlets and bodybuilders don’t need more than 10% of protein from food. They oftenly restrict carbs and increase protein intake, because they think proteins promote strenghthening their muscles. That’s wrong, proteins theirselves don’t make muscles any stronger, weight lifting does. What is true about the need of higher protein intake: if someone doesn’t eat enough carbohydrates, there are more proteins reqired in order to transfer them into carbohydrates, which are the “fuel” for the body. – Believe it or not – I don’t get it. Body can make carbohydrates from protein?? It seems like nonsense to me. Is there anyone, who can explain?
2. Combining different protein sources to get all the essencial aminoacids is a myth. We need all 20 AA to make protein chains, but we don’t have to get all of them in one day.
3. All the plants have proteins. – It seems logical to me. Cells are made of proteins, right? Yes, all the plants have cells. Therefore all the plants have proteins. So lack of protein doesn’t exist. The nature itself takes care for us to get them enough 🙂 Here is the table to show the percentage of protein in some plants and foods made of plants (spaghetti :D)
To be more precise, it is counted how many percents of calories (not of weight) do proteins represent (it means water is not included).
4. “High protein” diets don’t exist. The reason for this is that “protein foods” we eat (meat – at least 50% of fat, eggs – 60% of fat, diary products – up to 88% of fat, nuts, seeds – up to 75% of fat) also contain high amounts of fat, so the percent of protein gets lower.
My conclusion: Many protein sources really have also very high amount of fat, that’s why we should be careful not to eat too much of these foods in order to get proteins. I think that required amount of protein depends of person’s sport activity and muscle work. “Overdosing” them may be harmful for the liver and exhausting for the body to digest. But I’m still sceptical if 10% is enough. I’ll stop thinking so much where would I get the proteins from for every meal, because of the things I learnt from the book, but it won’t change the sources of protein I take (vegetables, legumes, hemp, seeds, nuts, greek yoghurt, cottage cheese, eggs and whey).
I meant to write the whole review in one post, but I discovered it goes slow and it would be too long. And you people don’t like reading really long blog posts, do you? I prefer shorter. So I decided to write it part by part. In the next one I’ll discuss fats.
Your comments, questions, opinions, maybe also experiences are welcome. 🙂