If I’ve heard that once, I’ve heard it a thousand times. The protein myth is alive and kicking in the United States if not the whole civilized world. I believe it’s mostly kept that way by the meat industry. If people knew the truth, their business might suffer. But maybe not because most people don’t eat because something is good for them but because it’s tasty. Otherwise, everyone would be eating much more healthfully. Since that is the case, though, people are still buying into it. No one EVER asks me where I get my fat or carbohydrates. It’s always protein.
Just the other day, someone at work asked me about what fruit or veggie is high in protein. As a raw vegan, I don’t worry about what is high in protein, to tell you the truth, so I couldn’t give her a satisfactory answer. I did say that nuts, seeds, beans and corn have an appreciable amount. My statement that all the foods I eat have protein was met with “Yes, but…” “Do you eat beans?” No. Beans have to be cooked. I don’t need to eat beans to get protein.
I’ve been Googling again and here’s how one web site states how we can tell if we are getting enough protein or not:
Here’s the unscientific answer to how much protein we need: Do we look good, feel good, maintain optimum weight, and have good muscle tone? Do our hair and nails grow quickly? Do our wounds heal well? Are we generally healthy, and recover quickly from illness? If so, then we must be getting enough protein!1
BUT, if what you want is the answer the government gives us, then you might be satisfied with this:
Whatever the calorie level, DRVs for the energy-producing nutrients are always calculated as follows:
fat based on 30 percent of calories saturated fat based on 10 percent of calories carbohydrate based on 60 percent of calories protein based on 10 percent of calories. (The DRV for protein applies only to adults and children over 4. RDIs for protein for special groups have been established.) fiber based on 11.5 g of fiber per 1,000 calories.2
Now, you can probably guess that I don’t agree with the above “requirements”. By the way, DRV (Daily Reference Values) has replaced RDA (Recommended Daily Allowances) for nutrients.
To begin with, these values are based on a primarily cooked diet. The FDA doesn’t ever publish anything that’s based on anything else.
I eat a diet of raw food: fruit (and that includes non-sweet fruits such as tomatoes, sweet peppers and cucumbers), greens, and some nuts, seeds, avocado and (rarely) olives. Let’s see how much protein I can get in a day. I used Fitday3 to calculate the grams.
If this displays too small, you can click on it to see it full size.
Now, here are the percentages also from Fitday.3
Too small? Once again, CLICK! Clarification—this is a typical day in the life of ME. It isn’t always what I eat but just an example.
I don’t eat nuts every day but if you X them, I still have 35+ grams of protein. That averages out to the same 8% of total calories.
Thanks to Google, I found a site4 that let me calculate my protein requirement using my height and gender. There are no doubt others, but this was an easy pick.
Too small? You know what to do.
Now, let’s put two and two together. According to FitDay3, I’m getting over 40 grams of protein in an average day. Put that with the protein requirement on the other site4 and I’m right at the upper limit for a 5’3″ female person.
Now, will this or will this not put to rest the worry that I’m not getting enough protein??