I get so excited about eating a juicy, delicious burger that is stacked with toppings and full of flavor. 🍔 After six months of trying out veganism in 2008, I broke my diet with some homemade grass-fed patties from The Organic Butcher in McLean. They were heaven: fresh lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, ketchup, and mustard. Occasionally I like mayo too. 🤤
All this to say, it would be best if you had plenty of good sources of protein. There is no single person in nutrition globally that would advocate for a low to no protein diet. Yet, there are low/no fat diets. Take a look at Fat-Free ubiquity that has enveloped 'health' foods. There are also low/no-carb diets. 🚫 Atkins was one of the originals, and now ketogenic has captured the minds and mouths of many more. We get extremes in nutrition marketing even though nutrition science possesses a less extreme real-life evidence scale. ⚖️ The truth is there are extremists in the protein game too, but the science is unquestionably in on protein. It is necessary to survive and, in fact, thrive. Protein is the second most abundant source in your body, next to water! 💦
How do we utilize protein?
Enzymes, skin, hair, nails, bones, and connective tissue are all constructed from protein. 🦴💅🏽 💇🏽♀️
Our neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers our brain 🧠 cells use to communicate 🗣 (and thus serve as the basis for all thought), are made of protein precursors.
Because it is so valuable to the human body, our need for protein may even drive our hunger, signaling us to eat more when it is in short supply. This is why adding more protein to our diet can help us to feel more satiated. 🍽
Protein tips the nitrogen balance in our body, a critical factor in growing and maintaining lean mass as we age. 💪🏾
Protein may even preserve our brain.1 🧠
Our needs for protein vary based on our bodies and activities. Generally, my rule of thumb is to eat at least two ‘fists’ full of protein a day. It’s the equivalent of a cup of beans and two or three eggs for example. I try and avoid powders and get the real thing (I’ll be a broken record on real food 😉). I also aim for sources coming from regenerative agriculture. There are a lot of groups and people that overstate the need to consume protein based on industry interests or the echo chamber of certain ideas. I like to tell people to aim for at least 15% of daily calories coming from a diverse source of protein. 👈🏼
The video below is rich with excellent food advice. 📺 The valuable protein discussion starts at 5:55, starting with the 'protein leverage hypothesis.'