With all do respect Mr. Atkins (he’s dead, right?) the whole “low-carb, tons of fatty, cholesterol-laden protein diet” is such a load of crap (literally). Protein is an essential nutrient, just as carbohydrates are. ESSENTIAL. There is no reason to practically eliminate carbohydrates (or any nutrient). With that being said, increasing protein consumption and reducing carbohydrates in one’s diet is a difficult and unsustainable way to shed pounds. Yes, some people lose weight with these diets but it has more to do with calorie reduction than cutting carbs. By taking out breads, pasta, cereals, sweets and even fruits we are reducing our daily caloric intake by a significant amount. Bingo! It all goes back to calories in vs. calories out. People, please don’t buy this bologna (or any bologna for that matter). Carbohydrates are not evil. We could get into the nitty gritty about complex carbohydrates and simple sugars, etc, but I am speaking very generally here.
Being vegan, one of the most common questions I get is “If you don't eat meat then where do you get your protein?” Everyone seems so concerned about my health but let me tell you, our country as a whole is not at risk for protein deficiency. In fact, most Americans eat too much protein.
Excess protein provides all sorts of health risks:
- Kidney Disease: When people eat too much protein, they take in more nitrogen than they need. This places a strain on the kidneys, which must expel the extra nitrogen through urine. People with kidney disease are encouraged to eat low-protein diets. Such a diet reduces the excess levels of nitrogen and can also help prevent kidney disease.
- Cancer: Although fat is the dietary substance most often singled out for increasing cancer risk, protein also plays a role. Populations who eat meat regularly are at increased risk for colon cancer, and researchers believe that the fat, protein, natural carcinogens, and absence of fiber in meat all play roles. The 1997 report of the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research, Food, Nutrition, and the Prevention of Cancer, noted that meaty, high-protein diets were linked with some types of cancer.
- Osteoporosis and Kidney Stones: Diets that are rich in animal protein cause people to excrete more calcium than normal through their kidneys and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Countries with lower-protein diets have lower rates of osteoporosis and hip fractures.
-Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
The answer to that ever-so-common question of where I get my protein is simple: beans, lentils, grains, and vegetables. Tonight, for example I am making chili. Check out all that PROTEIN.
While most omnivores get their protein from meat and dairy sources it is important to recognize that animal products are not the only sources of protein. There are varying amounts found in most foods.
I snapped a picture of the green grass and blue sky before I started my run tonight.
The weather in San Diego has been to-die-for!
San Diego Harbor
Crappy cell phone pictures do not do justice!