Healthy Protein Consumption
Here’s a great article from my dear friend Danny Arguetty. We were
roommates when we did our Yoga Teacher Training at Kripalu in Western
Massachusetts. He is a gifted Yoga teacher, Nutrition and Health
When I wake up in the morning and think about my life I feel so
grateful. I have a view of a beautiful lagoon and ocean, I am working
my dream job, and I am pushing my edge around interpersonal
relationship and learning a ton. I feel like one of the reasons I am
able to thrive in my life is due to the fact that my foundational
building blocks are in place around high quality healthy foods.
Proteins are one of the three macronutrients that the body utilizes to
fuel its various systems. They are often talked about as the building
blocks of our cells and tissues. Through this foundational role the
body can better manufacture hormones, antibodies, and enzymes.
Proteins from food give us essential amino acids which can’t be
synthesized by our system and are utilized to support the functions of
From egg whites to protein bars many people believe they need a huge
amount of protein to be healthy, but could one have too much of a good
thing? In the classical pathology of western culture overconsumption
of protein foods is becoming a contributing factor to many western
diseases. Would you guess that the average American male consumes
50-60% too much protein, while the average American woman takes in
30-40% over the average on a daily basis.
The main problem here is that proteins are large molecules that have
to be broken down by the kidneys. With this much protein in the system
the kidneys are overworking on a daily basis and have a harder time
filter out body and environmental wastes. In addition to this too much
protein in the system can lead to low energy, constipation,
dehydration, lethargy, heavy feeling, sweet cravings, feeling “tight”
or stiff joints, foul body odor, halitosis (bad breath) and calcium
loss to compensate for over acidity.
A common misconception around people that exercise or workout is that
a protein shake/supplement is needed right after to rebuild muscle.
This is an untrue myth as protein breaks down very slowly so is
present to rebuild muscle anytime you consume it (body burns
carbs/simple sugars before and after exercise).
Healthy Protein Consumption:
Quality, Quality, Quality: the body will better utilize protein from a
whole free-range organic egg, wild salmon, and organic legumes than
lab produced powders or energy bars.
Bio-Individuality: just like the other macronutrients our intake for
protein will depend on body type, age, and activity level. If you
create enough moderation and rotation in your weekly eating you are
guaranteed to get more than enough protein. Experiment if you absorb
protein better from vegetarian sources or if you need some animal
foods in your diet.
Vegetable Centric: especially if you are eating animal foods make sure
there is a ton of veggies present to balance out the acid nature of
these foods (remember grain fed meat is more acidic then grass fed).
In addition many veggies actually have protein in them (as well as
grains like quinoa and millet)
Less is More: particularly if you are experiencing any of the symptoms
listed above, reduce your protein consumption and increase your veggie
consumption. Can never have enough veggies in your life. Try to eat a
small quantity of animal protein foods at a time, like what fits into
the palm of your hand. Think of using meat like a condiment as opposed
to the main event of the show.
Deepen Your Understanding: for food lists of high quality protein
choices and to learn more about how it works click here
(http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=92) to read a
vegan point of view on protein explore this
Nutrition & Health Counselor