Sunday, January 23, 2011

Where's the Beef?

Who doesn't remember that slogan? Living in a worl that has a high emphasis on eating animal products it is no wonder a big question from people when I tell them I am a vegan is : What to you eat? Where do you get your protein?

As I began this journey as a vegan I have filled a lot of my time educating myself on this lifestyle and I have to admit I find it fascinating.

One major concern for me has always been protecting my heart. Many of you may not know that my older brother, Mike, died of a heart attack at the age of 40. His death began a spark in me to change my life around and that included a healthy heart. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. It is NOT breast cancer. Among other lifestyle habits eating meat is a major contributor. Meat contains lots of saturated fat. Saturated fat elevates your blood cholesterol, and causes clogged arteries. Clogged arteries leads to high blood pressure or even worse a stroke or a heart attack. No meat is truly a low-fat food. Because saturated fat is marbled throughout the muscle, and the cholesterol is found in the cell membranes of the meat itself, trimming the excess fat off does help some but don't feel that your not consuming any excess fat. It seems that only a plant-based diet protects the heart. Dr William Castelli, director of the Framington Heart study, says a low-fat plant based diet would lower an individuals risk of heart attack by 85 percent. 85 percent! Now you can see why this diet really woke me up. We can change our chances of a heart attack. I don't know about you but I plan to be around a long time to see my grandchildren and maybe even my great grandchildren.

So how much protein do we really need? By what I have been reading the USDA recommends a daily allowance of about 0.36 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. And even some doctors says this is eve on the high side. So for an average 130 pound women that equals to about 47 grams of protein. The average American adult consumes between 100-120 grams of protein every day. A majority of that comes from high-fat animal products.

You may be asking yourself like a lot of people do, What do you eat Kathi? This part excites me and I could talk all day about all the wonderful things I eat and I hope to begin to share those with you. If your my friend on facebook I have began to post pictures of some of the things I have been eating.

Here is a list of some of the plant foods high in protein.

almonds 1/4 cup 7.4
black beans 1 cup 15
broccoli 1 cup, ckd 5
black eyed peas 1 cup 13
brown rice 1 cup, ckd 9
chickpeas 1 cup 15
Kale 1 cup, ckd 2
Lentils 1 cup 18
Oatmeal 1 cup, ckd 6
Quinoa 1 cup, ckd 6
Tempeh 1 cup 30

This is just a small sample of all the wonderful plant based food you can get your protein from. If you are eating a well-balanced vegan diet, meaning you are consuming a wide variety of high quality food like vegetables, greens, sprouts, legumes, tempeh, beans, nuts, grains and so on then you will certainly meet your protein needs.

So the next time you ask yourself, "where is the beef?" Think twice that animal products aren't the only way to get the protein you need for a healthy body.

1 comment:

Brit-Man said...

Vegan food is good for Amino Acids, but it must be remembered that many don't have the full amount and this may possibly affect their ability to be synthesised properly.

Meat products do actually contain some good fat and Fat is lost when you cook anyway, especially when grilling.

It also comes down to portion size as well.

Meat contains the more absorbed Heam Iron as opposed to Non-Heam in plant matter. 15-20% absorbed, (Heam), compared to 5-10% absorbed, (Non-Heam), rgough Iron can be absorbed better wiht things like amino Acid,s Vitamin C and Capsicum, but it's not all bad as long as you limit it, but there is certainly a lot of positives to Vegan eating and it is sustainable.

Good to know you're doing well.

Take care and best wishes.

:-) :-).

Matt