Most foods contain protein, including fruits and vegetables, yet many people still believe the myth that meat is the best or only source of protein. This myth and the dietary habits that support it are having serious health ramifications.
The average North American eats over 248 pounds of meat every year. That’s about 40 percent of his or her diet. Most experts confirm that meat should not exceed about 10 percent of our overall food intake. So the average person is eating four times the amount of meat he or she needs.
While the proponents of high-protein diets espouse their weight-loss capacity, the reality is that almost everyone is currently on a high-protein diet just because of excessive meat consumption. And the overweight and obesity statistics are staggering.
One of the things proponents of high protein diets won’t tell you is that excess protein in your diet is turned into glucose (sugar) or glycogen (a specific type of sugar that is made in the liver and muscles in your body), or turned into fat. That’s right: Too much protein is stored as fat!
But it’s not just the quantity of protein foods that play a role in health—the quality of the protein is also important. Animal protein requires a massive amount of energy and plentiful amounts of digestive juices and enzymes to adequately break down the meat into its amino acid constituent components. The result: Excessive meat can be hard on the digestive system and your whole body. And depending on the strength of your digestive system, even a small amount of concentrated protein foods like meat may be difficult for your body to break down, meaning your body may not be getting the important amino acids contained within the protein food. Everyone is unique in this regard.
Meat is also devoid of fiber and contains little water, both of which are needed to ensure the proper movement of foods through the digestive tract. Excess meat can slow the whole process and potentially lead to waste and toxins being absorbed through the walls of your intestines alongside the nutrients that normally follow this path. Additionally, the by-products of meat digestion are acidic and can put a strain on the kidneys to eliminate the acid.
Start today to limit your intake of all types of animal protein to no more than 15 percent of your diet. Instead of trying to count calories to determine 15% of your diet. Estimate 15 percent based on the amount of food on your plate. If your plate was divided into six portions of food, 15 percent would be a little less than 1/6 of all the food on your plate. Yes, that includes white meat, red meat, and any other type of meat, including fish, and eggs. That means taking a look at your plate and making sure that only about one-seventh of the food you’re eating is meat. And try to choose only organic meat free of antibiotics, hormones, or other unwanted ingredients. Remember: You are what you eat! And, don’t worry if you don’t like meat or prefer to go vegetarian. That’s a valid option on The Life Force Diet.
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Michelle Schoffro Cook, DNM, DAc, CNC, is a six-time and best-selling book author whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, and The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan. She is a doctor of natural medicine, holistic nutritionist, and holistic life coach. Visit www.TheLifeForceDiet.com to learn more.
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