Protein and Vegetarians

protein2  Dietary proteins are either complete or incomplete:

1.  Complete (containing all 8 essential amino acids)

*These provide all the amino acids the body needs

*Think of it as having the complete alphabet to work with.

*Food sources: Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, soybeans.

2.  Incomplete (missing one or more essential amino acids)

*These sources aren’t ideal because if essential amino acids are missing it interferes with the creation of all other proteins.  Because proteins are involved in every tissue and function in your body you can see how serious this can be.  The possible consequences are endless and can lead to all kinds of health issues.

*If your body can’t find the missing amino acids somewhere else in your diet these proteins aren’t used correctly and are converted into fat.

*Think of it as one of the letters on your keyboard, like “E”, not working, how many words would it affect?

*Food sources:  Beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts and seeds.  These must be properly combined to make complete proteins.

Dietary protein is further broken down into 3 groups:

1.  Animal:  Red meat, chicken, eggs, fish, shellfish.

2.  Lacto:  Dairy products such as milk, ice cream, cheese, yogurt.

3.  Vegetarian:  Beans, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, sea vegetables.

Many people lack quality protein.  Even if your diet includes plenty of red meat, chicken, and dairy products, you may not have adequate protein.  Why is that?

*Remember that animal protein needs a well-functioning digestive system to process and use amino acids correctly.  But, many people have faulty or low-functioning digestive systems.

*Many sources don’t contain all 8 essential amino acids.

*The modern American diet tends to consist of protein like hot dogs, hamburgers, processed meats, cold cuts, bacon, fried chicken strips, deep fried fish, farmed fish, canned tuna, ready-made meat products, processed milk, ice cream, processed cheese slices, processed soybean foodstuffs, roasted and salted nuts and so on.  These things are far from the protein Mother Nature provided.  They have high levels of fat, antibiotics, hormones, additives, preservatives, pesticides, nitrates, flavors, and stabilizers.  These things are bad for your health.  And they make our already poor digestive system work harder, which makes the use of amino acids that much less efficient.

Quality protein sources:

*Organic sources whenever possible to avoid antibiotic, hormone and chemical contamination

*Lean meats, poultry, eggs, and dairy

*Fresh, deep-ocean fish, and sea vegetables.  Avoid farm-raised fish.

*Fresh, non-roasted, non-salted nuts and seeds

*Bean, legumes, and whole grains.

*A high quality, alkaline, soy-based complete protein supplement (

vegetarian  Living a Vegetarian Lifestyle

Some people choose to avoid animal products because of religious, animal protection, protein quality, digestive challenges, and/or environmental issues.  Living a vegetarian lifestyle presents challenges of its own.  Many people mistakenly think they can simply eliminate all animal protein from their diet with no bad effects.  Because all vegetarian protein sources are incomplete, it is important that you understand and use the right protein combinations to make sure all 8 essential amino acids are always present in your diet.  A high quality, complete protein supplement is highly recommended (  Unfortunately, there are many vegetarians with issues like weight problems, lack of energy, weak or diminished growth or strength of hair, nail, bones, teeth, muscles, digestive issues, immune challenges, vitamin B12 and/or iron deficiency.  If you choose to be vegetarian, make sure you  are well educated!  You can’t build health without quality protein.  This would be like trying to build or fix a brick wall without the bricks!

Tomorrow we will talk about carbohydrates.

Please comment below, like, retweet, and share with your friends!

1 Comment

  • Pedro Trost

    Reply Reply July 8, 2013

    Very good post! We are linking to this particularly great article on our website. Keep up the good writing.

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field