Each time I tell people that I no longer eat meat and dairy, they raise the issue of protein. “So where do you get your protein?” They ask. “From all the fruits and vegetables that I eat.” I say.
There is this general misunderstanding that protein is only found in animal products. Of course we all learn at school about all the sources of protein, but we tend to forget and only remember the meats, the dairy products and eggs. It could be due to advertising.
I tell people that I grew up eating meat on special occasions only like Christmas, Easter, when we had visitors or when there was a funeral. On any other day I was raised on carbohydrates, vegetables, nuts, beans wild mushrooms and wild fruits. Yet I grew up so healthy that I never needed to see a doctor or to go to the clinic for anything.
I grew up so strong and healthy that I could walk and run 15 kilometers to school every day up to the age of 12 when I finished primary school. I am now 5 foot 6 inches, which is fairly tall for a woman. If it were true that we need meat for protein, then how did I manage to grow so tall and that healthy and that intelligent?
Look at those people who do not eat meat because of their religion. Their children grow up healthy and fit. Ask yourself, why do we see all this advertising telling us otherwise?
Essential Amino Acids
The body synthesizes 16 amino acids from the nutrients found in the food that we eat. The body cannot synthesize 8 amino acids. It is essential to eat foods that provide those amino acids that the body cannot synthesize. That is why those 8 are called Essential Amino Acids. They are essential in our diet. All forms of meats and dairy products and eggs provide these essential amino acids.
Protein is the building block of every living thing, and amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Each type of food offers differing types and quantities of amino acids. Therefore animal products are not the only sources of essential amino acids. Legumes, nuts and seeds also provide high levels of essential amino acids. Fruits and vegetables offer less, but still they have the essential amino acids.
If you are on a vegetarian and vegan diet, you will want to include nuts, seeds and all types of beans, lentils and peas in your diet to make sure you have sufficient essential amino acids.
It is a myth that people should eat animal products for protein. In fact it is serious propaganda by the producers of milk, chicken, pork, bacon, lamb, beef and other forms meat. Advertising is good for them because it makes people buy their products. But that advertising is not necessarily helpful for us because we are seriously mis-informed.
Why does this matter? Because the animal products create acids in our bodies, leading to acidosis. Read the blog article on acidosis for yourself.