Too Much Protein? Essay, Research Paper
I. Story-I am sitting in elementary school. The teacher has brought out a colored chart and is telling us kids how important it is to eat meat, drink our milk, and get lots of protein, I am listening to her and looking at the chart, which makes it all seem so simple. I believe my teacher, because I sense that she believes what she is saying. She is sincere. She is a grown-up. It must be true. Protein, I hear-that?s what?s important. And you can only get good quality protein from meats, eggs, and dairy products. That is why they make up two of the four basic food groups on the chart.
II. How was she to know that the pretty little chart was the outcome of extensive political lobbying by the meat and dairy industries, that millions of dollars had been poured into the campaigns that produced those charts? My teacher believed what she taught us and never suspected that she was being used to relay a commercial message. Our innocent minds soaked it up like sponges. And most of us have been willing and unquestioning consumers of large amounts of meat and dairy products ever since.
III. We have come to believe that we need lots of protein, but is the belief justified? According to The World Health Organization, the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Research Council we need at the very maximum only 8 percent of our total daily calories from protein, they arrive at this 8 percent figure and also add a safety factor of 30 percent—This extra 30 percent is explained by nutritional expert Dr. David Rueben,? The people who sell meat, fish, cheese, eggs, chicken, and all the other high prestige and expensive sources of protein are able to increase their income by 30 percent if they increase the suggested daily amount by 30 percent. It also increases the amount of protein in the sewers and septic tanks of your neighborhood by 30 percent as you merrily urinate away everything that you can?t use that very day. It also deprives the starving children of the world of the protein that would save their lives. Incidentally, it makes you pay 30 percent of your already bloated food bill for protein you will never use. If you are an average American family, it will cost you about $ 60 a month to unnecessarily pump up your protein intake. That puts another $ 40 billion a year in to the pockets of the protein producers.?
IV. There is no question that meat and dairy products and eggs are high in protein. But the average American consumes 90 to 120 grams of protein per day while the ideal intake for a human being is 20 to 40 grams per day. We are worried about ?getting enough protein? but in fact we are eating more than necessary and far more than is healthy.
V. Human mother?s milk provides 5 percent of its calories as protein. Nature seems to be telling us that little babies, whose bodies are growing the fastest they will ever grow in their entire lives, and whose protein needs are maximum, are best served when 5 percent of their food calories come from protein.
VI. According to the American journal of clinical nutrition protein also plays a major role in osteoporosis. One out of every four 65-year-old women in our culture has lost over half her bone density. Today, more women die from the effects of osteoporosis than from cancer of the breast and cervix combined. We are told ? Milk it does a body good? and that drinking milk will make our bones stronger, but in a study published in the journal of nutrition they found two things 1 low protein diets create a positive calcium balance meaning bones are not losing calcium. And 2 high protein diets create a negative calcium balance, meaning osteoporosis is developing. Regardless of how much calcium we take in, the more protein in the diet, the more calcium we loose. Dr John McDougall summarizes the medical research on osteoporosis this way ? I would like to emphasize that the calcium-losing effect of protein on the human body is not an area of controversy in scientific circles. The many studies performed during the past 55 years consistently show that the most important dietary change the we can make if we want to create a positive calcium balance that will keep our bodies solid is to decrease the amount of proteins we eat each day. The important change is not to increase the amount of calcium we take in.?
VII. Dr. Campbell, director of the China-Oxford-Cornell study, and former senior science advisor to the American Institute for Cancer Research says this about high protein diets,? there is a strong correlation between dietary protein intake and cancer of the breast, prostate, pancreas, and colon.? Interesting that the culprit in many of the most deadly diseases of our time is none other than the very thing that many of us have been taught to hold sacred-animal protein. Data from the China-Oxford-Cornell Study reveal that people who derive 70 percent of their protein from animal products (as Americans typically do) have major health difficulties compared to people who derive just 5 percent of their protein from animal resources. They have seventeen times the death rate from heart disease, and women are five times more likely to die of breast cancer.
VIII. In April of 1991 The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine sponsored the new four food groups, which was designed to incorporate the enormous advances in understanding about diet and health in the recent years. The president of the committee Dr. Neal Banard said this about a healthy body and healthy life: Research is now clear and sufficient that the basic dietary guidelines taught to us as schoolchildren are wrong. Based on the knowledge we have today, we cannot go on recommending a diet based on the old four food groups. Evidence has shown that most people who eat according to the old four food groups die earlier and have a greater risk of serious illness than many of those who eat differently.
IX. The new four food groups proposed by the committee consist of, whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits. Now you may be thinking that there is no meat represented in the new guidelines, but they are not forbidden they are just considered optional, because medical studies clearly show they are not needed for human health and in fact often contribute to disease. The new four groups reflect massive amount of research telling us that the higher the consumption of meat and dairy products in any nation, the more its people suffer from illness.
X. The people for this new style of grouping our food have made it clear they are not proposing a ban on meats and dairy products from the menus and tables of America. Their call is not even to eliminate animal products, but to cut back and shift them to a more secondary role. Their goal is to bring our eating guidelines up to date.
XI. I am not saying that you can never have another scoop of Haagen-Dazs or another double double,I?m not even saying that you all have to become vegetarians or to go out and burn down every hamburger joint but that we need to reevaluate what we have been taught about what is good and bad for us and come up with answers based upon all the facts.