You’ve heard it before and heard it often: “Eat meat for protein.”

This has been a very successful campaign by the food industry. In reality we need much less protein than what we think we do. When you learn how LITTLE protein you really need, you will realize that we are stuffing ourselves with too much protein. Too much protein brings dangers to our health and our quality of life.

The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) suggests that we consider the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein which is : 0.8 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight for the average adult. (See the calculation below to learn how to compute your “typical” dietary requirements.)

  • If you weigh 185 pounds:  (body weight divided by 2.2 pounds) multiplied by 0.8 grams = your approximate daily protein need. Calculating:  (185 / 2.2) x 0.8 = 67.27 grams.
  • If you weigh 84 kilograms: (body weight x 0.8) = your approximate daily protein need.  Calculating: (84 x 0.8) = 67.2 grams.

If you feel more comfortable portioning your food in terms of ounces, 1 gram is approximately equal to 0.035 ounces.  So, multiply your gram calculation by 0.035.  Calculating: 67 grams x 0.035 = 2.3 ounces, (approx.).

How much is 2.3 ounces, or, in grams, 67 grams of MEAT?  About 1/4 cup. Next time you order that 12 ounce filet mignon, remind yourself that you are eating about 5 times more protein, from that steak alone, than you typically need. Add to that the protein from all other sources throughout the day. And, yes, there is plenty of protein in salads, fruits, and other plant-based foods. In other words, you don’t get protein only from animal, fish, or dairy products. Almost all foods, plant foods, too, contain protein.

So, what happens when you eat too much protein?  Possibly:  CANCER, HEART DISEASE, STROKES, and DIABETES. Or, as Colin T. Campbell, Phd researcher says, “diseases of the affluent”.

But he is not the only health researcher to identify dangers of too much protein. Campbell switched tumours on and off by providing excess animal protein and then reducing that animal protein. As a result of those studies and epidemiological studies, (studies of very large population-based eating habits), Campbell identified eating too much protein as a leading cause of diseases of the “affluent”.

In another study done by other researchers, a strong link was discovered between RED MEAT and the ARTERY DAMAGING by-product that red meat produces in our gut called TMAO, (trimethylamine-N-oxide).

This study, See End Note 1   revealed that “…dietary L-carnitine, a trimethylamine that is  ABUNDANT IN RED MEAT, produces TMAO and accelerates atherosclerosis…  Omnivores produced significantly more TMAO than vegans/vegetarians following ingestion of L-carnitine…”

In other words, L-carnitine is not all that good for you. You get it from eating red meat, or you may be taking L-carnitine as a supplement. Either way, ingesting L-carnitine results in high levels of TMAO in your gut.

This study associates HIGH blood levels of L-carnitine as a possible predictor of increased risks for artery disease, heart attacks, and strokes…and possibly even death because of noticeably high TMAO levels. The more red meat you eat, the more you need to worry about the shape of your cardiovascular system as a result of meat-containing L-carnitine producing TMAO in your gut.

When you reach for that steak or hamburger, think about what it does to your TMAO levels. It may be delicious, but may drive your TMAO levels whacky!

This study is one more in the arsenal warning us to adopt a stronger focus on, and become much more conscious about, how much red meat we consume daily.

[WARNING: before making any changes to your diet, supplementation, medication, or exercise programs, be sure to consult with your doctor who is authorized to diagnose disease and prescribe medication and therapy programs.]


END NOTE

  1. “Intestinal microbiota metabolism of L-carnitine, a nutrient in red meat, promotes atherosclerosis”, By Koeth, Wang, Levison, Buffa, Org, Sheehy, Britt, Fu, Wu, Li, Smith, et al.  National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Nat Med. 2013 May; 19(5): 576–585. Published online 2013 Apr 7. doi: [10.1038/nm.3145]