Protein Protein Protein … ( did I mention protein ? )

( copy pasted ) Chapter from  the book 80-10-10 diet by Douglas Graham ETHER !@


Folks lets talk “protein” shall we … SALUTE



You will read that it is a myth that animal protein, that is to say MEAT – for athletes especially  bodybuilders is vital to building muscle. You will read that mothers milk only contains about 6% protein –  this is the source of infant development and growth – only 6% folks during the most growth intensive period of our development . You will read about the negative effects of protein – over consumption. You will read about protein propaganda. You will read that so long as you get enough calories you will automatically get enough protein even if you lived soley on  white rice ( not ideal diet ) .  My summary does no justice to the information below – dig in !


The other day my response to “where do you get your protein”  I ask what is protein ? To which she replied “I don’t know”. Folks we have a problem – fear not, you will read now exactly what is protein .  – ST



Chapter 6. Protein: 10% Maximum

Of the three  protein is certainly the most discussed, and the

most misunderstood. I begin with a discussion of protein in order to clear

the air about this vital nutrient, with the intention of not discussing it again

in the remainder of this book.

The need for protein has been greatly exaggerated by market forces,

and protein’s functions have been misrepresented. This chapter discusses

why we need protein and where we obtain protein on a low-fat 80/10/10

diet. We put the protein issues to rest and then get to the heart of the

80/10/10 diet, carbohydrates and fats.

How Much Protein Do We Need?

I often respond to the question, “where do you get your protein?” with several

questions of my own: “How much protein do you think we need?”

much protein do you think you currently eat?” “What exactly is the function

of protein?” “Have you ever met anyone with a protein deficiency?”

Although I have met many people who have begun to or are considering

vectoring their diets away from animal foods, I rarely meet anyone who has a

reasonable response to these queries. Usually

they tell me that we need large quantities of

protein for energy, or to keep us from getting

sick. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Protein’s primary function is growth, which is negligible in adults, as well as

repair from injury and replacement of worn-out cells.

Compared  a rapidly growing adults

need minimal protein.

Official Guidelines Recommend


Sometimes I wonder whether the official nutritional guidelines for

consumption are intentionally vague and confusing in order to

better serve influential market forces. I mean, after

years of testing we

have a fairly good idea of which foods are most nutritious for us. Still, the

U.S. government officially recommends that our protein intake should be

somewhere between 10 and 35% of total calories consumed. It is extremely

difficult to consume more than 20% of total calories from protein, however,

unless you are following a strict regimen of refined protein powder and egg

whites. Currently fewer than 5% of Americans eat more than 21% of

calories from protein, with the average ranging from

to 21%.


Chapter 6. Protein: 10% Maximum

our house








bricks (protein).


Despite the advertising hype of the meat and dairy industries, humans

require an extraordinarily low amount

protein in their diets. Many official

groups, including the World Health

the U.S. National

Academies’ Institute of

and the National Research


suggest that eating a mere

of our total calories as protein is sufficient.

Mother’s milk provides on average approximately 6% of calories from

protein for growing

This should be ample proof that adults do not

need more protein per calorie than this, as infants, with their extremely rapid

rate of growth, have the highest need for protein per calorie of all humans.

Proteins (or more accurately, amino acids) are the building blocks of

living cells. Once we have done our growing, we have very little

requirement for the raw materials of which we are made. Think of the

analogy of building a brick house: you need

of bricks during the

construction stage. Once the house is built, however, if trucks continue to

deliver bricks, you have a problem on your hands. The same is true of

protein in the human diet: too much creates emergency conditions and

keeps the body in a constant state of toxicity.

For those accustomed to seeing your protein recommendation in terms

of grams or calories per unit of body weight, the 2003 U.S. RDA for protein

is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight, or 0.8

grams per kilogram (1 kilogram  2.2 lbs). The

RDA calculates these numbers for a “typical”

(sedentary) female and male who eat


2,200 calories per day, respectively, arriving at

a suggested 44 grams of protein for a female and 55 grams for a male. See

the sidebar entitled “Calculating Your Protein Intake” later in this chapter

for sample calculations.

Protein Includes a Wide Safety Margin

The national and international organizations that set nutrient guidelines

build into their numbers a margin of safety that increases the recommenda-

tions substantially, often near double. The

U.S. RDA for protein of 0.8

g/kg/day, for example, was designed to meet the needs of 97.5% of a

normally distributed population. It was calculated as


Conduct nitrogen balance studies to determine the mean amount of

protein required to replace daily “obligatory losses” through sweat,

urine, feces, and sloughed skin, hair, and


The 80/10/10 Diet

Add two standard deviations

to this mean value.

Add margins for digestibility and protein quality.

In his book The China Study, renowned Cornell University professor

emeritus of nutritional biochemistry T. Colin Campbell states that we

require only 5-6% of our total calories to come from protein in order to

replace the protein we routinely lose, and that “About

protein has

been recommended for the past fifty years to be assured that most people at

least get their 5-6%


In addition to the safety margin, this recommendation assumes that

people eat their protein cooked. Given that cooking substantially deranges

protein and other nutrients, we can safely consume far less raw plant protein

and still be assured of sufficient nourishment. Thus, you can see that

protein (maximum) is both sufficient and reasonable.

The additional protein afforded by the built-in safety factor is not a

problem, per se, except that overconsumption of protein can lead to health

problems, which will be discussed later in this chapter. The more important

concern is relative overconsumption of protein. In other words, if we

overconsume one of the three

we are likely to under-

consume one or both of the others.

The fact that our protein needs actually run in the single digits (under

often surprises people. Most all of us have unwittingly fallen prey to

meat-industry propaganda that would lead us to believe otherwise. Truly,

advertising has influenced our perception of reality so widely that the

concept of “getting enough protein” is embedded in the culture.

Athletes and Bodybuilders:

Still Plenty

Bodybuilders have long consumed extra protein and lowered carbohydrate

intake in the mistaken belief that dietary protein builds muscle. In reality,








carbohydrates are supplied, it is true that protein requirements go up, as the

body transforms the protein into carbohydrate (an energy-expensive

process) and utilizes it for fuel. This does not, however, bring about the

result they desire.


Chapter 6. Protein: 10% Maximum

No Extra Protein Required for Physical Activity

Bodybuilders may be interested to note that in their extensive study of

protein requirements, the Institute of Medicine/Food and Nutrition Board

determined that no additional protein needed to be added to the RDA to

account for physical activity:

“There is little evidence that muscular activity increases the need for


except for the small amount required for the development of

muscles during physical conditioning



1977). Vigorous

activity that leads to profuse sweating, such as in heavy work and sports,

and exposure to heat increases nitrogen loss from the skin, but with accli-

matization to a warm environment, the excessive skin loss [loss by

perspiration through the

is reduced and may be partially

compensated by decreased renal excretion (WHO, 1985). In view of the

margin of safety in the RDA, no increment is

for work or


Bodybuilders following the 80/10/10 program have found that if they

supply sufficient calories from carbohydrate, their protein needs go down

dramatically, and their energy to train and their muscular growth both


Lisa Oborne (see page 294), a professional bodybuilder in Canada for

many years, says that she got the best results of her career when switching to

the 80/10/10 diet, gleaning a growth spurt the likes of which none of her

trainers had ever seen.

All Plant Foods Contain Protein

Consuming approximately 5% of calories from protein is difficult to avoid

if you are eating enough food to meet your daily calorie needs. All plant

foods contain protein, and even if you ate a diet of only white rice, (not

recommended) you would still end up with 8% protein for the day! But

would it be the “right kind” of protein?

Proteins are complicated molecules made by assembling simple

building blocks (amino acids) together in a chain (polypeptide chain). Some

20 different amino acids are used to synthesize proteins, eight or nine of

which are designated essential (depending upon whose information you

read). The term “essential” in nutrition means that the nutrient in question

must be eaten or otherwise consumed, as the body cannot synthesize it.


The 80/10/10 Diet

The Complete Protein Myth

In the

people often

themselves with combining proteins

so that all of the essential amino acids were available at each meal. Later

research has determined that this is not necessary, and in fact the author of

the “incomplete protein theory,” Frances Moore Lappe, recanted 20 years

later, saying that she was utterly mistaken. We do need all of the essential

amino acids, but we do not have to eat them together, or even each


Sources of Protein

Dietary protein is not the only source for building the proteins we need.

Instead, our bodies efficiently recycle between 100 and 300 grams of our

own protein every day. We have an amino acid pool from which to build

new proteins. We add amino acids to the pool by breaking down the

proteins we eat and the proteins in our bodies.

We can easily meet our protein requirements on a vegan diet, with no

particular attention focused on combining proteins or selecting certain foods

for each meal.

The table below shows the percentage of calories from protein in

twenty-one common fruits and vegetables and in five animal foods, for



Protein Content of Common


(percentage of calories)








Grapes, red




Tomatoes, red


Potatoes, baked

Rice, white















Lettuce, green leaf







Milk, whole


Egg, poached


Ice cream, choc.


Beef, ground (avg)





10 %










Chapter 6. Protein: 10% Maximum

Another chart more specific to the 80/10/10 diet can be found in the

back of this book (see page 337). This chart shows values not only for protein

but also for calories, carbohydrates, fat, water, and fiber for selected whole

plant foods. In them, you will see that fruits generally contain 4 to 8% protein,

and a few contain more. Surprisingly, the vegetables we commonly eat raw

range from about 10 to 30% protein. (Vegetables are so low in calories,

however, that even huge quantities add very little overall to one’s daily

protein percentage.) Nonetheless, when I calculate the


of a day’s worth of food consisting strictly of a variety of raw fruits and

vegetables without the addition of concentrated proteins, they generally

weigh in at approximately 5 to 8% of calories as

adequate and

healthful amount of top-quality protein.

Mainstream nutritional science defines protein quality in terms of how

efficiently the protein promotes body growth, rather than whether it

produces health. Thus, milk and egg protein are considered the highest

quality. However, in the words of T. Colin Campbell, “There is a mountain

of compelling research showing that

plant protein … is the

healthiest type of


Although many people are surprised to hear it, they understand the

logic of this line of thought when they stop to consider what anthropoid

primates in the wild eat: a diet that is made up primarily of fruits and

vegetables. We have never heard that chimpanzees or

are typically five times stronger than humans, pound for


protein than the amount they get from their plant-based diet.

Americans Eat


As a percentage of calories consumed, the standard American diet, replete

with meat, dairy, and eggs, runs in the teens. The bell curve that describes

protein consumption for the vast majority of the

population ranges from

to 21% of calories

from protein. Outliers on the low end include

the small population of people who eat low-fat

vegan fare, who can easily and healthfully

reduce that number to single digits. At the high end, people who

intentionally consume high-protein diets can approach 30%, but only

bodybuilders and athletes who eat massive quantities of egg whites and

isolated protein powders are likely to reach 40 or 50% protein, and more.

The standard American

diet averages only

16% protein…

a stretch.


The 80/10/10 Diet

People are generally

that protein could comprise such a small

percentage of their diets, but I am not making these numbers

According to

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, average U.S. protein con-

sumption was 15.5% for men and 15.1% for women in 2000. These numbers

have been consistent for decades; in

they were



The U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowances, 10th Edition (1989)

says, “Food consumption data from the U.S. USDA’s 1977-1978 and 1985

surveys indicate that 14 to 18% of the total food energy intake is derived

from protein. Despite wide variations in food energy intake, this proportion

remains similar for both sexes and all age groups

infants. There is

also little change as a function of household income, urbanization, or race.

Food items likely to be

in surveys (e.g., alcoholic beverages,

confections) would provide energy but little protein; hence, the percentage

of energy from protein may be


How can it be that as a nation we gorge on “high-protein” foods, yet

we end up with less than 20% of our calories from protein? The answer is

that the vast majority of our commonly consumed “protein”

egg, and dairy products, as well as all nuts and seeds, contain such an

overwhelming amount of fat that the protein numbers go way down as a

percentage of total calories consumed. For example:

Eggs contain more than 60% fat.

“70% lean” ground beef also weighs in at 60% fat.

Cheddar cheese contains 72% fat; cream cheese 88%.

Almonds and sunflower seeds each contain 73% fat.

In truth, there really is no such thing as a “high-protein”


not one in which protein comprises the majority of a person’s calories.

Typical quantities of high-protein “superfoods”

increase protein consumption as a percentage of

daily calories very little. For example,



provides about 7 grams of protein,

which might increase one’s protein percentage from 16 to 17.2%. In other

words, without serious powdered protein supplementation, most people

would find it extremely difficult to consume even a third of their total

calories from protein on a sustained basis.




such thing




Chapter 6. Protein: 10% Maximum

This is good news, indeed, for even the

of calories from protein

that I recommend is in truth the maximum that can reasonably be considered

healthful by any standard.

The Dangers of Eating More Than


To listen to the proponents of the meat industry, one would think we are in

imminent danger of disease and death if we fail to eat meat three times a

day. The truth is that eating meat this often causes the very conditions we’re

taught to fear. This is a surprise to most people, who have been taught,

incorrectly, that they need large amounts of protein to be healthy. Actually,

the reverse is

Most people suffer from an overdose of protein each

day, and this accounts for a great deal of our ill health.

Too much protein in our diets is associated with all manner of health

impairments, including such symptoms as constipation and other digestive

disorders that often lead to toxemia (toxic blood and tissues) and,

eventually, cancer. Autoimmune dysfunction, arthritis, and all other

autoimmune conditions, premature aging, impaired liver function, kidney

failure, osteoporosis, and many other degenerative and pathogenic

conditions result from eating more protein than we need.

In general, protein-based foods are highly acid forming in the human

body (even the high-protein plants, such as legumes). This is because their

predominant minerals are the acidic




our diets Is associated

all manner of



chlorine, phosphorus, and sulfur. To maintain

homeostasis, the body must counterbalance the

acidity caused by excess protein consumption.

Unfortunately, it does so in part by taking a

precious alkaline

our bloodstream. The body

replaces calcium into the bloodstream, where calcium levels must remain

relatively constant, by removing it from our bones and teeth, setting the

stage for osteoporosis and tooth decay.

It is no coincidence that fruits and vegetables contain just the right

amounts of protein to build and maintain the human body. Nor is it a

coincidence that the minerals they supply are predominantly the alkaline

ones: calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium.

1 0 6

The 80/10/10 Diet

Calculating Your Protein Intake

The following examples show how a to calculate protein intake and how to

convert gram measurements to percentage of calories. Calculations are

based on the U.S. RDA of 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight

(the upper limit of protein intake on the 80/10/10 diet).

My guidelines vary from these slightly, as I make my recommenda-

tions as a percentage of total calories consumed rather than by body weight.

I believe this system works far better, because it allows for individual

differences in fuel use, which can vary by a factor of ten for extremely

sedentary people and extremely active people of the same weight.

Woman: 45g

0.36 grams of protein x 125 pounds  45 grams of protein per day.

45 grams of protein contain approx.

calories (45 x 4


If this woman is sedentary and eats about

calories per day, this

amount of protein would come to

of her total calories for the day.

If this woman is more active and eats perhaps 2,300 calories per day,

calories of protein would amount to 8%.

175-Pound Man: 63g

0.36 grams of protein x 175 pounds  63 grams of protein per day.

63 grams of protein contain approx. 252 calories (63 x 4  252).

If this man is sedentary and eats about 2,400 calories per day, this

amount of protein would be just over

of his calories for the day.

If this man is more active and eats 3,000 calories per day, 252 calories

of protein would amount to


In light of the near-double safety factor of the U.S. RDA, I have no

concerns when I see my clients consuming even less protein relative to their

size. In my experience, about 5% of calories from protein, especially when

it is high quality and unadulterated by heat, is adequate and healthful.

That last statement, “5% of calories is adequate and healthful,” is not a

radical concept, not by a long shot. If you have any question whatsoever

that this level of protein intake is healthy, or if you want indisputable

evidence of the toxicity of higher protein consumption, I highly recommend

that you pick up a copy of T. Colin Campbell’s outstanding book, The


cannot recommend it highly enough.


Chapter 6. Protein: 10%



A consummate nutritional scientist, Dr. Campbell was at the helm of

the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted. His

blockbuster book will leave you with no doubt that 5% protein, exclusively

from plant foods, is more than enough.

Protein from Fruits and Vegetables Only

On a diet of fruits and vegetables only, it is likely that your total protein

intake will average about 5% of calories or slightly higher. Adding a small

quantity of nuts or seeds results in a slight increase in protein intake

percentage. For example:

A meal of 10 peaches (420 calories) yields 7 grams of protein.

Another meal of 10 bananas (1,085 calories) supplies 12 grams of


A bowl of soup made from 3 tomatoes blended with 2 cucumbers

calories) supplies more than 7 additional grams of protein.

A pint of fresh-squeezed orange juice (225 calories) offers nearly 3.5

grams of protein.

One medium head of lettuce (about 50 calories) provides about 5.5

grams of protein.

Though we have only eaten 1,930 calories so far, the total protein

consumed is 35 grams (over 6% of calories).

My recommendations for total calorie consumption are somewhat

higher than most official recommendations. I do this not because I wish to

see people gain fat, but because I know that an increased calorie

when accompanied by a commensurate increase in fitness

results in an overall higher level of fitness and health. It is this rise in

calorie consumption, from an increased intake of fruits and vegetables, that

assures the consumer of nutritional sufficiency.

In nature, we would have to be fit in order to survive. We would also

eat fruits and vegetables, the most nutritious of all foods. In order to be well

nourished, we are designed by Nature to consume the significant quantities

of fruits and vegetables that would be eaten by a fit, active person.

The 80/10/10 Diet

Protein Deficiency Does Not Exist

On a whole-food diet that provides sufficient calories, there is no such

condition as a protein deficiency. A brochure from the Vegetarian Society of

Colorado says, “Studies in which humans have been fed wheat bread alone, or

potatoes alone, or

alone, or rice alone, have all shown that these plant

foods contain not only enough protein, but enough of all of the essential

amino acids, to support growth and maintenance of healthy



journal article entitled “Optimal Intakes of Protein in the Human

Diet” confirms this fact, saying

the true minimal [protein] requirement is

likely to be so much lower than the amounts provided by natural diets (which

are providing sufficient energy and other nutrients) that its magnitude

becomes to some extent an issue of scientific curiosity


In developing nations where insufficient food is available and people

are literally starving to death, protein/calorie malnutrition conditions known

as marasmus and kwashiorkor do exist, but

You would get enough






corn, or rice.

these do not occur in developed countries. The

emaciation, lassitude, and


equally as well by the

introduction of high-carbohydrate or high-fat

foods as they do from the consumption of concentrated protein, and usually

better. Protein deficiency, it turns out, just is not the cause of these prob-

lems. It is simply a shortage of food, a chronic severe deficiency of calories,

that causes people to literally digest their own muscle tissues for fuel.

It is much more likely however, that a person would run into a huge

host of other social, health, and nutritional problems long before developing

the dreaded protein deficiency. Protein deficiency simply is not part of our

reality. This is the main reason that this book focuses on just two of the


only our fat and carbohydrate consumption rates tend

to vary appreciably. As one goes up, the other, fairly reliably, goes down.



~ by BE LIKE WATER on October 6, 2012.

One Response to “Protein Protein Protein … ( did I mention protein ? )”

  1. […] In Addition Reference The Actual Ancestral Human Diet!Raising a vegan kid: the first 2 1/2 yearsProtein Protein Protein … ( did I mention protein .wp-pagenavi { font-size:12px !important; } […]

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