You know I’m an alkaline plant-based guy, but I get it… You like your steak, seafood, and sushi! And you don’t want to give it up completely.
If you enjoy eating meat, I would NEVER tell you to stop eating it completely. That would only lead to deprivation, and deprivation is no way to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
And in fact, your body needs protein. Protein, in the right amount, cuts down on sugar cravings. Amino acids are the building blocks for your bones, muscles, and hormones. It’s important that you get an adequate amount of amino acids, which primarily come from protein sources.
But there’s a lot of confusion around protein today, especially because certain diet gurus and products are telling you that you need MORE, MORE, MORE. Plenty of so-called experts will tell you that you aren’t getting enough protein.
Here’s the problem: most people are eating WAY TOO MUCH protein!
Americans consume 2 to 3 times the protein they actually need. On average, adults eat 100 grams of protein a day, and they only need 46-56 grams, depending on sex, weight, and lifestyle (especially if you’re pregnant or an athlete), according to Harvard Medical School.
Research shows that excess animal protein intake is linked with:
- Kidney disease
- Calcium stones in the urinary tract
- Certain cancers
- Diabetes – increasing red meat intake by more than half a serving per day raises the risk for type 2 diabetes by 48%!
According to a Harvard study, people can live up to 20% longer by eliminating or at least reducing how much red meat they eat.
People who ate the highest levels of red meat died the youngest, most often from heart disease and certain cancers like colon.
And if you are a chicken eater, you’re not any better off. In fact, you may be even worse, because chicken is the MOST inflammatory of ALL meat. It has the highest level of arachidonic acid, which is a pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fat. Eggs, an obvious byproduct, is almost as inflammatory. If you want to learn more about this, check out this article I wrote on What You Most Know About the #1 Most Inflammatory Protein (and it’s NOT red meat!).
But again, if you enjoy meat, chicken, and eggs, I’m not telling you that you can’t ever have it.
Quality is JUST as important, and that’s a big factor in the health risk of eating meat. More often than not, the meat Americans consume is poor quality, fed with corn and soy which are pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fats, while at the same time, are loaded up with growth hormones, steroids, and antibiotics, which end up in YOUR body, wiping out the healthy bacteria in your microbiome!
So when you’re going to eat meat, always go for grass-fed, organic, and free-range (for example, grass-fed free range chicken has 40x less inflammation then conventional chickens fed with corn and soy).
Meat is okay in moderation. What’s moderation, you ask? Well that’s what we’re going to talk about today. I’m going to break down several different ways of looking at your plate so you can make a smart choice when it comes to eating meat.
How Much Meat to Eat?
Eating animal protein no more than 3 to 4 times per week gives you plenty of opportunities to enjoy it if you want to, and get those amino acids, without taking an extra toll on your body. Meat is acidic and requires a lot of energy and ENZYMES to break down.
Another way to think of it is how much room it’s taking up on your plate. I like to say if you are going to have meat or fish, make it the sideshow and not the main event.
If you’re eating red meat or processed meats every night and it’s the major part of the meal, you may be on the fast track to health problems.
When you consume more than half of your calories from animal protein, not only do you stress your digestive system and your liver, you also increase your likelihood of chronic disease such as cancer and heart disease.
The byproduct of protein metabolism is blood urea nitrogen, which is turned into ammonia and urea, both highly toxic. To make matters worse, blood urea nitrogen has a diuretic effect on your body, causing your kidneys to get rid of water. As a result, you become dehydrated.
But water is not the only thing the kidneys dump out – they also eliminate vital alkaline buffering minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium bicarbonate – the very minerals you want more to help you digest acidic foods!
In addition, you need these minerals on a daily basis to perform, both MENTALLY and PHYSICALLY!
So animal protein is a double-edged sword. And not only that, but consuming too much protein can actually produce SUGAR!
That’s right, excess protein in your diet will cause the liver to convert the amino acids found in protein into sugar through a process known as gluconeogenesis. In addition, excess protein converts to glucose and is stored as fat, just like sugar and grains.
So if you’re thinking, “What’s the harm if I eat more than the recommended daily value of protein?” Look no further than your waistline!
If you are going to have any animal-based proteins, the best option is wild-caught fish rich in omega-3 fats. Prioritize that over other animal protein.
What About Plant-Based Proteins?
Proteins from any source – animal or plant-based – should comprise 10 to 15% of your total plate. Ideally, most of that will come from a plant-based source.
While 2 to 3 servings of animal-based per week are plenty, you can enjoy 1 to 2 servings of plant-based and wild-caught Omega-3 fish proteins daily. These include:
- Adzuki beans
- Mung beans
- Butter beans
- White beans
- Navy beans
- Kidney beans
- Lima beans
- Green beans
- Green peas
- Sugar snap peas
- Snow peas
- Wild-caught salmon
That 1 to 2 servings daily is in addition to the 1 to 2 daily servings of healthy fat, many of which are great sources of protein like:
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Hemp seed butter
- Almond butter
- Cashews (moderation)
- Macadamia nuts
- Macadamia butter
- Pine nuts
- Brazil nuts
- Hemp milk
- Hazelnut milk
Combined, it’s easy to get plenty of protein the plant-based way. Even on a day when you don’t eat meat, you can reach the recommended daily value of protein. Here’s a typical day eating only vegan protein sources that delivers 46 grams of protein…
- A tablespoon of hemp seeds and a tablespoon of raw almond butter in your morning smoothie, supplying 9 grams of protein
- A lunch that includes a half cup of chickpeas and an avocado, supplying a total of 23 grams of protein
- One serving of quinoa at dinner, supplying 8 grams of protein
- A dessert that includes a half cup of macadamia nuts, supplying 6 grams of protein
When you look at it that way, it’s easy to eat a delicious, protein-rich, alkaline diet.
And remember, if you’re ever worried about not getting enough protein on a plant-based diet, you can always add a scoop of Alkamind Organic Daily Protein, which Fitness Magazine called “a superfood lover’s dream” to smoothies, desserts, or a cup of coconut milk.
Shape Magazine listed Alkamind Organic Daily Protein in their “Top 10 Plant-Based Protein Powders That Don’t Taste Like Dirt!”
You’ll love the way it tastes. And how it delivers 20 grams of protein without any artificial ingredients or sugar.
So try it today! You can buy one jar or subscribe & save 15%.
GET OFF YOUR ACID!