The human body consists of over fifty thousand different proteins. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are essential, meaning that they must be derived from the diet and cannot be recycled by the body. These essential aminos are: L-tryptophan, threonine, lysine, methionine, isoleucine, leucine, valine, and phenylalanine. Without the intake of a complete protein from the diet, a healthy protein synthesis is simply not possible.
The best protein is found from animal sources. It’s also how our evolutionary ancestors have been acquiring nearly all of our protein since the onset of our species. If you are relying on combining vegetarian sources of protein such as beans and rice for your complete protein intake, you’ll require a dangerously excessive amount to meet your daily protein requirement. While beans and rice combine to form a complete protein, they consist of over 60% starch, a complex carbohydrate that results in surges of insulin and leptin levels, leading to blood sugar disregulation.
Unlike carbohydrates, protein is essential to life. But how much protein is adequate? Nora Gedgaudas, CNT, recommends no more than 3 ounces per meal. That’s one egg or a small piece of fish. Too much protein in the diet can result in increased aging as well as increased risks of cancer. A study published in the journal “Aging Cell” suggested that “a reduced protein intake (no more than .95g/kg of body weight per day) may become an important component in anticancer and antiaging dietary interventions.”
Another study, titled, “Clinical Experience of a Diet Designed to Reduce Aging,” the authors stated, “It has been demonstrated that the longevity effects of calorie restriction be partially attributed to the reduction in protein intake.” THe RDA for people of low to average weight and metabolic demands is about 45 to 50 g of protein, and for the more muscular, demanding athletics, an increased amount to 80 g is required. That mean’s deriving complete protein from animal sources, and is best assimilated when divided equally among meals.
When your daily protein intake is too high, then a large portion of the excess is readily converted into sugar and stored as fat as a means of surviving what could be a coming famine. Furthermore, our mTOR metabolic pathways are up-regulated, so that we can produce new cells, grow new tissues, have children, and store more fat. Consequently, our anabolic state, which allows for repair, regeneration, and maintenance, is down-regulated, leading to an impedance in longevity.
The bottom line is, when we limit our protein intake to a moderate amount of animal protein (6 to 9 oz. a day), we allow the body to become more efficient at metabolizing the protein, therefore improving our health and longevity. And this is something the body cannot do if we’re deriving most of our protein from vegetable or grain sources such as rice and beans.
Jason Lincoln Jeffers is a Wellness Coach who founded Sunlighten and co-founded Sunlight Day Spa; holistic wellness companies devoted to infrared radiant therapy, sound therapy, and massage therapy. His Wellness Coaching practice embodies infrared sauna detox, upper cervical care, and adhering to an alkalizing, nutrient-dense, sugar-, gluten-, and starch-free diet.
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