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Myth: Your doctor knows about nutrition

April 24, 2013
Do not assume your doctor knows more about nutrition than you do.
Medical doctros require no training in nutrition.  Click here to read an article written by a medical student about the lack of nutrition courses as part of medical studies.
True recent exchange during routine physical exam between patient and doctor with the doctor being highly respected:
Doctor:  I am super worried about your B-12 levels because of your plant based diet.
Patient:  B-12 comes from soil and unfiltered water.
Doctor: Really B-12 comes from the soil?  I didn’t know that.  That’s good information. And your blood tests show your levels are fine.  (still worries)
Doctor:  You need to get enough protein.
Patient:  How much do I need?
Doctor: No one really knows.  *Read below to find out if this doctor’s statement is true
Patient:  But isn’t it true that too much protein is bad for your health?
Doctor:  Yes
Patient:  So you’re telling me I need to get enough, but no one knows how much that is, but if I get too much it’s bad for my health.
Doctor:  Yes
The truth is that protein deficiency and Kwashiorkor (protein malnutrition) are not a diseases that exist in the United States, at least not because of diet.  It is a disease of third world countries in which there is famine – so even there it is not a result of what they eat but a result of having nothing to eat.
The rare diagnosis of protein deficiency in a first world country such as the United States is due to a pre-existing disease/condition or abuse and neglect.
The other truth is that if you eat a normal amount of food then you cannot be protein deficient.  Protein is in almost everything.  It is even in celery.  Every single vegetable, grain, nut, and bean contains protein (obviously for this is where protein comes from, it does not come from animals, it comes from the plants they eat) and many fruits contain protein as well.  You would have to be anorexic to be protein deficient.  Or, like I said, be suffering from another disease or a victim of abuse and neglect.
Another protein myth is that protein builds muscle.  This is false.  Protein maintains the muscle you have but my friend you can sit on the couch all day and eat 200 grams of protein a day and I guarantee you by next month you will have less muscle mass than before.  This is because the only way to ‘build’ more muscle is to engage in resistance training / weight lifting / body building.  And the only way to keep the muscle mass you currently have is to move around and use your muscles or else they will atrophy.
You will gain more muscle mass by eating 60 to 70 grams of protein per day and hitting the gym consistently than you ever will by consuming three times that amount of protein and sitting on a couch.
The protein we consume is simply to keep the muscle mass we have, but without moving around and moderate exercise we will lose it anyway.  Of course protein provides other physiological needs but again, only so much protein is needed.  The rest will not be stored as protein but as fat.  You will never have access to the extra protein you take in for extra unneeded protein is never stored as protein.
As for no one knowing how much protein we need:
*In any nutrition course you will learn that it is around .7 to .8 times your weight in kilograms.  For a 150 pound person that’s 48 to 55 grams with males needing slightly more due to more muscle mass.  The only time an athlete needs more protein is during muscle mass building through weight lifting.  Even then the need is only an additional 10 grams per day.   One PB&J and a glass of almond milk supplies 12 – 13 grams or near 25% daily needs and that’s just a small meal.
Peace ❤

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