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Myth: Plants do not contain as much protein as animals

May 2, 2013

That may seem true but let’s take a look at the amount of protein in plants versus animals:

A serving of broccoli contains approximately 35 calories and 3 grams of protein.  A serving of ground cow contains approximately 240 calories and 23 grams of protein.  So while one serving of a ground up cow does contain more protein than one serving of broccoli, if you do the math you will find that each contains a little less than one gram of protein per every 10 calories.

The correct statement is: 

Plants often contain less calories than animal’s flesh but when we compare how much protein you get per calorie whether plant or animal the amount of protein is the same.

This is because carbohydrates frequently make up the balance of calories in plants at 5 calories per gram whereas fats often make up the balance of calories in animals at 9 calories per gram.  Some plants are very high in fat however such as the nut or the avocado.  Bu these plants also contain carbohydrates.  Animal flesh contains no carbohydrate as well as no fiber and no vitamin C.

Animal flesh contains protein but no carbohydrate.  Plants contain both protein and carbohydrate.  In fact a 70/30 ratio of carbs to protein is the perfect balance for a human to maintain muscle mass and fuel those muscles.

Remember, protein is not fuel.  Extra protein ingested does not turn into muscle nor is it stored as protein to be used later.  Extra protein is treated in the same way as extra carbs and therefore are stored as fat.  The process of storing protein as fat is not desire able by the human body.  That is because protein was not meant to be a fuel.  And the body was not meant to take in excess protein.  The human body is designed, however, to take in excess carbs as these can be converted to fat easily and the conversion process is not detrimental to the human body.

Why is too much protein bad?

“When too much protein is being used to create energy, the liver reacts by creating ketones. According to the American Fitness Professionals and Associates, ketones are toxic substances that can cause serious issues with the central nervous system when levels rise too high in the bloodstream. The body has a natural defense system in the kidneys to help filter ketones out of the bloodstream before they can do too much damage. Unfortunately, the process of filtering can overwork the kidneys, potentially causing them harm when excess proteins cause ketone levels to get too high. The process of filtering the toxic ketones out the bloodstream also requires the usage of a large amount of the body’s water supply. This can lead to additional problems with dehydration.”  Livestrong

Daily Recommendations of Protein

“To prevent bodily damage from consuming too much protein, certain recommendations have been put in place for how many grams of protein you should consume each day. According to the National Institutes of Health, the average person should consume between 50 and 65 grams of protein each day, or about 0.36 grams for each pound your body weighs. You should also limit your calorie intake from proteins to about 15 percent of your total calorie intake.”  Livestrong


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