Let’s address the myth “vegans don't get enough protein”.
Plant-based foods have plenty of protein, and it is completely unnecessary to get your protein from animal sources. Since at least the late-70s the government, along with their My Beef Checkoff program, have been trying to grow the American beef industry (and everything that funnels into it), but encouraging Americans to eat more protein––which is then deceptively equated with beef ––as part of a healthy diet. You and I both know that Americans are far less healthy than we were in the 70s. We’re living longer thanks to technology, but we’re getting sick sooner, thanks to our diets. Most notably, in my opinion, our increased consumption of animal products.
Here’s some recent propaganda for you (I found this image on the Beef Checkoff FB page)
What’s insanely misleading about this infographic put out by the federally funded My Beef Checkoff program?
Okay, all of its claims about protein are true!!
Yes, it is a necessary part of a healthy diet. Yes, it helps with feeling full and satisfied after a meal. Yes, it is important for building and maintaining muscle. And yes, “lean” protein may help lower your LDL cholesterol (best if that “lean” protein is plant-based)
BUT NO! You absolutely 100% DO NOT NEED to get this protein from beef, or any other animal protein. To the contrary, animal protein is linked to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and even alzheimer's.
Let’s make something very clear––protein is NOT a food group.
Protein, like fat and carbohydrates, is a macronutrient found in a wide variety of foods including greens, carrots, bananas, nuts, seeds, sweet potatoes, avocados, and everything in between. It is made up of amino acids that when digested are broken down in your body to perform various functions like muscle repair, replicating cells, and sending signals around the body. Your body needs a balance of amino acids, some it makes itself. Despite what the meat industry would like you to believe, you should not rely on one food group for the majority of your protein. Secondly, you can get all of the amino acids your human body needs from plants.
How much protein do you need?
This depends on your level of activity, metabolism, and other health conditions (pregnancy, body building, athlete, disease, etc). The important thing to focus on is making sure you are getting enough food and calories from a balanced diet. Buddha bowls are fantastic because they include a wide variety of both macro-and micronutrients, and various amino acids in each meal.
If you feel like you are not being nourished and energized by your vegan diet, eat more food and focus on balance.
Jenné & Isabelle
We're both passionate vegan foodies with backgrounds in nutrition. We decided to bridge our skills to create Buddhalicious; a program that guides members to find balance, excitement, and flavor on their plates, and in their lives.