Dietary Protein


Dietary Protein, Protein Supplementation

  • Background
  1. Protein importance in the diet is over-stated at the expense of health, cost and the environment
  2. Per capita meat consumption in U.S. is 126 kg per year (far more than any country with similar GDP)
    1. Excess Protein is not stored as Protein, but rather converted to Carbohydrate, and stored as fat
  3. In the U.S., even those on plant based diets far exceed Protein requirements (0.8 g/kg or 40-60 g/day)
    1. Most in U.S. consume >70 g/day, and on average >90 g/day, with more than two thirds from meat
    2. Even for other countries with high Protein intake (Europe), plant-based Protein is more prevalent
  4. Agriculture (esp. live stock) is the world's second largest emitter of greenhouse gases (behind energy)
  5. LIvestock are heavy resource utilizers (food, water); the same resources could support far more people directly
  • Approach
  1. Emphasize plant-based Protein
    1. Higher fiber (typically lacking in the U.S. diet, with less than 50% of the 30-40 g/day RDA met)
    2. Less expensive, longer shelf life, less saturated fat
    3. Plant-based Protein has nearly identical Amino Acid breakdown as meat (e.g. rice, beans, peanuts, broccoli)
      1. Lysine, Methionine and Cysteine are only Amino Acids more limited in plants (but still present)
      2. However, these 3 Amino Acids are in adequate supply, with 30-40 g/day Protein intake (below RDA)
  2. Meat in smaller amounts (2 ounce), less frequently overall (Protein-flip: meat becomes the side-dish)
    1. More seafood (diverse selection) than poultry/eggs than red meat
      1. Replace red meat with nuts, legumes, fish and poultry
    2. Blended burgers (meat mixed with mushrooms, grains, vegetables, legumes)
    3. Meat becomes the dish condiment or seasoning
  • Preparations
  • Supplementation
  1. As Noted above, Protein Supplementation is not typically needed
  2. Milk Plan (once daily dosing of all ingredients combined)
    1. Liquid Non-fat milk (8 ounces)
    2. Powdered Non-fat milk (4 to 5 tablespoons)
    3. Carnation Instant Breakfast (1 packet)
  • References
  1. Gardner, Wasserman (2018) Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives Conference, Harvard and CIA, St. Helena, CA