Health Concerns, Side Effects Associated with High Animal Protein Consumption
How much protein is too much protein? The average American consumes about 100 grams of protein per day which is two to three times more than the body needs. The majority of these individuals have been raised on a diet of animal proteins because it has been long believed that only animal sources provide a complete source of amino acids necessary in protein consumption.
Americans eat over 200 pounds of red meat, fish and poultry per year. Too much protein from animal sources provide many health risks because they store in the body as toxins and fats. Excessive animal protein intake has been linked to mineral loss leading to some forms of cancer, and osteoporosis, kidney stones, arthritis, diabetes, cataracts, arteriosclerosis, an irritated immune system and high cholesterol which is converted by the liver into fat. Experts are recommending that Americans reduce protein intake by about 15 percent and eat less animal proteins and more protein from plant sources.
Today, nutritional scientists are finding that vegetable source protein such as peas, beans, lentils, soy products, seeds and nuts are valuable sources of protein. When 2 or more vegetable source proteins are combined they provide all the essential amino acids and represent a complete source of protein. Even if this were not the case, new research is finding that providing a complete source of protein is no longer necessary because the body is able to break down proteins into amino acids and redistribute them, allowing food combinations of incomplete amino acids to have the same effect as a complete protein.
If supplementation is necessary, Arbonne International puts out the finest quality, best tasting plant based protein powder on the market. It is a combination of rice, green pea and cranberry protein and also contains vitamins, minerals and alfalfa, kelp and ginseng.
A diet of strictly meat and potatoes is particularly hazardous because in the absence of green, leafy vegetables, and other varieties of vegetables, fresh fruit and whole grains it becomes very difficult for our bodies to break down excess protein. As a result there is an increased production of a waste product called urea which can lead to dehydration and acidity in the body. Excess, unused protein in the body tends to bind to minerals creating nutrient deficiency. The liver and kidneys have to work hard to constantly remove the excess from the body, which can lead to diabetic renal disease.
Another major concern is protein deficiency caused by pancreatic overload. The pancreas breaks down protein by producing proteolytic enzymes but an overload can severely limit pancreatic function. This leads to undigested protein molecules being absorbed which can cause inflammatory reactions in the body. In an effort to compensate, the body depletes available vitamins and minerals. Chinese researchers have shown that too much animal protein in the diet raises the risk of cancer and heart disease even after taking into consideration the fat that accompanies the protein. Studies have also shown that eating large quantities of animal protein may cause calcium loss leading to osteoporosis.
A high protein diet is much healthier when it comes from plant sources or at least accompanies animal proteins because it alkalizes the body, which brings the bodies alkaline/acidity(pH) back into balance. High cholesterol has been associated with animal source protein. A study was done comparing men on high soy protein diets with men on high animal protein diets and it was found that only the men on the soy protein diets had a drop in cholesterol.
A 1990 chinese study showed that Chinese people with a plant based protein diet rarely developed osteoporosis. However, when Chinese cities consumed too much protein from animal sources, the rate of osteoporosis was significantly higher. Eskimos, whose diet is primarily animal based proteins have the highest rate of osteoporosis in the world.
The film Forks over Knives does a powerful, in-depth study comparing animal-based protein to plant-based protein. To learn more view the trailer below: