LivingFuel SuperHealth: Protein – Choosing The Best Sources

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Posted on 31st March 2011 by admin in Super Health

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Not all protein is alike, and plant and animal protein have differing amino acid profiles– a gram is not necessarily a gram.

- KC Craichy, The Super Health Diet: The Last Diet You Will Ever Need!
Dear Living Fuel Family,
Say “protein” and you’ll likely think immediately of beef, chicken, turkey, fish, or perhaps eggsbeans, nuts, seeds or even protein powders.
Sufficient quantity of protein is vital to our good health and the quality of our protein choices can make the difference between ill health, good health and Super Health!  So, what are the best sources of protein?  This is the topic of today’s episode and the answer just may surprise you!  You’ll also learn the difference between complete proteins and incomplete proteins and why knowing the difference is so significant to you and your family’s good health.
Join us for Part Three of our three-part LivingFuelTV series on protein adapted from my new book The Super Health Diet: The Last Diet You Will Ever Need!
 Join us by clicking on the graphic below.
To order your copy of The Super Health Diet, click here or on the book above.
Interview Alert!  We were recently featured on the Fit Marriage Show with Tony DiLorenzo.  This great interview covers a broad range of interesting topics from how Monica and I met, to the genesis of Living Fuel to the importance of hydration.  Click here to watch or listen online.

Audio Transcription

KC: Welcome to Living Fuel TV. I’m KC Craichy. This is my wife, Monica. So, are beans as quality as beef when it comes to protein? Can you just eat beans instead? Do you need to eat beans and beef? What can you mix with beans? This is really another complex area that we continue on the subject of protein. We talked about the reasons for it. We talked about how much you need. We talked about the fact that protein is essentially a raw material from which your body derives the building blocks called amino acids to do a myriad of structural and metabolic functions within the body.

Monica: All right. So let’s get into the sources of protein of what people can be eating to get maybe the best sources. Because in your book on page 293, I love the way you say this, you say, “Not all protein is alike. Just because you get a lot of protein does not mean you are necessarily getting an ideal amount of essential amino acids.” Now, remind everybody what essential amino acids are.

KC: Okay. We talked about protein being the source of raw materials, the building blocks. Well, so you have, let’s just say, 10 blocks here and they’re called essential amino acids and 10 blocks here. They’re called nonessential amino acids. The body can take the essential building block amino acids and manufacture the “nonessential” amino acids in the body. But it cannot take the nonessential amino acids and manufacture the essential amino acids. So the body has to ingest these essential amino acids through the protein sources that we eat.

Monica: Okay. So, what are some of the protein sources?

KC: In last week’s segment we talked about egg. Egg is thought to be the ideal protein source. Egg whites by themselves, unless you have the things in the egg yellow, don’t digest particularly well. So a whole egg digests well. Raw eggs don’t necessarily digest as well as one might think they would, but when you boil an egg it digests even better. So, eggs generally speaking are a very good source of protein and a very healthy food, which we’ve talked about over the years.

Monica: Now a lot of people say, “Oh, I don’t eat eggs because it makes you have high cholesterol.” How do you answer that?

KC: Well, the truth is, we’ve known for many years that eating cholesterol is not the reason that your cholesterol is higher than it ought to be. Okay? Cholesterol itself, let’s just say that 200 milligrams per deciliter is thought to be a perfect cholesterol level. So, if you eat 400 grams of cholesterol that’s bad, right? Well the truth is, not really because you need to ask yourself how many deciliters of blood are really in the body. So, 200mg per deciliter, there’s 50-70 deciliters, so the net of it is, there’s probably about 14,000 milligrams of cholesterol in the body at all times. So, if you eat a little cholesterol it really doesn’t impact cholesterol levels like a drop in the pool. The reason peoples cholesterol levels are high is because they’re eating too much sugar, too much grains, too many things that convert to sugar in the body. They body can’t use that excess sugar so it stuffs it places like triglycerides and cholesterol levels and things along those lines.

Monica: So in a nutshell, high cholesterol is not caused by eating an egg, which has high cholesterol in it?

KC: No, it is not.

Monica: High cholesterol is caused by a high sugar diet?

KC: High glycemic, high sugar diet. Yes.

Monica: Okay, because we eat a lot of eggs and we don’t have high cholesterol.

KC: Yes, exactly.

Monica: Well, interestingly enough I love this quote you have in your book on page 293. It says, “Today at the supermarket one dozen large eggs can cost as little as $3. One egg contains the protein equivalent of one ounce of meat. That’s a great value for the money.”

KC: Absolutely, the food value of eggs is fantastic. I mean, it really is a super food and you ought to have it as part of your diet unless you’re allergic for some reason.

Monica: Okay. So let’s talk about some other protein sources that are good ones. There are the meats, what else?

KC: Well, we talked about eggs and eggs if they’re cooked digest very well and particularly if you have the egg yellow with it. Egg whites by themselves are more difficult to digest unless you have things like biotin and some of the other stuff that exists in the yellows. We talked about that. So, you have to consider digestion, speed of digestion. There’s something called protein digestibility corrected amino acid score. It’s a complex way to say that they have figured out that all protein is not created equal. That you have to adjust the value of the protein dependent on how quickly and how efficiently it digests in the body. So, one subject would be, how long does it take for a piece of meat?

Monica: Okay. So, quickly and efficiently, let’s tell the people some of the protein sources that are good.

KC: Well, meats are good. Now, not everybody eats meats, but if you do eat meats it would be the grass-fed organic beefs, and chicken and fish and those sorts of things. We always tell you to lean towards the fatty fish so that in addition to your protein you’re actually getting your fatty acids also, your omega-3‘s and such. So these are very important sources. Nuts and seeds bring protein. But, if you remember, food…

Monica: They’re more the incomplete proteins, though.

KC: Yes, when you talking about vegetable proteins, when you talk about incomplete, what you’re saying is that they don’t have enough of certain essential amino acids, which means it’s a limiting protein as far as metabolic function. So you have to combine lentils and other vegetable proteins together in order to get a complement of essential amino acids so that it brings enough value to the body to fuel the metabolic function. It’s a complex thing.

Monica: Because the goal really is to eat the protein to get the essential amino acids. That’s our goal.

KC: That is your goal for the protein. Now, there are other numerous nutrients associated with vegetables that are very, very, very important, but you have to remember that protein or all foods are a double-edged sword. There are some steaks that are half fat. There are some steaks that just have a little fat. There are some vegetable source proteins that have a modicum of protein and are mostly carbohydrates, or grains that spike insulin levels. So, you have to learn to eat around your protein source, that first you provide for you protein source. Just mindlessly throwing together vegetable sources is not really an efficient way to gain all the essential amino acids you need. So, we have a section in here that shows you how to do your menus based around your protein sources. We even have one for vegetarians also, which is a much trickier way. It’s very difficult to be a vegetarian and be healthy. You really have to be educated and understand how to do this. We’ll do another show on that at another time.

Monica: So, to end, if you’re not a vegetarian the best protein source is?

KC: Well, I can’t really say that. It is animal sourced protein in terms of the strength of the amino acid profile. So, it would be the beefs and the eggs and the fish. I mean, fish is very good. Chicken is very good. All the other turkey and so on is very good. But animal sourced protein is generally complete and can bring all the protein that you need. But, obviously, you have to chew your food and you have to let it digest and so on. We’ll get into this more in future episodes. God bless you, and have a great day.

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