His day starts of with a bowl of oatmeal, peanut butter and some fruit. Nothing wrong with that. But then he has a protein shake and three turkey burgers! Not adding the oatmeal, a protein shake has about 19 grams of protein per serving. A 4 ounce cooked turkey burger from Jennie-O has 22 grams of fat each, so that 66 grams of protein. Already, he's reached the recommended daily allowance of protein. But, that's just his morning meal.
At 8'oclock, he has 10 turkey meatballs. Trader Joe's brand has about 12 grams of protein per serving (2 meatballs), another 60 grams of protein. His 10:30 am chicken salad has another 17 grams and 2 hard-boiled eggs is 6.3 grams each, but for simplicity sake, we'll say 6 and that adds another 12 grams.
Let's assume his steak is about 3oz, so the protein is 23 grams for his 1 o'clock meal. At 3:30pm his grilled chicken, if it's a 4oz serving has 25 grams of protein. And a 4oz halibut has another 30oz of protein.
When you add all that up, you get a whopping 252 grams of protein from animal. This isn't including the protein from the vegetables. According to the interwebs, Mark Wahlberg height and weight are 5' 8" and 185 lbs. According to Calculator.net, a man with Wahlberg's height and weight:
You might be reading this and asking yourself, what's the issue? The CDC says he's good. So what is the real issue? According to The Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine, "Excess protein has been linked with osteoporosis, kidney disease, calcium stones in the urinary tract, and some cancers."
What is protein and why is it so important?
Protein is in every cell of your body. It's made from the building blocks called amino acids. We can either make it ourselves, or get it from our foods, however essential amino acids must come from our food.
It had been widely believed that animal sources of protein were considered to be better quality of protein because it delivers all of the amino acids we need. Whereas plants won't have all of the amino acids, however, if you eat a diverse amount of plant-based food, you would be able to get all of the amino acids you need.
What's the problem with too much protein?
As I mentioned earlier, there are a host of health issues from eating too much animal protein such as kidney stones and some cancers.
In a 2002 study by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, they found that high protein diets caused dehydration eve in trained athletes. In this study, 246g or 30% of the athletes' caloric intake was considered high protein, which is just about how much protein Wahlberg is consuming daily.
What they found was "As the amount of protein consumed went up, the degree of hydration progressively went down. During the period in which athletes were consuming the highest amounts of protein, their blood urea nitrogen (BUN) - a clinical test for proper kidney function - reached abnormal ranges. Other tests indicated that the high protein diet caused the kidney to produce a more concentrated urine."
Processing all of that animal protein becomes taxing on the kidneys. The kidneys go into a 'hyper filtration' within hours of eating animal protein and when you're consuming large quantities of it, this causes kidneys to become damaged. Eat like this most of your life and you can go into kidney failure. As a matter of fact, there was a doubling of deaths between 1990 and 2010 due to kidney failure. What's even scarier is that 1 in 8 Americans has chronic kidney disease and doesn't even know it! You can read more about the effect of animal protein on the kidneys at the Nutrition Facts website.
Animal protein can also increase your risk of cancer and heart disease.
Eating animal protein causes your body to create more on the hormone, IGF-1 (insulin- like growth factor-1). IGF-1 is responsible for cell division. Having more of this hormone in your body increases your risk for developing cancers of the colon, pancreas, breast, prostate and endometrium.
Animal protein also negatively impacts your heart health. The Cleveland Clinic found the direct link of how foods like red meat, eggs and dairy is linked to dangerous blood clotting. According to their research, "Choline interacts with gut bacteria to make the blood more prone to clotting by helping to produce a compound called, trimethylene N-oxide (TMAO)."
"Elevated blood levels of TMAO have been linked to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death, and research shows that TMAO may directly contribute to the narrowing of artery walls through plaque build-up." says the Cleveland Clinic.
Plant protein is better!
You knew this conclusion was coming and it's not just because I'm a vegan, but because science backs me up. Plant protein is a breeze for the kidneys to filter through, unlike animal protein. Plant protein affects your gut bacteria in a good way by increasing your gut flora with the more diverse foods we eat. And all of that soluble fiber in plants, it's not for us, it's for our gut bacteria to feed off of.
With plant protein, you get all the same vitamins as you would with meat, as long as you're eating a diverse amount, without all of the cholesterol or saturated fat. Plus, you get fiber that your body needs for digestion which animal protein doesn't have.
This study shows how increased animal protein was positively associated with cardiovascular mortality rates while high amounts of plant protein was inversely associated with cardiovascular mortality rates.
I like to tell people to eat from the earth, not from a box. Eating your food as close to nature is the best way and how our bodies were built. I'll often hear from folks who work out that they need to eat meat for the protein. Eating more protein won't get you bigger muscles. Don't believe me? Check out this list of some vegan bodybuilders and tell me if they're missing any 'protein'.
Scarlett is a business owner and lover of pretty things. She started this blog to share some of her witticisms and favorite things.