Monday, February 11, 2013

How Do You Get Protein and Calcium?

I just returned from my annual physical and had full blood work completed.  I was tested for cholesterol, sugar, calcium, protein, you name it and I was tested for it.  My doctor is still extremely pleased with my numbers and said "whatever you are doing is working."  That, "whatever I am doing is following a plant-strong diet.

I'd like for a 60-60-60 number.  I want my HDL to be 60, triglycerides to be 60 and for my LDL to be 60.  It's doable and by this time next year I will do everything in my power to get there (without medication).  According to research, total cholesterol below 150 is virtually heart-attack proof.

When I discuss a plant-based diet with people they inevitably ask, "how do you get your protein?" and "won't your bones break without dairy?"  These are probably the most common misconceptions and ignorance.  Vegetarians, vegans, and plant-strong people continue to educate and reeducate the masses on these two objections.

First of all plants have protein.  Some plants, calorie for calorie, have more protein than meat, dairy, or eggs --- without saturated fats and cholesterol.  Plus, plants have fiber and animal products do not.  My doctor tracks my protein numbers and they are doing very well.

Do we need protein to build muscle? Yes, but one can gain sufficient protein to build muscle through plants.  It is my understanding that Tony Horton, the creator of P90X, follows a plant-based and gluten-free diet.  He is pretty muscular.

What about calcium?  Well, the countries that have the most cases of broken hips, etc are also the same people that consume the most dairy.  There is a breakdown somewhere in our understanding don't you think?  Plants contain calcium.  Let's think about the animal kingdom.  Cows, where most people get their milk, stop drinking milk when they are weaned.  As do horses, elephants, gorillas --- all very powerful animals that eat plant based diets.   How do their bones remain strong without milk?

If you're considering adopting a plant based diet don't allow all of the uneducated and ignorant people persuade you out of it.  I've been following a plant based diet for 3 years and I am healthier now than I have ever been.

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