Tuesday, September 9, 2008
But where will you get your protein from ?
If I had a dollar for every time if have been asked this question in the last twenty years I would be, not rich but at least have enough to open a savings account. There is the myth, that will not die, that protein is the ever elusive ingredient, that we constantly have to be on the look out for.
In reality, you will have to try really hard to find any food that does not contain protein, and yes, even vegetarian foods have protein in abundance. Also the proteins from vegetarian sources are of the same (some say superior) quality as those from meat sources, and let’s not forget, they come without cholesterol and saturated fats, although I personally do not worry about those either.
So, in this climate, where one’s diet is discussed and defended in crusade style rants on so many forums in the internet - it is quite hard to take a stand. Especially when one is very non-confrontational, as I am. You somehow always end up offending one or the other camp - either the protein worshippers a la Atkins or the protein negaters a la Raw Fooders - all of them believe only their doctrine, and are ready to defend it at the drop of a comment. So here are my two cents.
I believe protein is one of the necessary ingredients in everyone’s diet.
I believe it to be rather easily obtainable - unless you are a junkfoodie, and then protein deficiency is probably still not your biggest problem.
I actually like all vegetarian protein sources - such as tempeh, seitan, tofu, beans, lentils and the various soy and nut milks.
I would hope that it was finally universally accepted, that amino acids do not have to be combined - our wonderful bodies can do that without our supervision.
I think that overindulgence in any food will lead to problems, therefore over consumption of carbohydrates is just as idiotic as over consumption of protein. Moderation is always the key.
You can never eat too many vegetables. Period. So make them the star player on your team and add carbs and proteins as sides. Done! No worrying!
I don’t fear soy - it goes through cycles of acceptance and damnation. Again the mantra always is: Dont overdo it! I for one, am not a friend of over processed meat substitutes, and enjoy using tempeh, seitan and tofu in more unusual ways other than as a stand in for steak.
And that’s where it becomes interesting for me - so in the next couple of weeks I will post - “Protein recipes” - for fun and to debunk the myth...