By Dr. Bob McCauley
Proteins are large biological molecules consisting of one or more long chains of amino acids. Proteins were first described by the Dutch chemist Gerardus Johannes Mulder and named by the Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius in 1838. Today, protein is used as an excuse why someone shouldn’t become a vegan or vegetarian. Lack of is protein is “the reason people become anemic” when they don’t eat enough animal protein, meat, fish, eggs and/or dairy, which is partially true. Protein is only one of numerous nutrients required by the body for our health. It certainly is not the most important nutrients when you stop to consider how critical oxygen is for example. I believe the most important nutrient is Chlorophyll, in my opinion, for a number of reasons.
The reason that eating animal protein is one of the worst things for our health is simple. Let’s first establish that everyone always cooks their animal protein. Rarely does anyone eat raw meat, fish, eggs or dairy, although there is a strong movement to consume raw dairy, in particular raw goat’s milk. I am not against eating raw animal protein, but it certainly is not necessary for us to consume it if we wish to be healthy. Eating raw animal protein is known as the Raw Paleo Diet – although definitions of the Paleo Diet vary dramatically.
The problem with animal protein is that it is a pre-formed protein chain of amino acids that are then brought to high temperatures during the cooking process. The higher the temperature and the longer the animal protein is cooked at these temperatures, the more harmful the animal protein becomes to our health. In a protein chain, what holds the amino acids together (links them) are peptides. These peptide are temperature sensitive, and when exposed to high temperatures they break down and eventually disintegrate turning the protein into mush. This is what makes cooked animal protein so dangerous to our health. Although it is not desirable to eat cooked plants, exposing plant proteins (pre-digested amino acids) to high temperatures does not have the same deleterious effects on our health because these peptide chains do not exist in plant protein.
Spirulina and Chlorella are perfect proteins because they provide the body with the nine essential amino acids; yet they go much further. Their amino acids are in a natural ratio to one another. Animal protein, on the other hand, has a limited complement of amino acids that are heavily weighted in some, yet drastically low in others. This is one reason why the body does not react well to them and why they lead to so many diseases.
There is a lot of confusion and misinformation about protein, how much is in certain foods and what their amino acid structure actually consists of. It is assumed that meat is comprised mostly of protein when it is only 16 – 20% protein on average. Beef, for instance, has eleven amino acids and is heavily weighted in four of them, which is a lopsided amino acid complement. What the body requires is a broad array of amino acids that are in the correct proportion to one another such as that found in Spirulina and Chlorella. Even wheat grass juice is only 18% protein compared to over 60% for Spirulina and Chlorella, the highest percentage of protein of any whole foods.
Based on a traditional protein diet of meat, fish, eggs and dairy products, a 150-lb. adult would need 54 grams of animal protein per day in order to meet their recommended daily allowance. Since meat is 18% protein on average, you would need nearly 300 grams of meat. If this were true of algae, a person would need to consume a minimum of 90 grams of algae to equal 54 grams of protein. However, I am extremely active and take only 30 grams of algae each day, which translates into about 18 grams of protein. Some would consider 30 grams of algae an enormous amount to consume each day, yet an extremely small amount of protein. While 30 grams of algae may look like a lot when you actually see it, we need to remember that algae is a whole food, which helps put its recommended dosages into perspective. Video: Defending the Vegan Diet.