Am I eating enough protein, especially as I want to move towards becoming a vegetarian? This is a question I get ask a lot. In this article I will share my answer with you.
“Am I eating enough protein, especially as I want to move towards becoming a vegetarian?”
According to the World Health Organization we need a maximum of 10-15% protein in our daily diet. (This is, for example, the equivalent of 27 – 45 grams for a woman weighing 60 kg). This is not a large amount and most of us in the West easily take in more on a daily basis.
And since we are able to store protein, as long as we are eating a varied whole-food diet every day, we’ll be getting enough protein, even if we decide to take it in plant form.
In Ayurveda we are not told that we have to be vegetarian. What is important is to be conscious about what we are eating in relation to our activity or intended activity. Meat is intrinsically heavy and requires a lot of energy to digest. It is a very concentrated source of energy at all levels.
Traditional nutritional systems, like the Chinese and Ayurveda, sometimes suggest small amounts of meat as a quick way to build strength in tissues. However, questions are often raised nowadays about the quality of the meat because of how animals are kept and meat processed.
Simply put I have always found it much easier to get hold of quality plant-based protein sources. As a lacto-vegetarian, I eat dairy products occasionally but no red meat, fowl, fish or eggs. My diet consists mainly of whole-foods including nuts, seeds, pulses, grains, vegetables and fruits, all of which contain enough protein for me to cover my protein needs very well and consciously.
Moreover, a plant-based diet offers a lighter alternative to one that is meat-based. It can support those recovering from illness because less energy is used for digestion and more is left for the body to use in healing processes.
(c) 2009 Janet Gomez
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Janet Gomez, nutritional consultant, produces the “Nutri-Jyoti News”, a free bi-monthly e-newsletter for busy professionals. Feel ready to learn how to use nutritional strategies to manage your energy levels? Then sign up for her FREE e-course “5 Nutritional Keys to Vitality in your Life” at http://www.nutrijyoti.com