Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
15 May

Top 10 Best & Worst Protein Sources (vegetarians take note)

SteakYesterday, I discussed protein a little bit, and it’s such an important topic that I think it deserves its own Tuesday 10 (Read all Tuesday 10 columns here).

In all the debates this year about sugar (carbohydrates) and hydrogenated oil (fat), we forget that protein warrants consideration as well. The wrong proteins in the diet will quickly sabotage optimal health.

It helps to understand that protein is a macronutrient. What we call “protein” is, in fact, a family of amino acid molecules. When grouped together in various combinations we get proteins. There’s no protein molecule hanging out in that hamburger; rather, the animal tissue is made of many different amino acid building blocks. Protein is just a catch-all term we use. This is why vegetarians won’t keel over as people once feared. However, that doesn’t validate the popular myth that plant protein is equivalent or even superior to animal protein. Plant protein and animal protein is not equivalent, for several reasons:

  • Animal protein is more complete and contains more essential amino acids – the amino acids we can’t synthesize in our bodies and thus require in our diets for optimal health – than plant protein.
  • Contrary to popular belief, dietary animal protein is consistently associated with greater bone mineral density and fewer bone fractures (PDF), while dietary plant protein is associated with lower bone mineral density. Animal protein may increase calcium excretion, but it increases calcium absorption to a greater degree, resulting in a net positive effect on bone health.
  • Plant proteins often come with plant toxins, while animal protein is generally harmless. That’s probably why plant protein consumption has been linked to increased disease risk and animal protein consumption has little to no effect. Heck, the plant proteins often are toxins themselves, as with the case of wheat gluten.
  • It takes more calories to get adequate amounts of protein on a vegetarian diet. Living on beans and tofu increases the amount of carbohydrates in one’s diet significantly (and unnecessarily).

I hope no one believes that anymore.

Here are my ten ideal sources of protein, and their popular but inferior counterparts.

1. Winner: Grass-Fed Beef

Loser: Grain-Fed Beef

The average cow is raised on cheap grain that will kill it after about six months (they’re conveniently slaughtered before this happens – but not always). Hardly something I want to put in my body. Grass-fed, organic beef won’t make the vegetarians happy, but this beef is rich in beneficial fatty acids that are missing from the factory-raised cattle. It’s cleaner, healthier, more flavorful, and richer in nutrients. And grass-fed beef is typically raised in humane conditions. If you eat beef and can get your hands on it, grass-fed is a must. It’s getting quite easy to find these days, but you can order online from many outlets as well.

2. Winner: Pastured Chicken

Loser: Regular frozen chicken

No comparison. Did you know chicken has flavor? Yeah, bizarre, I know. Chicken raised properly on pasture and allowed to eat bugs and grasses (not shoved by the cluckload into dirty factories) is rich in EFAs and is one of the best sources of protein available. Also, if you cover a whole one in salt, pepper, and garlic, stuff it full of herbs, rub it down with grass-fed butter or olive oil, and place it in a preheated oven, you’ve got one of the greatest dinners in the history of the world.

3. Winner: Wild Salmon

SalmonLoser: farmed salmon

Fish is healthy, right? Don’t even bother patting yourself on the back for eating salmon if it’s from a farm. Farmed salmon is produced in a way that’s the seaside equivalent of a chicken factory. As a result, the fish are often sick and infected. They’re fed cheap feed that does not yield the desirable omega-3-rich flesh. They’re miserable and full of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.

Stick with wild only. Most restaurants use farmed salmon, so you have to get a little aggressive about this.

Notice a trend here with my emphasis on good fats in protein foods? Source makes a huge difference in the quality of protein you get. Meat is – or was – a very valuable food because it’s so dense in nutritious fat and protein. What an efficient, rich source of energy! Helpfully, our modern factories have eliminated the nutritional value and left us with weak, flabby, carcinogenic, diseased patties and drumsticks. Hey, thanks, guys. (Although we consumers don’t get off easy: maybe if we ate less…)

4. Winner: Tuna

Loser: fish sticks and popcorn shrimp

I don’t think I need to go into this one.

5. Winner: Pastured Eggs

Loser: egg substitute and/or regular eggs

If eggs were meant to be eaten as mechanically-separated, low-fat, chemically-altered whites in a carton, the chickens would have done it by now. But an egg is a chick in the making. It’s rich in antioxidants, good fats, vitamins, and – for the calories – a lot of protein. Doubly so if your eggs come from pastured hens. Things like Egg Beaters are the result of food manufacturers exploiting fears based on grossly inaccurate health information. There’s nothing healthy about such unnatural products.

6. Winner: Greek Yogurt

Loser: Low-fat, sugar-sweetened yogurt

No comparison. The Greek stuff is richer, fattier, more nutritious and lower in sugar. Again, when choosing an animal protein source, choose one that also provides valuable fats to maximize nutrition. Don’t go for the conventional animal products that are high in chemicals, hormones, bad fats, and sugars. Yogurt isn’t a staple of my diet, but if I eat it it’s certainly not a plastic cup of sugar-infused strawberry dessert.

7. Winner: Shellfish

ShellfishLoser: Deep-fried and breaded clams and oysters

When anthropologists search ancient human coastal settlements, they invariably find piles and piles of discarded shells. Our ancestors weren’t gathering shellfish to make jewelry. They weren’t hoarding pearls. They were gathering them because shellfish, including clams, oysters, mussels, and snails, are sources of animal protein that also happen to be full of iron, zinc, selenium, iodine, omega-3s, and other marine nutrients that we need to thrive. And, since farmed shellfish are raised just like wild shellfish – in the ocean feeding off microscopic lifeforms – without any junk food input from humans, farmed shellfish are just as good as wild. Limit or avoid shellfish farmed in China, however, as the waters there run a little more polluted than other waters.

8. Winner: Whey Protein Isolate

Loser: Whey Protein Concentrate

I know, I know – I just got done saying how important it is to eat whole food protein that comes with other nutrients. So what the heck is whey protein isolate, a processed protein powder that’s anything but “real, whole food,” doing on this list? Ultimately, I’m about results. I’m about food with proven health benefits as shown through science, and the body of literature supporting whey protein isolate as a worthy source of protein is impossible to ignore:

Since whey protein isolate is higher in protein (the stuff that’s giving all the health benefits) than whey protein concentrate, eat the former if you can get it.

9. Winner: Liver (from grass-fed or pastured animals)

Loser: Tofu

Though it’s known primarily as nature’s multivitamin because it contains ample amounts of vitamin A (important for bone health and testosterone production), copper (important for heart health), choline (important for liver health), folate (important for brain and fetal health), and B-vitamins (important for almost everything), people tend to forget that liver is a rich source of protein, too. It might look weird to compare it to tofu, but since nothing else really compares to liver – and tofu is really easy and really fun to pick on – I went with the soy-based meat alternative.

10. What’s your favorite protein source?

Give me a shout, Apples. What protein do you favor? What have I left out? (To comment, simply click on Comments below to log in to the blog forum, or proceed directly to the forum.)

Note: “Cows’ milk is for baby cows,” the saying goes. You’ll notice I left cheese and milk out of this list. While I like a good aged gouda, I wanted to make this list as all-inclusive as possible – and potentially allergenic dairy proteins are not suitable for everyone. Raw dairy is healthy and enjoyable for many people who can tolerate it, but generally, I think quality meat works better for more people than quality milk. Cheese, the fermentation of which denatures some of the problematic components while increasing beneficial nutrients, is generally better tolerated than milk, especially aged cheeses like gouda. Cream and butter are fine in cooking (or coffee), because I don’t fear saturated fat, but I am concerned about folks who substitute nutritious meat with highly-processed cheese.

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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Quinoa is not a grain. It is a fruit.

    nograin wrote on August 5th, 2009
    • Technically, quinoa is the seed of the goosefoot plant. Definitely NOT a grain.

      Michelle wrote on September 2nd, 2010
      • grains ARE seeds which are also fruits, botanically speaking

        just like eggplants, zucchini, almonds, broccoli, and most things most people consider to be vergetables

        any plant product that has a seed component is a fruit, even if it has been defined by the Supreme Court to be a vegetable (like tomatoes)

        Max wrote on March 5th, 2011
        • Good point. But try explaining that to the ignorant.

          Joshua wrote on November 6th, 2011
  2. Global warmins is caused more by animal agriculture than it is by burning fossil fuels. According to U.N. study.

    nograin wrote on August 5th, 2009
  3. Humans have long intestines, better for consuming vegetables. Dogs have short intestines, better for consuming meat. So why do people eat so much meat and dogs eat so much dry, crappy food?

    shiniqua2 wrote on August 5th, 2009
    • Humans have intestines intermediate between herbivores and carnivores, so it makes sense that they eat both. Our teeth too show an intermediate evolution between herbivore and carnivore.
      Grains were only a tiny part of the human diet till agriculture began – a mere ten thousand years ago. I believe it is best to eat in accordance with our evolutionary history.

      Bogtrotter wrote on January 25th, 2011
      • Amen.

        Joshua wrote on November 6th, 2011
  4. Since when are cows fattened on cheap grain?!? Having grown up on a cattle station i can tell you that grass is far cheaper than the cheapest of grain for obvious reasons. Feeding cattle grain is generally a last resort during drought or for expensive “grain fed” meat..I also think you are misinformed to say he “average” cow is raised in in-humane conditions..the vast majority are just roaming paddocks eating grass!! Anyway, thanks for the article and I do agree that grass-fed beef is the tastiest despite the price tag often attributed to “grain fed”

    ben wrote on August 13th, 2009
  5. Most animals people eat are raised on cheap grains, hormones, antibiotics, synthetic vitamins,…

    You must understand that people who raise animals for food (animals are not food!) are doing it for financial reasons, not for health reasons or ethics.

    The major part (if not all!) of the meat you see in supermarkets are not grass-fed, they live inside factory farms all their short lifes.

    You don’t need animals to be healthy, it’s quite the opposite if you eat animals (and sub-products) you probably have more chances of being unhealthy.

    QUINOA is a pseudocereal (I don’t think it’s a fruit!) and it has all the 9 essential amino-acids so it is a complete protein:
    http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/10352/2

    Also chia seeds, hemp seeds, buckwheat, amaranth, pumpkin seeds, soy beans, spirulina and chlorella are supposed to be “complete protein”.

    If some of them look unfamiliar to most of us, it’s time to change that and make meat unfamiliar to most of us.

    Neu wrote on August 14th, 2009
    • ”if you eat animals you probably have more chances of being unhealthy.”
      and why is that?

      Avi wrote on June 24th, 2010
    • So the guy raising soybeans and selling them isn’t doing that for financial reasons??? And the folks at PETA don’t extort people out of money by threatening protests??? And you don’t think there’s a hefty markup on all those exotic pseudocereals you buy from whole foods? I suppose 100% of the profits from those goods are donated to the Save the Whales foundation, right? You are proof that the lack of animal matter in the diet makes people delusional.

      There are no centenarian vegetarians. There’s a reason for that. Paleo/Primal eaters perform better (certainly look better) and live longer. But don’t let that stop you from trying to force your dogma on everyone else.

      Jay wrote on June 24th, 2010
      • I don’t think her point was that better foods come from industry without profit…. only that mass flesh vendors aren’t motivated by nutritional content and so their product reflects that (lack).

        Kelly wrote on January 5th, 2011
      • Of course everyone is making money of their food, their marketing. Thats what humans do. Make money.
        I agree that there are a numerous amount of delusional vegetarians out there, but I for one am not. By sterotyping them, you are automatically opposed to anything they say. Why are there no centenarian vegetarians? Because vegetarianism is new. Sure, there has been involuntary vegetarianism, like much of the world. There has been the few- Leonardo da Vinci for example, in the far past. but our life spans have not been long enough to live 100 years until recently. So the combination of just having the change to live 100 years, with the few number of vegetarians, plus genetics, lifestyle, and other odds, the statistical chances are small. Your arguments isn’t complete.

        Emma wrote on December 20th, 2011
        • You are just as angry and forceful as everyone else. We should calmly evaluate each others arguments.

          Emma wrote on December 20th, 2011
      • I have stuck to a primarily paleo diet for the past few years. Recently became vegetarian after witnessing a very cruel Meat Industry. The suffering and inhumane and certainly unhealthy life of a factory farmed animal is really something I do not want to consume. Going veg means planning your meals exactly like paleo. Living on noodles and bread no good. Finding alternative protein and eating vegetables and fruits while being conscious of where it came from is a very healthy way of living. I have seen vegans as well as vegetarians who practice yoga and also crossfit. Amazing, sculptured physiques and strong both body and mind. Paleo doesn’t just mean meat. Meat was not always avsilsble to our primal ancestors. “Certainly look better” Is that a fact? “Live longer” is that a fact? Also the folks at PETA continually campaigne to try and prevent cruelty, that is admirable. Unless you areeating certified organic meat, or raising your own, you obviously have no idea where your pork on your fork has come from. Perhaps watch “Earthling”. If you think that is okay good luck to you.

        Liz wrote on January 11th, 2012
    • I just read that quinoa is actually a grain like seed from a fruit.
      wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_quinoa_a_fruit_or_vegetable

      Brian wrote on August 14th, 2010
    • of course animals are food. You can argue whether they’re QUALITY food, but they can be eaten, therefore they are food.

      avi wrote on September 19th, 2010
    • OK, take a deep breath and sit down. Ready? You’ve been misinformed. Buckwheat? Hempseeds? Regardless of the $$ to get a solid diet of these, look up “complete Grain”. COMPLETE PROTEIN is not a prerequisite.

      I have nothing against vegetarians — it’s your life and your body. But don’t tell us what to eat or say ridiculous things like “Meat is Murder”. (Though the way you destroy your cars’ resale values with 75 vegetarian stickers tickles me pink as salmon.)
      How mad do you get when Christians push their beliefs on you? But you can on others?

      Joshua wrote on November 6th, 2011
      • Everyone here is forcing their beliefs on others. You are. They are. This blog is. Its hard to really evaluate someone else’s arguments when your head is clogged with prerequisited rage.

        Emma wrote on December 20th, 2011
        • This blog exists as is and is simply a source of information for those interested in it. As a result, most regulars here will agree on most of the opinions held by this blog. You coming here of your own free will, bringing your diametrically opposing views with you like some kind of missionary, purely to tell everyone they are wrong? I’m afraid that is the definition of force. What you have done is not too far removed from going to a Mosque and extolling the virtues of Christianity. It is disrespectful and ill-concieved considering that many people here, myself included, may have already tried the vegetarian approach and find the results of Primal to be far superior for our particular bodies.

          Leigh wrote on December 21st, 2011
  6. The egg whites in a carton are much more convenient. I’ve been eating some soy and other things and have been getting leaner and leaner. I think people are way too paranoid about “chemicals” and stuff. As long as you stay away from heavily processed foods, you’ll be fine. Also, saying that peanut butter is bad for you is a really ignorant statement. Just goes to show you that you cannot trust what the internet says…

    Philip wrote on August 20th, 2009
    • Agreed… also with Emma above (system won’t give me a reply button)… I was just about ready to type a response and then read Emma’s and it pretty much summed up how I was feeling. People need to stay open-minded. I’ve eaten many ways in my life, and have done best when I exercise frequently and eaten a diet consisting mainly of meat, leafy greens, and other colored fruits & veggies.

      tnjefe wrote on February 17th, 2012
  7. Hi Mike, I like what you have to say. I agree. you are smart.

    Uhglee Lladie wrote on October 17th, 2009
  8. I believe in ‘all things in moderation’, and that God put animals on the earth for us to eat, not just leafy plants. I can’t afford money or time to seek out organic or more unusual foods. People in my situation can still eat reasonably healthy by simply making smart choices and avoiding overly processed foods when possible. I don’t have the time to get caught up in nit-picky things like organic foods and humane treatment of food animals when GETTING to eat is the issue.

    Valerie wrote on October 23rd, 2009
    • mm.. kay i have to be a bit real without by any means trying to be rude here..

      but.. personal opinion..

      most likely, nothing was “put” here, or came to be, specifically to be eaten. yeah.? maybe for instance considering the fact that while this planet was in it’s early stages of development plants pretty much ruled campus. and quite selflessly at that. 😉

      again. i vote balance.

      in ultimate relation and cooperation to and with compassion, wisdom/understanding, selflessness, and joy.

      joy definitely falls under my “of utmost importance” category. but paired with the (above) list of aspects to consider.. compassion* foremost. for me anyway. 😉

      thanks
      -sophie

      Sophie wrote on August 5th, 2010
      • “most likely, nothing was “put” here, or came to be, specifically to be eaten. yeah.? maybe for instance considering the fact that while this planet was in it’s early stages of development plants pretty much ruled campus. and quite selflessly at that. ”

        Actually, that is big part of life. We are born, we eat, we reproduce, and we die. Sorry, but it is true. If things weren’t put here to eat then why do we need to eat?

        Brian wrote on August 14th, 2010
      • Must be a Jeremy Bentham fan. Now if we’d only drop compassion bombs, our enemies wouldn’t attack us.

        Joshua wrote on November 6th, 2011
    • Sorry that you may think organic food or more importantly humane food is “nit-picky”. Getting to eat doesn’t mean we need to subject what we consume to a life of misery and horrible death. I think if you get rid of processed foods, and perhaps not eat meat every day you would find it is affordable. I have actually found my grocery bill has come down. I follow the paleo diet but choose other forms of protein. Yes you need to plan but following a paleo lifestyle needs planning and preparation.

      Liz wrote on January 11th, 2012
  9. how about Soy Bean?

    Jeff wrote on November 8th, 2009
    • Wow, 10? A sample size of 10 doesn’t help your argument because things like. I dunno, GENETICS plays a role. Carl Lewis could have lived off tree bark, popsicles, and Mike n’ Ikes and probably would have won all of those gold medals for all we know. Joe Namath? He could throw a football but he wasn’t a great athlete. He had the knees of a seventy year old (when he was thirty) and couldn’t beat a sea turtle in a foot race.

      Instead, look at athletes who ditch veganism/vegetarianism and describe how their performance skyrockets. This is well documented in the crossfit world, which is completely based on physical strength and endurance. There are too many intangibles in finesse sports like Tennis and Basketball, where one can rely on skill instead of raw athletic ability.

      Jay wrote on June 24th, 2010
      • True. Read about veganism and deficiencies. Start with Sturat McRoberts books. (I think he’s an ova-veg.) Someone convinced him to try veganism as it is best all-around. Yet for four years he couldn’t run more than two miles w/out feeling sick and fully winded. After a week of eating just six eggs a day he ran for five w/ease.
        The point was: genetics influence how our bodies react to foods. We are all different and our bodies react differently to different diets.
        And, crossfit asisde, why do meat eaters do better in everything? Why do runners eat so much beef and beef liver. Look under Fe (that’s Iron).

        Joshua wrote on November 6th, 2011
        • I’ve been a vegan for 2 years and I’m a varsity Cross Country Runner and regularly compete in MMA. You can get sick on meat, you can get sick on vegetables. How you put your diet together is really what matters. Nothing is right for everyone. You can’t stereotype diets like that.

          Emma wrote on December 20th, 2011
    • what was the point of this post.

      avi wrote on September 19th, 2010
  10. I read that Soy can decrease testosterone and increase oestrogen, I switch meat for tofu and grains…and it doesn t look great, I feel weaker,

    pascal wrote on November 17th, 2009
  11. I’d just like to point out that (as the author states) Quinoa is one of the few non-animal sources of all essential amino acids. Other non meat sources of all essential amino acids are: amaranth, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, buckwheat, hempseed, soybeans, and spirulina.

    Not all of these may get a one on the PDCAAS scale, but they all do have all 9 of the essential amino acids.

    As I’m looking to build muscle, I try to get a lot of protein from a variety of sources. Though I eat meat frequently, I do really appreciate sources of good protein that contain fat (as I get enough good fat from good meat sources) and these non meat sources are excellent ways of getting the extra protein parts without the other stuff.

    Eat a wide variety of natural foods (animals and plants) and you’ll be healthy. If you want/need to eliminate certain foods due to preference, religion or other concerns it may be necessary to be more informed about proteins…but for most of us, it’s enough to just eat a wide variety.

    craig wrote on November 25th, 2009
  12. I respect the decision of those who choose to be vegetarians, but get aggravated when they start talking about the cattle industry as though it is an evil empire. Most people who grow up in cities simply can’t understand what it’s like having to live off the land and they get caught up in all of the propaganda. I love animals and have been raised around more than most of you will ever see. I have more of a respect for animals than any vegetarian would ever give me credit for. I eat meat, of all kinds, vegetables, and fruit and have a deep respect for all of these things. Real cattlemen, cowboys, fishermen, and hunters know and understand that what we do is respectful and honorable both before God and our families. We eat what we produce so why would we want to produce something unhealthy. There will always be a few bad apples out there, no pun intended, but most of us work hard to produce healthy food for our families and the consumers. Vegetarians…..God Bless You, but quit talking about the cattle industry as if you had a clue what you are talking about! Come on out and get your hands dirty, eat a few egg yolks, and maybe even a juicy steak. If there is anything unnatural in there, we’ll work it out of you through your sweat and tears. The country air, the hard work, and the caloused hands would do you good! Then you would know what respect for animals truly is instead of a blind love for animals you’ve never even taken care of before.

    Ryon wrote on November 30th, 2009
    • Amen! I have several relatives that raise cattle and they all work hard to make sure they are healthy and get good grain and grass to eat.

      Glenn wrote on February 4th, 2010
    • I like your attitude. And your respect for animals. But there are more reasons to be a vegetarian than “The Cattle Industry is Evil.”

      Emma wrote on December 20th, 2011
  13. Finally, a well written, truthful and bold article. I am fed up of companies who try to promote unnatural products. We remove the yolk from the eggs, the fat from the milk, substitute it with chemicals and expect the body to consume it the same way – it just doesn’t work that way. That’s why we have an obesity problem and 1 in 5 children born these days are diabetic.

    I am especially interested in eating more Amaranth. I also have read a lot about Spirulina but haven’t tried it yet.

    Desi Fitness wrote on December 7th, 2009
  14. My favorites source of protein are hemp seeds, tempeh, spirulina, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, tofu, red beans and vegetarian protein blend like vega (it’s based on a synegectic blend of 5 sources of protein ; hemp proteins, yellow pea proteins, brown rice proteins, flax seeds and chlorella)

    Seb wrote on December 9th, 2009
  15. You said that tuna is a good source of protein. While this is true, very few people are aware of the strains the world is putting on the tuna fish population and thus on the turtle population. I spent the summer in Costa Rica protecting sea turtles. Many species of turtles (including Green, leather back, etc.) are declining because their main source of food is tuna, and we are over consuming it. The majority of people reading this article are vegetarian or restrain from eating red meat. Because these people are conscious of animals (for the most part), I think that they should know how eating tuna affects the turtles. And how consuming tuna is leading to the extinction of sea turtles.

    Claire wrote on December 26th, 2009
  16. Great post. I’m not a vegetarian, but recently have only been eating meat on rare occasions and wondering how best to substitute my protein intake. It’s actually fairly easy if you’re not lactose intolerant and like eggs – easier than I thought. I wrote a simple post about it here: Vegetarian protein sources, maybe that’ll be helpful to someone =]

    leeric wrote on January 6th, 2010
  17. What about venison? My friend killed me a deer this past season. The meat is very lean and it was very inexpensive to get processed.

    Is canned tuna OK?

    I’m on a strict budget. I want to find economical sources of healthy foods (especially hormone and antibotic free meats) for my family. I can’t afford organic at the store.

    Stacy wrote on January 29th, 2010
    • I can hardly believe no one has mentioned sprouts! and other greens! They are extremely high in protein and can be very cheap, especially if you get a kit and learn to grow them at home. Great family project.

      Green drinks, soups, salads, dips… add to scrambled eggs, other vegs…

      kim wrote on August 14th, 2010
    • Great thought. Most wild animals are very good for you. Living in the wild they are mostly only subjected to natural sources of feed themselves. As long as they are not farmed on grain you will be safe to eat any animal and actually there are many studies to support that trans fat found in natural grass fed animals is actually very healthy. I incorporate a wide variety of wild animals into my diet.

      Brian wrote on August 14th, 2010
    • Also I forgot to mention if you live near farms, you can often get “organic” quality meats and dairy for very cheap. Especially if you buy in bulk. I went halves with a friend on a side of beef for 200 dollars. For me thats a years worth of beef. Well worth it!

      Brian wrote on August 14th, 2010
  18. I agree with some of what you say, but you seem to have pulled a lot out of your arse.
    Next time , do some research before spewing this up onto the internet.

    Ryan wrote on January 30th, 2010
  19. I am a vegetarian, and have no bad judgement or negative opinion about meat eaters as I used to be one. My diet consists of hemp seeds, grains including quinoa, beans usually black beans and healthier types. I do eat free range organic egg whites from farmers that I know, and from the food co op. I also eat 1-2 whole eggs including the yolk everyday/every other day. I basically have a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, carbs/grains, and rely mostly on eggs, hemp, combinations of beans/grains, and raw nuts and seds. for complete protein sources. Believe it or not I am building muscle, have no b-12,iron, protein, or any other common deficiency associated with vegetarianism/veganism, and feel grreat. Also if anyone is interested check out the following website… veganbodybuilding.com. Robert Cheeke founded it, he is 29, and has been a vegan for around 14-15 years. This guy is in phenomenal shape as are his vegan bodybuilding friends who are all vegans also. Protein sources I also like are chlorella and spirulina.

    Brian wrote on January 30th, 2010
  20. I had a few grammar and spelling errors on that last one, I am tired, sorry about that.

    Brian wrote on January 30th, 2010
  21. So a person cannot leave a post without being sexually harassed there Mister Mike??? Want to meet me and say it to me directly??????? I expect you to answer me too!!!!!!!

    Brian wrote on February 1st, 2010
    • lol true! what a strange response.

      Sophie wrote on August 5th, 2010
  22. I would add that yogurt eaters should look for yogurt made with organic milk from grass-fed cows.

    I like egg whites, and there are organic versions that are simply pasteurized egg whites, and nothing else.

    Jimmy wrote on February 15th, 2010
  23. I am shocked that not one apple has mentioned chia seeds yet! After a decade or more of slow but ceaselessly deteriorating health (a lovely concoction of equal parts chronic fatigue, inflammation and sadness, all self-aggravating..), Christoper McDougall’s interview with John Stewart last August gave me the first feeling of hope in a decade or more that there might be something I could do about it. Not long after, I gave Nutri-Energetics a try, excited by the implications. But that story is for another time. You can always look it up if you’re the least bit curious. Returning to topic, my local library didn’t have a copy of “Born To Run”, so while I waited for my inter-library loan, I did as much internet research as I could regarding the tarahumara indians and their secrets for such staggering endurance and general well-being. It was at this time that I learned about chia seeds and their health properties (and also started running barefoot, predictably). Talk about a complete food! It’s really no wonder the aztecs, mayans, incas and other tribes of yore revered them! The nutrient analysis of chia seeds is widely available online and, thus, I’m not going to provide a run down here. What’s relevant to this particular blog post is that chia seeds are 19-23% protein… complete protein, no less! Making chia seeds a regular part of my diet gave me the energy to start running, which gave me the hope I might not be doomed for a life of pain, which got me curious about diet, which lead to a decrease in consumption of sugars, which partially convinced me of the power diet holds and so on. Then I saw John Durant’s interview on The Colbert Report around the time I was researching the Blood Type Diet and found the concept of paleo eating a lot more practical and comprehensive. This was a little over a month ago and is the reason I ended up here at The Apple. I’ve been eating and exercising according to Mark’s Primal Blueprint ever since and literally all of the chronic issues I mentioned above are all but gone. My bad case of sebhorreic dermatitis has cleared up and I’ve got a defined set of abs to boot (which has never really been a goal of mine, but I’m not complaining). Mark, I just bought a copy of your book about a week ago for a more consolidated resource on this stuff. Great book! I’m now convinced I’ll be in ridiculously good shape come summer and have signed up for a MovNat seminar in West Virginia with Erwan Le Corre. But again, CHIA SEEDS! I make a couple glasses of chia gel a day and cannot, truthfully, get enough of it. Has anyone else here made chia seeds a regular part of their diet or at the very least experimented with doing so? If not, check ’em out. They were more or less the catalyst for every measure I’ve taken in the last six months. Apple out.

    Satchel Paige wrote on March 8th, 2010
    • Hi Satchel, Yes… I too make Chia seeds a part of my daily diet! Every morning, along with some wheat grass too…and I love it! :)

      Holly wrote on April 17th, 2011
  24. Everyone should read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fannon. In it she talks about the science behind our food and challenges politically correct nutrition by taking us back to the roots of human food prep & diet.
    Quinoa is an awesome food but MUST be soaked for 12-24 hrs in water and a couple tbsp buttermilk, yogurt, vinegar-(acidic foods) as well as almost all other grains before cooking to allow us to digest them properly. If not it can actually take AWAY nutrients. This is how people from the past prepared foods like wheat, corn, oats, nuts…..
    http://www.westonaprice.org/Be-Kind-to-Your-Grains…And-Your-Grains-Will-Be-Kind-To-You.html

    Also very important- Soy is dangerous! http://www.westonaprice.org/Soy-Alert/

    Jennifer wrote on March 15th, 2010
  25. You said:

    “Living on beans and tofu increases the amount of carbohydrates in one’s diet significantly.”

    Not quite. Beans do contain a fair amount of carbs, but tofu is actually very low in carbohydrates. According to the Nasoya website, a serving of their extra firm tofu contains 2 grams of total carb. Other brands are likely similar.

    Your Dietitian wrote on March 15th, 2010
  26. I need to correct something here, yogurt is a Turkish word. Because Turks invented it, they also named it. I really don’t appreciate people naming stuff “French” or “Greek” just to make it “cool” I guess. Which is, more than half of the time, all about marketing when it comes to “gourmet” talk.

    Shane wrote on March 21st, 2010
    • True, Greeks have nothing to do with yogurt, its Turkish.

      glyvenol wrote on September 23rd, 2010
    • Thank you. But we don’t know for sure who invented it and the two countries have had malleable borders for roughly 5,000 years. But all yogurt from that region are the same. And i agree with the “cool” thing. I grew up in an Italian neighborhood and everyone said “The best olive oil is Italian”. When it’s really oil pressed in Spain or Morocco from Spanish or Moroccan olives, shipped to Italy, tagged “Producto D’Italia” and triple the price because it says Italy. Ignorance is bliss. And it’s rife.

      Joshua wrote on November 6th, 2011
  27. Meat eaters suck,,period!

    melissa wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • And apparently vegetarians can’t properly punctuate a sentence.

      Grammar wrote on May 24th, 2010
    • Clever girl. What will you champion next month?

      Joshua wrote on November 6th, 2011
  28. Good sources you listed, and the focus on good fats as well is something that is definitely not looked at enough. However, I disagree with you as milk is great as a source of protein as well as the need for vitamin D especially during the winter time. Also, your comment about peanuts and peanut butter being the “least nutritious nuts” is totally off, when talking about all natural peanut butter without added oil and etc, its a great source of fat and protein and almonds does not just beat it as you suggest.

    Ndr wrote on April 6th, 2010
  29. do something called RESEARCH before you spew your bs all over, your comments about egg whites, peanuts, and milk are a joke, try some objective display of info rather than your subjective info

    its called
    RESEARCH

    Lolscrub wrote on April 6th, 2010
  30. FARMED SALMON ARE HIGH IN OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID.
    You make good points, but it loses all credibility when you bash farmed salmon without facts behind your argument. Farmed salon is primarily the Atlantic salmon specie, salmo salar. Salmo salar is the second fattiest salmon out of the six common salmon species. Farmed salmon are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acid. The highest fat salmon is usually king salmon, which is the least available wild salmon. Sockeye salmon and coho salmon are also relatively fatty salmon, but usually not as rich in fat as Atlantic salmon. Pink salmon and kets(chum) salmon are the lowest fat content salmon. An individual salmon may be higher or lower in fat than the average for the specie depending on what river the salmon is from, and the specific diet that fish had. There is some variation in lipid content on farmed salmon based on diet as well. On average, farmed salmon are very high in Omega-3 fatty acid.

    Chuck Anderson wrote on April 17th, 2010
  31. really like this article, quite helpful. i’ve always wanted to try quinoa and i plan on getting some asap!

    i saw a few comments on here about cowboys, and how the cows are treated on a ranch. cows are probably treated well there, but in the process of switching hands to the slaughterhouse, they aren’t treated as well. I’ve seen enough evidence to not want to eat meat, at least until the process is improved.

    as for milk products, why would it make sense to drink a product designed to make a hundred pound calf grow twice as large in a short amount of time? it may be a good source of calcium, but i think there’s alot better sources around.

    I also wanna add that it’s awesome that people are more concerned with how their meat is raised, and i respect that so much. but in addition, maybe the slaughter conditions could be improved? i believe each worker isn’t paid by the hour, and by going fast, make errors that contaminate the meat and cause suffering to the animals. It’s mostly the reason i’m a vegetarian myself, the suffering caused by the process of slaughter.

    whether vegan, vegetarian, or omnivorous, this is a real good guide for protein-conscious people. Happy Eating! =D

    Min wrote on April 19th, 2010
  32. The BEST source of protein for humans is human breast milk! The answer is so obvious it is overlooked by so many people. A baby can double its weight in bone muscle and fat in a year only on breast milk. Think of how nutritious it is for an adult. I’ve been drinking human breast milk for over 45 years and never been sick a day in my life. I’ve done the Ironman in Hawaii, lots of marathons and can still benchpress my college max of 255lbs for 20 reps while holding my breath. Now that my poor mother has passed, rest her soul, I purchase breast milk from my patients who are lactating and need the money. A win win situation. So don’t be a food snob and turn your nose up at new ideas. Try God’s gift, mother’s milk today

    Dr. Ogre wrote on May 2nd, 2010
  33. Quinoa is NOT a grain. It is a seed.

    vegangirl wrote on May 4th, 2010
  34. Was told by my practitioner to dry fry my brown rice, THEN cook as usual to make it more protein friendly. Tastes good too!

    Nancy Betz wrote on May 13th, 2010
    • This is a great way to cook brown rice. I had not been able to make brown rice that was the right consistency before I learned this trick. I didn’t know that it helped nutritionally. Thanks for sharing!

      Jess wrote on September 17th, 2010

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