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. There are a lot of replies so sorry if I missed it if someone already mentioned this…but I agree with the dairy aspect for the most part but I have been told by many people and have read many sources that say that low-fat cottage cheese is one of the best “complete” foods you can put in your body. It’s virtucally free of saturated fat, loaded with protein and calcium, and tastes pretty darned good. What’s your issue with cottage cheese?

    Kernman wrote on May 17th, 2010
  2. I dont agree with some of your sources of protein…cows eat grass and are full of protein..we dont have to eat animals to get protein….smh!

    Eliseo wrote on May 21st, 2010
    • I don’t know whether you read the list past #10, but Yogurt, Tempeh, Quinoa, and almonds aren’t animals. actually, neither are eggs, unless you eat the fetus.

      Avi wrote on June 24th, 2010
  3. Raw milk could but steroid drugs out of business- it is that powerful. I buy mine in PA and everyone should support this basic right to buy real whole food legally without Government interfrence.

    pjnoir wrote on May 21st, 2010
    • Raw Milk could PUT Steroid Drugs out of business… hate typos

      pjnoir wrote on May 21st, 2010
    • Lucky.:( But yes,raw milk is actually good for the body.The only reason milk can contribute to growth of cancer cells is when it’s the cheap processed kind filled with hormones and chemicals that shouldn’t be there!Besides,it tastes and smells better.:D

      Donnie wrote on July 18th, 2010
  4. Thanks for the roundup! It’s nice to see a list of protein sources that doesn’t overemphasize meat, soy, or dairy, and that only includes whole foods (e.g. no supplements or powders).

    I agree with other commenters that chia’s a promising food, too: a complete protein high in omega-3s that stores well and doesn’t require any special prep (e.g. grinding, soaking, etc.) to fully utilize its nutrients. Apparently farmers don’t need to use pesticides to grow it either, since bugs don’t like the plant.

    elaine! wrote on May 24th, 2010
  5. I’m very impressed with this post! It is really informative and chock full.

    I always want tempeh over tofu for the reasons you state about it being overprocessed but I can never find tempeh. Where do they sell it?

    Jo wrote on June 5th, 2010
    • traderjoes! carries tempeh. it’s cheapest there too. whole foods and pcc of course also carry it..

      Sophie wrote on August 5th, 2010
  6. why no penut butter? even organic unsalted no added sugar?

    Sam wrote on June 20th, 2010
  7. Wow – I just ate my dog and he tasted great

    jwb wrote on June 23rd, 2010
  8. You are incorrect in your assumption that there is not adequate proof that dairy products are harmful to the human body. If you really want the truth read books that include the countless studies done privately and not funded by large unions of companies that have a stake in the results going there way.
    Dairy products are acidic in nature and actually motivate the body to pull calcium from our bones, this is the bodies way of attempting to balance the PH levels within it. Not to mention there are many human tissue sample test results that show that not only is that true but dairy also causes cancer in our bodies. Consider that Breast and Prostate cancers are the two biggest problems we have. These are the reproductive systems of the female and male bodies respectively. A milk produced by the reproductive system of a species consumed by another species causes havoc in the consuming species. This is why you will never see an animal drinking the milk of another species of animal they intuitively and instinctually know better. We on the other hand have been brainwashed into thinking by big companies that make bigger money that it is healthy. NOT SO.
    Hope this makes people think. Love and Light to all of you. Namaste.

    Porsche Ackerman wrote on June 26th, 2010
    • there are certain things that are clear in the world and certain things that are not so clear. “drinking cyanide is bad for you” is an example of something clear. “drinking milk is bad for you” is an example of something that is not clear. you talk about the truth of books. which books? chances are someone made money off of these books as well. i used to work in a biochemistry lab. certain projects were favored over others because they provided more research grants (money). i’m not a hater of science. i think many good things have come from science. but, science is often held above other disciplines. some say it is pure and unbiased. but those who say this have never worked in the field. Louis Pasteur is praised by historians as the man who disproved the ‘spontaneous generation’ theory (that bugs, or whatever, can grow from nothing). but historians, like everyone else, often like to simplify things to tell a nice story. Pasteur actually conducted at least one experiment that supported ‘spontaneous generation’. He threw it out because it contradicted his belief and supported his rival’s belief (yes, even scientists have rivals). you say dairy products are acidic. Fine. So are lemons. So are oranges. Do they “pull calcium away from the bones” too? What’s wrong with calcium being pulled away from the bones? You will answer, likely, that calcium strengthens the bones and if calcium is removed, the bones become weak. Fine. But I have another (more optimistic) theory, that by pulling calcium from the bones, the body is encouraged to direct more of the calcium to the bones to replenish that which was lost. This in turn makes the bones stronger. My theory is analogous to muscle development. The muscle is damaged and then repaired to become stronger. All living things are capable of adapting to reasonable levels of stress. Alexander Karelin, perhaps the strongest wrestler there ever was, is reported to have drunk a 1/2 gallon of milk before he trained. 1/2 gallon! That’s the big milk carton they sell at the store. Have you seen that guy? He does not have weak bones. You say there are many human tissue samples that show that milk causes cancer. How do they show this? What – 1000 patients who had cancer drank milk every day? I bet I could find 1000 patients who drank milk every day that never had cancer. If you look long enough for a horse in the clouds, you will eventually see one. Or try it on one of those ceilings with a bumpy surface. You can see anything you like. Here, I have a personal example without doing any research. My grandmother drank milk and she lived until she was 96. She didn’t have breast cancer. She died from loneliness. Your reasoning about cross-contamination of milk from different species is, again, a nice argument, but it is just hearsay. “This is why you will never see an animal drinking the milk of another species…” I guess you’ve never heard of this animal: cat. they drink cows milk all the time. even still, animals are not my role models. saying that animals know something that humans don’t and that humans are stupid as a result is ignorant. i hope when you see an animal doing something, you don’t always try to copy it. for example, many animals, mammals included, will often kill their babies for one reason or another. do you know how dogs have sex? or praying mantises, for that matter? i waste all this time writing this because i used to think like you when i was younger and i hurt a lot of people because of my narrow-minded self-righteousness. the world is not so simple. isaac newton, when he was older, took a job at the money manufacturing facility. why? i have no idea. i came across this page because i was looking for information about protein. unfortunately, i was unsatisfied with the authors words. he talks about these eggs or these eggs. but, say i boil two different eggs and put them in front of him. i bet he won’t be able to tell the difference. he says these kind of nuts are bad and these kind of nuts are good. why? he just read it in some health magazine. omega-3 fatty acids: the new health buzz word. he doesn’t know what they are. what’s the 3 for? what is a fatty acid? how do organic chemists even come up with that diagram? i’ll give you a sardine, can you show me how in the world you came up with that diagram of sticks and letters? and further how you decided that eating those sticks and letters is good for you? nutrition is a ridiculous topic. everyone has different scientific evidence. these guys have scientific evidence that meat is bad. these guys have scientific evidence that meat is good. this is fda approved. this drug was recalled by the fda because they scientifically proved it was good, but now they changed their mind. meanwhile, the crowd turns their heads back and forth. they hear a convincing argument and they cheer. they hear their convincing argument refuted and they throw sticks. the one that gets a lot of people is, “eat natural foods. nature will heal you”. show us a picture of a waterfall. nobody lives in nature anymore. we get our food from the grocery store and sleep in a bed. you think natural foods are good for you? go eat the leaves of an oleander. nature is not so innocuous as your desktop wallpaper.

      rbj wrote on July 27th, 2010
  9. Turkey meat? How does it compare to what’s on your list? Thanks

    Gino Quizon wrote on July 15th, 2010
    • Good point. But very quickly processed due to low sat fat.

      Joshua wrote on November 6th, 2011
  10. Hi Mark, My wife bought your Primal Blueprint cookbook. I’ve used it a couple times so far and I like a few of the recipes quite a bit. Enough to make a second and third time. Thanks!

    After a discussion about Pork in Peanut Sauce with my wife, which takes your Primal diet to heart (and me, the ever-learning husband is trying to learn and adapt for her sake). She mentioned that peanuts are on ‘the bad’ list and to try Almonds instead because they are better from a nutrition standpoint. I agree that they are. however, where I don’t agree is that Almonds taste like peanuts and can be used as a substitute to peanut’s flavor. There are other foods that we have discussed, such as Cauliflower vs. Rice, Coconut Flour vs. Wheat Flour and etc. Probably the usual!

    I think what I am concerned about is that when it comes to flavor, Almonds and Peanuts create an entirely different taste for a meal. I love Almonds, by the way. I just don’t love them when I’m expecting peanut. :-) In my opinion, substitution of ingredients quickly delimits meals and eventually they just become a dietary supplement.

    So, is it bad to use Peanuts and other “bad list” foods as an added flavor to a meal?

    Nick Davis wrote on July 19th, 2010
  11. In protest to factory farms, about 3 months ago I gave up meat. About a month ago I realized that since my protest is based on animal welfare, it was hypocritical to not also give up dairy and eggs. Thus, my protein problem.

    Before you say anything, yes I know I can go to Earth Fare or Whole Foods and find non-factory meat and eggs. If I search, I might even be able to find these items with FoodLion or Kroger. Unfortunately, the prices are steep. When responsible farming becomes more main stream and prices become something the majority of regular people can afford, rather than something for only the elite/wealthy class, then I will add animal products back into my diet. (I’m not trying to convince anyone to do what I do, just explaining my choice.)

    So, I need good protein without animal products and without adding tons and tons of unneeded calories, carbs and fats to my diet. I’ve recently started working on losing weight (40lbs so far!) and working out regularly, so this protein is more important than ever and I can feel a serious difference (exhaustion, headaches, etc…) when I haven’t had enough protein. Since I’ve started eating enough plant-based food to get the protein I need, I’ve stopped losing weight. There has to be a happy middle ground.

    Soy isn’t the answer for me. Last time I bulked up my soy intake to get protein I skipped my period twice. Seriously. I was shocked. Anything that messes with my hormones that much scares me.

    I love Quinoa and Ezekiel Bread, but I think too much of that is what’s curbed my weight loss.

    Sorry for the long post. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Stephanie wrote on July 22nd, 2010
    • Real food (whether meat or produce) isn’t expensive – crap food is cheap. Artificially. For instance, government gives subsidies to factory farms to take care of building & insulating their filthy manure fortresses so that they don’t contaminate the water supply. Thus, what should cost *more* (raising cows on grain in barns instead of on free-growing grass) costs less, b/c you, the taxpayer, are subsidizing it.

      Pay the grocer or pay the doctor, goes a wise saying. I’ve seen its truth in my life and that of many I know and love.

      BTW, my family spends on our organic, pastured, locally farmed food, the same amount alloted to a family on food stamps – about $1/person/meal. There’s more info about it on my blog. It took some research up front to find the sources, but now that I have them, it takes little more time than our previous food-buying habits. You’re doing the research now to figure out how to live without quality meat – consider applying that time to figuring out how to live *with* quality meat!

      MamaGrok wrote on July 22nd, 2010
      • I appreciate the feed back and your advice on moving from a veggie/vegan diet to a humane, flesh diet. I will look into it.

        I am still hoping for advice on attaining quality, plant-based protein in my diet with less unneeded calories, carbs and fats.

        I did provide my explanation for wanting a plant-based diet in an effort to avoid people asking, “Why not just eat meat or eggs?” or, “Just eat meat. That’s the best way.” I will do the research you suggested and may one day add animal products back into my diet, but that is not my plan for at least the immediate future. I do see your point about the cost and am very interested in how you are able to feed your family on $1/meal/person.

        Honestly, after only a few months without meat, I don’t really have a taste for flesh anymore. Morally, I don’t have a problem with consuming humanely raised animals, but that doesn’t make (warning – I’m going to be overly dramatic here) eating death appetizing to me. I’ve just begun to think of ‘livestock’ more like ‘pets’ since I gave up meat and it would be just as hard for me to eat the little pig or hen that’s surrendered to the animal shelter where I work as it would be for me to eat Jojo, my cat.

        Stephanie wrote on July 22nd, 2010
      • That is probably the smartest post I’ve read all day. Good for you! To everyone else scroll up and read MamaGrok’s post one more time and repeat.

        Brian wrote on August 14th, 2010
    • Stephanie
      As far as protein goes – I have a bowl of oats with a tablespoon of flax seed and soy milk. Throw in a few walnuts and you have 1/2 your daily protein requirement and all of your omega 3 before the day starts. (No animals required – I have been a vegetarian/vegan for 30 years and always weighed around 130-137lbs at 5’8″). Any similar combination for variety is fine and I also throw in a couple of ounces of fresh fruit. It is high in unsaturated fat about (20g) fills you up and then you can eat lighter meals as the day progresses. Such as some Quinoa and veges etc. I even sneak in some animal free chocolate or candy most days.

      Jeanette wrote on August 2nd, 2010
      • Thanks Jeanette! That’s a great breakfast suggestion and sounds yummy!

        Stephanie wrote on August 14th, 2010
      • What a bummer — when do you have fun? do you have boyfriend who likes to eat like you? I wouldn’t want be him; ladies, make some good food for these guys, they can’t live on bananas & tofu. What is wrong with you kids these days — food is an inexpensive luxury, and living forever is just not gonna happen, so try to enjoy your lives without all this fussiness!

        Mrs. Troutdale wrote on November 10th, 2010
    • Hi Stephanie,

      Congratulations on the weight loss!

      I’m not sure if you already found the answer you were looking for? If not, one thing worth trying is using pea, brown rice, or hemp protein powder in cooking/baking. (You of course could also get some of the mixed powders (e.g. PlantFusion (pea, rice, artichoke protein)) and use them as a lunchtime meal replacer.)

      For baking, you can replace part of your flour with one of the powders – thus amping up the protein in the product without a major calorie boost. And, while cooking, you can sprinkle some on/mix some in here and there. (Google “baking with protein powder” and you’ll find a bunch of recipes that just need to be tweaked in the usual ways to be made vegan – but the concept is the same.)

      Personally I like pea the best as I find it to have a softer flavor. Hemp is very nutty. And brown rice, well, I always know when I added it to something :)

      Nutritional yeast is another option. It has a lot of protein and can be used to make a wide variety of tasty ‘cheesy’ dishes. (And, if you get the fortified yeast, you will get your b12 with it.) You can also simply use it as a topping. At 47 calories for 2 tablespoons, you get 8grams of protein. (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/custom/1323565/2)
      Do note that some recommended that we don’t regularly eat more than one serving a day as it can increase uric acid. But, one serving is plenty to sprinkle on a salad or popcorn for a low-calorie, protein boost.

      Beyond this, I’m not sure if you’ve looked into seitan? It’s wheat gluten and is very high in protein.

      One other thing – you’re probably already aware of this, but just in case – since you’re female and exercising a lot, watch your iron intake. By no means do you need to worry about it – just be aware that pre-menopause females and athletes need more iron than others.

      Good luck! :)

      jason wrote on August 9th, 2010
      • Hi Jason,

        I didn’t know about pea or hemp protein. I’ve tried rice and I just can’t do that one. I’ll look around for the other two. Thanks for the suggestion!

        Stephanie wrote on August 14th, 2010
  12. I agree, I love almond butter. The one I have found is by far the best almond butter is Barney Butter because it is creamy just like peanut butter, not gritty like the other almond butters. I buy it at Whole Foods or on their website at http://www.barneybutter.com.

    staci wrote on July 26th, 2010
  13. i m looking for a healthy diet mainly consisting proteins.i have come abroad for studies and its almost one year now i feel m lacking in proteins intake.plz advise me.

    Gaurav wrote on August 17th, 2010
  14. I noticed that in almost all cases, the “winner” food was far more expensive than the “loser” food. I’m very broke right now – is there any way I can still eat healthily?

    Cody wrote on August 18th, 2010
    • Im broke too but enjoy eating healthy as well, i cannot afford shopping at whole foods so I usually go to freshandeasy, food4less/smith’s, staying on the outside aisles where the fruits vegies, meats dairy and breads are, will benefit you alot more then going down the center aisles where all the processed foods are, frozen, chips, sugar, etc.

      JB wrote on October 27th, 2010
    • Yes. A balanced diet, excercise and multivitamin/mineral.

      Joshua wrote on November 6th, 2011
  15. Mark I’m quite surprised you’d list two items on there.

    The first one being tuna which is a high mercury content fish.

    The second being pasteurized milk, albeit cultured, in your yogurt listing.

    If you’re looking for a good protein source, and not afraid of saturated fats, then raw goats milk should be high on this list (and raw goat yogurt).

    This is a much more complete food than is grass fed beef.

    Tom Leser wrote on September 6th, 2010
  16. This article is trash. OH wow I never knew any of these products had protein in them? :O then this person just explains why the organic or “grass” fed option is better. Plus Buddy I don’t have the money to buy the more expensive products. I would never take this guys advice, his opinion is to blatant to get any use out of him. Living your lifestyle isn’t the only way to be healthy.

    James wrote on September 10th, 2010
  17. I studied yoga with an Enlightened yogi master from Japan. He always suggested that his American students avoid meat. He allowed his Japanese students to eat meat. Why??? Americans eat why more meat then we should. Our portions are wacky. Disease is more about portion size I believe.

    Lisa C wrote on September 15th, 2010
  18. While I agree with your choice of grass fed beef, organic eggs, wild fish, I cannot agree with all of what you say regarding vegetarians. I am one and have been for over 30 years and I believe you are incorrect on alot of what you say about being a vegetarian. I think you also need to become more knowledgeable on vegetarian products as there are good and bad just as there are good and bad non-vegetarian sources. The poor treatment of animals and what they are fed has a great deal to do with the unhealthy meat, chicken and egg products sold. Everyone goes to the supermarket and buys a package of meat etc. and does not even give a second thought as to how the animal was treated or what it was fed. Only when humans become sick is there concern.

    Susan Bologna wrote on October 5th, 2010
    • Have an agenda by chance? Ever read articles or ANYTHING w/out a vegtarian agenda? Try it. You may find your aganda-filled info is bullshit.

      Joshua wrote on November 6th, 2011
      • Sorry for typos.

        Joshua wrote on November 6th, 2011
  19. This list is obviously not for lower income individuals.

    Ryan wrote on October 12th, 2010
  20. I was dubious for most of the article, but you lost all credibility with me when you said,

    “Almond butter is less toxic […] than peanut butter”

    Really…? You think the word ‘toxic’ is appropriate to peanut butter?

    Ambientspark wrote on October 13th, 2010
  21. explain to me why i’m a raw vegetarian who is thinner than you and younger looking?

    and TAKE NOTE of this… you’ll always be a moron, i get fed up with preaching and lectures by people without a clue.

    been on this planet longer than you and probably long afterward.

    53 and you look older than me.

    have a nice life.. ‘expert’.

    now, get off the chair and walk for a change… we’re exhausted by your ‘methods’.

    namerequired wrote on October 16th, 2010
  22. Author is clearly blinded by “organic” and “natural” foods. Top 10 best/worst protiens article shouldn’t be the organic options and their non-organic counter parts. Rather listing high protien/low fat foods and high fat/low protien foods. Thanks for the waste of time on a crappy article title hippie.

    Not_a_hippie wrote on October 25th, 2010
  23. I’m going to bookmark this site because it’s got some GREAT info. I, however, have a personal problem I’m having trouble getting around.

    I’d like to start eating healthier and maybe even return to being vegetarian. I’m allergic to pretty much everything under the sun. Eggs, Lactose, Oats, Tuna, Shellfish, SOY… more so most things that are GREAT sources of protein! So what do I substitute?!? (besides just the catch all “protein shake”)

    Eggs are a popular recommendation for healthy diets but I CAN’T EAT THEM! HELP!

    Amanda=Frustrated wrote on October 28th, 2010
  24. I hope you have finally read the latest data on Diabetes and how Animal Protein has been PROVEN to DAMAGE the Kidneys. Or are you so biased that you refuse to believe the research? Furthermore, Animal protein does NOT help balance the blood sugars better! It was proven that on a VEGAN DIET most Diabetics were able to get OFF ALL diabeties meds, where as NONE of the Diabetic eating MEAT and CHICKEN were able to keep their blood sugars stable. Thus, I recommend ALL DIABETICS TO GO VEGAN! I have seen 2 people die from a healthy animal protein diet. I have seen 5 others have eye issues, kidney problems, gangrene (sp?), and other health issues because they followed YOUR advice to EAT MEAT in order to stabilize their blood sugars. Your advice is also followed by the American Diabetics Association. I refuse to advice a suicidal life style to anyone. I think its time you learned the truth.

    Read “Dr. Neal Barnard’s Plan to Reverse Diabeties”. Its very informative. And, its the truth! Even the diabetics I knew, proved its truth!

    signed, tired of society trying to murder diabetics with lies about Veganism and Diabeties

    Kyt wrote on November 4th, 2010
  25. Mark: The highest source of protein, gram for gram, no doubt about it, would be marine plankton. Blue Wales the largest animal to ever live on this planet do not eat organic chicken or beef. They get their protein from the best source and thus grow the largest- I might add Spirulina and chlorella as blue green algae too- all plant based. They are the protein choice of the future or for some now.-Charles G Jacques III.LPC

    Charles G Jacques wrote on November 9th, 2010
  26. I am 93 years old. I have plucked hundreds of chickens, tried every grain that passed my plate, sucked on mushrooms that would kill someone, I guess, have a bit of champange to ring in the new year, sip brandy when I feel like it, and eat fast food, prepared food, and whatever I like when I like to eat it. I think you young people will die young worrying about what you eat. Just exercise doing what you enjoy, eat what you enjoy, and you’ll live long, happy lives. Stop with all this intensity! When your number’s up, it’s up. Too much peanut butter isn’t gonna make that happen any faster. Trust me — I’ve been eating it every day for 87 years. RELAX! Geez….

    Mrs. Troutdale wrote on November 10th, 2010
  27. We’re all gonna die — what you eat is not what will kill you. Being hung up on it like you are WILL. Geez. Lighten up and enjoy your lives. EAT A CORN DOG, for once… :O I don’t like your site, I was looking for something else when I found it, something tells me I’ll outlive you all, and with more JOY. xo

    Mrs. Troutdale wrote on November 10th, 2010
    • My dad wanted a corn dog when he was suffering from terminal kidney failure…this due to the needing some very toxic heart medications during his last 10 years… protein (crappy, or whatever) wasn’t on his medical diet, but because his appetite was so poor guess what we got for lunch a few days during his last months on this earth…A CORN DOG….you are so right…use some common sense, and lighten up a bit people

      Pat wrote on January 9th, 2011
  28. Wow. why dont you basically say “If you cant afford to shop at whole foods or buy all your groceries from local small farms, then don’t even bother, losers.” Think I’ll go find a resource for a regular ol’ piece of Sh*t like myself.

    Birdy wrote on December 3rd, 2010
  29. Eileen, you don’t have to become a vegan after watching Food Inc. You just need to find higher-quality meat.

    Ronny wrote on December 10th, 2010
  30. Congrats you have made simple intellegant statement! Horay!

    Brian wrote on December 10th, 2010
  31. Winner: Shoppers who have enough discretionary funds to buy organic, wild or grass-fed proteins.

    Loser: The rest of us… who, realistically, have to buy enough to feed several (or more) people on a wimpy-ass budget.

    Thanks for those valuable insights. I’d have never guessed quality foods were better than inferior shit! Call me enlightened!

    PD wrote on December 13th, 2010
  32. My favorite protein source hands down is Walnuts. They are high in omega 3s, high in protein and low Carb. I wish Walnut butter was more common, it could totally replace peanuts.

    Jay wrote on December 22nd, 2010
  33. Hi, You completely miss the target when it comes to protein and amino acids you are completely wrong basically due to a total lack of understanding of the subject. Saying beef or any low quality protein source is better than a high quality protein source or combination of protein sources is just a basic ignorance of protein and the way amino acids are assimilated and used by the body. Beef is poor quality unless it is eaten at the same time along with other complementary proteins otherwise its protein is useless to the body. We cannot absorb / use any amino acid if other complementary amino acids are not present at the same time.
    Tofu which you say is poor is a complete protein! this means it has all the essential amino acids present, you cannot get better, no other protein source has a better amino acid complex mix than tofu. Eggs are good they too are a complete protein but not as good as tofu and they contain fat which you may wish to avoid or not.

    Allan wrote on January 1st, 2011
  34. I read from some1 who left a previous question asking “is death of animals necessarily bad?” wel the average human consumes 15 cows in his or her lifetime, even if the consumption of other things causes death of living things is a hell of a lot less animals….in a utilitarian point of view being vegeterian or vegan is for the greater good.

    Sheila wrote on January 3rd, 2011
  35. What a load of tosh. I cant believe what I’m reading. If everybody ate like this there wouldn’t be enough food to feed the nearly 7 billion people in the world. Get of your soap box and live like the majority, people have been eating worse processed foods in the 80s and 90s, probably the 70s, and nobody has died from eating it. We live in an over populated world where mass farming/producing is a necessity so that people can simply live.

    Think of it simply as this, if we all start eating “high quality” meat, you will be dead within a year or two because of the lack of food available.

    Mal wrote on January 4th, 2011
    • It’s reality…Thanks for your post

      Pat wrote on January 9th, 2011
  36. Best protein: Bee pollen (25% protein), Hemp seeds (33% protein), spirulina (70% protein), chlorella (60%). These are complete proteins. Beef, by comparison, is only 22% protein and harder to digest. The afore mentioned also contain numerous other elements that make them better choices. Bee pollen, for example, contains every known nutrient required for man except for water and oxygen.

    wdmorgan wrote on January 9th, 2011

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