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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About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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  1. Kidney beans don’t deserve the bad rap you give them. Like their colorful cousins, red, black, and pinto beans, kidney beans are high in flavonoids. The flavonoid mix differs among the varieties, so it’s good to include all of them in your diet. Kidney beans are larger and thus starchier than black or pinto, but the differences in carbs, protein, and fiber are not significant.

    Beans are appropriate in small quantities as a side dish along with generous servings of produce. Heme iron enhances the absorption of non-heme iron, so I try to include a little animal protein with my beans. As a non-menopausal woman, I’m not likely to suffer from iron overload, especially with my relatively low protein consumption.

      1. Beans, beans, the magical fruit will make your pants go rooty toot toot. The more you eat the more you toot, the more you toot the better you feel. So let’s have beans for every meal.

        1. Yeah ok, but if I eat beans and the other guy in the elevator eats steak, I fart, he drops from a heart attack…who’s the winner?

        2. Excuse me…but, I think the original
          version was: “prunes, prunes the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot”. Just sayin’!!

        3. i think it was
          ” beans, beans, good for the heart. the more you eat, the more you fart”.
          just saying

        4. Beans, beans, good for your heart, the more you eat the more you fart.

        5. Beans cooked properly will not cause intestinal gas….
          Soak for 24 -48 hours (if they start to sprout..even better!)
          Rinse THROUGHLY
          Add fresh water to beans, bring to a rapid boil for 10 minutes
          While they are boiling skim off the foam that rises to the top
          Finally finishing cooking on low heat until done (should take several hours)
          The finished product is beans anyone can enjoy with out all the discomfort.

        6. Another version is:

          Beans, Beans, The magical fruit,
          The more you eat, The more you toot,
          The more you toot, The better you feel,
          So eat your beans with every meal!

        7. To take the “gas” out of beans, do rinse well and whle they are cooking…add a pinch of baking soda. My grandmother said so and I’m 72, so that trick has been around a longggg time.

      2. I think the author of this article knocks to many good foods. Such as, but not limited too, beans and lentils. I understand this article is geared towards protein but some of the other foods you list as bad have other required nutrients we need. I did not see soy products mentioned at all even though they are a very good source of protein. In fact soy products, such as tofu, have almost the same quality of protein as lean meats. Also peanut butter with bread combined make a complete protein. If I where you I would rename this article “best and what I believe is worst protein sources”. Also you should be afraid of saturated fatty acids because, besides trans fatty acids, it’s one of the leading causes of heart disease and obesity. It lowers “good” (HDL) and raises “bad” (LDL)

        1. Have you read all the negative research on soy lately? It acts in the body as estrogen which is not a good thing when you eat it regularly.

        2. have you just not read much of this website? actually, i’m not sure you even read this article… tempeh is soy! if you wanna gobble down aflatoxins and gluten to satisfy your protein needs, go for it. but if you wanna comment here, you might consider looking closer at what this site is about.

        3. @bonita

          Tempeh, although commonly prepared with a presscake that is prone to aflatoxin growth, is a poor substrate for aflatoxin production. Any aflatoxins transfered die off rather quickly. its like pulling a plant out of the soil and setting it back down on baren rock.

        4. Actually, I thought it was more complete than lists such as: eat meat, seafood, dairy…, naming the obvious. There are differences between mackerel and seawolf, just to name something. And though the fats may be good, I don’t lose a gram of excess weight. Then it’s packed with cholesterol, fats, starch, sodium; things I watch out for.

          I’ll try tempeh though, I remember it to be awful but who knows with a nice recipe after so many years.

        5. This soy and its phyto-estrogens is why women in non-western countries don’t suffer menopause. (probably reduces cancer too)
          Indeed, a truly horrible effect.

          I mean, if we don’t have menopause or get sick once in while, what do we have to complain about and/or our caretakers will walk away to someone that does needs them.

        6. the person before me is saying phyto-estrogens are good because women have later metopause… what about men? I’m a bodybuilder who’s interested in the vegetarian lifestyle “for animal rights, more so than health”, but this persons reasoning is dumb. If you’re a man stay away from soy. I’m 225 lbs at 6’0, a guy I know who gets all his protein from soy but does everything else basically the same as me is around 145 lbs.
          vegetarians men have lots of options besides soy..

        7. Ruthie, I used to think the exact same way as you before I began researching deeper (both sides of all these arguments) and experimenting with my own health. It seems you may have taken this info out of context, as well as other info you’ve read (i.e. peanut butter + bread= complete protein?!) out of context or just developed your own “opinion” towards what you think is best for your health. I’m certainly not trying to knock you or your opinions, but as a health and fitness professional who prides myself on knowing the entire big picture before forming an opinion, I have found that Mark’s Daily Apple (and similar others) are right on track when it comes to our genetic make-up and how we, as human beings are truly made to thrive and survive at the most optimal health possible.
          Also, if you took just a few minutes to research the specifics on HDL and LDL (actually particle size, structure, which type of each is actually bad or good) you would find that it’s not specifically saturated fat=bad; it’s the source of the saturated fat…which is exactly what was discussed in the article (and in many other articles here.)
          Try experimenting on yourself first before completely knocking the info here. Just an idea tho…

        8. I don’t understand why everyone is making such a big deal about soy products and their phytoestrogen content and the effect it has on our body. ALL PLANTS HAVE ESTROGEN HORMONES. Without these hormones plants would not be able to grow. Phytoestrogen is tremendously weaker than that of the human estrogen hormone and its effects on the male/female body have more positive effects than bad. SOY products are considered to have one of the highest amounts of phytoestrogens…. as well as LEGUMES, WHOLE GRAINS, GRAPES AND OTHER FRUITS, PEPPERS AND GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES. Soy and other legumes, and whole grains leading this list of foods highest in phytoestrogen content leave anyones negative opinion on phytoestrogen null and void. For example, the Asian culture has had tofu and soy based foods as a main source of protein for their diet for thousands of years. Opposing any belief of negative effects phytoestrogens may have on fertility. Some opinions on this subject suggest that over the many years their culture has in a way “evolved” to accomodate a high soy diet. But here in America we eat a good amount of soy ourselves.

          HOPS.. in beer containing higher amounts than others. Infants are fed soy based formula… 12% of infant formula sales go to the soy based variety… that having decreased by 50% since 1999. So in the 90s 25% of all children on a formula were fed soy. There have been studies that show that phytoestrogens actually decrease the risk of cancer (breast, prostate, liver..) and are VERY commonly consumed. Tests done on lab rats show very high amounts of phytoestrogen cause fertility issues amongst other problems but this is a very very high amount… an amount of phytoestrogen that realistically could not be ingested in the daily life of a human being.

          Soy is good if not great for our health. It shouldn’t be feared.

        9. Not sure where you are getting your info but some things are not accurate. Tofu is not a good protein source. It is so highly processed and creates deficiency in the body over time. I see this in my clients all the time when they come to me on a diet high in soy protein. Saturated fat is required by the body to balance hormones and absorb nutrients. Avocado and coconuts contain very healthy forms of saturated fats. They should not be group into “bad” fats or trans-fats. Very different in the way they affect the body.

        10. unfortunately soy is almost one of the worst foods to eat now, besides corn. Over 90% of the available corn and soy is now GMO which is NOT healthy. If your finding organic soy, that is great, but other than that, you should not eat it.

        11. Soy is not healthy at all, most of the soy that is being produced now is GMO and even organic soy can get contaminated with GMO soy. Make some research about GMO and you will see why is so dangerous and unhealthy for you.

        12. STOP EATING CONVENTIONAL SOY!!! As has been stated… 90% of soy and corn in this country is GMO! You are killing yourself! If you are devoted to soy, ALWAYS buy organic. No exceptions.

          I don’t believe in the whole soy craze, even organic soy. Primarily, the phytic acid in soy leeches nutrients from the body. The vegetarians of the 70’s all seemed to understand about phytic acid… now most people don’t.

          Fermenting soy removes (or at least reduces) the phytic acid. I’m tired of hearing that Asians consume mass quantities of soy and have good health. To my understanding, that is FALSE! It’s not that Asians consume a LOT of soy, it’s that they consume the right kind… fermented. There are other reasons why they have low cancer rates… iodine/iodide.

          Learn about GMO dangers. Go to:

        13. The rhyme goes “beans, beans good for the heart, the more you eat, the more you fart”

        14. You are urgently in need of education.
          A) You speak with certitude and authority, although you have surely not ever examined any respectable documents or publications. Peanut butter? It is not a nut, it is a group of fungi more than anything.

          Bread? What lunacy propels you? Humans get damaged from eating whole grains, we are assuredly not designed for whole grains, or meat, with such a complicated digestive system, 19x the transit time needed to safely expel bacteria-laden, rotting meat.

          Soy? Oh, your pardon is begged for insisting that you have fallen into the depths of idiocy. Soy, also Fungus City, only fermented soy is beneficial, and, no, you don’t fry, cook, or in any way raise its temperature above 108 degrees.

          Oh, thank goodness we’ll be rid of people like you sooner, rather than later. Remember, 80% of all Americans die unnaturally. That proves that 80% are either unknowing of simple health truths, or blatantly moronic. No gray shades when you drink a single soday (water with eight to twelve spoonfuls of sugar), etc.

          Had to step in for fear that people might, in some drug- or fantasmagorical-experience-induced haze think you have more than a fiftieth of a brain. How DARE you speak with authority when nearly everything you said was wrong and/or stupid? Shut up and listen to those who look and feel better than you at twice and triple your age, Doughnut Brain!

          P.S. There is no such thing as bad cholesterol. Both high- and low-density lipoproteins are critically needed to have energy. There is only unbalanced cholesterol in people who do not work for a living in a physical sense, contrary to what most people claim about themselves, of course. Bad cholesterol? You must be related to an M.D.

        15. Processed soy puts your body into fat storing mode. Not such a good protein source if you want to loose weight.

        16. That’s not true. Do some research. That’s one of the governments lies about nutrition. And peanut butter is rancid and full of mycotoxins.

        17. Beans beans the finest fruit the more you eat the more you toot the more you toot the better you feel so eat beans at every meal

        18. Beans and lentils are not complete proteins however. They need to be mixed with a grain in order to make a complete protein. Soy, unless fermented is toxic to humans and will cause problems for most unless their genetics are adapted to them. For most westerners eating soy will typically depress Thyroid function which along with other toxins will eventually lead to Hypothyroidism if not worse, auto-immune thyroid disease. Peanut butter is a prime cause of inflammation in the body as are grains due to their high lectin contents. Unless the grains are sprouted this lectin is carried over into the finished grain product where it will at some point cause inflammation in the body, Ever wondered by so many ppl as they age get heavier? It is due to fluid retained in the body due to inflammation from consumption of grain products. It has been stated that the overall incidence of Gluten sensitivity is much much higher than was previously though, and getting worse every year. Another thing to look at is the recent studies that have been released showing that all saturated fats are not created equal. Those fats from coconut butter (from pasture fed cows) are not deleterious to health but health enhancing. The lastest heart studies expound upon this.

        19. Actually, I think the value if soy has recently been reassessed. Many women, my mother included, have found that increasing soy in their diet makes them feel worse. Additionally, in Chinese medicine peanuts are considered “damp causing,” and peanut butter is frowned upon. I’ve found that as I get older (I’m 36), peanuts and cashews don’t give me a boost after I eat them, the way almonds do. It’s almost like I have a “sugar crash” afterwards. I’d recommend almond butter over peanut butter for protein.

        20. Just to clear up earlier comment by aposter saying peanuts are fungi! This is incorrect and they belong to the legume family.

          The peanut or groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) is a species in the family Fabaceae (commonly known as the bean, pea or legume family).

          The peanut was probably first domesticated and cultivated in the valleys of Paraguay.[2] It is an annual herbaceous plant growing 30 to 50 cm (1.0 to 1.6 ft) tall. The leaves are nyctinastic, opposite, pinnate with four leaflets (two opposite pairs; no terminal leaflet); each leaflet is 1 to 7 cm (? to 2¾ in) long and 1 to 3 cm (? to 1 inch) across.

          The flowers are a typical peaflower in shape, 2 to 4 cm (0.8 to 1.6 in) (¾ to 1½ in) across, yellow with reddish veining. The specific name, hypogaea means “under the earth”; after pollination, the flower stalk elongates, causing it to bend until the ovary touches the ground. Continued stalk growth then pushes the ovary underground where the mature fruit develops into a legume pod, the peanut – a classical example of geocarpy. Pods are 3 to 7 cm (1.2 to 2.8 in) long, normally containing 1 to 4 seeds.[3]

          Because, in botanical terms, “nut” specifically refers to indehiscent fruit, the peanut is not technically a nut,[4] but rather a legume. Peanuts are often served in a similar manner to true nuts in many western cuisines, and are often referred to as a nut in common English.
          Peanut butter is fine if you are using your own roasted peanuts and grinding them yourself and add a little seasalt. You can add raw honey but no sugar. You can do this wish almonds, and cashews too though they are true nuts – i.e. nuts from trees.

        21. We have dirtied our world and therefore dirtied our food. We have over produced farmland and depleted the nutrients so our food is less nutritional. We have

          added pesticides, (which blow over onto the organic soil, so no ones really knows if the organic food they buy is truly pesticide free unless they test it).

          We have altered our weather system by polluting our air. So the rains do not fall where they are supposed to, which produce droughts and cause famines. In

          turn force governments to turn to less natural ways of production so we can feed more people. We add hormones to our food and animals that are not supposed

          to be there. We have now genetically changed our foods. I can go on….our food we eat is not unhealthy in it’s natural form. Milk, meat plants etc. We as

          humans have altered it to a point our food becomes a poison. We do not eat a balanced diet and we eat way too much. We excersize too little, which is

          sometimes voluntary but a lot of the time environmental now, because of how we have set up our whole system of schooling and work.

          There is more. So….I agree we should still try and do our best to eat healthy and excersize. But we are fighting a losing battle if humans continue to

          batter our planet because of ‘GREED.” No matter how you slice it, all the bad that has been done to our planet eventually can be summed up to greed, money.

          And I do not think we will ever get people to give up that desire to be rich and powerful.

          So again we do our best, but I say in the meantime, worry and stress will also deplete your stores of B vitamins which are essential to happiness. So live

          life, do your best to be a good person. Respect your earth and your fellow humans. Because… is strange….

          You can be the healthiest person on the earth….my wonderful, beautiful friend, Kristin, was a health nut. She ate whole, raw….meatless,

          natural…..variety….she was thin…..made smoothies….has a good attitude. 3 months ago she found out she had pancreatic cancer, stage 4, moved to the

          liver. She does not fit the profile of who would get pancreatic cancer. Never drank too much, never smoked, no drugs, clean life. Did not work with abestos.

          So people, you can all yell as loud as you want, write the longest message and have the best annotated bibliographies you want…in the end, I hope you are

          enjoying your life and making it a good one. Because it can end any time. I say, you want that spoonful of Nutella…eat it. Not the whole jar….but enjoy

          life now. While you have it. Love those in your life that are good. And be good to all.

          My friend was given 3 months to live.

      3. just watch out when eating too many dried beens they are high in Uric Acid.

        1. Gees Elle … got much of a problem with people who do not agree with you?

          “Oh, thank goodness we’ll be rid of people like you sooner, rather than later.”

          “How DARE you speak with authority when nearly everything you said was wrong and/or stupid? Shut up and listen to those who look and feel better than you at twice and triple your age, Doughnut Brain!”

          Does “eating healthy” make everyone turn into such rude B*&^% ???

          You do nothing to educate anyone when you are so rude and arrogant. Come on here and cite facts rather than crap on others.

          I came on here to show my son what is meant by a healthy protein as he is living with friends and seem to subsist on trashy carbs and processed proteins. Rather than see insightful comments, I see people attacking others rather than state facts. Calling people names does not make you right and certainly does nothing to prove your credibility — just sayin’

          Not cool; not the attitude I expected to see here at all.

    1. kidney beans is not for everyone….have you ever heard of eating right for your blood type….i’m type “0” and kidney beans is a no-no for me…..

      1. Ou cantThe bottomYes, I’ve heard of the blood type diet. Sadly, this is a work by a self-deluded pseudo-scientist who used questionable practices to support his pet theory that blood type dictates what we should eat. His research is not reproducable and he uses a great deal of rationalization to support his crazy conclusions. In the end regardless of blood type he would have you eat a starvation style diet of one sort or another. The bottom line is that his theory doesn’t work, and like Ornish,

      1. There is absolutely no evidence that blood type has any effect on what is and is not healthy for you. The book “eat right for your type” has been highly criticicized for being filled with faulty research and pseudoscience.

    2. The #1 protein is blue-green algae and of those, spirulina is best at 70% protein. Beef is less than 15%! Spirulina is a whole food and a complete protein. it also has all the esential amino acids, tons of vitamins, high amounts of DHA (healthy brain fats), as well as the second highest choliphyl contect (chrorella is first). i get pills that are 50% spirulina and 50% chlorella and i take 1/4 pound daily, 2oz of each.

      1. Blue-green algea would be a good source of protein but the problem is our bodies can’t process it. It’s a false source of Protein for humans. Don’t waste your time with it.

        1. Nonsense! Spirulina and Chlorella are two of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. The protein is complete and bioavailable. Some where along the line you were mis-informed.

        2. blue green algae is a good protein source,,, it’s the vit B12 analogues that are not bioavailable (our bodies cant convert it to a usable form…. ergo vegan? supplement B12

    3. SO, I have read all of the comments below and still need to find a good combination for myself. I cannot eat dried beans, tomatoes, potatoes (any kind) or any other high potasium foods. My husband, after seeing “Knives over Forks” wants to go on a vegan diet. Well, that’s just fine but without the above foods in my diet to help with protein there’s little left. Any thoughts on how to get protein without meat or beans etc. Can’t eat quinoa and tofu all the time.

      1. I get protein without meat or beans. Most comes from raw grass-fed milk, and a small amount comes from grains (rice, millet, buckwheat). Fat comes from milk and grass-fed butter or ghee. As long as you can eat dairy, there is no need to eat meat or beans.

        1. Ryan, Read the post you were replying to and think about it. Helga wants a vegan approach and that automatically says NO milk. Ovo-lacto vegetarians drink milk (and eat eggs) but vegans do not. To Helga, proteins are all around, fruits, veggies and grains all contain protein to some extent. Also remember that we overeat proteins in many Western societies. Unless you are a training athlete, you are likely consuming too much protein on a standard Western diet.

        2. will does your dairy come from grain fed cows or range, I heard that it makes a difference, I absolutely love greek yogurt and have it every morning with blueberries or one of my favorite fruits, I am also very skeptical of eating fruit that is sprayed, do as much washing as I can, are we becoming paranoid or do we need to be this visigliant

      2. Knives over Forks is a problematic movie, as it skews data, blatantly changing the truth to fit the propaganda.

        There is a lot of science that is left out of “Forks over Knives”. It’s a movie, mostly fiction, and made by Hollywood…

        need we say more?

        1. “Forks over Knives” and the book “The China Study”, are examples of the most comprehensive scientific research ever done on food and nutrition. Definitely the most reliable source of information on optimal nutrition ever written or documented. If you actually read the study and watched the movie, you would realize this.

          So many people have been so misinformed for so many years that it is difficult to admit how very wrong we have been, even when the facts prove otherwise.

          In three months of dietary changes, after watching this documentary (not fiction) and actually reading the “China Study”, my family has experienced dramatic changes. My adult daughter with a history of 20 years of high Cholesterol, has dropped her Cholesterol an unheard of 50 points and is now in the normal range and off medication. I had been diagnosed pre-diabetic (family history of diabetes)in 2010 & 2011. Two younger siblings are full-blown diabetics. My Cholesterol was elevated enough to need medication as well. After going on a vegan diet for the last 3 months, my fasting glucose level is normal, I’ve dropped 15 pounds, Cholesterol is normal, feel great, no longer depressed, and have lots of energy to exercise. Those who are skeptical, like I was, try it and prove it to yourself.

        2. My husband dropped his cholesterol from 240 somewhere down to 170 or 160 just by increasing his exercise (started a work at home program six days a week), cutting out fast food and soda, and fish oil supplements and watching the excess salt he added to his plate. As far as “facts” go, they change every decade or so. For the longest time egg yolks were “bad” for you, but now they say that they are good. Wait a decade, see what changes

      3. basically you should eat a lot of whole grains, and because of the potassium restriction eat small amounts of legumes for the whole protein diet. as for the type of legume – some have less potassium than other (chickpeas for example)

        1. Too bad then that grains are bad for you. They are highly inflammatory which may be why Eastern Indians have 400% higher incidence of heart disease than the typical American.

      4. Helgo, There are many options for getting sufficient protein, even omitting the items you cannot eat. Try smoothies made with fruits,vegetables, and add spirulina, rice protein, whey protein, or any of the other great protein powders available at health food stores. Be sure to purchase only non-GMO (non-genetically modified). These protein powders are wonderful and can be added to many other foods as well. We add protein powders to our daily oatmeal breakfast and to our homemade vegan breads from our bread machine. Best recipe book from our experience has been “The Happy Herbivore”.

      5. Helga,

        Look for a Dorian that specializes in vegan and vegetarian diets. Go to

    4. You might as well have made an article comprised of one sentence, “eat organic”.

      The post is fairly accurate other than tempeh or any kind of soy product is not a good source of protein for men due to its effects on estrogen production.

      Quinoa beans are amazin but kideny beans are a staple and always will be, because more than anything else its a digestive enzyme.

      You also left out kidney as a meat choice, its one of those miracle foods like that has everything you need with a high dosage of protein.

      1. Quinoa is not a grain!(or a bean as someone noted) and for the great bennefits of soy watch Food Inc and see what they are doing to it before we get it, our naturalpath reccommended never consuming it especially growing children.

        1. For the record, quinoa is not a grain, nor a bean, but a seed, and yes, a complete protein (includes all 9 amino acids), and has many other essential nutrients.

        1. While no single food can supply all the essential life sustaining nutrients, quinoa comes as close as any other in the plant or animal kingdom.”

          That was the pronouncement of researcher Philip White, in an obscure 1955 article on “Edible Seed Products of the Andes Mountains.” While very few people may have read White’s original article, in the last few years his words have been repeated on countless websites and in articles in newspapers and magazines, as quinoa has been rediscovered.

          Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa, or goosefoot) is in fact not technically a cereal grain at all, but is instead what we call a “pseudo-cereal” – our name for foods that are cooked and eaten like grains and have a similar nutrient profile. Botanically, quinoa is related to beets, chard and spinach, and in fact the leaves can be eaten as well as the grains. It’s a testimonial to how far quinoa has come in the last five years, that most people now know it’s pronounced KEEN-wah, not kwin-OH-a.

          Kañiwa (Chenopodium pallidicaule, also in the goosefoot family) is a cousin of quinoa. Unlike quinoa, kañiwa (pronounced kah-nyee-wah) is not coated in bitter saponins that must first be rinsed away. Learn more about kañiwa.

          Quinoa grows on magenta stalks three to nine feet tall, with large seedheads that can be almost any color, from red, purple and orange to green, black or yellow. The seedheads are prolific: a half pound of seed can plant a full acre, yielding 1200-2000 pounds of new seeds per acre. Since nutrient-rich quinoa is also drought resistant, and grows well on poor soils without irrigation or fertilizer, it’s been designated a “super crop” by the United Nations, for its potential to feed the hungry poor of the world. Click here to see more about growing quinoa.

          Over 120 different varieties of quinoa are known, but the most commonly cultivated and commercialized are white (sometimes known as yellow or ivory) quinoa, red quinoa, and black quinoa. Quinoa flakes and quinoa flour are increasingly available, usually at health food stores. Click here for pictures and descriptions of the different forms of quinoa.

          Sacred to the Incas, quinoa was referred to by them as chisaya mama, or the mother of all grains. Legend has it that each year, the Incan emperor would sow the first quinoa seeds, with much solemn ceremony. Although it’s estimated that Bolivians in the Lake Titicaca area began to cultivate quinoa at least five thousand years ago, quinoa came close to disappearing after 1532. That’s when Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish explorer, destroyed the quinoa fields to undermine the Incan culture, built as it was on ceremonies that almost all involved quinoa. Only small pockets of wild quinoa at high altitudes survived, and quinoa was largely forgotten until its “rediscovery” by the outside world in the 1970s.

          Today, an amazing range of products are made with quinoa, from breakfast cereals to beverages. Quinoa pasta is popular among those following a gluten-free diet, and the grain is a favorite ingredient in granolas, breads, and crackers. Home bakers can try “ancient grain” blends or cook with quinoa flakes and flours. In the restaurant world, the National Restaurant Association named quinoa as the hottest trend in side dishes in its 2010 “What’s Hot” survey of chefs. And the ultimate: we were even served up with quinoa shampoo at a major hotel chain not long ago!

          Quinoa is known as an “ancient grain,” but to most scientific researchers, it’s a new kid on the block. While the existing research on quinoa pales next to well-studied grains like oats or barley, the pace of quinoa research is picking up, and presenting some intriguing preliminary data.

          Quinoa is a more nutritious option for gluten free diets.

          Quinoa may be useful in reducing the risk for diabetes.

          Quinoa helps you feel fuller longer.

          It’s not surprising that quinoa supports good health, as it’s one of the only plant foods that’s a complete protein, offering all the essential amino acids in a healthy balance. Not only is the protein complete, but quinoa grains have an usually high ratio of protein to carbohydrate, since the germ makes up about 60% of the grain. (For comparison, wheat germ comprises less than 3% of a wheat kernel.) Quinoa is also highest of all the whole grains in potassium, which helps control blood pressure.

          What’s more, quinoa is gluten free, which makes it extremely useful to the celiac community and to others who may be sensitive to more common grains such as wheat – or even to all grains in the grass family.
          Here are some surprising facts about quinoa that you may be interested to learn:

          Inca warriors ate balls of quinoa and fat to keep them going on long marches and in battle.

          NASA has proposed quinoa as an ideal food for long-duration space flights.

          The Natchez Indians, on the lower Mississippi River, may have cultivated a variety of quinoa.

          Chicha is a traditional beer made from fermented quinoa.

          A quinoa poultice or plaster was traditionally thought to heal bones, and Andean families have traditionally used the saponin-filled wash water from quinoa as a shampoo.

          Lamb’s quarters, a common weed increasingly sought after as a gourmet salad ingredient, is a cousin of quinoa.

          Chenopodeum, the botanical name for quinoa, means “goose foot,” so named because the leaves of the plant resemble the webbed foot of a goose.

          In times of drought, when other crops in quinoa-growing areas fail, quinoa can actually increase its yields. The crop can thrive on as little as three to four inches of annual rainfall.

      2. Except that temph miso and soy sauce are all fermented products and the estrogen has been broken down(not exactly sure how that works but that’s what everything I’ve read says)

    5. The human body actually does not benefit from “a bit of flesh.” When your body metabolizes any animal product…meat or dairy it creates an acidic environment. Your body attempts to compensate and as a result it leeches the calcium out of your bones. An acidic environment helps cancer cells to grow.

      Also while I agree quinoa is a winner…it is not a grain. It is a seed. There is nothing wrong with eating grains. They hold amazing health benefits.

      1. I’m afraid that is an unproven theory with no evidence to support it. Human blood does not become alkaline or acidic based on what food is consumed. Your urine can become alkaline or acidic based on what foods you eat but that will have no effect on your health at all. Also the only way for your blood to become acidic is if you stop breathing for some reason like if you’re choking. Your blood can become alkaline if you’re hyperventilating. other then that not much will affect how alkaline your blood becomes.

    6. BUCKWHEAT – soba noodles 16g protein!

      HEMP SEEDS – 1 tablespoon is almost 3 times daily required amount of omegas 3 & 6! 3 tblspns = 10g protein!

    7. I don’t agree with your opinions about kidney beans. Red kidney beans yield one the highest levels of antioxidants out of any food. To suggest that one should stay away from such healthy foods is very irresponsible on your part.

    8. We have dirtied our world and therefore dirtied our food. We have over produced farmland and depleted the nutrients so our food is less nutritional. We have

      added pesticides, (which blow over onto the organic soil, so no ones really knows if the organic food they buy is truly pesticide free unless they test it).

      We have altered our weather system by polluting our air. So the rains do not fall where they are supposed to, which produce droughts and cause famines. In

      turn force governments to turn to less natural ways of production so we can feed more people. We add hormones to our food and animals that are not supposed

      to be there. We have now genetically changed our foods. I can go on….our food we eat is not unhealthy in it’s natural form. Milk, meat plants etc. We as

      humans have altered it to a point our food becomes a poison. We do not eat a balanced diet and we eat way too much. We excersize too little, which is

      sometimes voluntary but a lot of the time environmental now, because of how we have set up our whole system of schooling and work.

      There is more. So….I agree we should still try and do our best to eat healthy and excersize. But we are fighting a losing battle if humans continue to

      batter our planet because of ‘GREED.” No matter how you slice it, all the bad that has been done to our planet eventually can be summed up to greed, money.

      And I do not think we will ever get people to give up that desire to be rich and powerful.

      So again we do our best, but I say in the meantime, worry and stress will also deplete your stores of B vitamins which are essential to happiness. So live

      life, do your best to be a good person. Respect your earth and your fellow humans. Because… is strange….

      You can be the healthiest person on the earth….my wonderful, beautiful friend, Kristin, was a health nut. She ate whole, raw….meatless,

      natural…..variety….she was thin…..made smoothies….has a good attitude. 3 months ago she found out she had pancreatic cancer, stage 4, moved to the

      liver. She does not fit the profile of who would get pancreatic cancer. Never drank too much, never smoked, no drugs, clean life. Did not work with abestos.

      So people, you can all yell as loud as you want, write the longest message and have the best annotated bibliographies you want…in the end, I hope you are

      enjoying your life and making it a good one. Because it can end any time. I say, you want that spoonful of Nutella…eat it. Not the whole jar….but enjoy

      life now. While you have it. Love those in your life that are good. And be good to all.

      My friend was given 3 months to live.

  2. No grains, even quinoa have all the essential amino acids so cannot be considered a complete protein. However these ingredients are often mixed with others that contain incomplete amino acids to form complete ones. This is called “mutual supplemaentation” You just mix two items with incomplete amino acids so that one makes up for the loss of the other. Hummus and pita is a good example and a tasty one at that!

    I love tempeh, but even that can come mass produced. There are some places that still hand craft tofu, and it is excellent! even to a meat eater like me!

    My favorite protein is a toss up between three; malpeque oysters, lentil and quinoa salad, or grass fed beef from Georgia, Texas, or Florida. Since I live in Canada I guess I’ll go with the oysters for the rare treat. But as for daily protein I’ll go with the lentil and quinoa salad.

    1. Would you happen to have a recipe for your lentil and quinoa salad? It sounds good.

      1. Boiled Quinoa
        2 TB olive oil
        1 squeezed lemon
        1 shredded carrot
        2 handfuls of chopped uncooked spinach
        1 handful of chopped cilantro
        Salt – Pepper to taste

      2. I have used the following and added cooked lentils and also omitted quinoa and just used the ingred. JUST MAKE SURE you rinse the quinoa well even if it says prewashed – or it can be soapy tasting. I run jt under the tap repeatedly for several minutes but you need a very fine sieve or you will wash down the drain. If not sure put a pan underneath to catch or use a papertowel or linen dish cloth and slowly run the water to give it time to drain through. Always get the freshest and fron a well visited health food store – rancid old isn’t good.

        Quinoa Tabbouleh
        digg this digg
        Printer-friendly Version
        Quinoa Tabbouleh
        Carol Fenster

        Tabbouleh is traditionally made with bulgur wheat. In fact, though, any whole grain can be used in tabbouleh, and this version, made with quinoa, is the perfect choice for those following a gluten-free lifestyle.

        To cook quinoa:
        1 teaspoon canola oil
        1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed twice
        ½ teaspoon salt
        1 can (14.5 ounces or 1 ¾ cups) gluten-free, low-sodium chicken broth
        ¾ cup water

        ¼ cup shelled raw pumpkin seeds
        1 English (hothouse) cucumber, unpeeled and finely chopped
        3 green onions, thinly sliced
        1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
        1 small yellow bell pepper, finely diced
        ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
        ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
        ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
        ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)

        3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
        2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
        1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
        ¼ teaspoon table salt
        1/8 teaspoon white pepper

        Fresh mint or parsley sprigs
        1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and toast the quinoa about 4 minutes, shaking the skillet occasionally, until the seeds are light golden brown.

        2. Add the chicken broth and water, reduce the heat to low, and cook 15 to 20 minutes, covered, or until the quinoa is tender. Remove from heat and cool, covered, for 10 minutes. Drain the quinoa well.

        3. Combine the cooked quinoa and remaining tabbouleh ingredients – except feta cheese – in a large serving bowl.

        4. Combine the dressing ingredients in screw-top jar and shake vigorously to blend. Pour over quinoa mixture and toss until all the ingredients are thoroughly coated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate 4 hours. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving.

        Adapted from 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes by Carol Fenster (Wiley, 2008)

        Nutrition facts per serving: Calories: 210 , Total Fat: 8 g, (Saturated Fat: 2 g), Sodium: 290 mg, Carbohydrate: 26 g, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 9 g.

        makes: 4-6 servings

    2. Actually Quinoa is not a grain, and it does actually have all the essential amino acids. I have to agree with you on the Canadian oysters, though!

      1. Darn, you beat me to it!

        Amaranth is another of the mock grains that’s a good source — I’m not sure it contains all amino acids, but it contains one or two that are really difficult to get if you don’t eat meat.

    3. Quinoa is not a grain, it is a seed. It is related to the spinach family, and DOES have all 9 amino acids making it a complete protein. FYI.

      1. ALL GRAINS ARE SEEDS. I never understood that description. How is Quinoa different? I think it just grows differently. ..maybe its a perennial plant?

        1. Grains are seeds from plants in the grass family, specifically. Quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat are seeds from plants that aren’t in the grass family, so they’re not considered grains any more than sunflower seeds or cactus seeds would be. However, since they have small seeds and are often used like grains, they get the ‘pseudo-grain’ label a lot of the time.

    4. Hemp Protein is a complete concentrated protein.
      Low in Carbs, has a fat content that is derived from absolute important amino acids.
      And it is natural. Not chemically changed, altered or processed. It is not expensive either.. How does it get any better than that?

      The unfortunate thing with foods like the ‘beans’ and many others these days is they are not as organically natural as they once were when growing in their pods in the garden etc.
      They are mass manufactured, put in tins sodium added etc.
      Leaving alot rancid. So the toxicity level is higher. Sad shame really.

    5. quinoa DOES contain all 9 essential amino acids ALL BY ITSELF and is, in fact, a complete protein.

  3. Mike, I read their material and I think they have made a good compromise. Added egg albumin to quadruple the protein, added flax and flax seed to boost O3s. I might try some…but you still need bread to make a PB sandwich…

  4. “but you still need bread to make a PB sandwich”

    Not if you eat it on a Fuji apple!

    Thanks for the response, Mark. Great site.

  5. NP, Mike. And yes, it’s always great on fruit/vegetables. In fact our editor and a few of our readers like to top vegetables and eggs with various nut butters.

  6. ok i like almonds can eat them all day somtimes in place of regular foods,what about walnuts?

    1. eating too many almonds can give you an upset stomach, so no, you really shouldn’t eat them all day or in place of regular foods. ideally, you should have a /balanced/ diet.

      remember, there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing.

  7. I’m not understanding why “Cows milk is for baby cows”. We can eat cow but not cow milk?

    1. My father was a farmer and he used to say, “We are the only animals that want to continue to drink milk as adults. Then we drink the milk of an animal that is 250 pounds and we wonder why we have health problems.”

      1. I think the best sort of dietary suggestions are ones based on data. Evidence that cow or goat’s milk is harmful for human consumption is negligible- in fact, much to the contrary. For many people, it is their largest source of calcium.
        Similarly, there is little evidence that organic vegetables are healthier. If you can afford it, and think that it is in your best interest to eat organic, go ahead. However, it would be extremely difficult to feed most of the world’s population if mass-produced foods were eliminated entirely.
        People seem to think that foods are all or nothing- it isn’t healthier to eliminate grains entirely from your diet. At a certain point, proteins are converted into the same fat cells as grains. The fact remains that most of the food you eat is converted into energy, not muscle, and it doesn’t particularly matter whether you get it from pasta or chicken, as long as you consume a decent amount of protein.
        A balanced, varied diet is the best diet.

        1. “However, it would be extremely difficult to feed most of the world’s population if mass-produced foods were eliminated entirely.”

          That is probably very true, but then how did the world become so populated in the first place? Healthy people in more isolated, primitive groups tend to have fewer children by choice (it’s not simply a result of disease killing off most of them… see Weston A. Price’s “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”). Also it’s not the job of those in the West to try desperately to save every starving human being in the rest of the world, even if we’ve been browbeaten into believing that it is.

          “The fact remains that most of the food you eat is converted into energy, not muscle, and it doesn’t particularly matter whether you get it from pasta or chicken, as long as you consume a decent amount of protein.”

          Again, I suggest reading “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”. It’s a fantastic book and will absolutely amaze you. Very old though and it’s difficult to find a copy, but the whole thing is available online:

        2. Dude, you’re so wrong!!! Cow milk is definitely bad for you. It contains unnecessary saturated fats and hormones for the cow to produce milk faster, as well as blood, YUMMY!! Organic anything is better, NO EFFING DOUBT. And it does matter whether or not you get it from pasta or chicken; those are two totally different food items. One being from an animal and the other, a grain. One is a complete protein, and the other isn’t. You’re right on the balanced and varied diet though. Fad diets are dumb, ’cause all you need is moderate exercise and knowledge of the food guide pyramid.

        3. “However, it would be extremely difficult to feed most of the world’s population if mass-produced foods were eliminated entirely.” – Keith

          If people were smart they’d shirk their brainwashing and empty monetary conditioning so families could grow all of their own food – this is entirely possible to do in any climate. Scarcity is a myth propagated by the Captains of Industry to further their own profit of worthless created-out-of-debt, backed-by-nothing cotton-linen paper and empty digital data.

        4. There is a plethera of reliable information that indicates that dairy (especially milk) products are indeed very harmful for human consumption. A good place to start reading is well researched book called The China Study.

        5. check out the China Study that looked at the population of rural China and the occurance of cancer. It concluded that the consumation of dairy and meet,as a primary part of the diet has a direct connection to higher rates of all types of cancer and illness. After all if we were ment to eat meet why do we have to cook it and why do most mammals ween their young off milk at around 6 months and we continue to drink it our whole lives. Not to mention that we are the only mammals that drink the milk of another mammal.

        6. Actually, drinking pasteurized milk is very bad for you. It’s because it is all homogenized now. That means the fat is broken down throughout the milk. Then that microscopic fat inflames a human’s arteries. Then cholesterol comes to put out the fire, so to speak. That’s how arteries get clogged up.

          Raw milk, not homogenized is fine.

        7. I know of somebody that got a paralyzing condition from drinking raw milk in the south. Stick to pasteurized milk.

        8. We have dirtied our world and therefore dirtied our food. We have over produced farmland and depleted the nutrients so our food is less nutritional. We have added pesticides, (which blow over onto the organic soil, so no ones really knows if the organic food they buy it truly pesticide free unless they test it. We have altered our weather system by polluting our air. So the rains do not fall where they are supposed to. We add hormones to our food and animals that are not supposed to be there. We have now genetically changed our foods. I can go on….our food we eat is not unhealthy in it natural form. Milk, meat plants etc. We as humans have altered it to a point our food becomes a poison. We do not eat a balanced diet and we eat way too much. We excersice too little, which is sometimes voluntary but a lot of the time environmental now, because of how we have set up our whole system of schooling and work.

          There is more. So….I agree we should still try and do our best to eat healthy and excersize. But we are fighting a losing battle if humans continue to batter our planet because of ‘GREED.” No matter how you slice it, all the bad that has been done to our planet eventually can be summed up to greed, money. And I do not think we will ever get people to give up that desire to be rich and powerful.

          So again we do our best, but I say in the meantime, worry and stress will also deplete your stores of B vitamins which are essential to happiness. So live life, do your best to be a good person. Respect your earth and your fellow humans. Because… is strange….

          You can be the healthiest person on the earth….my wonderful, beautiful friend, Kristin, was a health nut. She ate whole, raw….meatless, natural…..variety….she was thin…..made smoothies….has a good attitude. 3 months ago she found out she had pancreatic cancer, stage 4, moved to the liver. She does fit the profile of who would get pancreatic cancer. Never drank too much, never smoked, no drugs, clean life. Did not work with abestos. So people, you can all yell as loud as you want, write the longest message and have the best annotated bibliographies you want…in the end, I hope you are enjoying your life and making it a good one. Because it can end any time. I say, you want that spoonful of Nutella…eat it. Not the whole jar….but enjoy life now. While you have it. Love those in your life that are good. And be good to all.

          My friend was given 3 months to live.

      2. I drink half a gallon of milk a day and I don’t have any health problems….

        1. I hope it is organic milk from grass fed, clean cattle. The factory milk is so bad for you, although I am living proof that you can survive on it (used to drink tons of factory milk growing up, 2-3 gallons a week).

        2. there’s nothing wrong with milk, its a source of protein and a great source of calcium

        3. And if he never gets sick from the milk, please don’t be disappointed, Amy and Jordan.
          In the end, we will all die of something.

          Let’s not be so smug about being healthy. For everyone, it’s just a question of time.
          Health conscious people sometimes sound like :
          “I am eating sooo right and they are eating sooo wrong… aren’t I good and aren’t they gonna get sooo sick!”

        4. Yet. My husband has done that for years & he’s “healthy” from a conventional standpoint. I found a whole health Dr. who I just started seeing for myself & can’t wait to get my husband through the door. His body & mind are so out of balance. Milk isn’t the only red flag but it is a great sign that there are probably some major deficiencies & imbalances.

        5. How is that salient. Anecdotal blathering is nothing more than an unsupported opinion bolstered by isolated experience and without a whole picture. I haven’t had a glass of milk in 10 years and I don’t have any health problems….. My statement means as little as yours does.

          The dairy industry promotes milk through convincing people they need calcium, but kelp, collard greens, turnip greens, almonds, kale, parsley, figs, and MANY more food products contain MORE calcium than whole milk. The other thing they don’t want you to know is that the reason there is a trend toward older people needing calcium is that the food we eat causes out bodies to “harvest” the calcium from our bones to neutralize an acidic body. Take out animal products (or at least heavily limit), reduce sugar intake and eat a truly healthy diet, and the decalcification never happens, and you wouldn’t be susceptible to the false claims of a multi-billion dollar industry.

        6. I grew up drinking raw milk. When I started to drink pasteurized milk, all sorts of digestive issues started for me. 20 years later I discovered it was the milk. Now that I have substituted mostly coconut products, I no longer have acid reflux or other digestive issues. Plus I have also started a special way of combining my foods which has helped even more! So, no peanut butter on my fruit. I eat all my fruit plain and by itself–can’t mix with other foods as it digests more quickly than other foods.

      3. Your father milked cows that were only 250 pounds? What’s he milking – calves? Don’t have much faith in his skills/opinions. And we eat their meat – by that logic shouldn’t that cause the same health problems?
        Anyway, trust me, most (if not all) cows/bulls would continue to drink milk into their old age if someone (mom, the farmer) would let them/feed it to them. Cats drink milk their whole lives too – dogs would too but it’s not a ‘tradition’ to do so, so people don’t feed it to them.
        Some people can’t tolerate milk – they shouldn’t drink it. Doesn’t mean other people can’t or that it isn’t a healthy food. Some people are deathly allergic to nuts – doesn’t mean no one should eat them.

        One thing for sure: No animals besides humans cook their food. Would your dad suggest we shouldn’t either? 🙂

        1. ummmm… Yes, we eat their meat. But not their feces. Cow feces are bad for you, even though we eat their meat. Interesting the way not everything that comes from an animal is suitable for ingestion.

        2. how thick are you? because we eat meat milk is fine. then you go on to say ‘trust me’… milk is drank my calves that have four stomachs, we have one…
          and the point about not cooking food which side of the argument are you on? you shouldn’t cook food it reduces the content. you cook food to improve the taste but with veg your cooking away the minerals and vitamins.

        3. Well my dog was raised on milk, eggs and he also loved veggies. He lived longer than most dogs of his breed- he was a pomeranian and died at 17.

          Milk may not be a natural food but neither is meat? Seriously, do you have the canines and the claws to hunt and eat on your own?

        4. We didn’t cook meat until fire was developed. It was eaten raw and many tribes ate raw liber, heart, etc. The meat was cooked or dried to preserve it – i.e. Jerky.

          And I agree on the milking weight issue – 1200 to 1800 pounds is the usual weight. Even in kilograms 250 is too low… You can’t get milk unless the cow is bred and you don’t first breed say holstein heifers until they are over a year old at a weight of 800 pounds and they don’t calve until approximately 283 days later or about 9 months at which time they would weight considerbly more. Thus the point, I can’t image what type of cows you can breed and milk at 250 lbs.

          Most animals like and will readily enjoy milk – even chickens like a warm bowl of milk porridge especially on cold winter mornings. And it adds proteins to help them produce more eggs. People and other mammals have been drinking milk whether it be sheep, cow, goat (most of the world drinks goat more than cow) buffalo, etc. for 1000s of years. Cheese ( predates recorded history and at least as early as 5000 – 6000 BCE) accidently came about because of the pouches (made from a ruminants stomach) of milk being carried around became soft fresh cheese and then the experimentation began and continues. Salted hard cheese was the best way to preserve milk for food use in the hot dessert. Goat milk is safer to drink raw than cow milk – and is considered by most to be naturally homogenized.

          4000 BC – Early Evidence of Milking Cattle in Neolithic Britian: Through analyzing degraded fats on unearthed potshards, scientists have discovered that Neolithic farmers in Britain and Northern Europe may have been among the first to begin milking cattle for human consumption. The dairying activities of these European farmers may have begun as early as 6,000 years ago. According to scientists, the ability to digest milk was slowly gained some time between 5000-4000 B.C.E. by the spread of a genetic mutation called lactase persistance that allowed post-weaned humans to continue to digest milk. If that date is correct, it may pre-date the rise of other major dairying civilizations in the Near East, India, and North Africa.

          3000 BC – Evidence of Dairy Cows Playing a Major Role in Ancient Sumerian Civilization: Although there is evidence of cattle domestication in Mesopotamia as early as 8000 B.C.E., the milking of dairy cows did not become a major part of Sumerian civilization until approximately 3000 B.C.E. evidence shows that the Ancient Sumerians drank cow’s milk and also made cow’s milk into cheeses and butters. A carved dairy scene found in the temple of Ninhursag in the Sumerian city of Tell al-Ubaid. The scene, which shows typical dairy activities such as milking, straining and making butter, dates to the first half of the third millennium B.C.E.

          3100 BC – The Domesticated Cow Appears in Ancient Egyptian Civilization: At least as early as 3100 B.C.E., the domesticated cow had been introduced to, or had been separately domesticated in, Northern Africa.

          1700-63 BC – Milk in Ancient Hebrew Civilization and the Bible: “The ancient Hebrews…held milk in high favor; the earliest Hebrew scriptures contain abundant evidence of the widespread use of milk from very early times. The Old Testament refers to a ‘land which floweth with milk and honey’ some twenty times. The phrase describes Palestine as a land of extraordinary fertility, providing all the comforts and necessities of life. In all, the Bible contains some fifty references to milk and milk products.”

        1. When he wrote : “we drink the milk of an animal that is 250 pounds”, maybe he meant “we drink the milk destined for an animal that is 250 pounds”, meaning the calf…?

        2. Bravo, Sonia. Yes, it’s quite obvious he was talking about the calves, isn’t it? I’m glad someone else kept the brain switched on. His point was twofold: one, we are the only animal who continues to want to drink milk as adults; not only that, but two, we drink the milk of a 250 pound animal, i.e., we drink milk made for a 250-pound animal. It’s their milk, so it’s the milk of that animal, and how much does a calf weigh? About 250 pounds. When you consider that a baby cow is bigger than most adult humans, the father has quite a point, really.

      4. WHAT !!!
        If wolves had a way to milk a cow, they would drink her milk and for that matter cows themselves. Try giving an adult dog or a cat milk and see what happens. Guess what, they love it. haha

        And why is not eating meat of a 250 lb animal(actually cows are more like 1000 lb or more) does not make you wonder why we have health problems?

        1. If I had a way to fly, I would! Dogs also love chocolate and it can kill them. Many people love heroine, cocaine, ect. To simply say, “they love it” is not a valid argument here.

        2. my cat does not like milk anymore…she OUTGREW drinking it. we are the most obese nation on earth because a sad majority of the “adults” in this country are “adult children” in disguise. no nation on earth comsumes more dairy than americans. ice cream is bizarro as a food if you have actually cleansed your body of sugar’s toxic effects and residues and mucus causing dairy and go back to it, you would see. milk is only for BABIES, whatever the specie!

      5. lots of other animals drink milk after maturation. Visit India sometime and you will find primates(monkey’s) run up and milk cows routinely.

        Just another myth to get over

      6. That’s too funny! I mean, it makes sense and I love it! I should pass that quote on to those of my clients who always argue “ugh…but what am I gonna do without my 1% milk?!” Lol

      7. Growing up on a farm I can tell you cats, dogs, pigs, humans etc. will all drink raw goat and cow milk as adults and relish it! We aren’t the only animals that enjoy milk as adults. It’s just we’re the only ones who have figured out how to drink it as adults. Other animals stop because they need to reproduce more and breastfeeding can inhibit fertility and also breastfeeding can deplete the female animals body of nutrients she needs to survive and reproduce. In addition, it’s not very practical to have adult offspring following you around trying to nurse all the time. If other animals could figure out how to have other animals produce milk for them they would drink it forever too. Just watch my cat go crazy over a bowl of raw cream when I give it to her as a treat.

        1. Just because we found a way to do it doesnt make it right. I can find a way to drive with my feet. That doesnt make it a good idea.

      8. actually almost any animal will drink milk if it’s offered it, think about your pet cat of dog if you’ve ever had one our cat always used to drink milk.

        1. Actually, cow’s (and goat/any other mammal’s) milk is very unhealthy for adult cats and often causes digestive issues, including a pretty good risk of diarrhea. Your cat may not die from drinking milk regularly, but they won’t be feeling too great afterwards. They lack the lacto enzymes required to break down the lactate in milk, aka most mammals, once weaned, become lactose-intolerant

      9. That’s why you drink fat free milk! Yes, the amount of fat is for a baby cow, but think of the bennefits of breast-fed babies, I think the health bennefits of milk are numerable! My personal opinion.

    2. Cows milk is designed for calves the same as human milk is designed for babies…cows milk varies in protein, calcium, essential fatty acids as wel as others – which can have massive consequences on feeding a babies on cows milk.
      As with adults milk is constantly promtoed as a good source of calcium, but what is not mentioned is calcium works along side magnesium. The optimum ratio is milk the ratio of calcium to magnesium is 10:1. So too much milk could cause a deficiency and imbalance.
      But dont get me wrong im a great fan of milk if its from a good source, as long as its not a huge part of someones weekly diet.

    3. exactly!

      its like “real men eat meet”
      but milk is for cookies and kids ja!

  8. the highest source of protein is….a blue green algea called Spirulina! By precentage of protein it is over 60% which is higher than beef. It also is fabulous in fro yo, yogurt, apple sauce, shakes, healthy baked goods. Plus a power house of minerals omegas and your body easily assimulates it compared to harder to digest proteins..”its not what you eat it’s what you assimulate”…. I like that you can add superior protein to carb foods without altering the taste too much. Have to add Kefir to the list which is better than yogurt. I make my own from raw milk add probiotics and it is perfection.

    1. Spirulina is indeed a source of protein, but neither your body, nor the body of any human will be able to break it down and use it for anything. it will simply be expelled from your body as waste. Any blue-green algae also comes with risks of the growth of unhealthy microorganisms. BG Algae is also a false source of B12 as there is no evidence that there is much if any usable B12 and the tests are more likely false positives.

      1. This is not true, to my knowledge. Spirulina protein is bioavailable. NASA plans on using it in space. It’s a more expensive source of protein than meat though.
        If you really want to look at amino acid ratios of foods, check out

      2. Not true! The protein in Spirulina is 85-95% digestible, one of the highest available (the protein from eggs being even more bio-available). And Spirulina is a good source of B12. 36% of the total corrinoid vitamin B-12 activity in Spirulina is human active. Check it out for yourself:

  9. Garbonzo beans are great as well as they have about 6ish grams of protein per cup and while low calories can keep you going for hours. An egg per day is a good source as well as long as you remove the yolk as that has 100% of the fat in eggs.

      1. If you are on autoimmune paleo like me eat the yolk only. Egg whites contain enzyme lysozyme that breaks down intestinal lining.

    1. The fat contained in egg yokes are actually a type of fat that is good for you. Plus all the vitamins are in the yoke. Buy eggs from a local farmer who lets their chickens get lots of sun and doesn’t feed them soy, but rather lets them eat a diet mostly of worms and other bugs. Studies show that pastured chickens who get sunshine and aren’t eating a diet consisting mostly of grain and soy will produce eggs containing approximately 3 times as much vitamin D, 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, two times more omega-3 fatty acids, three times more vitamin E and seven times more beta carotene than eggs from the big chains in most grocery stores. So even though those eggs are more expensive you’ll also get more out of them. 🙂 So remember to buy pastured eggs. You’ll be happier, your local farmers will be happier and chickens will be happier.

  10. Quinoa’s not a complete protein?
    So…which essential amino acid is missing?

    1. Soy has phytic acid which cuases mineral deficiencies, it contains isoflavones (estrogen mimickers) that do bad bad things to the body, especially women. Chickpeas also contain phytic acid.

      90% of peanuts grown in the US are GMO. Who knows WHAT that will do to us in the future.

      I was vegan and became so much healthier when I went back to eating local, grass fed beef and chicken.

  11. Being a strict vegan and nutbutter head, I think it way cool that almond butter made number two on this list.

    But, I balance almond butter, chick peas (via hummous), peanut butter and soy milk, to get most of my protein, with splendid results.

    Thus, I would remove peanut butter from the ‘evil counterparts to good proteins list’ and would remove raw soy as well.
    Both are excellent, assuming a lack of allergies.

    I would also recommend having almonds and peanuts in butter form, since they need to be ground up good to digest. Walnuts and pecans, on the other hand, can be had by the handful.
    Chick peas as hummous? Just a preference here.

    And, if I can ever find a genuinely cruelty free form of dairy, I will revert to lacto-vegetarian form from strict vegan since 1996 (vegetarian since 1987).
    Fresh milk is definitely better than any meat for all nutritional purposes.

    But, other than that.
    Not bad!


  12. What’s the general opinion regarding cottage cheese as a source of protein? Does it fall into the less processed cheese category with ricotta and such, or is it in with the more heavily processed cheddar, colby and jack?

    Thanks, Frieda

  13. hmmmm. I am still not convinced as to why egg whites in a carton are not a viable/healthy source of protein. Your argument against them seems more based on personal opinion than fact. I could use your same argument and claim that if we were meant to eat cooked beef the cow would produce it that way. Or that cleaning a fish (i.e removing the scale/bones/guts) isn’t the proper way nature intended us to eat it. Just because a food is processed doesn’t mean it is loaded with sodium and preservatives and chemicals. The ONLY ingredient listed on the egg white carton is 100% Egg whites. NO preservatives or anything else. If they are lying let me know and we will alert the FDA.
    What is the difference between mechanically separated egg whites and “humanly” separated egg whites other than speed?
    Am I wrong in saying that all the pasteurization process does is kill off bacteria and restructures the amino acids in the egg whites allowing for their protein to be absorbed during digestion…the same process that would occur when cooking eggs from the shell at home?
    I usually use egg whites from a carton for smoothies for several reasons. 1. I don’t want to risk the possibility that an egg white I separate myself contains harmful bacteria 2. As an egg needs to be heated in order to make its protein absorbent, it would be very hard to imitate the pasteurization process at home while maintaining the egg white’s liquid form. 3. It’s very wasteful and time consuming separating eggs.
    In no way am I saying that overall, an egg white is better for you than an Organic DHA-Enhanced Egg from the shell. I agree that the egg yolk contains has many nutritional benefits, i.e vitamins, minerals, etc etc, but your post is specifically on sources of Protein not anything else… and your argument on egg whites seems more against it’s packaging than its health benefits. When my butcher separates the meat from the cow is he not processing it? When wraps it in paper or cellophane wrap is that not an unnatural container for it? If I am wrong please let me know. But not based on that a carton is unappetizing to you. Give facts as to way the protein value in egg whites in a carton is somehow less than a normal eggs.

    1. From what I understand, eating the egg whites without the yolks will cause a biotin deficiency…

      1. that’s why I add two eggs w yolks with my other 4 egg whites hehe

        1. “As someone who appreciates the Buddhist idea of ahimsa, I fully appreciate the motive to not harm any living thing.”

          Since when were plants not living things? If we did not eat living things, we would soon be extinct (rule #1), that is after our species dies out from eating the garbage we sometimes call food (see rule #1) I agree with eating wisely, but don’t rule out an entire kingdom (one of the only two kingdoms: plants and animals) as not living. If you mean, do no harm to the animal kingdom, then be careful what bugs you squash daily. Don’t swat that mosquito! Also are you careful not to wear leather or have leather wallets – how about wool clothing…

      2. Not if is is heated first. Raw egg whites would cause biotin deficiency. Cooked or pasteurized egg whites are fine.

    2. For what it’s worth, I agree with you 100% Geoff. Carton egg whites are fine and the FDA requires they put any additives on the ingredient list right? Mine also just says 100% egg whites – so what’s the problem? I’m guessing I’m not going to find much value on this website because I also add fat free cheddar to my carton of egg whites (also a no no according to this post) and top it all off with a healthy portion of low-fat cottage cheese for lunch. Oh well, I guess I’ll move on to another site I can agree with. 🙂

      1. Sad thing is that you don’t even realize how all this is not about opinion. Egg whites, “100%” are not actually “100%” but processed and mixed with all sorts of things. The fat free cheese, is mostly processed oils. Eat real food, eat local, and eat nothing processed. That’s the point of this web site, along with the idea of Primal.

    3. Eating egg whites only, to me is like eating rice cakes. What’s the point? The yolk is, in my opinion, the most important and nutritious part of the egg. Also, I personally do not believe in wasting anything and if an egg yolk is the worst thing I am consuming than I think I would be pretty well off.

    4. I think you misunderstood his point. What I understood from his saying is you need to avoid anything non-organic. And you are not sure the eggs in carton are 100% organic. Plus the yolk which is loaded with essential nutrients is taken away. That’s why you should avoid it and purchase only organic eggs yourself. And it’s not because it is written on the box “100% egg whites” that it’s the only content of it. They probably add a conservative. A carton is not supposed to keep an egg content fresh. A sophisticated shell is.
      He is not saying eggs in cartons are bad. He is saying fresh organic ones are BETTER.

  14. Beef, chicken and salmon? No thanks, I’ll stick to my tofu and peanut butter. Say what you will, but like many vegetarians and vegans, I simply will not consume a dead animal. Ever.

    1. OMG–what the heck do you think cavemen ate–animals and fish, nuts and berries from plants and trees. No hunt=no food

      1. How is that applicable to modern life? Do you hunt your own food, run or walks miles upon miles daily, go without food during some winter days and weeks, do you cook over an open flame, do you eat carrion, do you chew bone to get to the marrow, do you have a lifespan of less than 1/4 of the Western average? NO. So stop comparing ancient man to modern man. Also look at today’s human. Was caveman bombarded with artificial toxins, was he overloaded with systemic pesticides, herbicides, hormones, pharm, etc, etc, etc? NO.

        Neanderthal did indeed eat prodigious amounts of animal flesh, but he also ate much of it raw. He hunted his game and did not domesticate. His fitness level was that of a modern day world class athlete.

        Humans have evolved past this and I am not talking mentally and psychosocially. Many men and women in modern civilization are born without wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth were a necessary trait in a time when meat consumption was paramount. We don’t need them anymore as our diets no longer need rely on animal products.

        1. THANK YOU COLIN! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! I don’t think anyone could have said that better! That analogy drives me insane!

        2. you say that primitive man had a much shorter lifespan. This may be true but there is no evidence that this had anything to do with diet, but rather the harsh conditions out in the wild as well as a lack of medical care and starvation during periods of for eating bone marrow many people following a primal or paleo diet do in fact break open bones to get to the marrow.They also generally avoid those pesticides, herbicides,and hormones by eating mostly if not entirly organic, whole foods.Fasting for periods of time is also common on the diet in an attempt to mimic periods of starvation as well as to “clean out” our systems so to speak.although people on the paleo diet do not generally eat carrion but primitive humans wouldn’t have either if they had the choice. also you claim we have evolved beyond eating meat. We may have evolved a small amount over the last ten thousand years since the invention of agriculture but it has been an extremely small amount. Human bodies still digest and use food the same as they did ten thousand years ago. also there are still societies today which live on a diet very similar to our hunter gatherer ancesters. The inuit for example live on a diet of almost entirely meat and have very low rates of heart disease.Like primitive man they also eat much of their meat raw. There have also been no documented adverse effects from their diet. While humans are capable of surviving on plant foods this in no way indicates that they can not survive equally well or even better with meat in their diet.You also say to stop comparing ancient man to modern man but that makes no sense, to me at least for one reason, genetically we are almost exactly the same. anyway while we can never go back to living in a hunter gatherer society, (and I for one don’t particularly want to) i believe that it still makes sense for us to eat a diet that we have evolved over millions of years to eat. you also say that primitive man had to exercise much more than modern man. This is also true but more exercise generally means a larger amount of carbohydrates are necesarry. so if primitive man was able to live on such a small amount of carbohydrates even while doing that much exercise it seems to me to be a point in favor of a paleolithic diet low in carbohydrates rather than against it.also I don’t believe that what Suzanne said was meant to offend you, she probably just assumed that because you were on this website you were interested in a paleolithic diet. I won’t judge you for not eating meat and i see no reason to.I also hope that the majority of people won’t judge you for it or see a reason to. But I would also ask that regardless of your belief that eating meat is immoral or unhealthy you won’t judge me or others for eating meat.I do however understand your frustration. Many people are not accepting of others who live a different lifestyle and it can be annoying when people preach to you about why they believe your lifestyle is wrong. I do apologise if this comment offends you in any way because i really don’t mean for it to.

        3. And when we talk about ancient man we are talking about ancient homo sapien, not neanderthal. They are two different species of man. We are not neanderthals (we just have some lingering genes from them in us). Sorry, but that is a pet peeve. Grok is not a Neanderthal.

    2. Thanks for your noble sacrifice, which leaves more delicious meat for the rest of us.


    3. Michael, your post, like your diet, lacks balance. Nothing wrong in combining meat and vegetable to create a nutritious meal.

      Lions kill and eat animals every day. They have evolved to be carnivorous, it’s just what they do, there’s nothing wrong about it.

      Likewise, we have evolved to be omnivorous (yes, even you) for a reason. Sure, we can choose to go one way. But don’t be fooled into believing that the choice you have made is the better choice.

      1. how do elephants hippos and horses grow so big and muscular without eating other animals?

        1. Lmao, Hippo’s are vegetarian you nub xD, however your principal is mostly correct (except now you’ve opened yourself up to the point, how are Hippo’s so muscular then? xD)

        2. This was rather amusing. Hippos are vicious. They may not eat other animals, but it doesn’t stop them from killing them.

        3. EXACTLY! I LOVE WHEN SOME IDIOTS SAY TO ME, OH NO MEAT?? HOW DO YOU GET YOUR PROTEIN! …I say just that, THE SAME DAMN WAY AN ELEPHANT , HORSE AND HIPPO GET THEIRS! The strongest beast on earth! People are so uneducated.

    4. The movie Food Inc says it all. It will even change what soy source u will eat,,,,,hello sprouted grains and almond butter!

    5. Michael, I have been a vegetarian for some time and I appreciate your stance. Only recently, I have begun to rethink this – after a review here of Lierre Keith’s book “The Vegetarian Myth”. While I am still researching this, I think the most poignant point made by Keith in her book is that we vegetarians are fooling ourselves if we think that our non-meat diet doesn’t result in the death of MANY animals. This is especially true if we have a largely grain-based diet which has caused near total destruction of the habitats of many (thousands?) of creatures.

      Our food – and therefore our life – depends on other things dying for us. It is a fact we cannot escape.

      1. There is no doubt that the simple fact that we are alive will result in animals being displaced and no matter our diet, there will be animal deaths. However, given the fact that we cannot eliminate All deaths, should we not still strive for the Least deaths possible? Causing the least harm possible?
        Massive quantities of the grain we grow is used to feed animals in CAFOs. Thus not only are there wild animals dying in the fields, we are then killing yet more for our plates. And, even if you look at the diet of eating 100% free range beef (with No finishing at feedlots), 100% free range dairy, and no consumption of eggs – the numbers of animal deaths are still higher than that of a veg*n diet.

        Steven Davis wrote a paper that attempted to show that veg*nism caused more death – but (the Many other flaws with his paper aside), when the math on his paper was corrected, it in fact showed that veg*ns cause the least death. []

        So again – since as long as we are alive, something will die, does that mean that we should give up and kill unnecessarily, or that, during our time here, we should strive to take the fewest lives cause the least harm.

        1. cont..
          Based on your post, I’m thinking you would agree with the latter. In which case – instead of reverting back to consuming meat, should we not be looking at ways to further reduce the harm & death we cause? Be it buying local & in season, growing our own gardens, limiting grain consumption, buying organic, funding alternate harvesting methods, the list goes on.

          It seems to me that while veg*nism is ~not~ perfect and still does cause death, it is the best option we currently have – and as such, it is a base from which we can take steps to yet further reduce our impact.

        2. Jason,

          These are some wonderful points that I will look into. Thank you for taking the time to offer them here.

          While doing this research, I am also going to consider as many relevant factors as possible. For instance, is death of animals necessarily bad? (I’m of course not arguing for completely unnecessary death, nor am I arguing in favor of the torture of animals in CAFOs.) If causing the death of animals is bad (seemingly an obvious point for someone who has been a vegetarian for moral reasons), then of course the diet that causes the least death is the most bad. I don’t know the answer to that question, though, so I will have to think more about it. As someone who appreciates the Buddhist idea of ahimsa, I fully appreciate the motive to not harm any living thing.

          The second question is whether or not we are, by nature, “intended” to eat meat. (I say “intended” to mean by evolution, not deistic intent.) I don’t know the answer to this question either. It seems to me there are convincing arguments both in favor of and against humans eating meat. So I don’t know that either, and will have to continue to research this topic.

          What I wish is that more people would ask these questions. It seems obvious to me that we should grow absolutely as much food as we can. And if we decide to eat meat, it should be in limited quantities from local, sustainable sources.

          And if grain has led to civilization, then it has also led to the destruction of the planet. A VERY limited grain intake seems necessary.

          Anyhow, thank you again for your comments.

        3. Hi Lance,

          You’ve left me with a few things to think about as well.

          In the meantime, a few thoughts:
          > is death of animals necessarily bad?
          I think this is a good question in so far as, like most things, to me, it is not always so black and white. I personally wouldn’t necessarily always place a value judgment on death; at least not on a high level. To me, for better or worse, death is a part of life. And there are times when one needs to kill in order to live.

          For instance, someone living ‘in the middle of nowhere’ – there aren’t grocery stores around, it is ~many~ miles to get to any version of a store, and in the winter, those miles are snowed in. So what happens when the rice and beans run low and the winter is uncharacteristically long? What happens if winter came early – before you had a chance to stock up on rice and beans?
          Or, for the many in the world who are poor – vegetarianism is often a default diet because it is cheaper; however, if offered an animal for slaughter and consumption, they’d be turning down a chance to feed their families.

          But, in all of these cases, it comes down to need.
          I shall never walk out my door and shoot someone – even if it’s not random – be it that person made me mad, or I know I can get that person’s ATM card. In my mind, reasons or not, I am simply fulfilling a personal want and thus the killing is blatantly wrong. But if I were attacked – if I had to kill in order to survive, I view the taking of this life as quite different from one that is not necessary. And, my views remain the same when it comes to taking the life of any being, regardless of species.

          So I don’t personally view it as always good or always bad. But, to me, if we have an underlying respect for life (which I think you’ll agree is greatly lacking nowadays), how can we indiscriminately kill? How can we justify taking life merely out of want? And if we don’t need that death, is it anything but killing for want?

          Q2 – I’m not sure either. I’ve seen arguments on both sides. My belief at this point is that our systems are that of a minimal omnivore. It seems that a majority of our systems line up with herbivores. But, a small percentage does not. Thus, my impression at this point is that we were ‘created’ to eat both, but with a *high* plant content.

          However, the ‘design’ of our bodies is from many, many years of evolution. And none of those years had grocery stores. None of those years had agriculture. We were ‘created’ long before there were crops. So while the ‘design’ of our system may allow us to consume eggs, flesh, and plants – this does not by any means mean we have to. The ‘design’ was simply the version of us that won and was able to thrive under the circumstances. Nowadays, we live in completely different circumstances and thus, to me, whether or not my ancestor’s ancestors ate flesh is ultimately irrelevant if I don’t have to to thrive.

          That said, I do think that though one could also attempt to emulate the original diet. it would be quite difficult as it would be purely hunting and gathering. (Cows, modern pigs, chickens, etc are a far cry from the original animals.) And in all actuality, when it comes to the least harm, I think that if the person hunting is quite skilled and shows enormous respect, this quite possibly is equal to or less harm than a veg*n diet. However, it is not sustainable on a large scale; there is simply not enough wilderness left to have the general public going out to get their food. (And, while it may be equal on a harm scale, that is based on the assumption that you have people who have a great respect for life going out there. This is a false premise if we all pack up the neighbors and head out to the woods to do us some shootin’ and drinking and stomping on all the plants. Thus again, to me, (since I go at it from a least harm view), the hunting method is knocked off the list as an option of how to ‘be the change you wish to see’.)

          As for growing food, I am happy that it ~seems~ that more and more people are starting to look at those giant patches of grass in front of their houses and wonder why they’re there instead of other plants (or food!). It’s a slow process, and ultimately seems to have taken a greater hold simply due to the economy. But, whatever the reason, I’m quite happy that the seed has been planted that we don’t all have to purchase everything. We have lawns to rip up; we have community gardens; we even have vacant lots. No matter what, we can be growing some of our food (and support our local farmers instead of regularly purchasing out of season products from thousands of miles away.)

          I do agree with you on the meat front – quadruply so with the limited quantities. Putting aside all value judgments on taking a life or not, the current American meat at every meal diet is beyond unsustainable. It is (literally) killing us and it is killing the planet. I do wish more people would see the connection and/or act upon what they see (the latter being the hardest as we are quite resistant to giving up our personal wants for the benefit of either our future needs, or the greater good’s needs.

          When it comes to grain – have you read Ishmael? I’m sure the concept has been introduced elsewhere, but it also was introduced in Ishmael that essentially, the beginning of our demise was agriculture.
          I don’t know if grains are the devil so to speak. Personally, I’ve been of the mindframe that I also read in Ishmael – that it is simply agriculture in general. Which actually personally led me on the ‘if agriculture has done great harm, how can I/we live in ways that don’t depend on it’ which again lead to hunting and gathering..and then lead back to veg*nism due to the implementation/sustainability issues of hunting/gathering.
          In many ways, I wish similar question had been asked many years ago – when the wilderness was prevalent and going back to basics could sustain us all.

          Anyway, I appreciate your reply. If you have any further thoughts, I’d be interested in hearing them. And if not, kind regards.

        4. how can you say its the best option we have? most of the animals we kill are bred purely for that purpose, so they wouldnt be alive anyway as there would be no point of having them in a vegetarian society

      2. The vast majority of grain being grown is for animal feed. The amount of grain it takes per lb of meet is ridiculously disproportionate. When it comes to the environment, pollution, and destruction of rain forests etc., see it for what it is.

        1. to the one who said no stores, etc…One can raise ALL the food they need, from the ground and tree’s, …for less money too….Right in their own back yard!

      3. thats the trick with a complex world and systems, where ever the change occurs will bring a change to the whole system. this is where the ethics lie. understanding the interconnections and making a choice. So vegan ism is not necessarily the solution. And the above comment is the most interesting i have seen so far. Vegans do run a risk of health issues later down the track. Unless they are very well informed. And many are not. I believe chia contains 8 or 9 amino acids and it is something i particularly enjoy. i am curious if the author cold do a comparison with chia and almonds. From personal experience of trying many many foods chia is the most instantly uplifting and energizing. Along with spiralina has helped me eliminate caffeine. Spiralina was also not on your list, and i think it should be. And to the nut butter vegan i am disappointed you didn’t mention it. However the hemp seed milk sounds interesting, and i am interested to try some.

      4. Indirectly we can cause destruction on many levels. But to compare killing and eating an animal ,with life lost because of loosing habitat(10yrs letter,and the animal has a choice to move to newer grounds,and he probably will) is abysmally flawed.And that same thing is going to happen anyway, because the animals you kill need some food(which will come from the aforementioned destroyed-habitats).

      5. What no vegetarians here have said so far is: none of these intellectual discussions matter. What matters is your answer to this question: can you, personally, kill a chicken, go through the process of dressing it…and still have the stomach to eat it?

        What matters to me in the morality of my food choices is not how many animals theoretically died to bring me the vegetables on my plate but rather, could *I* be the one to murder this animal myself?

        It’s abhorrent to me that most people see meat as something that comes in a package at the supermarket. Those same people would be horrified at the thought of actually killing their own supper. It’s the willful ignorance that I can’t stand. I have no argument with meat-eaters who can kill their own food.

        1. yes,
          I have and I do…

          I also kill and eat the vegetables and fruits from my garden and I abort the chicken eggs from my flock.

          and have all my life.

        2. Exactly. Waaaay after the date here, but this is the acid test. Well-said.

      6. “This is especially true if we have a largely grain-based diet which has caused near total destruction of the habitats of many (thousands?) of creatures.”

        This is just not honest. In the US (not speaking for the rest of the world), 70% of our agricultural grains are used to feed animals. In any culture where meat consumption is the norm, this will be true. It takes 4-5 times the land area (including grain growth and pastureland) to produce the same caloric and nutritional health in an animal compared to plant based products grown in a non-monoculture.

        A global plant based diet would actually have a positive effect on the biosphere. Take the need for domesticated animals out of the mix. Add 50% of the existing farms back into the “wild”, keeping the remainder for new human consumption based crops, stop monoculture farming in favor of sustainable farming practices. You now have more land that is wild, a healthier diet and a better environment for all creatures.

        All the books that claim that vegetarians and vegans cause the death of animals make a false assumption that we need to grow all the plants we are growing. WE DON’T. We grow huge surpluses and feed most of that to animals.

      7. Livestock contributes a lot to habitat destruction. Where do you think all the grain/soy/corn that goes into raising cattle comes from?

      8. I don’t think the death of an animal is the problem here. An animal does not know or care how long it lives. It is the humane way in which we treat the animal that we need to be aware of as extremely important. They can feel pain and misery. They are in our care and whether we eat them or have them as pets we should respect this life. And realize without animals we would not survive. Nothing should be abused. Alas, I speak, but there are so many who will not see things this way. Money and greed are the backbone of abuse.

    6. Don’t get me wrong, everybody is entitled to eat and believe what ever the want, I just don’t follow the reasoning that vegetarians and vegans give for their dieting choices. I am quite spiritual and believe that everything has an energy which comes from the source of life itself. Therefore, if I were to think the same way, I think I would starve to death.
      Also, there is not one animal or plant or organism in the world that would not feed on you if it had the chance. I believe that vegans and vegetarians only choose to live that way for the same reason that people believe in different religions or have to have big houses or nice cars, so they have some sort of idea of themselves that they can say “this is me”, “this is who I am” because when push comes to shove that is all people care about, who they are.

      1. Hi Brian,

        I’m sure what you say here may apply to some or many vegetarians/vegans/pescetarians/etc… But I think it’s a rather broad generalization to apply to everyone who chooses not to eat meat or animal products.

        Personally, I do not have a problem with the consumption of animal products if the animals are raised and treated humanely. Unfortunately, because most Americans choose meat as their main course and eat it with every meal, factory farms have to exist to fill the need. I’d been considering giving up meat and seeing the video below made my mind up. I think people who choose not to eat meat at all help balance out the people who eat far too much meat.

        Not eating meat is not an ‘identity’ for me. I’m not a vegetarian, then Stephanie. I’m Stephanie and I’ll choose the veggie wrap.

      2. Oh, boy. Brian, I think you make a few good points, but I have to disagree with you when you mention that vegans and vegetarians make their food choices so that they can say “this is me”. With all due respect, it is an ignorant assumption, coming from someone who has never been on the personal journey that led them to remove meat from their diets in the first place. I think that your answer would change if you realized the amount of soul-searching and fact-checking that most people go through in order to eventually change their eating habits. And, if image were the real reason people declared themselves vegan or vegetarian, there would be many more egotistical, pretentious people touting their vegetarianism.

        Ironically, most people become vegan/veg because they are the opposite of selfish. They instead remove themselves from the equation and look at things from the big picture perspective, thinking about others: the animals, of course, the people who are forced to work in the miserable conditions of CAFO’s, the people who live around these facilities who are constantly sick because of the air and water quality that is affected from the runoffs of the farms, and their children and grandchildren who will undoubedtly be faced with cleaning up the mess that previous generations have left.

        I think it’s important to realize that myself, as well as probably many other vegetarians, don’t find it necessary to wear the term like a badge. In fact, most of my friends and acquainances are not even aware that I am vegetarian. The only time I bring it up is when I am in a situation that it calls for, for example, if I am invited over to a dinner and I have to let the host know. I rarely talk about it, unless of course someone is genuinely interested in what led me to my decision.

        Also, I do not drive a fancy car or live in a big house. But if I did, I’d probably have the money to hire a personal chef that could prepare all of my vegetarian meals and make my life a lot easier.

      3. brian your an idiot

        being a vegetarian is a moral choice so for me to have made that choice to be individual (quote: ‘this is me’, ‘this is who i am’) is stupid.

        tho i also know it would be stupid of you to believe me, as there aren’t any truly moral people in the world. so how can i be one?

        your twat for trying to say i’m a vegetarian for selfish purposes.

        ps ps. i enjoyed meat. if i was selfish i would still eat it.

        1. A Pine –

          Just a thought, even though I’m responding to your comment over a year later. For me, moral choices usually involve a question of harm. Will this action cause harm to the environment, harm to animals, harm to self, harm to other humans…? That kind of thing.

          Terms like “idiot” and “stupid” are examples of ableist and insulting language, which I try hard to avoid. And using a slang word for the female genitalia as an insult is also something you might want to reconsider.

          While I understand that Brian’s statements may have felt disrespectful and hit a nerve, defending the choice to abstain from harming/killing animals as moral while using harmful and misogynistic language to express your position seems inconsistent to me. I would ask you to think about the way in which the language that we use is influenced, both historically and currently, by patriarchy and ableist thought.

          I do not mean for my response to come across as judgmental because I certainly am in NO position to point fingers at another. I just wanted to leave a general FYI comment for your consideration.

          FWIW, in the interest of full disclosure, I am not a vegetarian. I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian for two years before becoming a pescetarian in 1995. Pescetarianism, which I am slowly transitioning (narrowing?) into a more PB-focused diet, works best with my personal food preferences, for my health concerns, and it is consistent with my religious beliefs.

    7. I never understand the vegan standpoint. Granted, eating animals may seem cruel, but what about the plants. What if they have feelings too? Eat no animals and eat no plants. What’s left to eat but chemicals, toxins and plastic. 😉 This is why I eat a little of everything, as nature had intended us to in the first place.

      1. Most people have no idea where the animal products they consume come from and I hope those that don’t know would be shocked at the deplorable conditions pigs, cows, and chickens are raised in and the torturous life their forced to endure so that we can buy their flesh, eggs and milk in the pretty, sanitary packages we find at our grocery stores.

        For me it is not a question of whether it is morally wrong to eat meat. If the animals are treated humanly while they live and they are humanely killed I don’t have a problem with supporting the farmer raised, sold and slaughtered them.

        Unfortunately, most people eat meat as their main course for every single meal. First – that is not healthy. We do not need that much protein. Second – and for me most important – that creates a huge demand for meat that humane farming could never keep up with. Therefore factory farms that treat animals so horribly have to exist to fill this great lust for meat.

        I choose not to eat livestock or their products to do my part to lessen my consumption to a responsible level and make up for someone else who won’t be willing to make the same choice. It sounds like it you eat a highly varied diet, you may already have lessened your consumption (or always have had a low consumption) of meat. That’s really all I think we should all feel obligated to do.

        Thanking the next step to abstaining from all meat or all of any particular group of animal products is a personal choice. I won’t judge anyone for not making the same chose that I do and I expect them not to judge me.

        I replied to Brian above, but there was a link in the reply so it is still waiting approval, but this sums up what I said to him.

        I can only speak for myself, but being a vegetarian is not an identity. I choose not to eat livestock, much like I choose who to vote for, may choose not to patron a store whose business practices I disagree with and choose to adopt pets rather than support breeders. My identity is not made up of any one of these choices, but rather all of them and many more.

        1. Please ignore the typos in that. My cat was climbing my chair and I wasn’t paying good attention. It’s a shame this system won’t let you go back and edit! Oh well…

        2. I may have been vague in my post, but I wasn’t quite prepared to give everybody step by step information on how exactly to eat. But yes, you are right people are used to eating way too much meat, usually half their meal consists of it. You should limit your meat intake to at most 1/3 of your total meal. And what’s more; believe it or not, but this ravaging blood thirsty meat eater doesn’t eat meat at every meal. I believe you need to eat a variety of food, to meet all the needs your body has.
          As for clean, moral farms not being able to keep up with the demands of us meat eating humans, I own and operate a family business and in my world when you become busier your business grows with it. Also, there would probably be more farmers if more profitable. I don’t know where you’re from, but all I see happening at farms in my area is the farmer growing farther into debt until the farm shuts down, because the big chain grocers and restaurants can buy their meat and produce for ten cents less a pound. Last week I had a farmer buy $50 worth of diesel fuel and he paid with a $50 bill from 1937. Probably the first one he had ever had. But you had better not make his farm anymore busy. Now, one thing I would like to know is if everybody who thinks so much about where their meat comes from (which is a good thing), also puts as much thought into where their produce and nuts come from. Most of them are grown in inhumane crowed conditions, sprayed with pesticides and fertilized in manure from the same cows that you all refuse to eat.(Which again, a good thing). The same companies own and operate all of these super farms. Super farms are just that, farms that mass produce everything, not just meat, with little or no regard to quality of their product or lasting effects on the consumer and unless you are buying local you are probably supporting one of these farms, and if you aren’t then you have to be supporting a local farm (which is good). So tell me, Stephanie, which one are you? The one who supports the mean produce, beef, chicken and pork farmers (like you say we shouldn’t) or the one who is putting a “strain” on local farmers (again, like you say we shouldn’t) because you can’t be doing neither you have to get food from somewhere.
          And finally this leads me to your identity. Being a vegetarian is not an identity in itself, (you would be very boring if it was). It is however, one of many things that make up your identity. You identify with you diet, the same way you identify with your perfume or cologne, it’s pieces of you that make up a whole. Maybe you don’t identify with it as much as the next person, but trust me when I say you do to an extent. If you didn’t, you would have a clearer mind on the subject, which you don’t considering as you do not hold your produce and nuts to the same measure as you hold your meat. This tells me that you need to defend your point of thought in order to keep that part of your identity alive. So yes, the vegetarian belief that you’ve instilled in your life has become a part of you whether you like it or not.
          The moral of the story, boys and girls, is that you should eat a healthy balanced diet of everything, without over eating, and if you choose to take one thing or another out of your diet then please! Please when asked about it just say “I do it because I choose to” not because you are saving the world or feel bad for the cows. And lastly please don’t believe everything you’re told. Like, although humans are designed to farm and the earth is designed to be farmed, we couldn’t possibly, no way, no how, survive just like we have since humans first stepped onto this earth by farming. From now on, try to look into things a little bit more. I think someone above said it; RESEARCH! Do your research and you’ll make better decisions.

        3. Brian,

          To address many of the things in your post would just be repeating myself. I do appreciate your opinion and respect your right to it, just as I hope you respect mine.

          As living beings I believe that animals deserve more consideration than produce. You seem to disagree. If you can really look at a head of lettuce and then look into a little piglet’s eyes and believe that both are equal and deserve the same level of care, I don’t know how to convince you otherwise and I’m sure that you’re can not convince me that they are equal. On this, let’s agree to disagree.

          I have done a lot of research. More than that, part of my job is working with abused and neglected animals. You say that I should “just say “I do it because I choose to.” I did that. Then I chose to give a reason for that choice. I’m not asking you to agree with my choice or appreciate my reasoning.

          I know that farmers who aren’t and don’t work for huge corporations are suffering. In my area that is in large part due to more and more people giving up cigarettes. But there are also good families who raise edible crops and livestock. They use the pesticides they have to and the fertilizer they need to. And they should. They treat their animals well and give them all the room they need to explore and graze. I respect them and I choose to partake of their crops and let others, who will fill over half their plate with barbecue and the other half with grilled chicken have the meat. That is my choice. I don’t understand why it matters to you or why you want me to eat the meat.

          One thing my research has taught me is that, yes, there needs to be more humane farmers. It also told me that even if humane farmers increased there is not enough land, workers, feed, grass, etc… to humanely sustain the amount of livestock it would take to feed Americans as much meat as the majority of Americans want to eat. I am not saying you eat too much meat or that any person here eats too much meat. I don’t know your diets. I’m just statistically talking about most Americans.

          A few points to clarify and to make sure I have not misrepresented myself:
          * I don’t eat livestock or dairy. I don’t eat eggs unless I know for sure they are really from free-range, free-roaming hens. I do eat fish. I am not vegetarian. I was vegan for awhile and found that my health suffered. I don’t disagree that we need a varied diet that includes animal protein. I just carefully choose what I want that animal protein to be.

          * I do buy some of my vegetables from grocery stores. I agree that it would be better for me to shop exclusively at farmers’ markets. I am working toward only supporting sustainable farms.

          * I think it’s fine that you eat meat in moderation, especially if that meat is from farmers in your area (I think you said it was.). We actually seem to agree on many of the things we’re talking about here. We are working with the same information and believe similar things. We’ve just done slightly different things with that information. I chose to give up livestock meat completely, you chose to balance your diet with less meat than the average American. The only real disagreement I see is that you believe produce needs to be treated humanely for their own sake and that they shouldn’t be treated with pesticides to keep insects from ruining them and they should not be fertilized with manure. I believe that local farmers should be supported, but I don’t believe that tomatoes have feelings.

          * I am not perfect. I do what I think is right to the best of my ability. The validity of what I believe is not contingent on how perfectly I uphold it. I should buy more produce from local farmers. Maybe I shouldn’t eat fish – I don’ know about that one though. I do what I can, just like we all do and while I appreciate your opinion, I don’t appreciate the condescending, combative way your express it. But I will concede that voice tone and attitude is often hard to discern in written communication, so my interpretation may not be correct and if it is not, I apologize.


        4. One more thing to clarify:
          I don’t think that people who raise tobacco are bad people. Reading back and see that it sounds like that, but that’s not what I meant at all.

        5. Just to clarify, I don’t care what kind of decisions anybody else makes. I can not control how people think and I don’t dwell on it. If you don’t eat meat, that is great.
          No, I do not believe that produce have feelings (that’s just silly). Just like I don’t believe that cows or little piglets have feelings. You see, feelings are purely a human thing. In order to feel them you have to have a concept time, which means you have to be able to think about the past or future so that you may compare the present situation with whatever situation you once were in or hope to be in. This is something that only humans do and because we do it, we assume that everything does it. Animals live in the moment, it’s all they have and all they will ever have. They don’t huddle together at night and cry to each other about there living conditions because they don’t know any different. I do believe that they feel the stress of the conditions that are subject to, just as produce does, which effects the quality of the product. For example; the fat in grass fed beef has recently been found to actually be healthy for you, where as the corn, grain fed, stressed out beef is completely unhealthy for you. The same is true for all products farmed, not farmed properly you lose flavour, nutrients, and antioxidants. Even more dangerous is the use if the wrong types of pesticides and manure. Do you know that a vast majority of produce is fertilized with manure from corn fed cows which is riddled with salmonella and is then passed right on to the produce itself. This is what I mean when I talk about produce not being farmed properly, not that their feelings are hurt.
          Also, the FDA likes to allow people to think that it would be impossible for us to live off natural farms and that we need these super farms to survive and listen I could write all day about this but lets try to sum it up. One company sells a product that everybody buys, they cut the cost which in turn makes the product cheaper. Yay! But at the same time, takes the product from being healthy to being extremely unhealthy, but who cares? It’s cheap, right. Next people get unhealthy and obese and they need six different medications to stay alive. And then the crazy part; the same companies owns shares in both the food industry and the drug industry. Wow! Talk about burning the candle at both ends. Once their methods are exposed and people decide that they are no longer going to support these monsters, then comes the “studies”. We can’t grow our own crops, and raise our own beef that would ruin the earth(that was sarcasm).
          Yes, we do seem to agree on many things, including disagreeing. But I believe that you have missed most of my points from you earlier post. However, it has been a pleasure conversing the subject with you. If you have any questions on the subject feel free to ask.

        6. Why do some people feel so concerned about animals and others don’t see any difference between eating a carrot or a cow? This research might be of interest. Vegetarians (for better or worse) just feel differently about animals

          On fishing – the “health conscious crowd” do not want factory farmed fish but the state of the world’s wild fish is pretty dire. This is an abstract from the 2008 SOFIA report There will be a new report for 2010.

          One more – Harvard Public School of Health – which is pretty reputable – gives very little place to meat and animal products in a healthy diet and what they have to say on protein

          I have been a vegetarian most of my life because I don’t want to eat animals (also very healthy). One way to look at it is that I am carbon offset for another 3 or 4 moderate meat eaters. So it would actually make sense for meat eaters to encourage vegetarianism.

        7. Also just discovered that the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans was released on June 15th.

          I have read reports from those involved in putting together the guidelines that it was an amazing struggle between food scientist, nutritionists and lobby groups.

          It starts off with ” The 2010 DGAC Report is distinctly different from previous reports in several ways. First, it addresses an American public of whom the majority are overweight or obese and yet under-nourished in several key nutrients”

          Here is what the 2010 guidelines recommend –

          Shift food intake patterns to a more plant-based diet that emphasizes vegetables, cooked dry beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. In addition, increase the intake of seafood and fat-free and low-fat milk and milk products and consume only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry, and eggs.

          These guidelines have a big impact as they underlie school lunch programs and all sorts of other government related food services.

        8. Very well said Stephanie the best response I’ve seen. I am not a vegetarian but I do choose to eat only a small amount of meat as a part of my diet.

          I actually don’t feel well unless I eat a very varied diet that includes some meat and some grain. I don’t eat much dairy except for yogurt and some cheese. Too much of anything though messes my stomach up.

          I wish that our country could get these big businesses to stop running their companies so poorly. It would be so much better to not raise as many cattle, to raise more buffalo instead. Also to stop the huge production of grain for feeding the livestock. Livestick should have a happy life roaming the countryside. Big meat companies should not be allowed to sell pink slime. 😛 Before companies like McDonalds, etc caused a huge demand for quick cheap beef the working conditions at most butchery factories was great and provided great benefits. But now it’s one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. Raising and slaughtering animals doesn’t need to be the way it is, but unfortately in this country the majority of our meat production is. I agree though our American serving sizes of meat in the US are way to large to be healthy and also add a demand for meat that doesn’t need to be so high.

          Interesting thing to note. Beacuse of the high demand for quinoa many of the people who traditionally eat and produce the grain can no longer afford to eat it themselves. So now many South American quinoa growers and other who use to buy from the farmers are having to eat rice instead. This is very unhealthy for them and many are being malnourished. I try to eat very little quinoa until things change. But here this article has a lot of great suggestions:

        9. Also I agree with most of what both Stephanie and Brian said. There is one thing I disagree about with both of what you had to say.

          I agree with Brian that getting rid of super farms is totally possible, as I stated above.

          And I agree with Stephanie that I do value the lives of plants over the lives of animals. I feel either animals and humans both have souls or we both don’t have souls. But I only slightly value animals over plants, and I only slightly value humans over animals. I think it’s dangerous not to respect all life. I personally hate for things to feel pain. Probably most plants can’t feel pain but most animals can. So if we are going to eat animals I feel that they need to be well treated. Also yes Brian happy animals do taste better, which was kind of what you implied only stated differently.

      2. Plants appear not to have the physiology to feel pain. If you are concerned about plants being eaten though, a plant-based diet will help reduce harm to other plants, as fewer will die based on that diet.Fewer forests will be cut down to make room for growing grain that will be given to animals as feed etc. As for variety, a vegan diet often includes lots of things that you would not see in a traditional western diet. For example, teff flour, nutritional yeast, sea vegetables, wide variety of nuts, beans, seeds and often a much wider variety of vegetables and fruits. I like lots of spicy and flavorful foods and find a vegan diet accommodates this very well.

        1. That’s so funny ! 🙂
          And so true. Jeanette, very well said.
          And veganism is PART OF my identity, so what? But this doesn’t mean that that’s one of the reasons I became vegan. That part of my identity is a result of becoming vegan, not a cause of becoming vegan !
          The reason I became vegan was to contribute to reducing the huge amount of unnecessary animal suffering, I was, and am, very angry about that. Then a bit later I found out about the link between an animal based diet and human suffering (starvation/poverty. Four times more land is used for an animal diet than a vegan diet) and then finally the link with environmental problems, including global warming. But the animal suffering part is the one I feel strongest about.

      3. Gosh Jens when plants develop a nervous system that indicates to me they are terrified and trying to flee or will die protecting their babies as most animals ,including ourselves, do than I will become a breatharian.

      4. You have misunderstood the vegan culture. Vegans are doing their best to minimize pain and suffering. We are aware that critters are killed in harvesting and transporting plants and if we could change that we would. Many vegans buy locally, grow their own veggies, etc, in an effort to be good citizens of this earth. Plants clearly don’t have a nervous system or a brain to process physical and mental pains. So even if plants have a very primitive way of feeling pain choosing to eat plants rather than animals is still minimizing the pain.

        1. Vegan culture according to you. I was vegan. Sure I wanted cruelty free… but in our world it does not exist.

          Meat free is not necessarily cruelty free and vice versa.

          When you eat, something must die. But that’s okay if you treat that thing with respect. Everything must die. If the chicken I grow from a chick, lives a good life, pecks bugs, eats grass and clover, lays eggs and then I kill it later as food, is that not better than GMO soy monoculture junk with added sugar and salt that will kill me early, make me fat and dependent upon the system and billions of tons of pesticides and poor farming (even if it’s organic) ending up on the planet causing more damage?

          You must very nearly grow all that you have using permaculture ideas in order to do what you are saying. If you buy ANYTHING at the store, you are buying into the same system you would rale against, meat or vegan. Do you grow all that you eat? I do. I put my money where my mouth is, both animals and vegetables, and I don’t shop at the supermarket for food or anything else…

    8. problem with a lot of vegetarians is that you not eating meat makes no difference. animals are still being treated like crap and eaten and that will not change unless ,maybe, vegetarians work towards all animals raised for meat to be organic, happy animals. Apathetic vegetarians who claim to do it for the animal do nothing to help animals. you should work towards an animal having happier life before it ends up on my plate.

      1. It is not up to vegetarians, vegans to ensure animals are killed in a humane way. Society as a whole should be responsible for this especially if you choose to eat meat.

        This year Australians have been made aware of the horrible truth behind factory farmed animals and the plight of their suffering.

        Many Australians including myself became vegetarians. This shows compassion not selfishness. Why not watch “Earthling” see how the meat industry treats the animals. If you can come back and say this is perfectly okay you are lacking human compassion.

  15. Tofu is bad because it’s highly processed? Er, we’re not talking TVP here, tofu is minimally processed and is usually purchased w/o a preservative. True, calcium sulfate or magnesium chloride is used to coagulate the curds from the soy milk, but they’re not toxic.

    Now you might make a case for phytoestrogens and the mental health of people over 60 eating a lot of tofu….but that’s not what you said.

    1. I can actually make my own tofu from scratch. It just seems more processed than it is. In reality, it’s a lot like making farm cheese.

  16. I, by the way, eat a lot of vegetables but won’t turn my nose up at a dead animal, road kill or not.

    1. Maybe if you saw the conditions the animals are made to endure and the torture you might think on that again. If you like animals.

      1. Take a look at the animal kingdom and tell me if you think any other animal, particularly primates, care about the humane conditions of their protein sources. Then, recognize that without an increased consumption of meat by our hominid ancestors we would not be the highly functioning creatures we are today.

        1. I’m a vegetarian, and I love animals, but honestly, I think the important thing here is that the inhumane conditions breed sickness and disease which, in turn, impacts what we ingest. At one time (say, back in the caveman era to pick on someone else’s comment), animals could be killed and eaten naturally. There is very little that is natural about how our meat is processed these days…with the exception of those raised organically and free range, and we can still run into problems there. Everything is manufactured now and generally robbed of key nutrients. Animals are fed things they can’t digest, and their systems back up on them. Large companies and factories produce and handle our food products, which leads to contamination…E. coli in spinach, anyone? This is one of the main reasons why we have so many health issues in the States. Go see Food, Inc. It will change the way you think about meat consumption, not to mention just about everything else you put in your body.

        2. Why do you think there is such a problem with mad cow disease the problem lies in the conditions of the animals within the factory farming industry. The same goes for the industries that mass produce veggies, there is a problem with cross contamination not washing and poor regulation.

        3. I fully agree. Yours is probably the best articulated post on this page.

        4. hi.. i just found this website and firstly, want to thank everyone for being so smart and awesome. I’m vegan for the most part, exceptions on DHA enhanced local farm free happy chicken eggs. 😛 this stated.. i recognize and am continually rethinking and researching debates and facts on nutritional guidelines, with optimal health (while standing by my beliefs,) of *key importance.

          i want to say that.. as a vegan, i am not by any means trying to challenge this fact that animal flesh is incredibly nutrient dense and complete, as well as, totally normal/natural as part of a human diet. really i agree, personally, with these facts.

          my staying away from (for the mostpart) animal products, is entirely to do with personal relation, understanding and empathy for all living beings, including my own, and simply doing the most i can do to participate in a positive free and enjoyable trip for everyone here. vegetables of course also included. 😛

          there are so many incredibly messed up things going on in this place right now, i realize there’s only so much i can do; but i’m fine with that.. and prefer to always be doing simply the best that i can.

          also wanted to state that.. even though i couldn’t personally take an animal’s life, (personal reasons/issues and whatnot), i respect hunting (for need, rather than, obviously, sport,) fully well; in fact could probably say that i am an advocate; considering my true issue lying in the hands of the insane corporate drama madness.

          power to ya.

          anyways. just wanted to state those points. in case maybe some of these fellow animal-product bypassers feel similarly.

          or maybe i just wanted to stand up.

          anyway thanks guys.
          hope you all sit with incredibly happy, peaceful dreams and lives. 😉


      2. Personally, my family buys our beef directly from a farm where the animals live long and healthy lives before becoming food. Another option would be eating at Chipotle (they use naturally raised meat without all the added chemicals and growth horomones)… It’s an good option if you eat meat or choose not to eat meat due to cruel treatment of animals.

        1. Cruelty of eating anything with a face is number one, but organic, grass fed , etc, it makes NO difference, it is a PROVEN fact that the elements meat contain DOES cause and promote cancer growth. period. There is just not ONE single positive reason to eat it.

      3. That’s why you don’t support mass commercial farms who farm without any concern to what kind of effects they have on the animals/crop they farm, the people they farm for or the long term effects they have in the land. Only support local farmer’s who have done things right for many generations and actually need our support.

  17. There are so many greats dishes, why consume dead animals? Imagine what you’re putting in your body and grab the tofu or vegetables instead. And no ignorance is not bliss! Let’s eat healthy and add a maintain a stable weight. Leave the animals alone.

  18. You don’t fear saturated fat? I’d like to know why, because saturated fat is bad fat – solid at room temperature, the kind you cut of the edges of meat and such. The good kind of fat is unsaturated – liquid at room temperature.

    1. You obviously haven’t read anything on this site. Saturated fat is good. If it’s solid at room temperature, provided it’s not hydrogenated, It is resistant to rancidity. Polyunsaturated fats are bad as they actually oxidize in the bloodstream and become rancid- in your system.

  19. Most of you are picking nits. I am an expert, ask my ex.

    Geoff, you come close to an interesting idea. I imagine a time when being a civilized human meant cooking some things sometimes. The animals eaten back then probably were most often gutted and eaten with minimal preparation.

    Hunger, fear of getting eaten or killed yourself and a different set of priorities are what my caveman instincts are telling me.

    I am also willing to bet almost everything (Geoff said fish) would be healthier if eaten with almost everything ‘as is’. Animals eaten whole with just their last meals removed sound like the kind of meal we were made to eat. Almost everything living is hungry or literally starving all the time. Do herbivores only eat the tastiest parts and spit out everything else? Not the ones I have seen.

    Being mostly vegetarian would make sense back when fire meant civilized. A plant is easier to catch than an animal. It just makes sense to me that humans need a diet that was the easiest to get for all these generations.

    I do not think God(s) or evolution intended for us to eat at McDonald’s. Ronald gets all the hate mail but all ‘fast foods’ are no longer an asset when we do not have to run to stay alive.

  20. Oop, forgot to mention; Paul said “a genuinely cruelty free form of dairy”,

    Go to small, local dairies. Tell them what you want – milk from humanely treated milk cows and ask who in the area runs that kind of farm. Then ask for a tour when they next (no time to hide the truth) milk the cows. The small operation farmers you want will probably love the attention, be eager for cash, love showing off and worry about you claiming you got hurt by the ‘raw’ milk.

    Country air has less additives than city air.

  21. Buckwheat also has complete protein, and is delicious when eaten as a cereal or with a main course!

  22. It seems like the point was “after 6 months of being on the grain diet”-NOT that cows are slaughtered after 6 months. Just an observation.

  23. why isn’t egg protein in top 10 list? is it good? my dad has Kidney problem and I know Kidney disease patien can eat almost no beans for protein, so what’s the best and worst protein for Kidney disease patient??? really want to help me dad, thanks

  24. Well I am doing well on my protein! I adore grass-fed meats and wild salmon!!! WOO WOO! My body is thanking me right now – I just had some wild salmon as a matter of fact!

  25. i had often been told that i had the most flawless skin ever seen, i never got pimples, and could even go without makeup, and still receive compliments.

    after i stopped eating meat, i now have all kind of skin issues, could this be due to my lack of protein intake?

    1. Interestingly, I’ve read interesting arguments for people having evolved as omnivorous scavengers. Our back teeth were supposedly good for cracking bones for their marrow. Fits in with our patterns for migration. Look it up.

    2. Oh. And I realize that this thread is practically dead, but acne can be caused by unstable blood sugar. Maybe you’re replacing the fats and oils in your diet with simple carbs? Try eating more vegetables, egg whites, fat-free yogurt, etc. I’ve seen this happen with new veg’ns. In my experience it goes away once the diet becomes more balanced.

      1. I have had acne for 17 years, ever since I turned 15. I was a vegetarian then, and ate loads of soy and carbs. Throughout my life, I’ve ping-ponged back and forth between a SAD diet and vegetarian. Until about 2 years ago, when I first found out about raw milk and pastured meat from Dr. Axe, out of Nashville. From researching all I could on the subject, I eventually found the Weston A. Price Foundation, which, likewise, led me here. I’ve now been Primal, or lacto-paleo, for 2 months now. I haven’t incorporated much exercise in yet, so I haven’t lost much weight, but the main thing (and first thing) that I noticed is that my skin is clear. For the first time in 17 years, I don’t have daily acne. I’ve also stopped having daily headaches (which I’ve had since I was 10 — 21 years, now), and have had no migraines. I’ve even been able to stop my migraine medication without worries, and I can THINK now, without my brain being coated in a Topamax fog. And if I slip and eat carbs or sugar (like I did on my birthday), I am rewarded the next morning with a handful of zits splashed across my face. Going Primal has been the single best, and most effective, dietary decision I have made in my life. And it doesn’t hurt that the food is so simple to make and everything turns out amazingly delicious!

        1. Hi, can you explain what a Primal diet consists of?

          I go back and forth with diets. I will eat something. It makes me sick. I change my diet. Then I forget what I ate that made me sick and six months later try it again, with the same reaction.

          I think part of it has to do with GMO foods. Wheat, which I used to eat a lot of whole wheat bread, I don’t tolerate now. And, I tolerate much less milk and milk products.

          I finally got on the products on the website I listed because they have so much nutrition, plus the amino acids, which has been a concern.

          I went through a period not eating much meat. Now I am eating some. But I can sense I will be getting off it again. It seems too long on anything can be a problem.

          So I was curious what the Primal diet is about.

          The lacto- sounds like milk, I don’t do too well on that…what is the paleo- for?


  26. I was vegetarian (in fact mostly vegan) for about ten years because I loved animals… but my health suffered badly. Now I’ll eat free range, organic beef/chicken/eggs etc., and wild caught fish. Also organic raw cheese/milk/Balkan yogurt.

    It took me a long time to be able to do it, but really my whole attitude towards life and human beings has changed. I still hate factory farms and any sort of animal cruelty with a passion and won’t contribute to it knowingly in any way, but I don’t feel alienated from my own body anymore. A lot of vegans and vegetarians seem to think that humans are not really animals, and that eating other animals at any time is morally abhorrent and “evil”.

    I think most people do a heck of lot better with a bit of animal protein and fat at least a few times a week, though. Your body cries out for animal fat, even if you ignore it.

    P.S. Just watched that documentary “Fat Head”… I still loathe fast food restaurants, but it was awesome.

    1. Hi, I am with you on that one. I pretty much created an eating disorder for myself trying to be vegetarian. If I couldn’t find what I wanted to eat, I just didn’t eat at all. I think I lived off of sugar and grains because the vegetables became a pain, and I couldn’t get organic like I wanted, and now I am treating myself for candida…and guess what that entails? Eating clean meat!

      1. then you must be lazy to cook and organize a good pantry an healthy packed refrigerator…..leave it to bussines men
        the only vegetarians that i know that returned(running) to meat are the lazy ones who couldnt think far anough to plan weekly menus it is really all about that, w-e-e-k-l-y menus vegetarian or vampire or whatever

        1. I was vegetarian for 7 years, not because of cruelty to animals but because I was worried about how the meat was reared.

          I went back to eating meat, not because I couldnt be bothered to cook but because I started going to the gym a lot more. In fact once being vegetarian has had a lasting and positive effect on my diet.

          I know vegans\vegetarians will say you can still get all the protein you need from non animal sources but getting it from meat it is easier to get large amounts of protein into your diet and I feel much stronger for eating meat (maybe thats in my head).

          I rarely eat red meat though and generally stick to chicken\turkey\prawn\salmon and tuna.

        2. Alex –

          I understand that you were primarily referencing people that you know; however, dismissing people as lazy for changing from a vegetarian menu to one including meat demonstrates a rather limited, perhaps uninformed viewpoint.

          Many families, especially those in inner cities, struggle to find food that’s affordable, healthy, and tasty. There may be a convenience aspect to their decision, as you mentioned, but there also may be specific health concerns or faith-related reasons to their decisions. The point is educating people and spreading awareness is often helpful; making people feel mocked, judged and/or inferior in some way is usually not.

          Take, for example, a post rife with grammar and punctuation errors. I could certainly have a knee-jerk reaction and assume that the author is unintelligent and/or uneducated. Or I could realize that, he or she may be tired, sleepy, in a hurry, commenting from a cellphone, great at math/not so great at spelling, his or her primary language is not English (and so the individual is still learning the spelling and structure of a foreign language), etc. The point is, I can’t know everyone’s specific situation. And even if I did, any instance of judging a person harshly and applying a generalized, negative label on a group of people based on my personal beliefs, preferences, experiences, and/or cultural background is probably going to involve an -ism of some sort, which I try to avoid (classism, elitism, ableism, racism, etc.)

  27. I shudder to think of the cruelty that vegans force upon plants all over the world. Forcing them to reproduce at the whims of some farmer every year only to be raised in crowded, inhumane conditions until finally they are murdered to feed the unquenchable hunger of these vegan beasts that have decided that they must have plants and only plants. Oh, the humanity!

    1. haha. yea quite.

      balance (and health, i suppose) would definitely still be the main goal and focus here then..?

      down with cramped nutrient, sunlight, and encouragement deficient living quarters for our lovely plant and animal friends! (alike.) 😉


      life is good let’s get back to sharing the fruits, yeah.


    2. That is such a weak, dumb comment. it is meaningless and ignorant. I don.t recall plants having nerves or a spinal cord. How can they feel pain. I suggest you visit an abattoir and compare the smell, noise, screams and feel the feet. Now go pick some vegetables or plants…..big difference!

    3. Excellent observation. Eating dirt is far more humane –and it is cheap.

  28. You must add to your list meats such as: Elk, Ostrich, Venison/Deer, Goat & Lamb (All Grass-Fed of Course) and Mark, if you haven’t tried it before… you MUST try Hamachi Kama. This is essentially the NECK of a Hamachi Tuna, which is a delicacy in Japanese food. You can always go to Whole Foods (if you have one near by) and ask the fish counter about their supply (and they can order you some). I swear you will thank me!!
    Another food I adore (protein) is EEL… of course not with the typical unagi sauce (plain). It’s amazing and full of amazing fats!
    And have you ever had salmon belly? Broil that piece of the salmon until crispy and you will be in heaven!

    1. Mmm Ostrich is really good stuff, can be hard to find but worth a try if you find it.

  29. American livestock currently consumes seven times the amount of grain that the human population does. With the US population set to double in the next 70 years, we’re going to have to move from a meat based diet whether we like it or not.

    1. It’s a matter of simple economics. It’s cheaper to pen up livestock in a feed lot and shovel grains into them. This is due to govt subsidies to grain producers. Why would a farmer grass feed his cattle on acres and acres of land when he can grow grain crops on it and feed his cattle using 1/100th the amount of land? If the State weren’t distorting the grain market through subsidies it would make more sense economically for cattle producers to raise pastured livestock on the land rather than grow crops on it. They wouldn’t get their welfare money in years when crop yields were low. Grass grows on its own without the need for seed, fertilizer, pesticides and fossil fuel-burning equipment to harvest it. I live in one of the largest grain producing counties in Iowa with a population of around 7000 people. Looking at the farm subsidy stats going i descending order by amount received, you have to go down past # 75 on the list before subsidies dip below $100,000. That’s $7,000,000 to the largest farmers in the county which comprise only about 1% of the population. Spread this out over the entire nation of grain producers and you’ll see what I’m getting at. Don’t so much blame the grain producers as the govt for artificially distorting the grain market by eliminating the farmers’ financial risk of having a low yield crop. Govt is the root cause of the screwed up grain and cattle industries in the U.S.

      1. No matter what the cause, that is what is happening. You can’t ignore it any then say its not your fault. Supply and Demand. If we didn’t buy it the government couldn’t give out the subsides. Not to mention basic ecology. When you rise from tropic level to trophic level (or producer- grass, to consumer–cattle to secondary consumer-humans) only TEN percent of the energy is retained. That means, say 100 calories of grass is grown, and then 10 calories are retained in the cow, then 1 calorie is available for the human body to use. Cattle is a literal waste of energy.

  30. Buffalo , no antibiotics or hormones allowed, forbidden to add by law. (well ok, government can do something right at times)

    4 oz serving 190 calories. 23 grams of protein, does have 11 grams of fat before cooking, but I grill it, so the actual fat grams are probably half that.

    Do not overcook it. If not too old, it should NOT have a gamey taste. I buy mine from Safeway, my store does high volume per day. Many “health” food stores do not move the volume, so their stock is old. There ARE tradeoffs in life, and always will be.

    1. Technically, quinoa is the seed of the goosefoot plant. Definitely NOT a grain.

      1. 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)

  31. Global warmins is caused more by animal agriculture than it is by burning fossil fuels. According to U.N. study.

  32. 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?

    1. 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.

  33. 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”

  34. 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:

    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.

    1. ”if you eat animals you probably have more chances of being unhealthy.”
      and why is that?

    2. 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.

      1. 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).

      2. 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.

        1. You are just as angry and forceful as everyone else. We should calmly evaluate each others arguments.

      3. 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.

    3. I just read that quinoa is actually a grain like seed from a fruit.

    4. of course animals are food. You can argue whether they’re QUALITY food, but they can be eaten, therefore they are food.

    5. 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?

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

  35. 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…

    1. 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.

  36. Hi Mike, I like what you have to say. I agree. you are smart.

  37. 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.

    1. 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. 😉


      1. “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?

      2. Must be a Jeremy Bentham fan. Now if we’d only drop compassion bombs, our enemies wouldn’t attack us.

    2. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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).

        1. 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.

  38. 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,

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. I like your attitude. And your respect for animals. But there are more reasons to be a vegetarian than “The Cattle Industry is Evil.”

  41. 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.

  42. 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)

  43. 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.

  44. 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 =]

  45. 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.

    1. 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…

    2. 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.

    3. 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!

  46. 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.

  47. 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… 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.

  48. I had a few grammar and spelling errors on that last one, I am tired, sorry about that.

  49. 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!!!!!!!

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

    1. 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! 🙂

  52. 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…..…And-Your-Grains-Will-Be-Kind-To-You.html

    Also very important- Soy is dangerous!

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

    1. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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

    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.

  58. 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

  59. 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

  60. Was told by my practitioner to dry fry my brown rice, THEN cook as usual to make it more protein friendly. Tastes good too!

    1. 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!

  61. 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?

  62. 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!

    1. 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.

  63. 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.

    1. 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

  64. 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.

  65. 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?

    1. traderjoes! carries tempeh. it’s cheapest there too. whole foods and pcc of course also carry it..

  66. 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.

    1. 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.

  67. Turkey meat? How does it compare to what’s on your list? Thanks

  68. 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?

  69. 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.

    1. 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!

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

    2. 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.

      1. Thanks Jeanette! That’s a great breakfast suggestion and sounds yummy!

      2. 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!

    3. 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. (
      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! 🙂

      1. 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!

  70. 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

  71. 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.

  72. 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?

    1. 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.

  73. 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.

  74. 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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

    1. 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.

  77. 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?

  78. 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’.

  79. 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.

  80. 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!

  81. 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

  82. 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

  83. 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….

  84. 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

    1. 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

  85. 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.

  86. Eileen, you don’t have to become a vegan after watching Food Inc. You just need to find higher-quality meat.

  87. 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!

  88. 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.

  89. 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.

  90. 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.

  91. 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.

  92. 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.

  93. The gist of this article…
    “Good: Expensive food
    Bad: Cheap food”

    It was very enlightening… not.

  94. Hey Mark,

    Great article, but youre partly un-optimized on Youghurt or this is written only for Americans.
    In EU, Greek youghurt is only used for dips and such cause its 10% fat naturally and compares to sour cream in a natural light version though. We have better things over here, like Achidophilus culture youghurt with no sugar(organic ofc) and organic 0.5% fat youghurt with very little sugar as well.
    But the king of youghurts is Skyr from Iceland or Quark(Kvark) from Denmark/Germany/Poland which is 0.2% fat and 10% protein(11g pr 100g, not energypercentage).
    You should adjust the youghurt advice for this. And European Yoghurt certainly isnt Greek Yoghurt, that would be like saying Canadians dont play hockey!

  95. one of the longest living people subsided on rice and rice alone for many many years. she was without a doubt much healthier than most people without having to resort to high protein foods.

    so i dont see the importance of promoting high protein foods.

  96. Macadamia nut butter (unsalted). If we could get it into the Supermarket, a generation later no one would know what peanut butter is.

  97. Thanks for the protein tips. Dude, I so eat all of these foods. Thats probably why I look so amazing! BTW- Which Quinoa do you prefer: white or red? Grass fed Kobe beef? Duuuuude, the best! Ever!

  98. Thank you for the protein tips!! Dude, I so eat all of these foods now! Thats why I look so amazing! BTW- which quinoa do you prefer: white or red? Grass fed Kobe beef? Duuuude, the best! Ever!!
    – So do you want to be ordinary or do you want to be extraordinary??

  99. I came here looking for extra tips on adding MORE protein to my diet. Instead I’m being entertained thoroughly by the comments here. People are getting all offended over an opinion piece. That’s right. OPINION.

    The grazers are standing on their soap boxes screaming, “meat eaters suck”!

    The meat eaters are telling people to “suck their dicks”.

    Both sides are correcting the others grammar when they don’t have a counter point.

    Everyone has their panties wadded up because Mark said their food choice wasn’t good. WAHHHHHHHHH!

    I just had a thought……..
    It must suck to date a vegan girl because she clearly cannot swallow.

    I digress….

    Eat what your body tells you to eat. If you pay attention it will tell you exactly what it wants/needs.

    Oh and veggie crowd…please, get off your pseudo-moral butt plug.

    1. Why is it “pseudo-moral”? Because your morals aren’t the same doesn’t mean vegans and vegetarians have invented some sort of fake set of morals. Morals are something that scale with the individual.

      Well I was agreeing with your post until the end where you decided to simply pick on the “veggie-crowd” as those we’re one giant being all saying the same things. As though meat eaters aren’t consistently pulling out their own “facts” and things they’ve Googled over the years any less than veggie heads. Everyone is trying to justify their own choice but it comes down to one thing; the world will never eat uniformly and even if one person’s way is better than everyone else’s we wouldn’t know that unless we all tried it.

      Everyone’s different and I wish people would calm down, take a breath and realize their way isn’t the only way.

  100. When studying protein content in food, which is the best to use? Beef? Pork? Bean? Soybeans?

  101. I dont like how animals are raised and prepared now days, but u cant lie with facts.

    frozen chicken has 0 carbs 0 fats, and high in protein. sure maybe farm raised chicken is better, obviously, but its not like frozen chick is “bad” or not good. 0 fats, 0 carbs=lean and ideal for a dieter.

    eggs are the same, sure normal, natural farm raised eggs are probably “better” overall, but still 0 carbs, tons of protein, doesnt matter, u cant deny that fact.

  102. any one reading this who hasn’t seen the documentary Food INC. NEEDS TO SEE IT. Its good insight (:

  103. Does anyone think it’s kind of weird that we are the only mammals that drink another animals milk…. especially after age like 10 months or so even with all the chemicals in the milk… i don’t trust milk lol

  104. Just briefly went through this thread. Great information, really sorry so many are skeptical. I guess they would rather trust…the government??? If you believe they are interested in putting out information that will help you maintain your health, you might as well go home and take a bullet. I have had my eyes opened. Keep informing people, it will save someone’s life one day. I know it did mine and I am so much more healthy for it!!!

  105. It seems a primary argument for being a vegetarian is that there is a 6:1 conversion ration of pounds of food consumed to pounds assimilated by cattle. So we’re burning up a considerable amount of food that could be used to feed people in countries that have severe hunger and starvation. Granted being vegetarian doesn’t help to solve the problem in the grand scheme…I still try to limit the amount of meat I eat.

  106. What about lentils and rice in combination? Hindus have been fine for centuries on this stuff, no?

  107. Anyone who believe in the FDA please step away from that person. 🙂

  108. spirulina. spirulina. spirulina. spirulina is the best protein source on the entire planet.

  109. very suprised soya didnt get a mention, I did stop reading the comments halfish way down cuz they started getting silly

  110. How irresponsible. Promoting such a meat heavy diet is wrong. It is destroying the planet and the people on it. People eat FAR too much meat, fish and chicken. It is unhealthy and unnatural, no matter what you gym obsessed, body fat obsessed nuts claim.

    Besides, you are probably not a licensed nutritionist or MD and even if you were there are SOOO many varying opinions.

    You clearly have a bee in your bonnet and a bug up your ass that you needed to put some nasty parenthetical barb (vegetarians take note) rather than just give your idiotic opinion without the controversy.


  111. Hell I don’t know what my favorite protein is now after reading this.

  112. Considering omega3-6 ratios, am I courting disaster eating regular pork too often (4 times per week)?. I’ve been eating alot as of late. Any advice would help.

  113. Hemp seed protein is a complete protein, and is the best source of useable protein in the vegetable world. It contains all 21 of the known amino acids, including the 9 essential ones that the body can not produce, and it contains them at a level much higher than egg whites. Shelled hemp seeds are 31% protein, up there with beef, but without the saturated fats and health risks of eating animals.

  114. Leave cheese out of a protein discussion?Perish the thought :
    German Harzer cheese- 31g serving:
    cal 45
    fat 0
    cholesterol less than 5 g
    sodium 50
    fiber 0
    sugars 3
    protein 8 GRAMS BINGO!

  115. I’ve been vegetarian for many years, and recently I’ve decided to give up dairy, as well as processed foods. Basically, I don’t want to eat anything with a list of ingredients. I can’t control the fact that everything sold as food in the US comes from a deceptive, corrupt, unsanitary industry, but at least I can stay away from the worst, right?

    I tend to get protein from nuts, lentils, eggs and the occasional tempeh (though I may throw this out with the whole “list of ingredients” thing.)

    I have trouble with Quinoa though… true, it’s healthy, but due to wealthy countries buying so much of it in recent years, the price has gone up worldwide. This means that poor communities that used to subside on it are turning to unhealthy staples such as white rice. This is kind of a dilemma for me.

    Perhaps I’m just too much of a “moral” person to do well in the 21st century.

  116. Perhaps it’s been mentioned, but there are two things I haven’t found mentioned so far:

    1) Our intestinal tract is long like an herbivore (not short like a carnivore). The reason the carnivore’s is short is so that it will eliminate the same day. We were created adaptively so that we could eat meat as needed to get a proper diet when plant food was not as available.

    2) Plants do have feelings. This has already been proven in a study I read twenty years ago. They hooked up a lie detector to a plant. One person came in and cared for it. later a second person came in and hacked it up (the detector went nuts). when the caregiver came back in the plant was calm. When the hacker or the havker’s impliment came near the detector went nuts again.

    Another interestising fact is that most soy products are not good for you (the soy bean – edamame is very good for you). most soy products will coat the intestinal tract so that vitamins and minerals won’t get into the blood stream. Your body is incredible that it tries to compensate, but many become anemic.

    Not an argument…just my research. Feel free to check it out.

  117. Meat is an awesome form of protein! I think a lot of people forget that it’s all about moderation, most everything can be bad in excess. I would also like to ask the vegetarians (the ones who are for moral issues) out there…if we didn’t eat meat, what would we do with all the cattle, chickens, and pigs roaming around? What would the farmers do that support their families on the sale of meat? What would we do with all the animals when they die of natural causes? These are just questions that I have not been able to get answered, not trying to say my way is better…just asking. I think it is a natural part of the circle of life that we eat animals.

    1. put them in a place where other animals can eat them like coyotes, lyons, tigers, wolfs,winduris, hyenas, panters, cougars, ocelotes…. farmers can get paid for that
      and there is corn and the other stuff they do

  118. People keep saying that because it is there in quantity (cows, chickens, fish, etc), then we should eat it. Think of it as supply and demand. If many people want it, then there will be those willing to raise/produce it in the necessary quantity. Emu/Osterich is on the rise as a food demand, and many others.

    This doesn’t change the fact that any type of meat stays in the digestive tract three to four days. Some meat will even cling to the digestive walls until it is dislodged (months even) by something like a colon cleanse.

    Fruits and vegetables are eliminated in about a day (and a healthier digestive tract too if obstaining from meat).

    I’m not vegan or vegetarian. I’m sure I will partake of meat again, but I think on a more rare occaision. I recently did a colon cleanse and have lossed 6 pounds of ‘dislodged’ food.

    And yes, I believe plants have feelings too.

  119. Egg beaters are produced to avoid the cholesterol that comes from regular eggs. Are you dumb or stupid?

  120. Greek yogurt is nothing more than condensed “regular” yogurt. To help prevent your wallet from getting lighter from those expensive specialty products, simply buy conventional plain yogurt and extract its excess liquid using a cheesecloth. If you don’t know what a cheesecloth is or don’t want to invest in one, just place the regular yogurt in the fridge with a strainer overnight. The prep time may be longer, but the end result will just be the same as using a cheesecloth.

  121. From the first ‘graph of this article:
    “In all the debates this year about sugar (carbohydrates) and hydrogenated oil (fat), we forget that protein warrants consideration as well. Bacon, sausage, deli meat? No, thanks. The wrong proteins in the diet will quickly sabotage optimal health.”

    That comment about bacon doesn’t jibe with all the various postive comments about bacon on this website. Wherefore the contradiction?

  122. Wow, I’ve never knew there were so many kinds of good and bad protein sources! These were very useful to me. Thanks!

  123. For a vegetarian, are cashews, chia seeds, and hemp good sources of complete proteins?

  124. I’d like to add a few to the list: lentils (red, black, green), chick-peas, mushroom, spinach, broccoli, seitan, wallnuts, black-beans, oats. As a vegan and athlete I became a little creative in searching for foods that are high in nutritional value. Those are some of my favourites with a high percentage of protein in terms of caloric content.

  125. I eat a lot of pussy. Pussy is one of the best protein sources known today. In fact, not only is it a good source of protein, if you have to fight for it you will also burn calories.

  126. Ok,so cow’s milk is not a good source of protein, so what should i take? goat? reindeer? human(joking)??

  127. If everyone ate wild salmon, there would be no Salmon left in the seas.

    The comments about Milk made me laugh. How can it be “Very harmful”, typical over exaggeration by people that have read too many online articles. Asbestos is “very harmful”, things that *may* increase your risk of cancer later on in life aren’t. Do these people actually leave the comfort of their own homes knowing the amount of toxins in the air?

  128. I eat a lot of Nutritional Yeast. 1.5 Tblsp has only 70 calories and 8g of protein. I like to mix it with quinoa or buckwheat.

  129. Peanuts and peanut butters are actually a good source of good fats, with a small protein and good carb content as a bonus.

    I agree that if you’re say a weightlifter and you try to use pure peanuts as a protein source you will get fat. Peanuts have very little protein relative to their caloric content.
    But peanuts make a good source of fat in any lean meal.

  130. The human body doesn’t need lots of Protein as you suggest. Veggies and vegans need even less because of the way plant diets are digested. The use of the word “Protein” is misleading too, we do not get ANY “protein” from food – we only get the amino acids to build our own. Of the 20 amino acids used by our bodies to MAKE protein, only 9 are essential (ie cannot be made by our bodies). As vegetarian/vegan diets eat plants, and almost all plants contain all required amino acids, there is almost never a shortage of Protein in the vegetarien/vegan diet – unless you just eat fats and drank beer etc. That’s why people say veggies and vegans will not die of a lack of protein. It doesn’t mean they can live without protein, it just means they are very unlikely to lack protein. Also, the human body categorically DOES NOT need meat or flesh – the proof is the billions of healthy veggies and vegans that have lived healthier, longer lives than red-meat eaters and with less cancers and diseases – no meat at all in their diets. If we really needed meat, we wouldn’t be healthier and outlive you would we? ;D

  131. …also, about MILK & CALCIUM intake – the reason meat-eaters need so much calcium is because when we eat meat (which have high sulphur content proteins), it acidifies our blood (which isn’t natural) and the only way our bodies can neutralise it (so we don’t get sick and die) is to leach the calcium from our bones which causes osteoporosis, this CAN trash your bones and your kidneys – solution, they tell you to drink more of their factory-produced milk (rather than tell you to eat less of their factory-produced meat). You’re being misled people 😀 But I don’t care about you, just the animals. Hahaha x

  132. Mark,
    This post is very discouraging to a person like me who is forced to live on a very low budget. Changing to Primal has been expensive enough, now I doubt it’s even been worth the effort, because if I can’t get the benefits on sardines, farmed salmon, supermarket chicken and peanut butter, etc. than what am I doing this for? 🙁

  133. Sme genetic change to make us use chloroform like plants do. Or some other solar method to get energy. Then we will be truly higher.

  134. Veganism is insane. Of course it’s better to avoid death when possible, but it’s ridiculous to resort to veganism strictly for that reason. I was vegan for 13 years and I regret every day of it. You will destroy your body in the long run by depriving it of nourishment. My partner tried to commit suicide and struggled with severe depression for years while she was vegan. She cured herself completely through self-education and eating lots of healthy fat and strictly real food. Lierre Kieth’s book is a true gift, you must read it if you’re a vegetarian or thinking of becoming one. will get you going in the right direction as well.

  135. @ Tasha
    Being on a low budget too, I juggle.
    I buy organic products that are affordable (like veggies and fruits, and eggs, lard for cooking) when I can. When I can’t, I don’t worry too much about it.
    I don’t know what the prices are in the US, I live in France.
    I can’t buy organic fish or meat, it’s just too much… I get some meat by-products like blood sausage, then chicken and chicken liver at the butcher (who gives me carcasses for broth, no charge!), the rest at the supermarket…
    Maybe you can do more of the cheaper but healthy things, like organic eggs, maquerel fish, etc., and less of the expensive ones?

    Maquerel is a great fish for omega3, and it is usually very cheap (there are times I can get 2 for 1€). So is herring.
    If you can find mussels, it is usually cheap too…

    Although, I don’t know how low your budget is.

    When I read a new book on nutrition, I get the feeling I have to follow it closely, then I loosen up a bit because we do what we can only, and stressing about food isn’t so great.
    When my budget is too low, I let go a bit… 😉

  136. As a biologist I have some things to add on the subject of cows’ milk:

    If you own your own cow and raise it from a calf, give it the best loving care you can, milk it yourself, and pasteurise your own milk (this simply involves heating the milk to just below boiling temperature for about half an hour), you can control exactly what growth hormones, antibiotics etc. are (NOT) getting into the milk. Most people are not lucky enough to own their own cows, so for shop-bought milk, I wholly agree with the caution and/or abstinence most people on here advise (not to mention the issues of animal welfare involved in mass dairy production).

    But in my opinion, people needn’t worry about the hormones contained in milk: These these can only affect the human body when the proteins that make up the hormones are ‘folded’ correctly (rather like how an oragami hat is only considered a hat, and can only be used as such, if it is folded correctly). Heating the milk to pasteurisation levels ‘denatures’ hormonal proteins – that is, unfolds them (again rather like scrunching up an oragami paper hat), meaning they can’t have an endogenous effect on the body (a scrunched up oragami hat is no longer able to be used as a hat). Pasteurisation will also kill off any bacteria/viruses (which are also protein-based) in the milk.

    Now the downside…an exception to the denaturing phenomenon is the milk protein casein – one of the two main proteins in milk, and the protein that forms cheese. It remains correctly folded when the milk is pasteurised (just as a cardboard hat can withstand more scrunching than a paper one). Unsurprisingly it’s this protein which is usually the cause of milk-protein allergies/intolerences (allergies = immune response e.g. eczema flare-up/asthma, intolerence = digestive system response e.g. vomiting/diarrhoea). Whey protein (the other main protein in milk) generally does not share the allergy/intolerence issues that casein has, but if you are allergic/intolerent to casein, it is probably best to avoid whey too, since the two will almost definitely cross-contaminate each other.

    The other thing to beware of is that casein is not always completely broken down in some people. Casein, when not broken down, results in a peptide (an incompletely broken down protein) known as casomorphin, in the blood and urine. This acts on the brain, as the name suggests, in a similar way to taking opiates i.e. it alters behaviour, awareness and pain tolerence. It is possible to get a urine test from your GP to detect peptides, which will indicate whether you are someone who cannot completely break down casein and thus should avoid dairy.

    Going back to shop-bought milk, there are also issues of non-dairy additives in milk such as melamine in some countries (not generally the UK, though I wouldn’t be absolutely sure about that). Melamine is a protein that the FDA in America has deemed safe and that is sometimes added to milks in the US at least, to ‘raise the protein quality’. However, there are many debates as to its safety and health effects. Then there is the BPA found in plastic bottles, which has been linked to health problems. If you are lucky enough to have your own cow, I would recommend storing the milk you get from her in glass storage bottles rather than plastic ones for this reason.

    Another downside to dairy is the calcium debate. We all know dairy products are an excellent source of calcium. However, it has been postulated that since cows’ milk is acidic, the body brings its pH (a measure of acidity) back up (higher pH = less acidity) by actually taking calcium out the bones. Therefore any gain of calcium from dairy products can arguably be offset by this phenomenon. Other, less acidic sources of calcium (such as almonds) probably do not carry this risk.

    Animal welfare – when sourcing milk it is worth being aware that ‘battery cows’ similar to battery hens, do exist, especially when milk is being cheaply mass-produced. Don’t forget that production of milk means production of calves, half of which are male (and therefore are extremely likely to be slaughtered in some way or another) and many of which will be sold as beef at a later stage. Sometimes calves are taken away from their parents at birth and reared on very high protein, high growth-hormone, antibiotic-containing artificial feeds, so that they grow big for beef/milk, and so that the milk from their mothers can be sold without losing portions to the calves.

    In terms of animal welfare, I would recommend ‘Orkney milk’ as being the most reliably cruelty-free type of milk to buy, since it is farmed in an old-fashioned way, on small (often family-owned) farms, and you can actually go to the Orkney islands and see the farmers, as well as the cows and their living conditions for yourself.

    One more thing about dairy – lactose. This is the sugar found in milk, and many, if not most, adults in the world lack the chemical needed to break it down. Most babies do produce this chemical, but production stops when the baby gets to an age where it stops drinking milk as its main source of nutrition. If you can’t break down lactose one of the effects of this is extensive diarrhoea – which might put a person in danger of dehydration. There are special lactose-free milks (and sometimes cheeses too) available in shops, but again these would raise the concern of the antibiotics/growth chemicals given to the cows that the milk comes from, as well as animal welfare, additives and packaging.

    I am not affiliated with any dairy company, or indeed any company at all – I am merely using my knowledge of biology (accumulated as the result of gaining a 2.1 BSc honours degree in biological sciences from the University of Edinburgh) to put the arguments for and against dairy consumption into context, and discuss the pros and cons you all mention, along with ones I have added. I hope this helps people make informed, educated decisions.

  137. I was expecting to see some positions based on studies and such, that are linked. But all I’m reading are what the author thinks is the best with leaning inclinations towards eco-hippiness. DHA hasn’t been proven that it is beneficial compared to the good fats, for everyone. Some people can’t utilize it. Also, Quinoa has been ridden by the health-crazed maniacs right now, that it costs more per lb. than some lean cuts of meat. Go figure.

  138. i dont think that after millions of years we should be sick of becoming vegy-boy´s
    or veggie -girls, if human body can take all the poisoning we get today….then we can change to any diet, any food will come from planet earth and i dont think that surviving from eating only animals or only plants can be so -egosistic and moral shocking dangerous to any one-

  139. Actually Mark does not look like a meat-guy, he looks like a vegetarian to me,yes he is toned and “athletic” but look in the vegetarian bodybuilding .com there are some ripped guys not to bulky but…

    heeyy!! how long does a big body builder or strenght athlete can carry on mass muscle?? with how many and which steroids?? how long would they live and how healthy?? this mark is kind of a MEAT PROPAGANDA and im not a vegetarian that is frustrated…is just the lack of reserch from some people that can get these other people unhealthy

  140. It never ceases to amaze me why some people feel the need to put down vegetarians and vegans. It’s a matter of choice, education, insight, etc. Then again, it never ceases to amaze me how some people have prejudices because of other people’s choices in religion, sexual orientation, culture etc.

    Get over your prejudices please! I’m vegan because of my experiences (I’ve been to an abbatoir, I have worked with animals and felt their love, fear, pain, intelligence etc) and I have chosen NOT to continue exploiting animals when I simply don’t need to.

    Why should I be judged and ridiculed for my choice any more than if I were gay, straight, islamic, buddhist, atheist etc.

    Does it justify your own stance to ridicule mine? Does it make you feel better about yourself and your choices? Does it make you uncomfortable that I have a choice different from yours? Does it challenge your own choices, ethics etc and instead of honestly engaging your own humanity internally, you feel a need to lash out at me because I stand up for what I believe is right for me and the world I live in?

    We all need to interact with each other with open-mindedness, awareness and consideration. Your choice is yours. Mine is mine. Through educating each other, we come to a greater understanding and maybe learn something that may be integrated or dismissed from our lives.

    Please, learn to respect the choices of vegans. We may find, one day, with some experiences, we will understand more, and ridicule and mock less.

  141. So iv been repping a low carb diet for a while and it helped me loses HEAPS of weight (combined with training to duh)
    but iv recently been hitting up vegetarianism and im worried im getting to many carbs in my diet..

    any suggestions?

  142. Wild salmon fishing is culling the natural population to the point of collapse. Farmed salmon is so much better. I understand your concerns with the health and diet of farmed salmon, but New Zealand salmon is free of parasites and so is bred completely free of added hormones, vaccines, chemicals, etc. They are also fed a very specific diet which covers all the fish’s nutritional needs. So go for New Zealand salmon for a healthy fish that isn’t killing the environment!

    (And no I don’t sell NZ salmon, I’ve just been learning about aquaculture at uni)

    1. Actually, wild pacific salmon are some of the best managed fish stocks in the world. The problems they’ve had with a couple of the species stem more from river damage or blockages that are messing up their ability to spawn.

      As for acquaculture- I’m sure it’s improving, but the sheer amounts of potable water it requires is staggering, not to mention the amounts of waste (dilute though it is) to deal with- it was something I studied as a grad student. Eventually we’ll probably depend on both, but we’re not there yet

  143. It’s so good to read the articles and all the comments. There’s so much here to learn about health, wellness, and even psychology (I’m a psych grad student).

    There are people who eat extremely healthy all their lives, people who eat moderately healthy all their lives, and people who eat poorly, extremely poorly. We can certainly speculate “what if” on their lives. However, the human life spam has not seemed to rely tremendously on diet. If it did, and it was empirically proven, more people would eat extremely healthy because death is high on the chart of human fears. I drink whole, homogenized milk. My endocrinologist has never mentioned it, let alone supported any negative factors leading to my demise. I eat red meat. Same result. I am not the most physically healthy person. I can stand to lose about 30 lbs., and I’m starting to get a little stiff for 43, so I could use a little more exercise. I drink lots of juice, water, milk, and Coke. I eat lots of fruit, vegetables, grains, dairy, and top it with wonderful cheese and condiments, and I have Popsicles, fig newtons, ice cream or chips for dessert. I’m not on the poster at Bally’s, but I’m also not the “before” pictures for the latest diet trend. I cut back when necessary, and I increase when necessary.

    I strongly believe that inner peace, happiness, lack of stress, decent rest, and quality time with my family contribute more to my health and wellness than whether I choose organic. Treating others with respect, kindness, and live…and allowing others to live their lives with as much freedom to eat store-bought, homogenized, bloody, enzymic, hormonal, whole, white milk as another has NOT to without passing judgment on either…that, I believe, is paramount to living that stress free lifestyle. 🙂

  144. Hey,

    I have a question, when you talk about cheddar being processed do you mean just regular yellow cheddar or all cheddar. I normally eat sharp white cheddar from trader joe’s and there are only 3 ingredients (all of which I can identify). Also, what is the deal with parmesan and swiss?


  145. Wow, such great comments and feedback, thank you so much. I am glad you find my posts and articles of interest and I hope you will continue to do so!

  146. I think you all need to read “The China Study”.
    Casein will kill you…..the typical western animal protein based diet combined with all the oils will kill you…..want to save your life?…..quit eating the diet of affluence.

  147. Hello there, simply become alert to your weblog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I?m going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful for those who continue this in future. Numerous people can be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

  148. The idea that people actually absorb any calcium from milk is ridiculous. The US has the highest rate of osteoporosis and obesity and we also consume the most dairy, hmmm… Animal protien (which milk has a lot of) inhibits the absorption of calcium. Try leafy greens or Broccoli which per ounce is an excellent source of protein btw. Go Vegan!

  149. You forgot Sardines, packed on Olive oil. Yum. I have been on the Paleo diet for awhile now and all my nasty digestive issues and blood sugar imbalances have vanished. I will say it is a bit pricey to eat a lot of meat all the time. I wonder how lamb and goat would measure on this list because I can get that right from the farmer and butcher it myself.

  150. Just about every comment I’ve read on here, as well as this article itself just amazes me! I have never seen so many gullible, uneducated, mindless people on one site. I’m assuming most of you are vegetarians. Do you know why I have no vegetarian friends? Because vegetarians are all insane with their crazy ideas and propaganda and illogical beliefs! Do some legit research, you hippies!

    1. Best point yet. They only listen to their agenda-filled crap info.
      But why is it vegetarians, who obviously need more protein for their brains, can preach and persecute people on diet but if someone pushes Christianity they call them “fascists”? Hippies: Look up the words fascist and hypocrite. The first definition will surprise you and for the other, just look in the mirror.

    2. I choose to go meat free based on factual, historic and scientific information and nothing to do with cute kittens! I’m losing layers of body fat, have more energy and feel gr8.

      Vegetarianism is in our DNA where as eating meat is just part of poor modern thinking and probably comes from the human need to be bigger and better!

      Some men made weapons to go and hunt while others watched said hunting party leave the camp and then watch only 50% return; all the while feasting on the local plant life, fruits, bulbs (think early potato) and roots! So now who is gullible, uneducated and mindless??? The plant eaters or the remaining 50% of meat eaters who would have to risk life and limb again tomorrow! Ok you could argue that some people fell out of trees or died by eating poisonous plants at some stage but willingly hunting?

      And you think vegetarians are insane,I love you brown you make me chuckle!!!

      Reminds me of the alleged story where NASA spent millions of $ on a pen to work in space when the Russians just used a pencil!!!

    3. Legit research as opposed to your charged emotional banter and insults. Don’t pretend to be better and then use the same inflammatory language and uneducated rhetoric. I am a vegan, likely have far more education than you, likely know more about diet and the environmental impacts of our food choices than you, but you would lump me in with a grossly inaccurate stereotype you have created, likely to protect yourself from ever realizing that your patterns and habits are detrimental to your health, your family and the environment. I could school you all day and night with factual studies, research and sound systems, but for some reason, I don’t see you being very open minded to anything other than your closed off little world.

        1. wayne, I do want to mention that you are a little off base with your claims that eating meat is a product of modern society or the use of tools. Humans ate meat throughout history, and at time prodigious amounts that would make a modern human sick. Neanderthal ate 4-5 times the meat we do today. Ancient hominids ate carrion. Your story about half of a hunting party dying, while used to underline your false point, it hyperbolic and likely has few correlates in history.

          Meat eating is a natural part of human history. We are in fact omnivores in the animal kingdom. Vegism of any variety is a choice based on many factors but historical precedent is not one.

        2. wayne, a fair share of that original comment can also head brown’s way. Two peas in a pod really. Just a couple of people that think they know something based on anecdote, misinformation and likely too much TV.

        3. i have posted above form a very reliable source that meat was not part of our main staple food.

          Please present your sources Colin so i can check them out myself.


        4. Wayne, my source is actually a biologist I used to date who was more than opposed to my vegan diet. She had all the books and research to support either side of the story. What I gleaned from those conversations and some readings is that the human diet of today is vastly different. We don’t intake as many parasites, microorganisms or bacteria, which in the balance of things is bad (not good as the FDA would have you think). We also eat too much processed food and have strayed from our natural diet of 75-85% raw veg & fruit with limited fibrous material and some meat. While I am a vegan, I do believe that meat can be a healthy part of a human diet, if that meat is eaten on EXTREMELY rare occasions and eaten from wild caught sources in sustainable environments.

          While some sources will accurately place humans more toward the herbivore than the carnivore, we have the dentition of omnivores (4 canines and wisdom teeth). Evolution is slowly changing the wisdom teeth issue, but our canines remain. Most herbivores lack canines. We also have a GI tract that is somewhere between that of herbivores and omnivores. Look at a cow with it’s four stomachs. How many stomachs do you have. I juice often and it gets you thinking, humans cannot, with their shorter, omnivore structured GI tract extract all the nutrients from many vegetables, but a common herbivore can. Juicing aids this process by doing some of the upper GI tract’s grunt work. The same work that the teeth of a common herbivore does already. Speaking of GI tracts, the stomach releasing different acids for animal proteins and veg proteins. If our bodies were not evolutionarily adapted to meat eating, then this would not be the case (I just gave my best friend my copy of the book by Cherie Calbom that mentions the two acids).

          Don’t get me wrong, I think that the health an prosperity of our species relies, in part, on a shift toward a veg based diet. Meat, especially industrialized meat and animal products, is unsustainable and when you break it down, just doesn’t make any sense. The argument used to promote humans as natural herbivores is propaganda though. Just use common sense. Early hominids were mostly instinctual creatures, evolved from some ancestor in the Ape Family (note that many of the great apes will eat the flesh not only of other species but their own as well). If this instinctual creature were to find the carcass of a gazelle, picked over by a lion and left to rot, he would eat of this, if hungry enough. If he did not die, he would eat again. If he got sick because his body could not process meat, he would not eat again. Humans could and can eat meat, the real question is should we. I say no.

        5. Wayne, Here’s a good read. The author seems to lack the courage to make any true conclusions but there are some good references and directions to help understand the debate and complexity of the historic human diet.

        6. Hi Colin,

          Sorry is there a link to the book you mentioned?

          I am do disagreeing with your science or your friends biology but there are new discoveries about our evolution.

          I’m open to the newest discoveries that science offers.

        7. wayne, the book I mentioned won’t help with what you are looking for. I was just trying to remember the stomach acids. For meat protein its hydrochloric acid and for veg its….. That’s what I can’t remember. The book is on juicing and detoxing and not this topic specifically.

          I find it interesting that you want me to quote sources and dig through my research and all you have done is reference a “reliable source” You haven’t actually referenced the source but alluded to it.

          I have done my fair share of research and looking through reference materials. I have found that while some people are seen as reliable sources, they in fact are biased. The most egregious perpetrator in recent times is the “doctor” who claimed that vaccines were causing autism. He had a motive and used his reputation to undermine science.

          The issue with historical diets is that it is next to impossible to be definitive. The evidence is in the dentition, physical makeup and fossil evidence including the surrounding areas where remains are found. Fossils of animals have been found around human remains in concentrations beyond what would be expected by chance, meaning that these animals were likely ingested, not kept as pets.

          Evolution is an extremely slow process. To state that in the history of human evolution our GI tracts have evolved to handle the ingestion of meat doesn’t seem reasonable and even if the first hominids were herbivores (unlikely), then where do you draw the line. At one point humans were omnivores, and that became part of our DNA sequences. So your statement that being a vegetarian is in our DNA can be held just as true as someone else saying that being an omnivore is in our DNA (I will not accept any claim that being a carnivore is in our DNA. NO human can survive on a purely meat based diet. NONE). Take a read of some of Michael Pollan’s books to learn more about how diet and human eating habits both evolved and have been sullied by modern practices.

        8. Hi Colin,

          My latest information reference is from Nathaniel Dominy PhD. and the True Human Diet.


        9. Wayne, I haven’t read much of Dominy’s stuff, but I do know that he is grasping and he covers his backside in every sentence. He is certain to present many of his ideas as just that, ideas/theories. He talks about mixed diets and mentions that meat was a part of early hominid diets.

          I think his premise that starchy foods were the foundation for human brain development is sort of weak. I would have to find the paper I read once that attributes the same surge in brain development to more readily harnessing fire which allowed humans to cook food, greatly reducing the work to calorie ratio as less energy was needed for digestion. That is not to say that less caloric intake happened, but that the same intake was utilized differently. I can’t really do justice to what the paper put forward and I will do my best to find it.

          Dominy presenting his theory as the True Human Diet is exactly what I was saying when I talked about biases and agendas. He is a smart man, knows his field, etc, but this theory is questionable, as is any theory. To present the idea as truth is disingenuous. His research supports some of his claims but he is in the end presenting a theory to resolve a questions that has no definitive answer.

        10. Hi Colin,

          Then based on your theory that all theory is questionable it seems that we are all potentially wrong yet we could all be right.

          My path is to eat fresh produce as nature intended, with some cooking involved where applicable, and I will refrain from meat sources as my choice in my belief that there is no need to eat meat and that plant sources are sufficient to fuel the human body.

          I enjoy being told I am wrong yet there is no one out there to offer proof that I am wrong only a 50% probability according to current research!

        11. Wayne, first off, I said you were off base in regards to your commentary regarding humans not naturally eating meat. The fossil record does not support this, your own source openly and often admits that humans have eaten the flesh of animals for over around 2.5 million years.

          I 100% support, agree and even choose for myself a diet that does not include meat or any animal product (bee products being the one exception but that is a debate for another day). What I don’t support is the rhetoric coming from Vegs that humans aren’t meant to eat meat. There is just so little support for that. They make deceptive claims (ie – humans don’t have a carnivorous dentition [true] but they also don’t have a herbivorous dentition either). We are omnivores and due to the track of human evolution we have the choice for sustenance.

          Vegism is a choice not a paradigm. Vegism fits within the context of omnivorism, as does any diet, that is the whole point of being ABLE to eat most anything. We agree on most points (at least it seems that way), but I see fault in many arguments that have become pervasive in the veg community. Most arguments for vegism are incomplete and can be torn down when presented in isolation. The power of the overall argument with all points addressed in an honest fashion leads to either veganism or a diet that is 95% plant and 5% animal (all wild caught or carrion).

  151. Wow…you healthy folk sure are an angry/sweary bunch…think I’ll stick to my steak

  152. Hey I think you have a very well put together article here the only thing i would add for vegetarians is Spirulina. Spirulina is a complete plant based protein.It is 60 to 70% protein and comes in powder form or pill form. I prefer powder since you can dilute it in water, this way it takes no extra work for your body to absorb the protein unlike meat which takes a great deal of time and effort for your body to digest. But dont get me wrong i am no vegetarian i do love my (organic)meat.

  153. if dairy isn’t a good consumption for humans, why do babies drink it from birth? we are mammals, mammals require calcium and milk and cheese is calcium.

    1. Humans are the only species which drink another species’ milk.
      But some clown on here decided to make a bizarre claim otherwise, saying that lots of other species drink other species’ milk… wtf?
      And lots???
      They gave one single dubious example (some random monkies in India).

    2. Your green veg and nuts/seeds i.e. chia seeds contain far more calcium than dairy along with the correct ratio of minerals to support calcium absorption into your bones i.e. boron.

      When babies BREAST feed they consume a ratio of fats, proteins and sugars from mummy (plus micro-nutrients, vitamins and minerals)in a ratio that is biologically and naturally correct for the baby.

      Cows milk is for baby cows to receive their correct ratio as nature intended and not for humans.

  154. Mark, I’m confused by some of the statements here that seem to contradict many of the most appealing elements of the Primal diet… “No thanks” to bacon? Maybe you mean cured bacon. A “little” butter? Tempeh is soy! Very confused over here…

    1. This post is going on nearly 5 years old now. My thoughts have evolved over the years. If only my archived posts could do as well. Thanks for pointing these out. I’ve made a few edits.

      1. Thanks Mark! Five weeks Primal and 19 lb. lighter! Eating like a champ and loving the transformation. My bad knee no longer aches, I’ve got energy… You da man.

  155. NUMBER 1 !

  156. i hate my science teahcer she get on my nervs i hate my language arts teacher she get onn my nerves ALL SHE TALK BT IS HER SON LIKE TRICK SDFU BASTARD!!!!!!!

  157. “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.”

    LMAO, WHAT? Someone’s delusional. Eggs are reproductive structures for the Chickens. They don’t see it as food. There wouldn’t BE chicken if all there was was egg white – THAT’S the reason why there’s yolk – it’s the chicken ITSELF. NOT because we OUGHT to eat it. My goodness, I cannot believe what I’m reading.

    1. Ha ha ha I really get a kick out of what vegetarians (I used to be one!) say about animals…

      FYI Chickens will gladly eat an egg, in fact, if you throw a raw egg into a coop, the hens will fight over it.

      So much so, the hens will then start eating their own eggs! chickens are NOT vegetarians! They eat and kill bugs, worms and larva. I have seen them fight over living mice and attack small snakes.

      Love it in the store how they say “vegetarian feed” My chickens LOVE proteins and a healthy pastured chicken lovingly digs under the dirt looking for living goodies… the squirmy kind!

  158. I really struggle with protein. I get sick of milk and yogurt and cottage cheese and eggs. I eat meat or fish only rarely. Protein shakes make me sick. I have tried protein combining but I just haven’t found the right combination that I want to stick with regularly. I would like to find some combination of bean/grain or something that I can make a staple. So far, nothing fits the bill. I’m sure it is some specific nutritional need that when I hit on it, I’ll be able to repeat the menu often. Any suggstions? I saw lentils and almonds…does that make a complete protein and if so, what are the proportions. Anyone know? Thank you. I am subscribing to comments to see what anyone comes up with.

    1. quinoa and chia seeds are both complete sources of amino acids or proteins.

      Don’t be fooled by all this focus on protein, just eat as natural and as normal as you can avoiding processed foods and you wont go far wrong.

      Eating meats and fish once in a while is ok if that’s all you can manage. Our body can assimilate enough of what it needs from veg, fruit,seeds & nuts and don’t you worry about that little fact.

      Don’t forget with out the butcher we may have gone days and weeks without meat and fish as we struggled to hunt down the animals.

  159. The best is to vary proteins and this is something I’ve learned from seriously aggressive and cutting-edge sports nutritionists. Helped me win many trophies in many sports including Olympic and Powerlifting (naturally). There are many generalizations here and the most complete proteins are BEEF and WHOLE EGGS, regardless of grain/grass-fed (though grass fed is better). Both carry most COMPLETE spectrum of amino acids across the board. Fish and chicken are good and I’m glad “Greek” yogurt was mentioned (but Indian/Armenian/Turkish) are all made the same waywith 2 to 2 and a 1/2 the protein of our, and I love the way you put it, yogurt DESSERTS. I eat it plain and it’s awful, but choking it down has its benefits.
    But you left out Kippers. The level of healthy fats and naturally occurring creatine is unmatched by ANYTHING else on this list. Eat your meat AND your fruits/vegs AND whole grains.

  160. One more thing: Haelnuts, almons, etc. aren’t technically nuts either. Most things we call nuts are legumes. Legumes and your maligned beans are extremely high in potassium and can add to overall protein intake better than other carbs.

    The key is balance: meat brings out the best in veg and the veg brings out the best in meat. We are all different: find what works for your own body. Good luck health nuts (even if your peanuts) and athletes.

  161. Amazingly informative. Thank you very much for the work you do.:)

  162. um, not all tofu is heavily-processed. Ever eaten Asian tofu bought from an Asian supermarket? Also, tofu was originally not a vegetarian meat substitute. In Asian cuisines, you see tofu in a variety of dishes.

  163. Protein may be overrated. I never think about what I eat and how to get protein, and have been a healthy vegetarian for 7 years on the basis that I love animals.
    We can get all the nutrients we need from a plant based diet without having to eat meat.

  164. What about chia seeds much better than quinoa and really high in omega 3

  165. So, in what terms are these the best protein sources? In terms of best absorption, most protein, cheapest, easiest to find (although thats a terrible one to base it on), contains the most essential amino acids, contains the most of any amino acids..what scientific base are you testing this on? And are you taking other nutrients in to consideration? Like how much saturated fat, salt, sugar, micronutrients., etc? Right now you have no evidence, nor any real reason these are the best.

    1. Hi Emma,

      for comparisons use google as there is no need for me to pring the science to you. I’m sure you are more than capable of researching my statement.

      Also getting hold of anything is easy these days with the internet. I can have things from half way around the globe in 48-72hrs if it is not already stocked by a supplier in the country.

      Most of the time it is easier than battling with the supermarket shoppers!

  166. Also, you are incorrect when you are talking about farmed fish.

    “Winner: Wild Salmon

    Loser: farmed salmon

    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.”

    You are talking about deep ocean fish farming, where fish are crammed into nets with no room, are fed whatever they can get, and produce the waste of a large city. That kind should not be bought. However, there are sustainable alternatives. Australis, a aquaculture company, uses indoor tanks that recycle all the water, give the fish room, and produce fish with the same Omega-3’s and nutritional benefits as wild fish. There is more than one kind of farmed fish, and that should be noted.
    “They’re miserable.”
    This is completely unfounded. you are eating meat, those animals are miserable, no matter how you raise them. And grain fed beef if hardly different then other beef. I’m sure you know about the animal cruelty that goes into producing the vast amounts of beef our world requires. I’m not going to preach them to you. You cannot support Wild Salmon, when you support other forms of meat. That is not a valid argument based on the rest of your article.
    Also, if there are sustainability concerns with Wild Salmon. We are out fishing the world, and soon–in the next 30 years– there will be no fish left for us to fish in the wild. Vouching that wild fish should be eaten is a disaster walking up to yours, and my front door.
    I hope you take my comments into consideration when you continue to have no reasonable support for your statements.

  167. Thank you for the information. I keep trying to find that perfect diet that works and satisfies as well as gives adequate protein.

  168. I farm and to say that beef is raised on cheap grain and would kill them in 6 months is a COMPLETE LIE. This article is based on lies lies lies. Cattle are fed more nutritionally than what we are fed. It comes down to the dot on proteins, energy level and many other factors. It takes roughly 16 months to get cattle to the market. They are raised on a safe level and not overly pushed. Grass fed beef takes much longer. People like this that are very uneducated when it comes to raising beef really upsets me because they act like they know what they are talking about. THIS GUY HAS NO GLUE. Just so everyone knows Corn fed beef has become a science. There rations are very balanced and they are very very healthy

  169. My favorite recipe:
    Big Kahuna (I named it myself :D)
    Makes 4 servings
    1 cup Quinoa and 2 cups water brought to a boil then simmered for 10-15 minutes or until water is evaporated and the germ ring is visible.
    1-2 cans of tuna depending how fishy you like things.

    Tuna comes in little hockey puck like cans and usually I can eat two lunches out of one can…

    tuna isn’t very good for your system if you eat it every day as it’s high in mercury.
    Quinoa however is great for people who can’t have wheat barley and/or rye for different reasons. It’s also good for vegetarians and “normal” people who simply lack a protein rich diet. My friend likes to put red Quinoa on her salad to shake things up a little.

  170. Hmmm. Interesting point of views. Well animals can’t evolve because we continually eat them. I don’t know you and neither do you :). Any scientists in the house? Lol. I think… Only animals are our professors, scientists, first habitants, etc. We could learn alot from these chosen ones. They obey all the laws of earth. Now topic Humans. I really hope that our species stops eating lol. There’s no hunt in these lazy human beings. It’s weird! It’s money! Buy a life eat a life! We took the land from the Indians who followed the laws of the land and turned it into a shopping mall. Yea! More money, more power to shop for “food,” animals who follow the laws of the land. Yum. Eat em up! Eat em all! Eat your dog you dress up in stupid clothes too. I think… Humans have a long way to go. I say, burn your “hard earned” money and live like an animal. Sounds scary? It’s not. They’re the supreme beings. We are nothing more than earth’s cancer. Quick, find a cure!!!!! Solution, live like the animals. There’s more evolution, stength, and possibilities in that. We can learn to love again. We can learn to be strong again. Im tired of wearing clothes anyways lol. Back to the forest we go. Too many weak people walking around. Let strength and courage be the new money lmfao. Haha laws protect weak people. Ha we’re not cool enough to start off as lions as a matter of fact we have to start of as rats and eat are effin trash we’ve created. Bottom of the food chain! Nuts and berries for all. Back to the starting point. Kill one sick bull because we’re not fast enough to catch a healthy one on our own and use that bull to feed the village. That should last for the month. Lol. Someone will get it eventually. Primitive! Very primitive beings with iPhones lmao. Arguing back n forth. “I’m the expert!” okay then make an intelligent suggestion! I’m just a kid. Who cares what I think. Money rules you and your thoughts. “you are free to do what I tell you.” – America. Useless and wasteful and protecting ignorant brats and ignorance. Great article! I think I will have some spirulina! I have faith in the less than 1% of intelligence that breathes.

  171. Hi, is it true that beans/legumes and pumpkin seeds together are a complete protein? I am trying to stick to a vegetarian diet and do not like soy. Sometimes I add greek yogurt and other raw seeds.

  172. I would like to add although I do agree with the authors view of limiting dairy products, I completly disagree with the idea that beans are not a good source of protein and add too many carbohydrates to ones diet. Beans are an excellent source of protein and the carbohydrates are coming from a good source. I have never heard of anyone gaining weight from eating too many beans. The fibre fills one up at a quick enough rate that one is unable to “gorge” themselves on beans.
    Secondly, peanuts are an excellent protein, especially when paired with whole grain bread, as it increases muscle mass, burns fat, and actually has been proven to eliminate excess estrogen in the body. I have never heard from anyone to stop eating peanut butter, unless of course that person is allergic.

  173. re:eating Quinoa
    Thanks for your info. I have heard however that our new love affair with quinoa has forced up the price beyond the reach of locals in Peru who grow it and depend upon it for their protein. Perhaps we should hold off until a fair-trade product comes on the market. We have plenty of other protein sources.
    Lentils anyone?

  174. too bad like 98% of soy is genetically modified.. (or some ridic. number) soooo I would agree with apples and keep the soy out.

  175. im a vegertairian and i think its bad killing animals. just think if you went to a farm a week ago,that same animal could be on your plate the next day!!!!!

  176. I’m just gonna say that I noticed that no one can come to a concensus as to what is good for you and bad for you. For vegans to be so excited about doing the right thing to only rub everyone elses noses in their “wrong-doing” is almost retroactive to their cause in my opinion. You can’t change minds just by being a jerk. Same for the meat eating side, sure meat is awesome but sometimes a little vegetarian meal here and there is pretty good too. Its not completely “inhuman”.

    Back to the matter at hand: I think it takes some time and effort to figure out what YOUR body needs diet-wise and it may take some experimentation. I find that simply prepared fish and maybe a steamed vegatable gives ME (notice I said “me”) a nice break from the heavy meats and greasy foods that I’m sure I definitely eat WAAAY too much. I’m also a fan of a good stir fry with chicken and whatever veggies available. Protein and mineral balance with out the “heaviness”…

    Sidenote: please excuse and errors in grammar spelling and/or facts. I’m quite tired…

  177. It’s all well and good for you rich folks to say only buy this and this but in reality it’s not an option for a large amount of the population… I’ve gained 35lb in nine months from body building and eating intensively farmed salmon, eggs and beef… Ok I feel a little guilty about the way the meat is raised but there’s nothing I can do about that, the food’s there, I might as well eat it.

    1. Rich folks? Who are you calling rich? I watch the Ammish and Mennonites in our area grow or make all of their own food for next to nothing. And this site is not about weight gain, it’s about health. Eat what is most healthy for the human genome. I eat pastured beef because I can do it very cheap. Paid for the calf (400) and had a farmer raise it for me (30 times 12) then we split the butcher fee 400 which came out to about 41 cents to the pound.

      Grass fed and finished steaks and hamburger for $.41 a pound. Works for me. Doing the same for goat and I get venison from locals when they have overages during hunt season.

      Raise my own chickens.

      Rich… not hardly. Smart is more like.

      1. You know what “amuses” me? Its way cheaper to raise grass fed than grain fed beef. Grain finishing is done (in part) to meet the market demand for meat that is more highly marbled and tender.

        Grass fed beef was always considered a lower grade of meat. The farmer did not get as much money at the market for his/her beef if it was grass fed. I know because I used to raise beef, among other things.

        Now, grass fed is trendy so guess what is happening to the price if we buy it in a store? Its way pricey. I haven’t yet found a local farmer to do what you are doing, so I am making do with what’s available. Today we bought grass fed beef liver (US) for $4.99 per lb and pastured, grass fed boneless top sirloin (US) for $13.99 a lb.

  178. i think people also need to keep in mind that some people want to be as healthy as possible & we know high protein, no processed etc is the way for us BUT not everyone can afford organic everything! i buy 90% of my veggies/fruits organic but i cannot afford enough organic meat for myself & my husband. & we still maintain good health & fitness, we still lose weight when we need too, it may not be the best out there but you do the best that you can with what you have. i think that natural everything is the way to go, if you have the money & resources to afford it but in the real world of blue collar working class folks like us it is a struggle to keep our diet the way we want it CLEAN & HEALTHY all the time in every catagory. thats why so many poor people are overweight. fatty/sugary foods are the cheapest stuff out there. we do not indulge int hat stuff but we do have to buy reg. tho lean meats, & some processed stuff…so from a poor person who tries to eat everything the right way, don;t be so snobby about every little piece of food. we know grass fed is the best (but i cant afford to pay nearly or over $20 for a cut of meat), we know not to eat foods with large amounts of soy or processed foods or frozen veggies but sometimes you can’t manage it all & eating the VERY BEST you can is better then eating all junk anytime. we eat healthier then 95% of people i know or run into every day & just because it doesn’t meet the standards of this site doesn’t mean it should be discounted as not healthy. for the record besides working out 3 times a week my husband cycles 75 miles 2-3 times a week (as time allows) has the lowest percentage of body fat & will turn 46 this year. i’d say that ain’t bad! 😉

  179. Calorie for Calorie, broccoli has TWICE the protein as sirloin steak! Plus, according to the movie forks over knives, animal protein activates cancer cells (don’t dismiss this until you see the movie!). You can watch it here:

    I’m juicing in the morning and avoiding animal products during the week… then have an organic bbq on the weekends – mainly organic chicken with lot’s of roasted vegetables – After I got all that fat out of my system I can taste the flavor of vegetables much more… And they taste GREAT!