You might wonder about the name I chose for my blog. Years ago, a client told me that he would love to have a refrigerator magnet that said WWPD?
He thought that the magnet would prompt him to make a healthy choice. It would be sort of an angel on his shoulder. And of course, without judgement.
And so it was born...
What Would Peggy Do?
...to give you scientific proof and practical advice, while also being candid and entertaining.
I'll answer your most important questions about diet, exercise, weight loss, diabetes, cholesterol. And more.
If it’s out of my scope, I’ll go to others in the field who can enlighten me. While I may not be able to give you advice on every topic, I will give you trustworthy, up-to-date information.
There’s one thing that I'd like you to do… Send me your questions!
WWPD? is spot-on, actionable advice.
Lose weight, lower blood glucose, and improve cholesterol and blood pressure. You'll feel great and look your best, and you'll be able to toss your prescription meds for good!
WWPD? is reliable, practical advice with the straightforward style of a good friend.
So... let's begin with the inaugural question...
How Do You Get Protein If You Don't Eat Meat?
I get this question more times than I can count.
We have been hood-winked into believing that we need to eat animal protein for good health. We are obsessed with thoughts about getting enough protein.
STOP THAT! Nothing could be further from the truth.
Eating meat is NOT necessary for good health. People all over the world thrive on meatless diets. In fact, vegans and vegetarians, people who DON'T eat meat, live longer and better than people who do eat it.
Carbohydrates, protein, and fat
Every single whole natural plant food contains all three macronutrients. So you'll find at least a little protein in every food that grows from the ground.
Sometimes there’s a lot of protein, as in beans and whole grains. Other times there’s only a small amount, as in fruit. If you eat a variety of plant foods, don't worry. You'll get the right amount of nutrients across the board -- not just protein.
Your body uses the protein you eat for growth and repair and for making enzymes and hormones. Your body uses what it needs and stores the rest as fat.
People from the school of 'if some is good then more must be better' hear this:
Too much protein speeds up aging and shortens your life.
How much protein do we need? The average American eats close to, if not more than, 100 grams of protein every day. That’s almost twice as much as we need. Think about how much is being stored as body fat and is slowing your weight loss AND is making you OLD -- FAST!
Animal protein -- meat (beef, chicken, pork, fish, etc.), dairy products, and eggs -- increases your risk for
- heart disease
- type 2 diabetes
- kidney disease
as well as many other auto-immune diseases and chronic conditions. The more you eat, usually, the sicker you get. 50-70 grams of protein a day is more than enough for most people.
Beans, lentils, grains, and vegetables have enough protein to support optimal body function. Without running the risk that you’re getting too much.
AND fret not! You can build all the muscle that you want by eating plants. After all, every time Popeye ate spinach his biceps would explode with strength and size. Spinach contains more protein per calorie than meat.
All protein originates in the ground. The soil contains the protein. Plants pull up protein through their roots. The protein is in the PLANT! Animals eat the plants.
Some animals eat other animals. Other animals eat animals and plants. And other animals eat only plants. We all get enough protein.
Elephants, rhinoceroses, and giraffes eat only plants. Even bears and tigers, who don’t eat much in the way of plants, eat animals who eat plants.
The biggest difference between eating animal protein and eating plant protein is that animal protein comes with saturated fat and cholesterol and without fiber and other nutrients that you need to be healthy.
Make the break from protein overload.
Beans and lentils and whole grains make excellent substitutions for meat at meals. Try bean chili or vegetable bean soup for starters. Bean burritos or lentil soup. Whole wheat pasta with marinara and steamed veggies. Vegetable lasagna. The choices are endless.
Pick a few days a week to be meat-free. If you MUST have meat, cut down the amount of meat that you eat and eat another serving of vegetables instead.
I’ll leave you with one last thought. If people developed muscular arms and legs from eating meat, we would have big biceps and bulky thighs. But look around you -- nothing but big bellies and bulky backsides.
** The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is .8 grams per kilogram of LEAN** body weight. The calculation of how much protein you need should only consider your FAT-FREE body weight. If you are 30 pounds overweight at 200 pounds, the calculation of how much protein you should consume each day should be based on 170 pounds, not 200 pounds. The correct calculation should be .8 grams of protein X 77.2 kilograms of body weight = 62 grams of protein /day. (Remember the conversion that 2.2 kilograms = 1 pound.)
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