Why we obsess about protein - Deepstash

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Why we obsess about protein

We can only understand the intensity of our protein obsession as a part of a broader set of dietary battles.

  • A 1950s study, based on Mediterranean populations, showed that a healthy diet consists of lots of carbohydrates with limited quantities of saturated fat.
  • But the modern supermarket interpreted the low-fat diet as high-sugar and high-refined-carbohydrates, which led to our current epidemic of diet-related ill-health.
  • Protein is the one safe thing the population feel they can still put their faith in.

The tendency to think about what we consume in terms of nutrients, rather than real whole ingredients, means making the same old mistakes about nutrition in a new way.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

If you are worried about the amount of protein in your diet, you are probably eating more than enough.

According to official guidelines, a minimum of 0.8g of protein a day per kilogram of body weight is recommended. Yet, the average person in the US and Canada gets a full 90g a day, 20% more than the recommended amount. The average European consumes 85g of protein a day, and the a...

Our protein needs do not remain the same over the human lifespan. 0.8g per kilogram of body weight may be enough for a young adult, but from age 50 onwards, protein requirements increase as we progressively lose muscle.

Certain people, such as athletes, may require more than the minimum recommendation of 0.8g per kilo of bodyweight. The problem is that when we think more protein is better, we don't know when to stop. This fixation with protein can ultimately become a form of an eating disorder.

Protein, along with fat and carbohydrate, is one of the three basic macronutrients, and probably the most important.

Ultra-processed whey is not the same as salmon, either in nutrition or in the experience of eating it. Salmon will be high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12, whereas whey protein is low in vitamins, most minerals and fat-free.

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