There is always a debate between meat eaters and vegetarians on how much protein an individual needs, where they get it from and how often they should be consuming it.
In my opinion, protein is the stumbling block in our society today. Carbohydrates are cheap, readily available and enjoyable to eat. Most people do not even come close to their daily intake of protein, lacking in the essential and branched chain amino acids that we need abundantly. This can be for many reasons, but for a long time, animal protein has been given a bad rap.
The problem is not necessarily animal protein, but saturated fat in general; the omega 6 fats and other highly processed oils that are found everywhere in today's society. Combining these types of fats with foods that are high glycemic, that's a recipe for heart disease. Also, the quality of meat is a huge issue; making sure to get free-ranging animals is what makes the difference.
But just how much do we need?
A 150 pound person who works out 5-10 hours a week needs about 120 grams of protein each day. It's not that being a vegetarian is bad or something that I am completely against. It's just from a nutrition perspective, it is so much easier to achieve this daily intake when consuming animal proteins in conjunction with a plant based diet.
If you are looking for more information, please check out The Paleo Diet for Athletes. This book is a great resource for those looking to have a greater understanding.
Moral of the story: if you want to be lean and optimize your athletic performance, it's critical to reach your protein requirements each day! Best way to do this is with clean animal protein; just like our ancestors.
To a Wholesome Week,