Could you be protein deficient? Here are the hidden signs.

Via Dr. John Douillard
on Dec 8, 2011
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Vegan/vegetarian Sources of Proteins.
Complete Protein? Complete Nonsense.

Every winter I find myself treating an inordinate number of patients for protein deficiency. Most of them are quite health-aware and have made conscious decisions as to what they include—and don’t include—in their diets. But somehow, despite their best intentions, they find themselves with this very significant deficiency.

Many of these patients are vegetarian. Others—perhaps the majority—have stopped eating red meat years ago but continue to eat chicken or fish once in a while. Though it is my personal belief that a vegetarian diet may be the healthiest, it seems there is something in the way we are doing it that leaves us vulnerable to protein deficiency and its consequences.

Article-At-A-Glance

– Why is protein deficiency so common?
– Telltale signs of protein deficiency
– Effective protein-building strategies

Watch the video below and/or read on:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URTeR6bCOU8&w=560&h=315]

Why is Protein Deficiency so Common?
Interestingly, many traditional Asian cultures seem to do well eating a vegetarian diet. So why can’t we eat that same way and thrive? No doubt our genetics have something to do with it. Books like The Blood Type Diet and other body typing systems, including Ayurveda, have contributed many insights into this question.

Something not often brought up, however, is that most traditional Asian cultures still have someone in the family who cooks full-time. On my journeys to India I’ve observed that the cooks start cooking breakfast before anyone else is awake. Right after breakfast they start preparing lunch. After lunch, they are off to the market to buy food, and then right back at it to prepare supper.

By contrast, many of us here are too busy to cook and eating out has become the standard fallback. We race from one activity to the next, eating just to “fill the tank” for the next activity. Dining and enjoying a relaxed, home-cooked meal is becoming less and less common. As for the family cook, many parents have silently been elected the family superhero: holding down a job, driving and picking up kids, coordinating all of their activities and, oh yes, cooking for the entire tribe. Needless to say, this doesn’t leave much time for balanced meal preparation.

In trying to whip up our meals in minutes, we may be sacrificing our nutritional health.

I often say that to be a good vegetarian you need to cook at least two hours a day. That’s not to propose a strict numbers rule, simply to emphasize that being a healthy vegetarian takes extra work. And when we consider our current lifestyles, it’s not surprising that many of us don’t have the time for cooking, and our health may suffer for it.

So, how can you tell if you are protein deficient? Here are the signs:
The following discusses signs of mild and/or chronic protein deficiencies. Find a list of severe and/or acute deficiency symptoms at the end of this article.

Chronic Protein Deficiency Sign #1: Constant Craving

Carbs, sweets, caffeine, chocolate, pop, candy, pastries, or chips; constant cravings for these non-nutritional foods point to unstable blood sugar. Not everyone with cravings is protein deficient (otherwise we would really be looking at a country-wide epidemic!), but protein deficiency and unstable blood sugar are intimately linked.

    ~Blood Sugar Stability/ Protein Deficiency Home Assessment~

This short assessment may help discover a blood sugar imbalance that a blood test might not pick up.

1.    If you are a vegetarian or rarely eat meat and have a craving for carbs and just don’t feel satisfied until you are filled up on breads, pastas or sweets, you may have unstable blood sugar that may be due to a deficiency of protein.

2.    If you are a vegetarian and have a secret stash of candy, jelly beans or dark chocolate, you may have unstable blood sugar that may be due to a deficiency of protein.

3.    Try eating 3 meals a day without snacks. If you find you need to nibble or graze on anything other than water, you may have unstable blood sugar that may be due to a deficiency of protein.

4.    A blood test is most conclusive and indicated for anyone concerned about their blood sugar.

Chronic Protein Deficiency Sign #2: Muscle and/or Joint Pain

About fifteen years ago I had a sudden attack of severe neck pain. I got a massage, saw a few chiropractors, and got Rolfed, but nothing seemed to touch this pain. I remember it was in the fall because I had the thought that I might be protein deficient!

According to Ayurveda, during fall and winter the body starts to store proteins and fats to insulate and rebuild the body during the cold winter months. The body stores much of its protein reserves in the synovial fluid around the joints, to be used to rebuild the muscles and joints after strenuous exercise. When one is protein deficient, this reserve is the first to go. As a result, the joints stiffen and the muscles tighten. This kind of pain does not typically respond to standard musculoskeletal care.

I went down the checklist:
Yes, I had been a vegetarian for many years.
Yes, I did have a sweet tooth and loved carbs.
Yes, I was becoming a snacker.
Yes, it was winter and my joints were stiff and unresponsive to standard care.

The day I realized I might be protein deficient, I had two large whey protein powder shakes and added significantly more protein to my diet. With no exaggeration, my pain was gone by the end of that day. It just left. No pills or herbs, just more protein!

Ayurvedic Meat Eaters

Ayurveda is a vegetarian system of medicine. In fact, cows are sacred and it is just not cool to eat them. But in the case of protein deficiency, Ayurvedic doctors will prescribe the medicinal eating of red meat. One of the prescriptions I learned to resolve a protein deficiency is this:

Eat 4 ounces of red meat at the midday meal, each day for two weeks.

As a medicine, not a way of life.

I have used this recipe numerous times for protein deficiencies with amazing results. That said, not all of the vegetarians I have treated were willing to do this, so below I have suggested alternative protein rebuilding strategies.

Why Red Meat?

  • Red meat is the most acidic of all meats and of all protein sources in general. The more acidic a substance, the deeper it penetrates the tissues and the better it is stored.
  • Alkaline foods are great cleansers. They flush the lymph and help the body detoxify. The more alkaline a food or diet, the more efficiently it will remove waste and toxins.
  • On the other hand, the more acidic a food is, the less easy it will be to remove or detoxify. While we tend to associate the notion of “acidic foods” with toxic or comfort foods, many acidic foods are actually very healthy and essential.
  • This is nature’s way of balancing: we help rebuild the body in the winter with naturally occurring acidic foods and cleanse the body in the spring and summer with naturally occurring alkaline foods.

Consider: If a squirrel ate only broccoli in the winter, the squirrel would freeze to death. Luckily, nature does not make broccoli available in the colder winter months. The harvest during a cold winter was traditionally loaded with meats, grains, and root veggies—all primarily acidic, rich in protein, and rebuilding. This principle of eating naturally with the seasons is the main focus of my book, The 3-Season Diet.

Options for Treating Protein Deficiency

1. Medicinal Red Meat. Even the Dalai Lama and many of the monks in Kashmir eat meat. If you are not totally offended by this option try the two week red meat blood plan to rebuild protein and stabilize blood sugar: Eat 4 ounces of red meat a day for 2 weeks, preferably at lunch.

I believe this medicinal program is best and most effective when implemented with great respect and gratitude for the animal that gave its life to help yours.

2. Vegetarian Alternatives. If eating meat is not an option for you, try the following:

Have 3 whey, pea, rice, or hemp protein powder shakes a day; one with each meal.
Eat off the winter grocery list (see the winter grocery list from The 3-Season Diet in the library at LifeSpa.com) and emphasize the vegetarian proteins and fats listed.
Eat more of the high protein foods listed below.

Protein Sources:

Non-Vegetarian

  •         Meat
  •         Poultry
  •         Fish
  •         Dairy
  •         Eggs

   Vegetarian

  •         Seeds, sprouted
  •         Nuts
  •         Beans
  •         Lentils
  •         Whole grains (in order from highest to lowest protein content): Wheat, amaranth, oats, rye, triticale, teff, spelt, wild rice, barley, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, sorghum, corn, rice.
  •         Soy
  •         Peas
  •         Peanuts
  •         Spinach
  •         Potato
  •         Sweet potato
  •         Algae
  •         Seaweed

Note: This article focuses less on severe and/or acute protein deficiency, and more so on mild and/or chronic, sub-clinical deficiencies that may contribute to numerous other chronic health issues. Below is a list of symptoms related to severe protein deficiency.

Symptoms of Severe Protein Deficiency:

  •     Edema (swelling)
  •     Thinning brittle hair and/or hair loss
  •     Ridges in finger and toe nails
  •     Skin rashes; dry skin
  •     Weak and tired
  •     Muscle soreness and cramps
  •     Slow healing
  •     Skin ulcers
  •     Sleep issues
  •     Headache
  •     Nausea
  •     Fainting
  •     Depression/anxiety

If you have these symptoms and suspect you may not be getting adequate protein, please see your primary healthcare provider for a blind test and evaluation of your total serum protein.

As you can see, your protein levels can really make a difference in how you feel, especially throughout the winter. Whatever your diet of choice, I hope you continue to stay balanced and use these tips to help find what works for you. And remember, your feedback is always valued!

 

Relephant:

A Yogi’s Healthy Diet Guide According to Ayurvedic Principles.

Guide to a Balanced Diet That Improves Brain Function.

The 3-Season Diet: How & Why to Eat Ayurvedically:

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About Dr. John Douillard

Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP is a globally recognized leader in the fields of natural health, Ayurveda and sports medicine. Over the past 30 years, he’s helped over 100,000 patients repair their digestive system and eat wheat and dairy again. He is the creator of LifeSpa.com, a leading Ayurvedic health and wellness resource on the web with over 5 million views on YouTube. Receive his valuable health reports in your inbox - sign up for free! LifeSpa.com is evolving the way Ayurveda is understood around the world, with over 800 articles and videos proving ancient wisdom backed by modern science. Dr. John is the former Director of Player Development and nutrition advisor for the New Jersey Nets NBA team, author of six books, a repeat guest on the Dr. Oz show, and has been featured in Woman’s World Magazine, Yoga Journal, the Huffington Post and dozens of other publications. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For information on Dr. John's newest book, Eat Wheat, please visit eatwheat.lifespa.com, LifeSpa.com and connect with Dr. Douillard on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Eat Wheat is now available in bookstores. It can be ordered from Amazon, eatwheat.lifespa.com and all major booksellers.

Comments

95 Responses to “Could you be protein deficient? Here are the hidden signs.”

  1. Annina says:

    What if you don't eat red meat at all? I can't do the "therapeutic" regimen for protein deficiency. I have never had beef, buffalo, and pork ever in my life, and I actually have a very stong aversion to them. I can't even sit at a table with someone eating beef – it makes me gag. I do eat eggs, chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, nuts, legumes, beans.

  2. Mafboro says:

    I'm sorry to see the people who attack the position. Unfortunately this may be more prevalent in the older population than the younger. As you get older your ability to digest all kinds of nutrients lessens. I am a vegan. I eat reasonably well, but I also have fibromyalgia and acid reflux. The veganism is most ly for the acid reflux. But it is easy for me to experience everyone of the symptoms and even more including an increase in my acid reflux even when I'm not eating anything that should set it off.

    I have to take 80% protien powder made from rise to keep these symtoms at bay. However, I have to admit that before I turned about 55, I didn't seem to be bothered by the deficiency. I'm betting that none of the negative posters are above 60 in age.

  3. Guest says:

    The whole complete protein idea has been debunked. Your body does just fine with potatoes if that's all you have. This is a weak defense of an antiquated and destructive paradigm. I eat all the fibrous fruits, veggies, and grains my body desires and I feel amazing. I was a meat eater for most of my life, and I never felt as good as I do now.

  4. ?""""""""OO says:

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  5. Amy says:

    Why so judgmental?

  6. Jennifer says:

    You go Jeanine!

    Thoughts create reality. Meat consumption hurts our health, the environment (big time!) and it causes countless billions of animasl a short life of suffering. It is not right and there is no way around that.

  7. Karla says:

    WHEY protein shakes? I hope you were kidding. One of the most unhealthiest foods available. Please read studies about the effects of whey.

  8. Julia81 says:

    Seriusly, if you like meat and want to eat it…do it. But don't say that you eat meat for the proteins or because you were "sooooo sick" without it. It's 8 years that I'm vegan and it's almost 2 years that I'm following the 801010 (10% of proteins, duh!). And I ran my first full marathon this year. Yes, you can be healthy on a plant-based diet! 🙂

  9. Everyone is different. It is up to each one of us to tune into our bodies and figure out how much protein we need. True what someone else said that a piece of red meat from a cow that has lived outside in the sunshine and eaten it's native diet of grass is a COMPLETELY different food than a piece of meat from a factory farm. You can't even compare the two. Some of us do better on more animal protein, others do better on more grains/legumes. Again, it is up to you to figure it out.

    A big issue missed by most vegetarians is that grains and legumes are difficult on the human digestive system. Traditionally, they were always soaked in some sort of acid medium for at least 12 hours before cooking. Grains and legumes contain phytic acid which inhibit the body's own enzymes and bind up minerals. Soaking, sprouting and sour leavening help to neutralize phytates and act as a pre-digestion process. It also unlocks some of the vitamin content in the food.

    Lastly, many of us are protein deficient due to insufficient production of stomach acid. Age, stress, alcohol, and processed foods all contribute to this problem. Hydrochloric acid produced by the stomach is what breaks down proteins into their component amino acids which are used by every process in the human body, very notably the production of feel-good neurotransmitters.

    As a Nutritional Therapist, these are the types of functional issues I work to resolve with my clients.

  10. SinMiedo says:

    Kwashiorkor is the medical term for a form of malnutrition in which calorie intake is sufficient, but the diet lacks protein. It's also very uncommon outside of widespread famine and severely limited food supply/variety. 🙂

  11. Actually Trained says:

    Actually it is a vegetarian system. Unlike other forms of medicine Ayurveda and spirituality go hand and hand. It is not separate from the teachings of the Sutras. Everything you take in is karma, every moment of life is karma. every action creates the next reality. That is an essential part of Ayurveda, whether you choose to believe it or not. I have read the texts you mention and it only recommends meat for vata wasting. That is a choice as everything is. It is also not the only route and does not need to be permanent. Most vegetarians who pay attention to what they eat will not have any problems. It is unfortunate that he choose to open up other practitioners not as famous as himself to judgment when they are working with the public. I would not dedicate my life to Ayurveda if it was not a vegetarian medicine. And unlike Chinese medicine it has not been changed by culture and is still living in the sprit world.

  12. Kashyapa says:

    Good article except for one large mistake where he states, "Ayurveda is a vegetarian system of medicine." This is false as Ayurveda is not at all a veggie system. In both the Charaka and Sushruta Samhita it very clearly describes various types of animal protein from beef, yes the sacred cow of India, to fish, peacock and and even camel. Direct from the Charaka Samhita, sutra 158, "Meat of a peacock, partridge, rooster, goose, swine, donkey, cow and buffalo is beneficial for developing one's body."

  13. cyrus says:

    Most of this information is wrong. I'm a DC practicing paleo nutrition for 34 years. This article is about fat starvation not protein!
    Ayurvedic is not vegetarian. Your list of high protein vegetarian foods have hardly any protein at all. It misleads people who want to contribute to the well being of the planet by not eating meat, to thinking they can do it without eating meat. Go to a nutritional seminar with a thousand practitioners and ask them, "for whom of you are your vegetarian patients the most sick" you'll see all the hands in the room go up.

  14. Kim says:

    This article is ridiculous. Protein deficiency is almost impossible to get, even as a vegan who trains.

    "As long as you are eating any reasonable selection of unrefined plant foods, if you take care of the calories, the protein takes care of itself. The scientific evidence has been clear for over a century. In order to get a deficiency of protein, or any of the essential amino acids, you'd have to eat a bizarre diet. You'd have to eat nothing but apples, or nothing but extracted sugars and fats, or (as is much more likely) nothing but alcohol."

    Source: http://www.gorillaprotein.com/protein_deficiency….

  15. BreatheToday says:

    Protein deficiency = kwashiorkar. That is its medical name, or, in the lingo, "Enlarged liver due to protein malnutrition," which distinguishes it from enlarged liver due to other causes. Kwashiorkar is a Ghanan name meaning "older sibling's disease," since in Africa it commonly begins when a child is weaned too young in order to make room for a new baby. In many societies, children are breastfed for several years due to their higher per-calorie protein needs.

    I was diagnosed with severe acute kwashiorkar when I was 22. It's not a happy thing. I'm sure everyone is going to jump on me now and try to discredit me. But I don't care. The way kwashiorkar becomes severe is when the person has so little protein that the body begins metabolizing protein from the muscles. The toxic byproducts of this choke up the liver, causing it to become enlarged, and begin to collect in the hands, feet, face and gut causing swelling. It is a form of starvation most common in children in the developing world, especially where the staple food is very low in protein (like cassava). As the disease progresses, protein from other sources is consumed such as the skin and hair, causing myriad skin problems and causing the hair to go turn orange or yellow and fall out. It weakens muscles in the body such as the heart, causing low blood pressure and low pulse. I feel like this article kind of takes severe acute malnutrition lightly when it is such a huge problem affecting millions of people–mostly children–all over the globe. Many hospitals in the developing world have a wing devoted solely to severe acute malnutrition. It is so sad to think of this kind of suffering being so rampant in our world. On the other hand, if American doctors begin to see how this disease affects the middle class, maybe they will be more responsive when it comes up as a problem affecting other Americans.

  16. Kate says:

    Thanks for the article. Last year I was diagnosed with a significant protein deficiency. At the time i had been a practising vegetarian for a number of years. To cut a long story short my body “told” me that i needed to reintroduce meat. I wasn’t happy about this but because id been feeling so bad …. Therefore it was with great interest that i read this article. Thanks again

  17. graham says:

    Why is dairy put under the category of non-vegetarian. Dairy IS a vegetarian food source. It is not a vegan food source.

  18. Beautiful article Dr. Douillard! I would like to add that Chinese Herbs are a great idea for mild to moderate protein deficiency, too. I specialize in restorative diets, and I see so many people eating from 'ideals' rather than a willingness to experiment and acknowledge the results. Too strict of a diet leads to so many of the things you have listed above, plus a wrecked nervous system, tight tendons (more pulled muscles), adrenal fatigue, fertility issues, and advanced aging. Diets are so complex, and there isn't one basic diet that suits every person. Thank you for continuing to edify some of the nuances so beautifully. I love your work and recommend it to many clients!

  19. Lindsay says:

    But………Are you hunting for your food, or paying for someone to kill animals who suffered in metal concrete sad factory farms? We don't need to eat animals. We don't need to contribute to the violence.

  20. Lindsay says:

    The "focus" should not just be on ourselves. It should be on how to stay healthy and not harm other beings.

  21. Lindsay says:

    We do not need to contribute to the violence of killing animals for food. Living vegan is so easy and wonderful! 100 cals of broccoli has MORE protein than 100 cals of lean cut beef. As long as you are getting enough calories, you are getting enough protein. Americans get 2x the protein they actually need. Big myth 🙂 http://www.pcrm.org/…/vsk/vegetarian-starter-ki…

  22. Kristina says:

    This make no sense at all, most people are not protein deficient quite the opposite and the reason they're craving sweets are because they're eating too much protein. You need to go back to school. The body craves a certain specific ratio of the macronutrients, carbs/protein/fats. If you over consume one of the macro nutrients the body will crave the others so that it will receive the perfect ratio. By having your clients eat more protein you will make them crave even more sweets or block their mineral absorption.

    From a holistic nutritionist.

  23. Holly says:

    Exactly what I noticed. Surely someone writing an article like this should be able to categorise these things correctly.

  24. Holly says:

    'I believe this medicinal program is best and most effective when implemented with great respect and gratitude for the animal that gave its life to help yours.'
    THE ANIMAL THAT GAVE IT'S LIFE TO HELP YOURS?
    No animal has given it's life to help anyone, they don't have that voice, or freedom. The idea that by sitting at the dinner table and being respectful makes it OK that an animal most probably suffered pain, stress and discomfort during it's shortened life & dying moments, so that you could enjoy the nutritional benefits of it's flesh – is completely obscene. That really is such ignorance.
    I've drastically cut down on the meat I eat, and choose vegetarian food except 1-2 times a week currently, but on those occassions I'd NEVER allow myself the false comfort of thanking and respecting the animal for some ridiculous imagined willingness.
    I hate to sound like a ranty commentor but that really is a shocking attitude to be publishing.

  25. elephantjournal says:

    Hi Holly,

    We are an open community of writers and readers and publish articles/encourage discussion on a broad range of topics. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, including yourself. Please keep comments as respectful as possible.

  26. Francoise says:

    I agree Nadine. The last time I ate meat was in the 80's. I don't have any of the above symptoms and feel great. You are 100% right that we are what we believe. We see what we believe and believe what we see.

  27. Dijana Okugic says:

    This is the best thing i’ve read on the internet in a long time ans i must say it has explained a lot to me..infact it cleares up all my questions about the problems i’ve been having for quite a while now since i haven’t been eating meet or eggs..so thank you for this incredible helpful article, honestly i know now where i should start helping myself

  28. I was vegetarian for 7 years and slowly got sicker and sicker. Then was diagnosed with celiac disease and started eating meat again. Everybody can choose what they want to eat but it's good to be informed before you risk your health.

  29. Agreed, G! Thanks! 🙂

  30. I'd like to echo rosacanina here.
    Protein deficiency exists, and can have serious consequences.
    You can be deficient in any nutrient that a human body normally needs.
    As an example, when I was vegetarian, I was infertile for 4 years – I didn't ovulate or menstruate at all. I devloped osteoporosis at age 26. After beginning meat, my cycle started again and my bone mass improved steadily.
    You can rationalize till the cows come home, but when something like that happens, you have to listen to your body.

  31. elephantjournal says:

    It's good to not support factory farms as much as possible.

    Also, I just read that Celiac disease is caused by eating gluten.

  32. elephantjournal says:

    Andrea, I don't mean to pick on you, but osteoporosis is caused, according to WebMD by a diet low in calcium, low exercise, and smoking cigarettes, primarily. The foods with the most calcium are not meat! The only meat in the top ten is fish and it is number 10. I'm not saying you should be a vegetarian, it might just not be possible with your particular situation, but to insinuate that being a vegetarian causes osteoporosis and Celiac disease seems like misinforming. Most studies show that a vegetarian diet is the most healthy diet (if you do it right) and it's also better for the environment.

  33. Yes, it is caused by gluten, more or less.
    Celiac disease damages the intestines making it harder to absorb nutrients. According to my GI doctor, this was the cause of my protein deficiency. Even though I was eating vegetarian sources of protein, they were hard for my body to absorb.

  34. Tommasina says:

    Unfortunately there is no scientific basis for Dr. Douillard's argument. The largest study in history of those eating plant-based diets recently compared the nutrient profiles of about 30,000 non-vegetarians to 20,000 vegetarians and about 5,000 vegans, flexitarians, and no meat except fish-eaters, found that vegetarians and vegans get 70% more protein than they need every day (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/do-vegetarians-get-enough-protein/). Dr. Douillard perpetuates the belief that animal products are necessary for optimum health when the science shows the opposite. 97% of us actually don't get enough fiber–fiber comes only from plant sources, so perhaps eating enough plants should concern us more than eating enough animal products. That he cites evidence from pop science books like The Blood Type Diet which has been debunked thousands of times in peer-reviewed journals (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/blood-type-diet-debunked/) underscores the importance of calling out bad science when we see it.

  35. Traxy says:

    Not to mention hypothyroidism.

    A vegetarian diet usually needs supplementation with vitamin B12 … and if you don't take B12, that throws off the body's chemical balance.

  36. erotic says:

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  37. I didn't mean to misinform, EJ. It looks like my celiac comment was deleted. Let me try again.

    Celiac disease affects a person's ability to absorb nutrients. This is sometimes true even after they go gluten-free. So people who have celiac, or certain other health conditions, may need to eat meat. A friend of mine, for example, returned from Thailand with a parasite that wiped out his adrenal glands. He had also been vegetarian, but a naturopath recommended that he eat primarily vegetables and meat while he was recovering.

    I don 't remember all that my deleted comment said about celiac, but the comment above speaks solely to individual needs and is not a blanket statement about vegetarianism.

    There's some evidence that meat is unhealthy, but there's some also evidence that it's healthy. I don't see why it's unreasonable to state that it depends on the person. Also, although I don't enjoy eating meat, and have tried ways to avoid it, I don't need to be censored for pointing out that it can be healthy in certain cases. This is important information for my health and potentially for others as well.

    As far as osteoporisis, I have read in reputable holistic health books that protein can reverse the loss of bone mass. I stopped relying on Web MD a long time ago.

  38. Ruth says:

    I am so grateful for finding this article. I have Carcinoid cancer and for the last month, I have been experiencing symptoms exactly suited to protein deficiency. I know now that I need to add a lot more to my diet. Knowledge is power. Thanks so much.

  39. Monica says:

    Wow, I’ve been experiencing 10/13 symptoms for a few years now and have been vegetarian for 11 years. I could have sworn I was eating enough protein (I eat several foods listed above). I just thought the symptoms were from being graduate student. I’m definitely going to get my protein level checked and try out the whey shakes. Is there a certain brand/flavor you recommend? Thank you so much for sharing these helpful tips!

  40. Skinny says:

    What are your thoughts on beef proteins? There are a few brands on the market that market themselves as pure hydrolized beef protein which seems pretty awesome, plus they come in flavors like chocolate and vanilla, so you even if you don't feel like "tasting" meat you can still get the protein you need.

  41. Gabriel says:

    My grandparents lived a healthy life up to their 80 s and 90 s working the field and growing farm animals in eastern Europe. …..people have lived for the last 100.000 years eating meat and veggies. ..changing that in our DNA is like changing an active lifestyle for a sedentary one and hope to be healthy….it just cannot be…our the body isn't designed that way…

  42. Candy says:

    I agree…feel great as vegan.

  43. Euuusi says:

    one of the best protein sources, for anyone: hemp hearts…they can be added to smoothies, sprinkled on salads, stews….included in baking…

  44. Euuusi says:

    Add Hemp Hearts to your diet…it's one of the top (vegan) proteins, and easy to use.

  45. Margaret says:

    Whey causes cancer! I can’t believe any doctor would recommend it. There is no such thing as medicinal red meat. That would be the equivelant of medicinal heroin. It is killing people. Watch forks over knives, then come talk to me. I have lost respect for elephant journal posting this crap which is just to push his book. Do your research, this guy hasn’t. Doctors usually have 20 hours or less of nutrition based studying in med school. Anyone who wants to know about nutrition should go to a nutritionist.

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