Anonymous asked in Food & DrinkVegetarian & Vegan · 1 decade ago

I read somewhere that protein deficiency is actually pretty uncommon among vegetarians... can anyone confirm?

17 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I worked in health information management for 20 years, my wife is a registered dietitian, and I never heard of even one instance of a person in the USA with a protein deficiency. This includes vegetarians, homeless people and people with eating disorders. The only times I've ever heard of it was in famine stricken people from third world countries.

    The whole idea of meat being the only source of protein is a myth created by meat eating cultures such as Britain and the USA. It has no basis in fact. The only people who believe this have no real education in nutrition.

    Sure, meat is very high protein, but there are many plant based foods high in protein and it is not necessary to eat meat to get an adequate amount of this nutrient.

    People eat beef, right? And there's a lot of protein in beef, right? But cattle don't eat meat, so where the heck does the protein in beef come from? If cows can get enough protein without eating meat, why wouldn't people be able to do the same thing? The whole idea about needing meat for protein doesn't really make any sense when you think about it.

  • 1 decade ago

    Protein deficiency is pretty uncommon in the developed world, period. In famine conditions, where people are surviving largely on a single starchy staple, kwashiorkor is a real risk. But in the developed world where most people are not starving, true protein deficiency is almost unheard of. Anyone eating enough calories to meet their energy needs and not trying to survive on junk food easily gets plenty of protein. The idea that vegetarians are in any way lacking comes from the power of the beef lobby and the poor quality of nutritional education in our schools. Far and away the more common problem in the Western world is excess protein and its attendant health problems. The link below is some basic info on protein requirements and vegetarian sources of protein; from the content of some of the foods listed, it should be apparent that meeting one's protein requirement on a vegetarian diet is extremely simple.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes - a balanced vegetarian or a vegan diet can be perfectly adaquate in protein. Some vegan foods actually contain more protein than animal products and meat.

    I don't personally know of any protein deficient vegetarians or vegans. I've gotten much healthier since I've been vegan and can actually gain muscle faster now. I'm sure this is for a number of reasons - my whole health and even my motivation has improved, and there are some other factors which aren't related to veganism too, such as maturity, but veganism has definitely been a factor in that. I don't take any supplements, apart from omega 3,6 & 9 when I need to concentrate on studying, but that's an 'extra' - I just eat a very healthy diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and beans. There are even some vegan bodybuilders and stuff - it's all possible.

    Also, most Westerners eat far too much protein, which causes all sorts of problems such as cancers, obesity, heart problems, osteoporosis, gastric ulcers, high blood pressure and so on... I'd say a lot of people in the USA go well above the RDA for protein, and even the RDA is excessive in my opinion. Furthermore, protein isn't utilised unless you exercise enough - which is what most avid protein gobblers forget.

    Problems occur in a vegetarian or vegan diet when not enough care is taken in the transition of eating habits. Some people will just cut out meat and animal products and not do any research on nutrition. Anyone can be a healthy vegan provided that they put a little effort in. The fact that some vegetarians and vegans get ill from not doing this is NOT an excuse to carry on eating meat and animal products - anyone can do a little research and watch their diet.

    So there's no reason not to adopt a cruelty-free diet!

  • 1 decade ago

    i have no problem with proteins.. matter of fact i'm on lipitor because i'm still getting too much protein action.

    and i've been a vegetarian for 30 years now.. coming up real close to 31.

    lipitor is a medication to control function of the liver because of cholesterol production. (IE: lipids, a process from ingestion of proteins.)

    by the way, meat's protein comes from fatty element, not fiber and thus our body doesn't absorb that protein and it becomes artery plaque. ( so much for meat being a good source of protein.. if the body doesn't absorb it.. then how does a meat eater get their protein sufficiently? among other minerals...)

    Source(s): this site has a list of veggies, fruits and other.. which has protein values next to them. you'll see what i'm talking about.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Americans eat WAY more protein than they need. The average American eats 100 grams of protein a day - you need under 30 grams. Also, "vegetarian" usually refers to those who eat dairy and eggs. If you do, then it is easy to eat just as much protein as meat eaters. As an ovo-lacto vegetarian, I measured how much protein I got a day. It was often 80 or more grams a day. Now I am a vegan. It is SLIGHTLY harder to get protein, but it is certainly not hard to get enough. Soy milk, tofu, nuts, grains, and veggies very easily provide protein. A serving of pasta also has as much protein as a glass of milk. Remember that our ancestors rarely ate meat but got enough protein from their plant-based diets. The same is true of today. The meat and dairy industries just make it seem like it's hard to get enough protein without them because the truth is threatening to their profits.

  • 1 decade ago

    The reason behind the Protein Myth is a huge Meat, Egg & Dairy lobby dating back about 50 years.. Big Bucks spent every year.

    Here is a super article by Dr. John McDougall on the subject. His newsletter is FREE & the archives are full of helpful up to date info.

  • 1 decade ago

    This is true. I don't know where this obsession with protein came about. Non-vegetarians LOVE to freak out that we are not getting enough protein. In reality, most meat eaters get way too much protein. In most cases, even if you are vegan, if you are eating a well-balanced diet instead of potato chips all day long, you are going to be just fine on almost all of your nutritional requirements -- especially protein! That is actually the least of my worries.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I've been vegetarian for years and I've never had any protein deficiency (or any deficiency).

    I think this is one of those lies spread by the meatpacking industry.

  • 1 decade ago

    indeed that is true.... i have been a veggie all my life and i have no deficiency

    meat may be a good source of protein but it is not the only source of protein....

    tell me this - in the wild, take an example of a food chain - lion kills and eats a deer - so lion gets its protein (from the deer's meat) - but where does the deer's meat get the protein in it from ?? YES greens !!

    greens / beans / pulses / lentils have ample protein... so do milk and cheese!

    another example - omega 3 - people think eating fish can give you omega 3 - but where did the fish get it from ?? SEA WEED has more omega 3 than fish

  • 1 decade ago

    Protein deficiency is rarely seen outside of famine conditions or cases of extreme poverty. In such cases, the individual is not consuming enough calories and it is this which results in the protein deficiency.

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