Protein Myths Busted

Aug 10, 2022

If you have been avoiding or reducing your intake of animal products for any reason, please read this in its entirety.  

The most important nutrient you are probably not getting enough of is…drumroll, please…PROTEIN (with healthy fat being a close second)!

The more I dig and research into optimal nutrition, anti-aging, and overall wellness, one thing becomes abundantly clear- we are villainizing the wrong nutrients as a society.

Protein is easily the most important, vital nutrient we consume and it has been villainized over and over for all the wrong reasons (mostly money-driven, more later). 

Our species evolved to be who we are today, opposable thumbs and all because we eat meat. ESPECIALLY large game meat (like cows).

Meat has been wrongfully blamed for causing all sorts of health conditions like heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure, but it's not actually the meat that is doing this, it's more often the filler crap we eat WITH our meat- sugar, bread, potatoes, and rice! This anti-meat campaign was expertly run by the sugar industry to avoid being called out for what it was- a disease-producing industry. They manipulated studies to make it appear as if meat was to blame for the damage to their product. This is just one reason it's often hard to “trust the science” without first doing your own research. 

You see, our bodies are mostly muscle and connective tissue and these tissues are made entirely of protein. Guess what else is made of protein? Hair, skin, nails, and some of our vital organs like the heart and intestines. 

Think of it this way, we need two types of calories in order to sustain life- energy-producing calories which we get from fat, carbs, and alcohols, and structure-building calories which we can only get from protein. 

Before you say something like “but Americans are eating too much protein” let me just stop you there and say- doubtful. Americans have an overeating problem in general, but it's not because of too much high-quality protein! 

This brings up my next point. Grabbing a protein shake might help you get to optimal protein intake levels, but unfortunately, all proteins are not created equal. 

I learned this the hard way when I was a struggling vegan, unable to keep up with my busy lifestyle after years of protein starvation. I'll tell you this straight up, initially I felt awesome on a vegan diet and I was sold! I realized later that my initial success was because I cut out dairy for the first time in my life and dairy happens to be my primary intolerance (according to the Carroll Intolerance Method which is my preferred method for determining my patients’ ideal diet!)  

Unfortunately for me, the positive benefits of veganism waned within the first year and new health issues began to pop up slowly over time until finally my body began to shut down and I was forced to consider other dietary options. Extreme bloating, gas, eczema, eye fatigue, muscle cramps and twitches, menstrual irregularity, poor detox, and extreme fatigue were just a few of the ailments I suffered. 

When I began to supplement plant proteins I did gain some relief, but the real healing began when I reintroduced meat. 

As I'm digging deeper into the animal-based lifestyle and experiencing even greater health benefits for myself, I'm finally feeling ready to share this journey with you. 

Now that I have been following an animal-based diet for the past 4 months, it seems the more meat I eat, the better I feel. This is just me, and it may be short-lived, so please do your own research and talk to your doc before you try it. I'll keep you posted if I change my mind!

My goal is never to convince you of anything but to get you thinking and asking questions that challenge the status quo. An animal-based diet might not be right for you, but after years and years of guiding folks on dietary changes, I’ve yet to see anyone do poorly on a moderately high protein diet (about 30-40% of caloric intake). If you have compromised kidneys, please consult with your doctor or a licensed nutritionist before you make any changes to your diet.

 Protein helps slow our digestion of simple carbs  (and curb our cravings) which translates to more stable blood sugar. If you want to optimize your energy and lose that excess weight you’ve been carrying, focus on dialing in your blood sugar. 

 Blood sugar control is essential for overcoming anxiety and depression and finally gaining the energy to get through your day and still have fun chasing your kid or your dog around afterward! It is also the key to losing stubborn body fat and optimizing our cardiovascular health and brain function. 

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In health,  

Dr. Terra


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