Vegans are forever told that you’ll wither away and become protein deficient. You have to eat meat, they say. ‘They’ couldn’t be more wrong. Here’s some facts about protein and how you’re most definitely not protein deficient.
According to a document published by vegan nutritionist Amanda Woodvine, there’s a lot of protein myths that need to be debunked. Protein deficiency as a vegan, is just one of them.
“We Westerners on average eat far more protein than we need. The maximum required, according to leading health bodies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), is only around eight per cent of our energy (calories) from protein. Even this value includes a large safety margin, so most people’s real needs are even lower. Put simply, you practically have to be starving to be protein deficient, so it is ironic that we worry about this in our culture of plenty.”
Amanda goes on to say,
“Plant proteins can do a better job of meeting your protein needs than animal products, both because they are less concentrated sources of protein (making it less likely that you’ll get too much) and because they are more likely to be present with other nutrients such as fibre, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and healthy fats.”
“Western vegetarians and vegans get enough protein, including plenty of the amino acids they need, as long as they are getting enough energy (calories).” Essentially, if you’re eating enough food daily, you won’t be protein deficient.
‘Kwashiorkor’ is the exact definition of protein deficiency, this is when starving people’s bellys start to swell. No one in the western world suffers from this. Especially not healthy vegans or vegetarians.
In fact, getting your protein from plant based sources is better than animal sources. Excess animal protein is linked with a host of diseases such as kidney disease, osteoporosis, cancer and diabetes. Even more reason for you to choose a vegan lifestyle!