Image Courtesy: Praveen Kumar
High protein foods, such as meat and eggs, may not be as useful as you would like to believe because normally they are consumed in a cooked form. There is a ton of information about proteins freely available online. Raw food ‘experts’ say that raw protein is the best because uncooked protein is of a higher quality. They suggest that cooking destroys upwards of 50% of the protein contained within food by denaturing the proteins.
Other sources say that in order to digest protein, it needs to be denatured to make amino acids bio-available. It really is hard to wade through the information and misinformation and decide which is which.
Try this on for size and practicality. Denaturing is going to happen anyway. In actual fact, it’s the viability of amino acids that you want to preserve. Certain cooking processes do destroy certain amino acids, particularly with high heat and burning (such as barbecues).
So what do we do with this information?
You do know one thing for sure – you do preserve more nutrients such as vitamins and enzymes when the temperatures are lower. The recommendation is to reduce the overall proportion of cooked food. Eat more raw food and make your way towards consuming eventually at least 80% raw food if you can help it! Green smoothies will shift the balance for you.
Getting a little scientific here, it’s important to know that:
- There are 20 amino acids that make up proteins.
- Nine (9) of these are called essential amino acids (certain others are essential in certain circumstances)
- The body cannot manufacture essential amino acids, so you need to find them in your diet.
Find the right proportion of amino acids
You need a diet that has the building blocks of your proteins across all your food choices and across your meals. You can find the right proportion of amino acids by eating well over time. It is a myth that you have to eat ‘complete proteins’ (proteins that have the essential amino acids in specific proportions) at EVERY meal. This is no longer considered critical. However, you DO need to eat well and ingest the building blocks over the course of a day or 2 or 3!
Vary your food
Varying your foods – fruits, vegetables and greens – and choosing your foods wisely will give you plenty of protein, even if you never eat any animal flesh. If you’re looking to put on muscle bulk, then exercise and a good wholesome diet are your friends! Some of the best building blocks are not surprising when you use sound judgment in your food choices. Movement towards a high proportion of uncooked, organic (if possible) plant-based foods is one of the best health decisions you will ever make for you and your family.
It is probably better to think about optimizing your greens intake. You may make a green smoothie to get healthy nutrition. Also, a cup of fruit can weigh hundreds of grams and it has all the nutrients that you need.
Dennis is a professional writer who loves to write about health and fitness. You can find out more about him on his site, http://www.reasonshighbloodpressure.com.