This post, may be one of the most important blog posts I’ve ever written.
See videos below, but it’s a good idea to slow down and read first, OK?
First off, this is not simply a conversation about animal protein versus plant protein even, though there is a bias towards plant protein here because it’s more nutrient rich, and eating more plant-based nutrient rich is not about or limited to weight loss-only and muscle building alone. It’s about both, and so much more, like detoxification, health, disease reversal, aging and longevity as well.
This issue of eating protein and its influences on why, what, when and how we eat is one of the biggest drivers of eating behavior ever. It also unleashes a whole cascade of questions about the effects of animal protein, soy foods and begs the question… what is a nutrient rich food?
We’ll get in to that more in future posts, referencing prior posts, but If you want to learn more and faster, get yourself a copy of The Nutrient Rich Healthy Eating Plan. It’s low cost and high impact. We are answering all kinds of questions about this in our reader support area.
What you need to know about eating protein ultimately starts with it’s ability to raise Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 [IGF-1] along with other substances that do the same when eaten in excessive amounts. IGF-1 is a hormone similar in molecular structure to insulin. It plays an important role in childhood growth and continues to have anabolic effects in adulthood, if we are eating foods that induce the secretion of this hormone beyond what is natural in our childhood and adult years; the excessive effects of which toxify our bodies, degrade our health, promote disease, cause us to age faster, look older and die younger.
The implications of all of this, especially in a society where rates of maturity and muscular growth are both heralded as signs of youthful strength, power and exceptionalism, health, vitality, and fitness, is huge!
Whole industries are built on the premise of eating protein (i.e animal protein, in particular), so much so that even the plant-based world of nutritional products has tried to duplicate the same model and appeal to our infatuation with getting enough protein, albeit in a healthier more nutrient-rich way.
Why the infatuation? It’s because we have been taught that protein is the elixir of life, that we need large amounts of it, and have fallen in love with the idea of the increased anabolic growth rates it promotes. And our infatuation with excessive anabolic (growth promoting) way’s of life, are literally killing us, ironically slowly, and in some cases not so slowly if you have a weak genetic predisposition, but ultimately faster for everybody.
Believe me, I know this first hand. I was once an an animal protein based bodybuilder, who was anoblically obsessed with the idea of eating protein period. I bought into the idea that we needed high biologically available protein for growth and paid a huge price for it in the years following. I was then negatively affected by what I did no know about eating protein, in a nutrient-poor, rapid growth-promoting way, that admittedly resulted a seductively good look, but left me with incredibly poor health and low energy from over stimulation.
Little did I know back back then, what I was doing as a bodybuilder, which has since turned into the #1 weight management and muscle building approach world wide (low carbohydrate, high animal protein), and is packaged in countless and deceptive ways to the consuming public who obviously wants both of these results, was having a dramatically bad impact on my health. And It’s a pretty good bet it’s doing the same to you right now if you are still being deluded by excessive needs for protein beyond what you’ll get in a whole foods, predominantly plant-based nutrient rich diet.
That experience, eventually inspired me to found nutrientrich.com promoting the More Plant Based Nutrient Rich® approach to healthy eating and living; to learn and publish (version 1.0) of The Nutrient Rich Healthy Eating Plan so I could help people recover, heal and develop a nutrient rich body as part of a more resilient and healthy performance lifestyle.
So, to shed more light on this, this past week, Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 and it’s relationship to the foods we eat, was finally made simple by one of our nutritional research partners Michael Greger MD and his team. Below you will see five (5) video’s that answer some of the most important questions about what what you need to know about protein with an approach that factors in the most recent review of nutritional research untethered to commercial interests.
If there is one thing you should most definitely get from this post it is that changing the way you eat must start with the right concept and enable you to bypass and break free of the vicious cycle of eating nutrient poor. It must also reflect what nutritional research is revealing for us and be flexible to change.
We don’t know what we don’t know and sometimes, even the most well intended people and philosophies can be too idealistic, and be sending messages that are negatively affecting your health. The research below, will help you make sense of things, answer some questions, and help you optimize the way you eat.
OK, here is the profound video series I’m talking about. Set aside some time and listen.
Protein Intake & IGF-1 Production
Animal protein consumption triggers the release of the cancer-promoting growth hormone IGF-1.
Higher Quality May Mean Higher Risk
The reason animal proteins trigger the release of the cancer-promoting growth hormone IGF-1 more than plant proteins may be because the relative ratios of amino acids in animal proteins more closely resembles our own.
Animalistic Plant Proteins
While animal proteins increase levels of the cancer-promoting growth hormone IGF-1, and most plant proteins bring levels down, “high quality” plant proteins such as soy may not significantly affect levels in either direction. This, however, may depend on the quantity consumed.
Too Much Soy May Neutralize Benefits
Vegans consuming 7-18 servings of soy foods a day may end up with circulating IGF-1 levels comparable to those who eat meat.
How Much Soy Is Too Much?
To maintain the low IGF-1 levels associated with a plant-based diet, one should probably eat no more than 3-5 servings of soy foods a day.