T Nation

anti protein prejudice

Hey all,
So a few weeks back, I had a friend of mine ask me to do her a favor. She needed me to write down my food intake for 3 days along with my activity levels for a class of hers. She is a pre-med student and she had to analyze an “athletes” diet and then give them suggestions on how they can improve it. Wellllll, she knows me and she knows that I am really strict with what I eat and I workout like a madman (ie…I’m a t-man). She basically chose me, cause she knew it would be an easy A for her. So, she e-mails me today and says that she is about to send me the letter in which she offers her suggestions. She told me that i eat waaaayyyy too much protein and that it is dangerous to eat so much protein. I was around 350-375 grams of protein per day, which comes to around 2.0 grams per pound of body weight. I was doing OVT at the time, so granted, my protein intake was high, but it is usually above 300 grams regardless. I just rolled my eyes and stated, “please dont tell me you are one of those people who thinks eating alot of protein is dangerous for a HEALTHY ATHLETE.” She said yeah, you eat too much protein and it is dangerous. So, what should I say back to her (we have just been e-mailing each other). Should I just say, “find me a medical study that directly says that a high protein diet for a healthy athlete is detrimental to his/her health?” If I am correct in saying this…all those studies that concluded that high protein diets were dangerous… because they caused kidney failure…were done on people who had kidney problems in the first place! Right? What are some other “zingers” I could throw her way? I really want to show her up…haha.

Ask her about that diet where you can eat all the protein you want, but you stay away from carbs (can’t remember the name).

Aren’t you living proof that a high protein diet can make a good body?

Also, there are studies that protein satiates the appetite better than C or F, leading to less of an appetite at subsequent meals and even the meal you are eating.

You can also say that a low-carb, high protein diet leads to an abundance of ketones in the blood, instead of a lot of glycogen. Ketones are food for the brain, as not much else can cross the blood-brain barrier.

Take a look at the Protein Roundtable article.

Yeah, tell her to find the study. She won’t.

You can also send her a copy of JB’s article, “Protein Prejudice.”

If all that doesn’t work, just tell her to shut up and find a new profession.

The T-mag previous issues section has all the answers:

Smart Answers to Tired Old Arguments -

Protein Prejudice -

JWright, are you refering to the Atkin’s Diet? Every keto diet would fit this bill, too.

Tony G, I had talked on another post about my PhD candiate chemistry friend who claims that what I’m doing is wrong, and she knows this because she has studied nutrition in school. But she’ll tell me to eat 60% carbs. I try not to argue with her, though, 'cuz she gets pissed.

just ask her why and get up and leave after about an hour of her not being able to say anything to you.

ATKIN’S DIET!!! Yes, that’s the one I was talkin about. I’m not good with the sedentary person’s diet names. haha. My diet this week is the “last week of college so I can eat whatever I want and drink whatever I want and party it up cuz I’m leaving on Sunday from undergrad” Oh yeah, it’s a good diet. On Monday, I start the new diet.

El Tigre! My man! Stick a fork in this hoochie momma and tell her she’s done:-)

Seriously, tell her that you eat so much damn protein because it tastes great, burns more kcals, is more satiating, helps to build muscle mass, and is completely healthy.

Ask her where and why her opinion generated that high protein intakes are unhealthy. You can respond easily by saying that RDA’s apply to people who do jack shit all day long. And those minimums established for athletes are just that: minimums. Ask here to find maximum intakes for completely healthy individuals. Ask her to find solid data and scientific evidence, not just anecdotal reports and crap from the lay press.

I imagine that she’ll also offer the argument that protein sources have fat. Then we get into the whole debate about fat is bad, fat turns to fat, which is a big crock of BS also. Let her know that your protein sources are lean and mean, and that the oreos she’s eating have more fat than all the protein sources you eat in a day!

Finally, I have a hunch that there’s so much bias against protein intake because it costs more money! BS, in my opinion.

Go get 'em, Tigre, show 'em what you can do!

All the suggestions are classic. I was thinking about sending her a copy of JB’s protein prejudice article and that should shut her up!! Although, I must say that she is a pretty “fit” girl too…so she is not one of those sedentary types who preaches protein is bad, protein is bad…BUT, she definetely has some “issues”. Damn, I wish people would stop being media zombies and come to realize that a high protein diet is NOT bad, especially for athletes!!! Okay, I am off to the battle. I WILL win this one, so help me god!! It will be a tough fight, but rest assured my fellow t-men and t-vixens…we will prevail!!..;o)

I have a quick question that I need clearing up. I just read “Protein Prejudice” AGAIN…and I noticed that JB’s recommendations are based on kg and not lbs. So, he recommends 2.0 grams of protein/kg body mass. However, I have also seen people recommend 2.0 grams of protein/lbs of body mass? So, which is it? Kg or lbs? I base my protein intake on lbs. I weigh 187 lbs…187x2.0=374 grams of protein/lbs. If I were to use kg that would come out to be 170 grams of protein/kg (187/2.2=85) 85x2.0=170. Very confusing!

You are lucky it is a friend. My mom is this way, got her a computer a few years back for christmas and know she is a freakin encyclopedia. I dont tell her crap anymore but my wife tells her everything ofcourse. In 1 ear out the other.

I’d tell her “I’d be happy to shed a few grams of protein on your behalf. Now close your eyes, open your mouth, and get ready to swallow.” :smiley:

sorry aikigreg…I have a little more class than that.

I wanted to throw my 2 cents in on this, and it has to do with something Timbo mentioned in the last line of his post. Namely, protein is expensive. Furthermore, protein comes from animals. Well, good, low-carb protein anyway.
I encounter a huge anti-protein contingent that is wrapped around animal rights. It takes 10 lbs of corn to make 1 pound of beef protein. That corn could feed lots of starving people… that poor cow… etc. etc. I hate to sound ike a conspiracy theorist, but I do feel it is part of a movement to brainwash us and erode our T-ness (for lack of a better word). Since I was young, and up to the present my family and I have been involved in safely and humanely raising animals… and eating them! Chickens, cows, pigs, goats, rabbits. We are also hunters and fishermen and care more, and do more for the environment that many tree-huggers.
So go ahead my friend: eat your animal protein and live a long and healthy and active and STRONG life!

El Tigre…You axed the question:

Here’s my take. One of the points of JB’s article was to stress that the literature gives us a minimum protein intake to achieve a positive nitrogen status. There is no maximum.

I think the number that you pulled from the article, El Tigre, was JB saying that the literature suggesting that anything greater than 2g/kg was unnecessary.

Now, if you ask JB himself, I’m pretty certain that he’d advocate nothing less than 1.5g/lb for protein intake.