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Vegan Myth Alert!
November 7, 2013
3:07 pm
Immigrant
Forum Posts: 9
Member Since:
February 22, 2012
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Hey J, I'm dying to get your take on this. My raw fruitarian friend tried to tell me today that foods like brown rice and potatoes have COMPLETE protein in them! Wtf? He linked this paper to me and I desperately need your help debunking this crap. He says most plants have all the essential amino acids factory contained in them. Here's the paper he swears by: http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/protein.html

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November 7, 2013
4:36 pm
Immigrant
Forum Posts: 9
Member Since:
February 22, 2012
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He also linked me this paper: http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.php and advised me to scroll down to :”Any one of the above foods, eaten in the amount specified, would provide the recommended amounts of all essential amino acids for an adult male”

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November 7, 2013
5:55 pm
Alex
Guest

I don't have any data or studies to give you, but in my own experience, plant proteins are not well digested and assimilated. This really came to light for me when I tried two different brands of complete protein powder based on rice and pea proteins, and they both sat in my stomach like a rock, making me feel ill. Meat provides a deep nutritional satiety that just isn't satisfied by plants alone, and I have no problems at all digesting it.

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November 9, 2013
12:03 pm
Halifax, UK
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 365
Member Since:
June 5, 2011
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"Essential", so "complete", huh? Who defines essential? What happens when we find out that a non-essential naturally bound up in meat, not found in plants is actually essential?

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Living in the Ice Age http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk
November 15, 2013
4:18 am
First-Eater
Forum Posts: 2105
Member Since:
February 22, 2010
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Barricade:

I've got a lot on my plate right now, including articles, so this one has taken a backseat for the time being.  I've seen it before, though, and it's indeed bunk -- though a relatively sophisticated type of bunk.

JS

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December 8, 2013
8:08 pm
First-Eater
Forum Posts: 2105
Member Since:
February 22, 2010
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Barricade:

I don't have time to do my usual exhaustive treatment on this, but I note the following:

1. Green vegetables might have a decent percentage of complete protein in them.  However, the average asparagus spear contains only four calories, so you'd have to eat over 600 of them to survive an average day!  (The resulting energy expenditure and digestive distress are left as an exercise for the reader.) 

Thus we learn the important difference between percentage and absolute amount

2. The grains that actually contain enough calories to sustain life don't contain nearly enough protein to meet anyone's needs -- and the protein is of such poor quality (indigestible and lysine-deficient) that it won't sustain life.  There's a reason that people living only on grains suffer kwashiorkor and other protein-deficiency diseases!

3. The only vegetable I know of that even comes close to containing enough complete protein to sustain life and enough calories to make eating it practical is potatoes, at approximately 9% protein that's only a little bit deficient in leucine and lysine.  (Source.

(And what do you think happens to that % protein once you add a little bit of fat to that potato in order to make it edible?)

3.5. He repeatedly moves around the axes on his "graphs" in order to obscure the above facts.

4. Beans have a decent amount of protein, but with the exception of soy, it's not complete or of high quality (0.7 or less on the PDCAAS).

5. His "sources" for amount of necessary complete protein in the diet assume 100% complete protein, and are massive underestimations for anyone not completely sedentary.  Your body can adapt in the short term to a wide range of protein intakes without going into negative nitrogen balance, but that doesn't mean you're not losing lean body mass in order to run the basic cellular machinery of survival.  There's a reason raw foodists are stick figures, and the vegans who aren't eating huge amounts of protein powder are either stick figures or skinny-fat...

Result: to get adequate protein as a veg*an, you need to pretty much become a bean-itarian AND be smart about protein combining.  And Bluejay's article is bunk.

JS

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