9. A Healthful Diet Without Meat
Dr. Scharffenberg says, “In contrast, contrary to conventional belief, it is simple for a vegetarian to maintain a healthful diet. There is no worry about cholesterol and little concern about saturated fat. Fiber and carbohydrate are adequate without any special calculation. HOW IRONIC THAT FOR SO LONG IT HAS BEEN THOUGHT THAT IT WAS THE VEGETARIAN WHO HAD DIFFICULTY.
IN LEARNING TO GET ADEQUATE NUTRITION… THE OLD WORRIES ABOUT A VEGETARIAN DIET BEING PROTEIN-DEFICIENT ARE GROUNDLESS AND SHOULD BE LAID TO REST.” (Caps mine—author)
The intelligently planned meatless diet has none of the disease problems of flesh foods and provides a dependable source of all the nutrients—including adequate protein.
Complex judgments or computations, such as are necessary in planning a meat-based diet, are obviated. It is extremely difficult for meat eaters to maintain a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, high in carbohydrates and fiber, and containing adequate calcium to compensate for the effects of meat in increasing excretion and transfer of calcium.
9.1 The Obsolete Amino Acid Theory
One of the favorite arguments of flesh eaters is that proteins from the plant kingdom are “incomplete,” because no one plant food contains all of the twenty-three identifiable amino acids (although the carrot, with twenty-two amino acids, comes quite close). Studies of man’s physiology, and the effects of his consumption of foods from the plant kingdom, have shown conclusively that it is not necessary to consume all of the amino acids at one sitting, not even the eight (some references say ten) “essential” amino acids that are not fabricated within the body.
The foods we eat are processed by the body, and the amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and other nutrients are reserved in a pool for later use as needed. When we eat, we replenish the reserves in this pool, to be drawn upon by the cell as required. We do not live upon one protein food, but upon the protein content of our varied diet, which supplies all of the protein needs of the body. Guyton’s “Guidance Textbook of Medical Physiology” is authority for this important information. The book contains five pages showing that amino acids are picked up from the bloodstream and cells of the body.
If you have read Diet for A Small Planet, you are familiar with Frances Moore Lappe’s assumption that it is necessary to consume all the “essential” amino acids at each meal, and her complicated “solution” to this “problem” for vegetarians by combining certain foods from the plant kingdom to form complete proteins, resulting in some abominable food combinations, which, of course, do not take into account human digestive limitations.
Nowhere in Nature is there any evidence of the necessity for such complicated maneuvering to obtain optimal nutrition. Not only are humans not dependent on the animal kingdom for their nutrition—it is also not necessary to play a numbers game with nutrients or foods at each meal.
9.2 The Truth About Amino Acids
New knowledge has completely reversed the old theory, which was based on studies between 1929 and 1950 that used purified amino acids. We eat foods—not purified amino acids Recurring studies reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association and other medical journals (since 1950) show that it is not necessary to feed complete protein at each meal. One such study by E.S. Nasset, reported in World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics 14:134-153, 1972, indicated that the body can make up any of the amino acids missing in a particular meal from its own pool of reserves, as long as a variety of foods are included in the diet.
Only gelatin and isolated protein factors are completely devoid of one or more amino acids. “Vegetable protein foods are not lacking totally in any specific amino acid…. the average vegetarian ingests adequate amounts of protein, and the amounts of essential amino acids in the diet not only meet the minimum requirements—they more than twice exceed them.” (Scharffenberg, Problems with Meat.)
There is also a proliferating availability of additional documentation of the fact that humans and animals fast for lengthy periods, and that, instead of suffering protein deficiency, the end of the fast finds them with restored protein balance. Those individuals who have experienced prolonged fasts (of perhaps fourteen days or longer) invariably have experienced remarkable improvement and hardening of the nails of the fingers and toes. During my twenty-nine day fast in 1967, I marveled at the improvement in my own finger nails, which lengthened and hardened, a new experience for me.
If the body were not capable of storing amino acids, this obviously could not have occurred during a period of abstention from all food. Nor could this have occurred if the protein supply were dependent on continuous and simultaneous external sources of all the essential amino acids.
It is true that protein is not stored in the body in the same sense that excess carbohydrate is stored as glycogen or fat. But the body can compensate for temporary deficiencies by withdrawing what it needs from the pool of materials within the organism—as material is sloughed off intestinal walls, from digestive secretions, and from the autolysis of old cells, fat, etc.
Many foods from the plant kingdom contain so-called “complete” proteins; that is, humans may obtain from them all of the essential amino acids which they cannot synthesize, but from which other amino acids may be synthesized as needed.
The argument that the best source for protein is meat because the analysis of animal protein (amino acids, particularly) is much closer to that of the human body than is plant protein is an excellent argument for cannibalism. If that contention were true, all animals would be best nourished by eating their own species since, obviously, that would be the only source of identical protein and their best source of optimal nutrition. I believe that even the heartiest flesh eaters would find this idea repugnant.
Besides, it must be remembered that no human can use the protein in the form in which it is consumed. It must always be disassembled into its constituents and reassembled or synthesized into the particular protein required by the cells and tissues of the new host. As previously explained, cooked and coagulated animal protein presents great difficulties in this necessary breakdown of the long chains of amino acids.
9.3 Superiority of Uncooked Plant Proteins
All nuts, except the hickory, contain complete proteins. This has been verified by experiments by Cajori, Kellogg and Berg. Sunflower seeds and sesame seeds are in the same category. Peanuts, beans, and a long list of vegetables also contain all the essential amino acids: carrots, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, fresh corn, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, okra, peas, potatoes, summer squash, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. This listing is by no means complete. Most vegetables, of course, contain lesser amounts of amino acids than do concentrated proteins like nuts, seeds and legumes. Soybeans (which may be sprouted and eaten raw) contain all of the essential amino acids—in fact, a higher quantity of all amino acids (weight for weight) than meat or eggs.
Some grains do not contain all of the essential amino acids (as far as has been presently determined). When grains are used together with an abundance of raw green vegetables, whichever amino acids are missing from the grains are well supplied by the green vegetables. But remember that you do not need to concern yourself about securing all of the essential amino acids at one sitting.
An adequate supply of protein in the overall diet is indispensable for normal health and well-being. But such an adequate supply of protein is not dependent on killing animals for food, nor upon using a calculator to add up the amino acids at each meal.
Use a variety of the available Hygienic foods—choosing from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts—not all at each meal, of course—or even necessarily, every day—but over the course of the weekly diet.
Dr. Hoobler, who did some research at Yale University, demonstrated the superiority of nut protein. It was he who proved conclusively that the protein of nuts not only provides greater nutritive efficiency than that of meat, milk and eggs, but that it is also more effective than a combination of these three animal proteins.
Fruits and vegetables, though containing relatively smaller amounts of protein in their natural state, are excellent sources of supplementary amino acids for complete and optimal nutrition.
The protein in raw nuts and seeds, and in uncooked fruits and vegetables, are readily available to the body, and are therefore said to be of high biological value. During the process of digestion, the long chains of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) are gradually broken up for the body’s use in synthesizing its own protein (as any species must do).
It must be reiterated and re-emphasized: when proteins have been cooked or preserved, they are coagulated. Enzyme resistant linkages are formed which resist cleavage, and the amino acids may not be released for body use. In this case, the protein is useless and/or poisonous to the body, becoming soil for bacteria and poisonous decomposition byproducts.
Since the nutrients available from raw food are several hundred per cent greater than those available from food that has been cooked or otherwise processed, and since, obviously, flesh foods are usually not eaten raw by humans, this in itself would be an important reason why first-hand protein foods from the plant kingdom, which may be eaten uncooked, are superior.
Raw food decreases the need for protein in yet another way: the usual conventional diet requires six to eight grams of protein per day for the synthesis of digestive juices. But raw food, with all the enzymes intact, economizes on digestive enzymes.
Nuts are subject to few contaminating influences; they supply everything we can get from flesh foods, in better form, better condition, cleaner, more easily used, and without the risk of eating chemicalized or diseased flesh foods. And nuts can be eaten without cooking or processing.
Utilization of nuts is best if eaten with uncooked plant foods of high biological value, such as large green salads. Sprouted grains and legumes are excellent supplementary sources of protein of high biological value.
In abnormal conditions, as after a prolonged fast, recovery from a debilitating disease, during lactation or pregnancy, or during weight training, a slightly greater amount of protein may be necessary, if not in excess of the digestive capabilities of the body. Concentrated proteins are more difficult to digest than most other foods, and must be consumed within individual limitations rather than according to charts.
- 1. The Principle Hygienic Concern Is Optimal Health
- 2. The Best Fuel For The Human Body
- 3. Flesh Foods Cause Degenerative Disease
- 4. Vegetarianism Receiving More Attention
- 5. The Evidence Is Mounting
- 6. Modern Methods Accentuate Risks
- 7. Eating Low On The Food Chain
- 8. Meat-Based Diet Presents Complex And Grave Nutritional Problems
- 9. A Healthful Diet Without Meat
- 10. Vitamin-B12
- 11. Recap
- 12. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Osteoporosis: The Key To Aging By Robin Hur
- Article #2: Vegetarian Mother’s Milk Safer
- Article #3: Booklet Review – Meat And The Vegetarian Concept, Part I
- Article #4: Booklet Review – Meat And The Vegetarian Concept, Part II
- Article #5: Scientific Vegetarian Nutrition
- Article #6: What’s Wrong With Your T-Bone Steak? By Alvin E. Adams, M.D.
- Article #7: Fishitarian Or Vegetarian? The Difference Might Be Fatal! By Bob Pinkus
- Article #8: The Facts About Vitamin B12 By Robin Hur
- Article #9: Wolf! Wolf! By V.V. Vetrano, B.S., D.C.
- Article #10: The Vitamin B12 Hoax By V. V. Vetrano, B.S., D.C.
- Article #11: It’s A Lie! Vegans Are Not Lacking In Vitamin B12 By V. V. Vetrano, B.S., D.C.
- Article #12: A Normal Source of Vitamin B12 By V.V. Vetrano, B.S., D.C.
- Article #13: Well! You Wanted to Know! By V. V. Vetrano, B.S., D.C
- Case History: How We Suddenly Became Vegetarians
- Dark Humor: Rigor Mortis on the Dinner Plate