You may have heard that to increase muscle and to lose weight you need to increase your protein intake. When I first heard that I thought…wait a minute the same thing that is going to make you bigger is supposed to make you ‘smaller’…I asked the trainer this question and he looked at me dumbfounded but it left me to thinking…”besides sounding absurd, will this method actually be safe?”
Although we all know we require a certain quantity of protein every day to be healthy and because of propaganda to this effect, a lot of people view the daily consumption of high-protein foods such as meat and dairy as highly beneficial. However, judging from the failure of most if not all the people I have personally known attempting to lose weight on a high-protein, low carb diet, it may be time to revise our ideas about protein.
From what I have seen (upwards of six cases I have been able to observe among friends, family and co-workers) it will be safe to answer the question heading this article with a simple No!
Not only is a diet high in protein NOT the best at all for weight loss, according to many naturopaths, such a diet may even be detrimental to ones overall health.
Because of its complexity, excessive protein along with fatty foods are the most difficult foods to digest and tend to leave one tired all the time. Moreover the common putrefaction of protein while being digested creates many acids in the body and has been known to lay the foundation for cancer.
This is not to say that proteins and fats must be avoided, quite the contrary, what should be the goal in consuming these foods should be taking in exactly what the body needs and no more. The Max Planck institute has proven that, considering that the body recycles most of its protein for its own needs, 25g of protein a day is more than enough.
According to T.C. Fry, a well known Naturopath and pioneer in drugless healing, there are several cultures such as the Caribbeans, who subsist on a Manioc-based (root-vegetable) diet and get about 12 g of protein a day. Quite similarly, an aboriginal tribe living in the Mountains of Hagen was discovered to live on about 80-90% of their diet being Sweet Potatoes, the rest mostly leafy veggies, bananas and the like.
While I lived in Nigeria for 17 plus years, most people hardly ever even consumed milk or cheese (they were too expensive) and families strictly rationed the consumption of animal flesh to about the size of medium size lemon per person every other day. All these groups of people, with their root vegetable diets are obviously in great health, accomplishing great physical work.
Moreover, Mothers milk, which for a time is a baby's perfect food, has about 1-2 % protein content. (Only fruits and veggies resemble it in their composition) Any reasonable person will be able to deduce that a growing baby needs more protein than a full-grown adult, yet human babies, just like with our distant cousins: the Apes in the wild, do just fine on breast milk and on the subject of apes who share about 98% of our DNA, do you know the Gorilla, the strongest primate, has been known to bench press upwards of about 4000 pounds! What does this creature live on? According to Dr. George Schaller and Dian Fossey, two great primatologists, this powerful relative lives on mostly fruits and leaves.
Now, considering all the factors above, when it comes to the right diet for weight loss, I would recommend a Mucus-less or Mucus-poor (raw and cooked fruits and veggies) over any other mere fad in the quest of attaining fitness and health. Of course, if the consumption of animal flesh must be continued, I would also advise that it be done at a minimal quantity and only one kind of animal flesh every so often.
In my opinion, consumption of fresh home-made salads, mono-meals of fruits, snacks on dried fruits such as dates, a few nuts and maybe even a short juice fast, as a choice for a diet (along with some form of exercise) will be the best path to attaining safe and healthy weight loss.