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The Real Food Channel

Food can kill - or heal. Info to help you choose wisely.

The truth about protein

Dr. John McDougall

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Let's get this straight once and for all

Every whole food that you eat has protein in it.

There are even some plants like broccoli that have MORE protein in it than steak.

And that protein is perfectly balanced.

If you haven't caught up with the story, Frances Moore Lappe who wrote "Diet for a Small Planet" and created the protein complementin myth has recanted her original claims.

You do not need to laboriously "balance" every plant-based meal to make sure you get all the proteins you need.

Lappé, a twenty-something year old grad student, pulled this myth out of her...thin air.

It did a lot of damage. Let's undo it now.

"Lappé devoted half of her book to this idea of "protein complementing" -- how to serve beans and rice together, for example, so that the protein would be "complete". The protein complementing idea was contagious and made its way into academic views, encyclopedia entries, and the American mindset. Unfortunately, the idea that protein combining is necessary was absolutely wrong."

You don't have to worry about complementing your plant-based meals. What you do have to worry about is the toxic effects of meat, fish and dairy.

Here's the paper that McDougall referenced for serious students.