When it comes to food, nothing gets me more excited than a nice, juicy, and cooked to perfection, piece of meat. All meat in the world of nutrition is classified as a protein. Protein is what feeds and builds muscle. And who doesn’t want more muscle? If we didn’t eat protein, we would just be bones and skin, walking around.
Protein is made up of amino acids. There are two types of amino acids, essential and non-essential. Essential are amino acids that the body cannot produce. Meaning we need to eat foods with these 8-10 amino acids in them. Nonessential amino acids can be made by our bodies.
Essential amino acid can be found in most animal products. Non-essential amino acids can be found in plant products. That’s why having a healthy balance of animal proteins and plant proteins is so crucial.
How Much Protein?
Unlike carbohydrate, fats and sugars, protein is not stored in the body. This means whatever your body needs it uses then gets rid of. Roughly 10-35% of your diet should be classified as protein. That works out to be 0.8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight you have. Let’s say you weigh 200 pounds (nice round number for easy math). This means you should be eating 160 (200x.8) to 240 (200×1.2) grams of protein a day.
The first mention of eating animal protein was after Noah survived the floods. Once the flood was over, God blessed Noah and told him to he could eat the animals as food.
“Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” Genesis 9:3
God gets a little more specific in Leviticus. This takes place shortly after Moses escaped Egypt with the Israelites and reached Mt. Sinai. There God tells Moses how to conduct themselves. These instructions emphasize ritual, legal and moral practices, which provide the means to gain forgiveness for sins.
“Say to the Israelites: ‘Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat. You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud.” Leviticus 11:2-3, NIV
Divided hoof and that chews the cud, really narrows the animals God told them to eat. It must have both to be an animal we can eat. This would include cows, deer, lamb, and bison. Animals that don’t fit into this grouping would be rabbit or pig.
What and how these animals eat, provide a lot of insight as to why they are so healthy or unhealthy for us. Their digestive track is designed to process what they eat, cud, better than anything else. Cows are a perfect example. Cows have four different stomachs that help them process what they eat to the fullest. This helps get rid of all the harmful bacteria, viruses and parasites that none of us want to eat.
A pig on the other hand, has very acidic stomach, like human stomachs. When they eat, the acid in their stomach becomes watered down due to the amount of food the pig eats. This causes parasites, bacteria, and viruses to pass into the flesh of the pig.
In the USA 3 of the 6 most common food-borne parasitic disease (toxoplasmosis, taeniasis, and cysticercoids) are associated with pig consumption. The other 3 diseases are found in the consumption of fox, bear, and raccoon. All animals the Bible says we should not eat.
“These are the birds you are to regard as unclean and not eat because they are unclean: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.” Leviticus 11:13-19
Doesn’t get much clear than this. God gives Moses a list of animal we should not eat. Lucky for us, all of these animals are not considered food to society’s standards. This means chicken, turkey, and duck are all good options to eat.
Under the Sea
“Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales.” Leviticus 11:9
This is another one where it must have both traits to be eaten. Fins and scales, implies most fish are given to us to eat. Great option for that is bass, cod, halibut, salmon, and tuna. The animals with only fins, we shouldn’t eat would be like whales, sharks, and dolphins. I think most people are ok with not eating those.
It’s the animals of the sea that don’t have either fin or scales that most people are bummed about not eating. We are talking about clams, crabs, lobster, octopus, and shrimp.
Have you ever heard of the phrase “you are what you eat”? In this case the saying should really be “you are what you eat, eats”. If the thing you eat eats garbage, are you not now eating garbage? All of the creatures of the sea that don’t have fins & scales are called bottom dwellers. They are the garbage disposals of the sea.
Biblically Based, Scientifically Proven
In 1953, Dr David Macht of John Hopkins University wanted to test the toxicity of animals. He took samples of meat from every type of animal. He then added a growth culture (bacteria) to each of the samples. After a few days he looked at how the culture had grown on the meat. He classified meat that still had 75% or more of the meat not covered in bacteria to be not as toxic as the other that had less than 75%. Here are his results.
Trying to eat the recommended about of protein can be difficult. We are lucky to live in a day and age where we have supplements that can help our protein intake. Here are the main types of protein supplements and what you need to know about them.
Hands down the most popular protein supplement. This type of protein is made during the process of turning milk into cheese. Whey promotes muscle growth, fat loss, and metabolism. It also absorbs quickly into your body making it great for post workout. Since it’s a byproduct of milk it is packed with lactose. So some of you might have allergies or just a hard time digesting.
The brother to whey. Casein is a byproduct of milk. The process they put milk through isolates the milk’s protein (casein) from the milk’s carbs and fats. It takes the body a little longer to absorb casein. This makes it great for a pre-bedtime protein choice. Just like whey some might be allergic or find this hard to digest.
Soybeans offer all the essential amino acids we need. To make soy protein supplement, beans are dried and made into a powder. Soy has been linked to reducing the risk of certain cancers. Soybeans are extremely cheap to grow. They are often genetically modified as well. These modifications have been linked to rising estrogen levels in men and women. This has led to many people not taking soy protein.
You are not going to get the munchies by taking this protein. It does come from the seeds of cannabis plants but without the THC effects. Hemp protein is new on the protein scene. Due to its association with cannabis, it is only harvested in select countries. This makes it one of the most expensive proteins out there. With all that said, it is often referred to as a “superfood”, and not by just “Bob Marley fans”. Hemp protein has all 21 amino acids and has been shown to improve metabolism and brain function.
Eat .8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of your weight
Eat animals that have hooves and eat cud
Eat fishes that have fins and scales