Protein problems: Why too much of a good thing is a bad thing

As a hot-button topic among vegans and the people who love them, protein
comes up often and causes heated discussions. Many omnivores and wellmeaning
parents are under the impression that animal-derived foods are the
only quality sources of protein. True, meat and eggs are complete proteins.
However, the quality of plant-based protein is excellent and even superior
when you consider the dangers associated with meat consumption.
The high fat content, acidity, and toxins found in animal products cause
numerous health problems if consumed excessively (and most Americans do
fall into this category of excessive consumers). The major health problems
associated with meat consumption are heart disease, certain cancers, strokes,
obesity, and osteoporosis. A staggering majority of meat produced in this
country is very high in fat and cholesterol, which is an unsavory side dish to
the protein that people really need.
The acidic nature of animal foods causes your alkaline-loving body to try to
balance itself. The quickest way for the human body to get more alkaline is
to draw calcium out of the bones (calcium is an alkaline substance). So diets
rich in animal foods lead to constant losses of calcium through the kidneys,
leaching the bones of that essential mineral. It now makes sense that the
countries with high meat and dairy consumption also have high osteoporosis
rates.
Excessive intake of protein leads to other concerns besides brittle bones,
however. Other damaging effects are high cholesterol, kidney stones and
renal failure, overstressed liver and kidneys, and a risk of gout, which is
also known as “the disease of kings.” Gout is described as painful, recurring
attacks of joint inflammation that are brought on by high levels of uric acid
in the body. Gout is often a hereditary disease, but this acidic condition also
can be brought on by a diet that includes excessive amounts of animal foods.
About 200 years ago, gout was associated with the upper classes because
they could afford to eat more meat and assume a more leisurely life.

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