Proteins are the most important elements in our daily diet. We can live very well for many days without carbohydrates or fats, but regular consumption of protein foods is the absolute necessity. They are the only ones which contain nitrogen, which is essential to animal life. Protein is the great builder and repairer of the body. It is an essential element for both bones and muscles. Protein is present in every part of our body; be it skin, blood, body organs, eyes, muscles, hair, and even nails. After water, protein forms the largest portion of our body.
Nitrogenous foods are used not only to build and repair, but in the end they are burned, supplying as much heat as the same weight of sugar or starch.
Sources of Proteins
Protein is present in both animal and vegetable kingdom. Among animal sources, it is present in meat products (hamburger, fish, chicken), dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese), eggs etc.
There are both complete and incomplete proteins. Complete proteins include meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, and soy (a non-animal source). About 70 percent of the proteins come from animal products. They are called complete because they contain all the essential amino acids needed by the body. The proteins in most of the cereals, beans and vegetables may contain all essential amino acids, but the amount is less than ideal. Because of this fact, vegetarians are recommended to pair non-animal products wisely in order to consume all essential amino acids and in right proportion.
Facts about Meats: The Major Source of Proteins
How much protein to take daily:
The total consumption recommendations are made depending upon the body weight you have. On raw scale, it is your weight in Kilograms multiplied by 0.8. For e.g. you have 80Kg of weight. Then probably you need = 0.8 x 80 = 64grams of proteins daily. It has been determined experimentally that it can be supplied by about 150gm of flesh daily. This will provide you about 40gm of protein. Rest should be supplemented by protein in other foods.
Excessive Meat Eating: Bad effects on Health
It has been surveyed that Americans eat almost twice as much protein as their bodies need. Why? Reasons are many, but main reason is that meats are prepared in a manner that makes rapid eating easy. They are made so flavoring and stimulating, and because of this they are overeaten. Now all meats contain waste. Though, if the flesh is of healthy animals and is eaten in moderate quantity, this waste is so small that it will pose no inconvenience. But, if eaten in excess, the results can be very serious. Overeating of flesh foods result in excessive production of urea and uric acid products. Some of them get deposited in various parts of the body, while the urea is excreted through kidneys. Excess urea production put more work on kidneys, thus more wear and tear. The major cause of diseases like diabetes and Bright’s disease is mainly contributed to the overworking of the digestive organs. Too much food is absorbed into the blood and the excretory organs have to overwork for the removal of the excess.
Myth about Protein requirement by persons at hard physical labor
Workers at hard physical labor eat large quantities of flesh, because they think they need a great deal. The fact is that only a marginal excess protein is needed by them than by brain workers. The extra energy requirement calls for more carbohydrates, not for protein.
Always Prefer Fresh meat as compared to preserved one
Meats are easily spoiled. They should be stored in a cold place and not very long. Fresh meat gets easily digested than the one which is salted, or preserved. Pickled meats should be used rarely. The same is true for fish.
Fresh meat is soft. After sometime it turns into a state of rigidity known as rigor mortis. Then it begins to soften again. This third stage is a form of decay, called ripening. The softening at third stage is produced mainly because of formation of lactic acid. Because of the ripening, many chemical changes take, which give the flesh more flavor. Consequently because of this flavor, people generally overeat. And overeating of meats results in degeneration of body as already discussed above.
Animal poisons are easily formed in flesh foods.
When formed, these are very dangerous, i.e. why it is not safe to eat tainted flesh, even if it is cooked. Fish gets decomposed quickly and because of this fish is poisoned more quickly and severely than meat. Fish should be killed immediately after it is caught, and eaten while fresh. Even under best precautions, it is somewhat risky to partake of fish that has been shipped from a far-away place.
The flesh of old animals is more flavored than that of the young ones, because of presence of more salts. And for the people, who have a tendency for the formation of foreign deposits, for e.g. those who are affected by rheumatism and gout or hardening of the arteries, should only take the flesh of young animals when it is obtainable.
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