Animal Protein and RA

Another controversial subject involves animal protein.  Some experts will recommend that you need to be on a Vegetarian or Paleo or any others diet to heal from RA or any chronic disease. 

Where is the truth?

Don’t get me wrong we do need a lot of vegetables to heal RA using nutrient-dense vegetables.   And the goal is to eat vegetables with every meal. 

Fish is also an animal protein but I am not referring to fish in this article.  While fish is an excellent source of Omega 3 and protein, which you can’t get this quality from plants like seeds and nuts, here I want to encourage people to get over the guilt of eating animal protein, such as beef, chicken, turkey, pork etc.

When I started to publish my videos on YouTube many people contacted me and I was surprised to find out that over 80% of them were vegetarians or vegans.  As for the rest of them I am not sure but no one came out saying they were on a Paleo diet and struggling with RA.   

It is my own personal statistics and to be honest I wasn’t ready for this.

But what I have learned from my own research, data, mentors, teachers, my experience with clients and my personal experience with RA is that for a balanced diet we need to eat animal protein.  Particularly for people who suffer from chronic health issues.  I know many people will argue but hold on.

Here are the reasons:

1. First we all agree we need proteins as building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, blood, skin.  High-quality proteins are essential for optimal health and function.

2. Animal proteins as compared to plant proteins contain all the essential amino acids (proteins) components or elements for your body needs.  Grains and legumes are limited to some of these components.  That is why if you don’t eat animal protein you need a combination of grains and legumes.  It is more difficult, but you can do it.

Dr. Junger, MD from his bestselling book 'Clean' wrote “… I believe we are (need to eat animal protein) omnivores by nature’s design, and I think it almost requires a doctorate in nutrition to be a healthy vegan or even vegetarian”. 

Note: When we start the process of healing from RA I would remove completely grains and legumes for some period of time to give a break to your digestive and heal your gut first and then in moderation start to add back into your diet if you wish.

3. Many people who contact me mentioned that they felt better after going to a vegetarian diet.  That doesn’t surprise me.  When people start a new diet, they pay attention to what they eat, and they eat healthier foods.  They feel better not because they stopped eating animal protein but because they eliminated all the junk food and add more plant food.

4.  There was an article in our city newspaper:  “the owner of a famous chain of restaurants talked that when they opened the vegetarian-only location, that the dessert sales are double compare to their non-vegetarian locations.  I know myself that if I am not eating animal proteins in my diet I will search the house looking for some sweets. 

And remember this fact: “If you are unable to decrease your sugar intake, you are far less likely to improve from RA”.

But if a vegetarian diet works for and you can stick with it then continue.  Obviously if you feel great than that is the way to go but for many people a vegetarian diet doesn’t work.  For those people depriving yourself is the result they will not stick with it.

Also it is very important to remember the quality not the quantity that matters!

There is a huge difference between meat from a farm factory and 100% grass-fed meat that is pasture raised.

Ninety-seven percent of the beef for sale in the U.S. is grain-fed.  Because of the crowded conditions; these cattle must be massively dosed with antibiotics to help prevent the spread of diseases.  The cattle are also unnaturally obese due to the administration of growth hormones and fatty fillers like GMO, cheap corn, soy, and in some cases even animal byproducts and candy.  As a result, you get a fatty piece of meat tainted with antibiotics and hormones.  That is not good meat, and is not healthy.  When we eat animals that aren’t healthy - we become unhealthy.

Is grass-fed meat more expensive?  Yes, in the short term, no in the long term.

We will always pay a price for quality be it education, relationships and our health.  You must put effort or money or time in if you expect good results.

What if you don’t have this quality meat in your stores?  When you start to look you will find it and you might be pleasantly surprised at how inexpensive it can be.  If you are somewhere near upstate NY I can even direct you right to a small farm that offers grass fed meat.

If you find you still don’t have access to this kind of animal protein then eat even more vegetables and eat the leaner meats, because toxins accumulate in the fat.  Remember always look for quality not quantity.

Honestly, is it a meat or vegetarian diet that makes us healthy or sick?  Maybe not at all…

Dr. Weston A. Price “Nutrition and Physical degeneration” , traveled around the world in the 1930's to find out why and where the healthiest people live, and most of these people he found came from the “primitive” groups who lived isolated lives away from civilization …” the diet of the healthy primitives were diverse.  Some were based on sea foods, some on domesticated animals, some on game and some on dairy products.  Some contained almost no plant foods while others contained a variety of fruits and vegetables, grains and legumes.  In some mostly cooked foods were eaten, while in others many foods-including animal foods-were eating raw. 

However, these diets shared several underlying characteristics.  None contained any refined or devitalized foods such as white sugar and flour, canned foods, pasteurized or skimmed milk, and refined and hydrogenated vegetable oils.  All the diets contained animal products of some sort and all included some salt. Preservation methods among primitive groups included drying, salting and fermenting, all of which preserve and even increase nutrients in the food. “

… maybe it’s just because of the highly processed foods we eat!

P.S. That is why I am a strong believer that to heal RA or any chronic condition, before we even remove the biggest triggers like gluten, dairy and sugar, we first need to remove all processed foods from our diets (… yup even powder proteins in the smoothies).