At the risk of disappointing many steak lovers, I must state that there is no scientific truth in the high-protein-for-health theory. If you are really concerned with your health and long life, you must unlearn everything you have learned previously concerning proteins.
It is true that our bodies are built mostly of proteins. Twenty per cent, and more in some vital organs, of a cell’s composition is made up of protein. Since our body is renewing and repairing its cells constantly, we need lots of protein in our diet to supply needed nutrients for these repairs and for the building of new cells.
But how much is “lots”? Seventy, 100, or 150 grams a day, as advocated by many American “experts”? Due to the frame of this work we cannot, unfortunately, go into great detail in presenting this most interesting subject. Suffice here to say that the majority of responsible nutritionists in various parts of the world agree that our present beliefs on the protein question are outdated and that the actual need for protein in the human diet is far below that which has long been considered necessary. The famous nutritionists Dr. Ragnar Berg, Dr. R. Chittenden, Dr. M. Hindhede, Dr. M. Hegsted, Dr. William C. Rose, and others are reported to have shown in extensive experiments that our actual need for protein is somewhere around 30 grams a day, or even less. Many leading contemporary scientists and nutritionists in Europe, such as Dr. Ralph Bircher, Dr. Otto Buchinger, Jr., Dr. H. Karstrom, Prof. H. A. Schweigart, Dr. Karl-Otto Aly, and many others are in full agreement with the findings of Drs. Berg, Chittenden, Rose, et al., and are recommending a low-protein diet as the diet most conducive to good health.
Empirical experience and observation proves the correctness of the above fact. The healthiest people in the world—the famous Hunza people in India, the Semitic tribes of Yemen, Bulgarians and Russians, certain tribes of Central America and Africa—which are known for their good health, long fife, and resistance to disease, all five on a low animal protein, high natural carbohydrate diet. Even in the United States, some religious groups, like the Seventh-Day Adventists and Mormons, who advocate a low animal protein diet, have 50 to 70 per cent lower death rates than those of average Americans; this is shown by statistics. They also are reported to have a much lower incidence of cancer, tuberculosis, coronary diseases, blood and kidney diseases, and diseases of the digestive and respiratory organs.