Protein

Appears in

The New Vegetarian

The New Vegetarian

By Colin Spencer

Published 1986

  • About
New vegetarians need have no worries today either about the amount of protein in their diet, or its quality. Views on protein have changed. In the past it was believed that the protein intake necessary for health was much larger than we now think. People were told to eat too much protein and, in affluent societies, most still do. It is said that Americans pass the most expensive urine in the world – the result of excess protein in their diet.
Until recently, too, protein from animals was thought superior to that from plants – they were even, misleadingly, termed first and second class proteins. Such entrenched opinions were largely the result of ignorance – meat, eggs, milk and fish were familiar protein sources, whereas the varied vegetable protein foods were less common in Western diets – legumes (especially soya beans), nuts, whole grains, root vegetables and seeds – particularly the protein-rich sprouted seeds like alfalfa. Nowadays, stores offer a great range of these foods, from all round the world.