Daily Health Tips
Meat is not needed for good health
Meat seems to have assumed an exaggerated importance nutritionally. It is generally mistakenly believed that nutritional deficiencies, especially of proteins and vitamin B12 and poor health may result if animal foods are eliminated. Studies however, have indicated to health problems or deficiency diseases for those on a vegetarian diet. Of the 22 amino acids -the essential components of proteins - needed by the body for its normal functioning, only nine need be supplied by the diet as the body synthesises the remaining 13. The body can use 100 per cent of this protein if all ten amino acids are in ideal proportions. If, however, one or more of the essential amino acids are present in less than the ideal amount, the value of the entire protein is reduced in the same proportions. On a quality rating scale of 1 to 100, egg protein is 95, milk is 82, meat and poultry are 67, fish 80, grains are between 50 to 70 and legumes, nuts and seeds are between 40 and 60. The so-called protein deficiency in a vegetarian diet is in fact more imaginary than real as the contribution of the protein value of the green vegetables has been ignored and the true protein requirement is less than that assumed. Green vegetable protein is as high in quality as milk protein and thus makes a very valuable contribution to the vegetarian's protein nutrition. The high quality of protein balances the lower quality of other vegetarian proteins such as nuts and beans. The recommended daily allowance of 70 value proteins is 44 grams per day for women and 56 for men. Researchers have now discovered that the actual protein requirement is much less, being 15 grams per day of 100 value protein or 21.5 grams of 70 value protein or 30 grams of 50 value protein. A wholesome vegetarian diet can, therefore, easily meet the body's protein needs.