One of the most frequently asked questions asked when someone switches from an animal to a plant-based diet is, How will you get enough protein? Today we shall study, how alkalies economize protein.
Alkalies Economize Protein; A Balance Emphasized
When eliminating meat from the diet, one should know that when the total diet contains the right proportion of alkaline foods he does not need as much protein as formerly because the abundance of alkalies causes a saving of protein so that a smaller amount of protein will accomplish as much work as the larger amount formerly did when the ration was too strongly acid-forming. This is a very important point. It illustrates the principle that foods must be rightly balanced with each other to secure the greatest efficiency. Foods which are all right will not produce right results if unbalanced. For instance, every knows that gasoline and oxygen much enter the automobile carburetor in the right proportions or combustion is impossible and the care is “dead.”
Eat More Vegetables and Fruits
A very common mistake made by those who reduce their consumption of meats is to eat more eggs and bread and so fail to make any reduction in the total amount of acid-forming foods. Instead, we should adopt the rule given in 1863 by a noted health educator who said, “Eat largely of fruits and vegetables.” Let the student keep a record of his meals for a few days and he, if he be an average man, will be astonished to discover how seriously out of balance they are. Refer back to the Automatic Menu Planner and see how meals are planned to bring them into balance.
Strength versus “That Tired Feeling”
Some people are alarmed when the suggestion is made that they eat no meat because many people have said, ‘We have to eat meat to give us strength.’ A little very simple thinking will reveal a fallacy there. We have already shown that the accumulation of the acid wastes of cells and their processes is the thing that makes us tired. All meats carry within them their own waste products of fatigue which were on their way to the organs of excretion when the animal was killed, so that the eater of meat gets the acid wastes of the animal which made it weary and so adds the animal’s weariness to his own and gets a double dose. There is no escape from that conclusion when physiology is understood. Furthermore, meat is not necessary to provide “strength”; the draft horse and the mighty elephant are both vegetarians. The cow which man thinks he must eat to be strong makes her strong meat out of vegetation. Man is but getting vegetation secondhand when he eats her, and gets only secondhand benefit.
By going direct to the vegetation himself for all of his food he can make just as good meat as the cow and avoid her fatigue wastes and her diseases and pay less money for his food. One physiologist put the matter in these simple terms, when speaking of fatigue:
“Fatigue is the result of chemical changes which occur within the tissues and organs of the body and which give rise to certain toxic products that act to depress these tissues or organs….The constitution of the blood is altered by the absorption of these acid products of fatigue, in consequence of which its alkalinity is greatly diminished, a condition which results in serious disorders.”
These acid fatigue wastes in the body constitute weariness. Alkalies are required to neutralize and eliminate the acids, and therefore alkaline foods (fruits and vegetables) will rest the weary person as acid-forming foods cannot do. Furthermore, a liberal supply of these alkaline foods will aid much in preventing weariness.
Dr. J.H. Kellogg has said:”Running at top speed, a sprinter makes a dram of lactic acid every second, half a pound in one minute. This acid much be instantly neutralized. If it accumulates, the runner becomes exhausted and his muscles refuse to act. To neutralize this acid, the blood is made alkaline. The more alkaline the blood, the longer the athlete can run or wrestle or row.” And the blood is kept alkaline by alkaline foods.
A very widely recognized authority has made this statement about the cause of everyday fatigue:
“The widespread custom of eating diets which are too acid is the cause of much of the chronic fatigue of the tired business man and woman which is attributed to overwork. Even the hardest physical work does not make one chronically tired. A couple of nights of sleep and a day of rest between is sufficient to refresh one who is tired from muscular work. The tiredness from which one cannot rest, the inability to concentrate on mental work or to apply one’s self to the day’s task is in many cases due to poisoning the nerve cells because of pollution of the body fluids which bathe them.
“The accumulation of fatigue products, mainly acid in nature, is probably the primary cause in most cases. In the laboratory it is found very difficult to fatigue a nerve. Eminent physicians have gradually come to believe that nerve-drugging through over-production of acid products which require alkali to neutralize them so that they can be excreted, with consequent reduction of the ‘alkali reserve’ of the blood accounts for the injury observed.”
Note: McCollum also states that the use of fruits and vegetables in the diet tends to maintain a normal acid-base equilibrium in the fluids of the body.
By God’s grace let us all strive to, “eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!” Ecclesiastes 10:17 For the next two weeks, class will be on break. Please come join us at our annual Upper Room Camp meeting. Blessings!
*Study adapted from Abundant Health, by Julius G. White