Proteinaholic – Dr. Garth Davis

A unique book about the history of protein, the scientific misused in the promotion of animal foods, the catastrophic consequences for the population, and the solution; the scientific victory of plant based protein and all the health benefits associated with it. A must read book if you truly want to know what protein is all about.I couldn’t talk about protein without mentioning Dr. Garth Davis. He is a american leading bariatric surgeon (bariatric surgery is the act of removing part of the stomach and/or intestines generally in obese people) that used to advice his patients to eat high animal protein diets for weight management. He realised that during the first year post surgery his patients seem to be doing fine, but after year one and year two of the surgery many patients were gaining the weight back. He, himself was denied a life insurance in his mid thirties due to failing the health check, scoring high blood pressure, high cholesterol and fatty liver. How could he live and recommended a lifestyle that was making him and his patient sick? This was a tipping point in his career. So, he started to pull out all the scientific literature on protein he could get his hands on and spent years going through it. This restless and thorough research eventually ended up in the shape of a controversial conclusion; “Proteinaholic”.  

The book is about the protein addiction of the american population (and western societies, I would dare to add), and the mistaken belief that eating animal foods is necessary to guarantee enough protein intake, a balanced diet, healthy living and even weight management. He shows how bad science is used to promote these type of diets and uncovers the flaws of high protein low carb diets like Atkins, Paleo etc… He also explains with detail how animal food diets lead to many health issues and eventually chronic diseases like Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Obesity, some Cancers, Premature Death etc… The health benefits of eating plant based protein are well documented and so is shifting towards a whole foods plant based diet. At the end of the book, a two week meal plan in included with a selection of recipes created by dietitian Dana McDonald (“Rebel Dietitian”).

In all his professional career in medicine Dr. Davis has never, ever seen a patient suffering from protein deficiency. In fact, he has search through all the medical literature and he has not found a single case of protein deficiency when caloric intake was adequate. If we are eating enough calories, protein deficiency simply does not exist. Remember, 70% of the Okinawan’s diet is based on sweet potatoes (see Protein and Okinawans post), yet they are one of healthiest and longest lived people in the planet. Ask yourselves, have you ever heard or known of anyone who has been diagnosed with protein deficiency? On the other hand, have you heard or know of anyone with any of the previously mentioned chronic diseases? Does any of them eat regularly animal products for breakfast, lunch and dinner? For example; a glass of milk or yogurt in the morning, a tuna, cheese, egg or a chicken sandwich for lunch, and an omelette, fish or a steak for dinner. What’s the real problem, not enough protein or too much animal protein….

The scientific literature favouring plant foods vs animal foods is vast and overwhelming. It’s not any longer a matter of where do we get our protein, calcium or iron from. It’s a matter of reversing everything we believe and have grown believing in since we were kids in regards to foods. Much as Copernicus had asked the people of his time to give up the notion that the sun moved around the earth and to accept, instead, that the earth turns around the sun.

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