Which diet is best? (Happy Meatless Monday!)

Happy Meatless Monday for tomorrow, everyone!

Do you think you are getting sufficient protein from plant sources?

This is a very useful video, Which diet is best: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUNZLyD2BqQ

This is from Professor Christopher Gardner, a Stanford professor of nutrition who has done at least 20 clinical trials for research in nutrition.

I have been watching a few more of his videos and learnt a couple of things.

  1. Plant-based and animal protein ultimately breaks down to the same amino acids and they have the same digestibility. This is great news coming from an authority in nutrition! I have often been told that meat protein has higher bioavailability. Not true.
  2. Most plants and fruits actually HAVE the 20 essential aminos acids! This is new to me as I thought only meat has the 9 essential amino acids that our body cannot make and the only plant-based food which also has these 9 essential amino acids are soy and pea. Looks like this is also untrue. Good news for vegetarians!
  3. He recommends the Mediterranean diet as a good one for everyone. Do an Asian-inspired Mediterranean diet, folks! Make a vegetable soup with a variety of vegetables and you cannot go wrong! Dump all your veges in water and boil it! Even a dummy like me can make that!

Here are more of Professor Gardner’s youtubes:

Everything you knew about protein is wrong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMwf_9wqWY0

Proteins in foods you’d least expect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-9D8VAowng

A healthier you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kwGGa40eWU

I particularly like a comment in one of these videos:

I have to say this host has an incredible ability to take something the professor says and makes it so easy to understand. His analogies are brilliant! I mean him taking the topic of aminos and how they break down and are utilized and says “basically it is like eating Shakespeare and a comic book and by the time the body uses it, it is simply letters so it has no idea where those letters came from”. 

And I found this:

Protein can be found in the foods you’d least expect: Nutrition researcher Christopher Gardner, PhD, explains that virtually all fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes contain all 20 amino acids that are the building blocks for the protein your body needs to function at a high level.

This is all so very interesting for us humans, isn’t it?

Looks like if you subscribe to what Professor Gardner says, then a plant-based diet is sufficient and you do not have to worry about protein deficiency anymore.

Now comes the big million-dollar question: Can dogs and cats go on a plant-based diet IF it contains all the essential amino acids that THEY need since the amino acids from meat and plants ultimately breaks down to the same compounds?

We don’t know…yet. I’ll be so happy if there is credible research that says YES, but until then, I am still old-schooled in nutrition for pets and all our cats are fed a variety of meat. I do know that plant-based cat food is popular in Taiwan.

However, it is the breaking down of the different proteins that should be in question. While we humans, being omnivores, have the enzymes to break out animal and plant proteins, some dogs may have it too, but do cats have this ability? As far as I know, that’s a NO. Cats are obligate carnivores.

But for us humans, we have Professor Gardner’s assurance that a plant-based diet is sufficient for us. Or, a Mediterranean diet then (with the addition of fatty fish) – be a pescetarian!

Disclaimer: These videos and the above comments are just for the purpose of sharing. Please consult your nutritionist for professional advice for yourself and your pets.

Meanwhile, here are photos of two vegetarian meals I’ve had at eateries in the past week:

This is a tomato and fried zucchini with sourdough bread dish at the Jam & Kaya cafe at the PJ Palms swimming pool. This cafe has very interesting dishes and also vegan dishes.

This is the famous Lei Cha dish (I asked for half the rice only) at Organic Fresh Mart in SS18, Subang Jaya. We call this restaurant “Freddy’s” because we have known the boss, Freddy, even before he opened this shop.

Tomorrow is Meatless Monday!

Have happy and healthy meatfree meals!


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