Consuming less meat is one of he best things you can do for your health and for the environment. Indeed, it’s so evident that a meat free diet is excellent that organizations around the world are calling for people to change their diets. One of the myths about reducing meat consumption is that one won’t get enough protein.
Here’s the good thing: if you have a diverse amount of food in your diet you have no need to worry about protein. So save the planet, help your health, and reduce your meat consumption.
The consensus among many doctors and dietitians these days seems to be that if you are eating a diverse array of foods, you don’t need to stress about protein. The Institute of Medicine’s recommended daily allowance of protein is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight (adjusted slightly if you’re active, ill, or pregnant). I’d need about 42 grams to meet my requirement; when I added up everything I ate earlier this week, I was startled to discover that I had eaten 66 grams without thinking twice—and I don’t eat meat. Considering a single serving of chicken breast clocks in at 31 grams and a piece of skirt steak at 22, it’s easy to see why Americans frequently double-dip on their protein allowances. (Calculate your own daily allowance here.)
Gardner also worries that in our hunger for protein, we’ve begun skipping real foods. We’re saying, “‘I’m not going to eat food, I’m going to have a bar as a meal’—which means that it’s coming with fewer of the natural nutrients of food,” he says.
Thanks to Delaney!