People, humans, Homo sapiens, need protein. This is especially true for athletes more so for bodybuilders and weight lifters who endure constant bouts under the iron and require at least 1.5 – 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight in order to effectively adapt to their training regimen and get the end results that they desire.
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But some “smart guys” (that’s a sarcastic term that denotes the opposite of what is indicated) over the interwebZ, trying to scare people off have started a YouTube video which shows a surgery of a bodybuilder who is having a ton of worms removed from his guts.
The smart guy in the video explains in his own “scientific way” (not sure what planet he’s from), that this bodybuilder got that much worms from eating a lot of protein. He explains that eating high amount of meat and protein (he even mentioned whey) would cause proliferation of worms since worms can only exist in a high protein environment to feed them. He said that if you saw a dead animal on the street, it would accumulate worms; and eating meat and lots of protein would be like putting a dead animal in your guts thus attracting creepy crawlies as well.
I cannot help but burst into laughter on that one to be honest. I mean, it’s cute if my kid would rationalize stuff that way, but for an adult to do so is quite idiotic and pathetic.
Perhaps bodybuilders would have Macho WORMS, like Wally worm over here (image source):
Now before immersing further into the stupidity they call vegan advice, let us first determine what the hell a protein (in terms of nutrition) is.
Proteins are essential nutrients for the human body. They are one of the building blocks of body tissue, and can also serve as a fuel source. As a fuel, proteins contain 4 kcal per gram, just like carbohydrates and unlike lipids, which contain 9 kcal per gram. The most important aspect and defining characteristic of protein from a nutritional standpoint is its amino acid composition.
Proteins are polymer chains made of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds. During human digestion, proteins are broken down in the stomach to smaller polypeptide chains via hydrochloric acid and protease actions. This is crucial for the synthesis of the essential amino acids that cannot be biosynthesized by the body.
There are nine essential amino acids which humans must obtain from their diet in order to prevent protein-energy malnutrition. They are phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine. There are five dispensable amino acids which humans are able to synthesize in the body. These five are alanine, aspartic acid, asparagine, glutamic acid and serine. There are six conditionally essential amino acids whose synthesis can be limited under special pathophysiological conditions, such as prematurity in the infant or individuals in severe catabolic distress. These six are arginine, cysteine, glycine, glutamine, proline and tyrosine.
Humans need the essential amino acids in certain ratios. Some protein sources contain amino acids in a more or less ‘complete’ sense. This has given rise to various ranking systems for protein sources, as described in the article.
Animal sources of protein include meats, dairy products, fish and eggs. Vegan sources of protein include whole grains, pulses, legumes, soy, and nuts. Vegetarians and vegans get enough essential amino acids by eating a variety of plant proteins. It is commonly believed that athletes should consume a higher-than-normal protein intake to maintain optimal physical performance.
That was from Wikipedia
Protein basically came from the word “proteus” or “protos”, not sure which because I don’t speak Latin. But either of those two mean “of prime importance”. Protein is the building block of almost all the cells in your body. And with the lack of carbohydrates (CHO) for calories or energy (to live) your body can derive calories from protein, having a chemical composition of CHON; your body can derive CHO from CHON needless to say. But the opposite is not true regarding lack of CHON and the prevalence of CHO. Your body cannot pass on the duties of protein to any other type of macronutrient.
I did not bother placing the link of that idiotic video on this post, lest that kind of ignorance get more hits thanks to me. But you can search it on the web, it’s there. In fact you can find many stupid things like that as well if you’re in for some laughs; you will never run out of them.
Well, anyways it doesn’t really matter what particular video or “smart guy” that was I saw. The point is, that idea is already “there” and its circulating. It could be contagious since stuff like that are designed to play with your mind and your emotion’s weaknesses albeit their lack of any evidence whatsoever.
As About Lifting readers, you must recognize that there are a lot of snake oil merchants out there in the web selling you stupid ideas to make easy money. Either that or those people themselves are also terribly misguided (actually it would be more understandable for them to become the former).
With regards to that one, the author was obviously trying to scare people off of eating icky, yucky meat.
The thing that they forgot to tell you just how one contracts worms and parasites; for that we will provide you this entry from University of Maryland Medical Center:
What Causes It?
These things raise your risk for getting intestinal parasites:
-Living in or visiting an area known to have parasites
-Poor sanitation (for both food and water)
-Age — children and the elderly are more likely to get infected
-Exposure to child and institutional care centers
-Having a weakened immune system
-HIV or AIDS
I think our vegan friend skipped out “Exposure to child and institutional care centers” because they would appear to be “Anti-Children”. So they’d rather be “anti-meat”. I’m touched, really, you know, those poor kids. . . .
Truth is vegans have the same risk of getting intestinal parasites as meat-loving bodybuilders
Given the risk factors above I couldn’t see the part where it says that meat eaters are more at risk at getting worms in their guts. Basically it all boils down to your immune system. A strong immune system could get rid of parasites even before they get the chance to reproduce aggressively. Furthermore if a vegan is not careful with his hygiene especially with the way he prepares his food, he too will be secreting worms from all of his orifices in no time.
Furthermore, these people spreading this propaganda have no data whatsoever to back up their claims; whilst we have several researches that prove why humans are ultimately omnivorous and needed meat for brain development.
Keep in mind that saying that humans are purely carnivorous is just as stupid as saying that humans are pure herbivores.
Yes, there are people who live as vegans, but only a percentage of them are “real” vegans. Most of them call themselves vegans but they eat fish, eggs, milk, etc. the reason however that switching to pure vegan diet at least for a while (I cannot believe I am discussing this again, remember the Bradley post?) is because most food available to “advanced” civilization these days are chock-full of chemicals, especially the live-stock. You have cattle filled with hormones to their eyelids, genetically modified chickens and eggs, and grain-fed cow.
And eating those together with all those packaged goods (good but they are bad, ironic) filled with HFCS, and there you have a recipe to become a walking time bomb, doomed to become dependent to maintenance medication decades from now (that is if you, the reader is still isn’t today).
With that there is no doubt that switching to a vegetarian diet for a while will do magic to your health (but not on your muscle mass). But that has NOTHING to do with humans not being designed to consume meat because WE ARE.
The Consequences of Low Protein Diet
Now this random vegan guy in the said video was constantly babbling about the risks of eating too much meat and protein (albeit the erroneous argument he has). But what he did not to tell you were the negative effects of being low on protein.
Risks: The diet is lacking in protein, fatty acids, and other essential nutrients. Carbohydrates supply all the calories — an extremely low 600. The daily laxative regimen can cause dehydration, deplete electrolytes, and impair normal bowel function. It can also disrupt the normal microorganisms that perform useful digestive functions. A person who goes on this diet repeatedly may run the risk of developing metabolic acidosis, a disruption of the body’s acid-base balance, which results in excessive acidity in the blood. Severe metabolic acidosis can lead to coma and death.
That did not come from me but from Harvard Medical School on their article about “Detoxing” (detox as a fad not as a medical intervention). I don’t know about you but I heard that Harvard is quite good. It’s up to you if you would choose to believe a random vegan internet geek over Harvard Medicine.
Then again, a purely vegetable based diet can do you good, but only for a short period of time not exceeding 2 months at a time. The reason is because these days you will rarely find any meat at all that was raised naturally.
Today you would need to pay effing premium just to get ORGANIC meat!!!!!
Organic is the term used for meat or any food which came from animals that were raised naturally, and are fed the food that they were designed to eat. And because of the law of supply and demand, since the “supply” for such things is very VERY low today in our “developed” civilization, thus their price becomes higher.
To become truly healthy, it is not enough to eat the food that you are designed to eat, but also make sure that WHAT you eat, basically lived the live and ate the things that they are designed to have.
Let’s take beef for example. What is the difference between grass-fed beef and grain-fed cows (a very artificial diet for them)?Follow @AboutLifting
“You are what you eat” applies to cows too…
What a cow eats can have a major effect on the nutrient composition of the beef. This is particularly evident when it comes to the fatty acid composition.
Grass-fed usually contains less total fat than grain-fed beef, which means that gram for gram, grass-fed beef contains fewer calories.
But the composition of the fatty acids is vastly different, which is where grass-fed really shines.
Saturated and monounsaturated: Grass-fed beef has either similar, or slightly less, saturated and monounsaturated fats.
Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fats: Grass-fed and grain-fed beef contain very similar amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega-3s: This is where grass-fed really makes a major difference, containing up to 5 times as much Omega-3.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): Grass-fed beef contains about twice as much CLA as grain-fed beef. This fatty acid is associated with reduced body fat and some other beneficial effects (4).
If you can’t afford or can’t access grass-fed beef, then it is a good idea to eat fatty fish once or twice a week or supplement with fish oil to make up for the lost Omega-3s.
Bottom Line: Grass-fed beef may contain slightly less total fat than grain-fed beef, but a lot more Omega-3 fatty acids and CLA, which are both very beneficial for health.
Humans have been eating meat throughout evolution and our bodies are well equipped to digest and absorb the nutrients from meat. Traditional hunter-gatherer populations like the Masai and Inuit got most of their calories from meat and remained in excellent health.
This is possible because red meat, even conventional grain-fed meat, is incredibly nutritious.
Regular grain-fed beef is loaded with Vitamin B12, B3 and B6. It is also very rich in highly bioavailable Iron, Selenium and Zinc. Meat contains some amount of almost every nutrient that humans need to survive Meat also contains high quality protein and various lesser known nutrients like Creatine and Carnosine, which are very important for our muscles and brains.
However, grass-fed beef is even more nutritious than that
Vitamin A: Grass-fed beef contains carotenoid precursors to Vitamin A, such as beta-carotene.
Vitamin E: This is an antioxidant that sits in your cell membranes and protects them from oxidation. Grass-fed beef contains more.
Micronutrients: Grass-fed beef also contains more Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorus and Sodium.
Bottom Line: Even conventional grain-feed beef is highly nutritious, but grass-fed beef contains more Carotenoids, Vitamin E and minerals like Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorus and Sodium.
That was an excerpt from an article from Authority in Nutrition. Unlike the vegan preacher, AIN’s articles are backed by research and off course . . . common sense.
If you’re still worried about worms . . .
If you are a lifter and you’re still worried about worms because of your high protein diet, (or if you have one or more of the risk factors above), then by all means go see your doctor and tell him that you think you’re at risk for parasites and see if he can prescribe you some prophylactic de-worming medications.
By the way University of Maryland has some further tips on how to avoid getting “WORMED”:
Nutrition and Supplements
Avoid simple carbohydrates, such as those found in refined foods, fruits, juices, dairy products, and all sugars, except honey.
Eat more raw garlic, pumpkin seeds, pomegranates, beets, and carrots, all of which have been used traditionally to kill parasites. In one study, researchers found that a mixture of honey and papaya seeds cleared stools of parasites in 23 out of 30 subjects.
Drink a lot of water to help flush out your system.
Eat more fiber, which may help get rid of worms.
Probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacilus plantarum, Saccharomyces boulardii, and bifidobacteria help keep your digestive tract healthy. Probiotics may not be appropriate in some serverly immune compromised patients. Talk to your doctor.
Digestive enzymes will help restore your intestinal tract to its normal state, which makes it inhospitable to parasites. Papain is an enzyme from the papaya plant that may help kill worms when taken 30 minutes before or after meals.
Vitamin C supports the immune system. Lower the dose if diarrhea develops.
Zinc (20 – 30 mg per day) — also helps support the immune system.Zinc may interact with certain medications, particularly some antibiotics, and it may not be appropriate for people with HIV/AIDS. Talk to your doctor.
Herbs are a way to strengthen and tone the body’s systems. As with any therapy, you should work with your health care provider to diagnose your problem before starting any treatment. You may use herbs as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). People with a history of alcoholism should not take tinctures.
Many of the herbs used to treat intestinal parasites have toxic side effects or interfere with other medications. Use them only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. Your health care provider should treat you with the most gentle herb that is effective for the type of parasite you have. A few of the herbs that your health care provider might consider include:
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Barberry (Berberis vulgaris)
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)
Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium)
Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
Wormwood (Artemisia annua)
Curled mint (Mentha crispa)
Black walnuts (Juglans nigra)
This goes beyond worms.
Then again this goes beyond worms. We cannot say that humans are not designed to eat meat ESPECIALLY MILK or WHEY. One of the reasons why breast milk is so healthy is because of its higher whey content which makes it easier for infants to digest it. And humans being mammals, why would anyone think that we aren’t designed to drink milk? Would drinking too much milk or whey cause worms? How stupid is that question, off course it WON’T! unless you gulp down spoiled milk all the time.
Case in point yes protein might help you feed the worms, which are ALREADY in you. Protein by itself won’t help you get contaminated with worms. In fact lack of protein can even make you at risk for worms and parasites. How come?
Remember that one of the risk factors for parasitic infestation is compromised immune system. Protein is the basic unit of all the functions in your body, and your body needs adequate supply of protein in order to sustain its immune system. If you let go of meat altogether for an extended period of time, your immunity will be hampered and sooner or later it will become a great window of opportunity for parasites and other diseases to invade. Well at least you died a vegan.
Whew! I just noticed what a very long article this has been. It’s time for my protein shake already; my worms are getting hungry! Eat your eggs, and your MEAT, people!