Our modern field of nutrition is filled with many contradictions and lots of misinformation. None of the macronutrients—carbohydrates, fats, and protein—have been spared along the way. When it comes to protein, today we are faced with the task of undoing many of the myths and erroneous ideas that have become ingrained in the population over the years. These deal with protein quantity, quality, and protein food sources. Below, you will find an infographic that illustrates the nature of protein in plant foods and further down, you will find resources to increase your understanding about this nutrient for optimal health and wellness.

There is no real evidence of dietary protein deficiency. People are actually more likely to suffer from protein excess than protein deficiency. The adverse effects associated with long-term high protein/high meat intake diets may include disorders of bone and calcium balance, disorders of kidney function, increased cancer risk, disorders of the liver, and worsening of coronary artery disease. Considering all of these potential disease risks, there is currently no reasonable scientific basis to recommend protein consumption above the current recommended daily allowance.

Michael Greger, MD — Changing Protein Requirements

Resources & Further Reading

  1. Protein and Amino Acid Requirements in Human Nutrition by WHO/FAO

  2. Understanding Protein: Myths and Facts by Dr. John McDougall, MD

  3. The Protein Puzzle: Picking Up the Pieces by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.

  4. The Protein Myth: Why Vegetarian and Vegan Diets Contain All the Protein You Need by Amanda Woodvine, B.Sc., Senior Nutritionist

  5. 8 Protein Myths About Plant and Animal Protein Sources by Evita Ochel, B.Sc., CHN

  6. Animal vs. Plant Protein by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.

  7. Protein Human Requirements by Robert Cohen

  8. Setting the Record Straight on Protein by Michael Bluejay

  9. Avoid Protein Powders: Get Pumped with Plant Protein, Naturally - by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD

  10. High Protein Diets and Longevity by Dr. Jacob Schor, ND

  11. Controlling Protein Intake May be Key to Longevity, Studies Show by Mary Beth O’Leary

  12. Protein Consumption Linked to Longevity by Carol Torgan, Ph.D.

  13. High-Protein, Low-Carb Diet Risks by WebMD

  14. Analysis of Health Problems Associated with High-Protein, High-Fat, Carbohydrate-Restricted Diets by Dr. Neal D. Barnard, M.D., and Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D.

  15. History and Risks of High Protein Diets by Dr. John McDougall, MD.

  16. Changing Protein Requirements by Michael Greger, MD.

  17. The No-B.S. Guide to Vegan Protein by Forks Over Knives