'Vegans Risk Not Eating Enough Protein' Says Dietician - But Doctor Blasts Claim

A dietician made the claims in a major newspaper last week
Plants contain ample protein (Photo: Christopher Campbell)

Top plant-based physician Dr. Milton Mills has blasted claims that it's hard to get enough protein on vegan or vegetarian diets.

Australian dietitian and nutritionist Rebecca Gawthorne told UK publication the Mail Online that some veggies and vegans fail to eat enough protein in an article titled Revealed: The hidden dangers of vegan and vegetarian diets that could lead to serious health problems.

According to Gawthorne, ditching meat can mean missing out on this valuable macronutrient - a claim Dr. Mills strongly refutes.

Protein, tho

Speaking about protein, Gawthorne admitted that you can get it from plant sources.

She added: "Protein is found in a multitude of plant foods and those following a vegan or vegetarian-based diet can definitely meet their requirements without the need for animal products in their diet."

But according to the article: "Rebecca explained that one of the mistakes people tend to make when they stop eating meat is they don't replace the animal protein sources with plant-based sources of protein.

"This can lead to an inadequate protein intake."

 

Dr. Milton Mills blasts protein myths. Subscribe to PBN's YouTube Channel here

'Myth'

Speaking exclusively to PBN, Dr. Mills said: "One of the oldest attacks on plant-based eating is that you're going to end up protein deficient. Nothing could be further from the truth if you're eating a well-planned diet.

"First of all, all plant cells have protein in them but some are more concentrated than others.

"Typically your concentrated sources of plant proteins are grains, legumes, and nuts (though nuts have a higher fat content so you have to be judicious with your intake).

"Then you get to your more dilute sources of protein and those are your vegetables.  

"If someone is eating a varied plant-based that includes legumes, grains, vegetables, fruits and so forth, as long as they are getting adequate calories it is almost impossible to become protein deficient - that's just a myth."

All groups

He added: "I say that with one caveat. There have been a few occasions where I've talked to someone who says they tried plant-based but had no energy and lost a lot of weight.

"I'll ask what they were eating, and they say broccoli, stir-fries and salads. The problem with that is that those are vegetables that have very high water content, a lot of fibres, but are not your concentrated calorie and protein sources.

"People need to make sure they are eating from all the various categories of plant foods and they protein intake is not a problem.

"The largest, strongest land animals are all strict herbivores. Elephants, rhinos, giraffes, hippos. Western civilisation was built on the back of herbivores - when we had to pull ploughs, we hitched them to horses and oxen. As herbivores they have the strength and stamina to do that work."

 

Dr. Milton Mills explains to PBN why humans are herbivores. Subscribe to PBN's YouTube Channel here

Protein

He concluded: "There is more than enough protein in plant foods. As I often point out to people, all protein is initially made by plants.

"Any protein you find in animal tissue is recycled plant protein, so you don't need to have animal protein, and not only don't you need it, you shouldn't have it because animal protein is toxic to our systems in a lot of ways.

"It damages the kidneys, our blood vessels, and it has been linked to a number of different cancers.

"A healthy balanced plant-based diet gives you more protein than you can use on a daily basis."

Many thanks to Tino for shooting this interview with Dr. Milton Mills. Please subscribe to his youtube channel here

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PBN Contributor:

Maria is the head of written content for Plant Based News. Also a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer. Her writing has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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