veggies.jpg (6769 bytes)fruitbowl.jpg (6391 bytes)A Brief History of Protein: Passion, Social Bigotry, Rats, and Enlightenment

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A Brief History of Protein: Passion, Social Bigotry, Rats, and Enlightenment
By: John McDougall M.D.

High Protein Standard Set by Social Bigotry

One of the earliest proponents of high protein diets was the distinguished German physiologist Dr. Carl Voit (1831-1908).[1,2] After studying laborers who consumed approximately 3100 Calories daily, he concluded that protein intake for people should be 118 grams (g) per day – this value became known as the “Voit standard.” How did he reach this conclusion? He believed that people with sufficient income to afford almost any choice of foods – from meat to vegetables – would instinctively select a diet containing the right amount of protein to maintain health and productivity. Other European and American authorities made similar observations about the eating habits of working men with sufficient incomes to afford meat and came to similar conclusions – ultimately recommending diets high in protein (100 and 189 grams of protein a day). No experiments were performed on the human body to reach these conclusions. Information on the diets of vigorous individuals living during these times and following low-protein vegetarian diets was largely ignored.[2,3] The healthy active lives of hundreds of millions of less affluent people laboring in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America on diets with less than half the amount of protein recommended by Dr. Voit (and almost no meat), were overlooked when experts established protein requirements that still affect us today.[3,4]

What arrogance! To conclude that the superior intellect of moderately affluent people of European descent would cause them to naturally come to correct conclusions about their personal nutritional needs. What foolishness! You can see the effects of self-selection when unrestricted food choices are available. What do more than one billion people living in the 21st century choose? McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut – need more be said about people’s innate wisdom to make food selections in their best interests? Unfortunately, these flawed recommendations based upon such social bigotry have not yet been silenced by over 100 years of scientific research.

Go on to Russell Henry Chittenden Tells the Truth a Century Ago
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