The Beauty Power of Protein

The NHANES diet study/health study is the gift that keeps on giving.  This large, long term study found that,  in addition to the link between aging skin and vitamin C and linoleic acid, women with low protein intake  had an increase in aging and wrinkled skin.

The RDA for protein for adults is about 50grams a day– an amount  easily met with a large broiled chicken breast.  Inadequate protein levels are pretty rare in  the US and Europe and at first it was hard to see how this low protein  issues applied  to me ( Given that I practically live on broiled chicken breasts).  But then I spent the weekend with a vegan friend and by Sunday night I realized that  these types of restrictive diets  can be very low in protein.  Here’s what Trudy ate:

Breakfast:  Cream of wheat cereal, 1 glass  orange juice

Lunch: Avocodo, tomato and onion sandwich on pita bread, 1 Granny Smith apple

Snack:  1 large latte with almond milk, big slice vegan chocolate  cake

Dinner: pasta with tomatoes, spinach, and olives, tri-colore salad, bread, a glass of Pinot Grigio and a dish of raspberries   

Trudy took in six servings of anti-oxidant packed  fruits and vegetables, but less than 20 grams of proteins. Soy  milk and products are an excellent source of non-animal protein for vegan meal plans, but Trudy is concerned about estrogen links  with soy– and I agree with her.  Trudy has soy only a few times of a week, a safe and reasonable  option.

Vegan and vegetarian diets are  awesomely high in vitamins, minerals and fiber, and are low in salt, fat and colesterol– but they can be seriously low in protein.  On paper combining foods like rice and beans or nuts and grains can supply complete proteins, but you have to eat fairly large portions to get the protein you need.  I saw that my vegan friends ate doll size portions to avoid piling on pounds from the high carb vegan diets.  I wouldn’t be surprised if a nutritional profile would show  low protein blood levels.

Keep in mind that vegan diets are different  from vegetarian diets  which  include protein rich eggs and dairy.  For example, just 2 eggs and 2 oz of cheese deliver a payoad of 28 grams of protein.  Getting enough  beauty nutrients (eg vitamin C, linoleic acid, and protein) on a vegan diet without  a heavy dose of calories  takes a bit of discipline.  Every item on the menu needs to deliver nutrition and I’m going  to have to face the fact that Walker’s shortbread cookies are not a beauty food.

3 thoughts on “The Beauty Power of Protein

  1. Medical research has proven that a proper amount of vitamin d is essential to a healthy heart, muscular development, and bone strength at all ages. It has also been shown to be indispensable for satisfactory brain and cognitive function, particularly among people over the age of 50.

  2. Medical research has proven that a proper amount of vitamin d is essential to heart health, muscle growth, and bone strength at all ages. It has also been shown to be indispensable for satisfactory brain and mental function, particularly among people over 50.

  3. Some do not realize but, vitamin D is a great supplement to take as proper supplementation prevents you from getting sick as often, especially if you are prone to a lot of allergies. If you have sufficient amounts of vitamin D in your diet, you are less subject to respiratory illness than you usually are.

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