Gary Null's Complete Guide to Health and Nutrition
is the most complete and authoritative popular work of its kind. Five years in the making, it explains fully and simply the basics of health and nutrition: what's in the food we eat, how it affects us, and how we can make ourselves healthier through good nutrition.
The Complete Guide
is unique in the thoroughness and objectivity of its viewpoint. Nutrition arouses strong emotions in many of us, and some researchers let their emotions guide them toward one or another particular philosophy of health: "alternative" medicine, "holistic" therapy, "New Age" beliefs, or the orthodox, traditional methods of health care. And many of these adherents let their presentation of facts be guided by their opinions.
Gary Null lets his opinions be guided by the facts. Avoiding all prejudiced viewpoints, he gathers every important piece of research on every important subject: vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates, protein. Thousands of books and articles have been read, and more than 2,000 experts in diverse fields have either been consulted or interviewed in establishing the real facts of each particular problem.. From this mountain of material Gary Null has distilled a concise, accurate statement of everything that's known about health and nutrition. To get the same wealth of information you would have to consult thirty to fifty separate books in the same field.
But the Complete Guide
is not simply a reference book; it is a source book for a healthier life. When all the facts support a particular position on some issue in diet and nutrition, Gary Null does not hesitate to state that position strongly and back it up with sound practical advice. He confronts all the complex health issues facing us today and answers the questions his readers will be asking. How much protein do I need? Is vitamin E really effective in treating heart disease? Which vegetables supply the highest fiber content? Questions like these are answered not only in authoritative explanations but in valuable charts and diagrams as well. And sensitive issues such as sugar and cholesterol are presented not only as matters of health but as economic and political issues.
With Gary Null's Complete Guide to Health and Nutrition
, readers can stop guessing--and worrying--about what's in the food they eat. They can get all the knowledge amassed by scientific research, and learn how to apply that knowledge to their own lives.
Martin Feldman, M.D.
New York City, 1984PROTEIN
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
If I were to do a word association test with you and I mentioned the word protein, the first thing to come to your mind would probably be meat.
After the term meat, no doubt you would mention chicken, hamburger, steak, veal--the flesh of an animal.
If I said, "high-protein diet," most likely you would imagine lots of red meat would be included.
If you are like most people, you probably have no idea how many grams of protein you need every day. You may have heard of the concept of complementing proteins but are probably vague about how it's done. And if you are like most people, you have no idea how to evaluate the net protein utilization of a particular food.
If you had to eliminate meat from your diet, would you be able to obtain enough quality protein?
In America today, we are faced with the notion that protein is synonymous with meat, our primary source, and that without a substantial amount of meat in the diet, we would be suffering from gross protein deficiencies. Many people believe they must eat meat every day, often three times a day. They'll consume ham or bacon for breakfast; luncheon meat such as salami, bologna, frankfurters, or hamburgers for lunch; and roast beef, fish, chicken, or steak for dinner. If you are an athlete, you will almost surely at some time in your training take high-protein supplements.
Serious problems arise as a result of the gross ignorance and misinformation prevalent on a subject so essential for good health. Very few people know what protein truly is, why we need it, what its best sources and its worst sources are, what are the toxic forms of protein and the toxic by-products associated with it, what is the most easily digested protein, how we should combine proteins, and how much protein we need as we age.Family No. I: The Typical American High Protein Diet
If I were to ask you whether a seventeen-year-old and sixty-year-old woman require the same amount of protein, what would you say? As a point of fact, if you went into the average person's home and joined their family for dinner, you might sit down at the table with a mother, father, daughter, son, and possibly a grandparent. In all probability, all of them would receive the same amount of a protein food. This would usually be a meat/flesh item. But clearly the daughter and son, since they are growing, have a greater need for quality protein; the wife, who weighs fifty pounds less than her husband, has less need for protein than her husband; and the grandparent has still less need due to both age and the difficulty of digesting protein. Instead of offering each person the type and quantity of protein he or she needs for optimal health, we give protein in the same amount to every person irrespective of age or special circumstance.
When you are going in for surgery, when you are pregnant or lactating, or when you are under stress, exercising regularly, or growing, you require more protein than under normal conditions.
The average person's lack of knowledge on protein is as great as their ignorance concerning carbohydrates and the distinction between the empty calories from white sugar and the much better utilized calories from, for example, brown rice.
We must now take a careful look at protein to see what role it plays in our life.
To many Americans, good nutrition means
protein. They know they need something called protein. As a result, they usually take too much. Most of our protein requirements could be met with about six ounces of complete protein a day. It's been estimated that the average American consumes upward of 100 grams of protein a day. That may be almost double what we actually need.
Let's sit down for dinner with that typical American family mentioned earlier. They associate meat with strength, well-developed musculature, and an active, hearty life. They think of their heroes--the athlete, the cowboy, the rugged outdoorsman--as meat eaters. And they believe the strength of these mythlike figures somehow derives from regular consumption of beefsteak.
The father, our host tonight, is proud that, as his income has increased, steak has appeared more and more frequently at his dinner table, replacing chicken, ground meat, veal, pork, and other cuts of meat that used to be less expensive. As part of the upper middle class, he feels proud that he can provide his family with the fruits of his labor. He urges his young son to "eat hearty"--and eating hearty means, to him, eating plenty of good, red meat. It doesn't occur to him that the diet he is urging on his offspring might be--at best--too much of a good thing.The Advantages of Meat
Now in one sense, father does know best. Meat does have an advantage as a source of protein--not just father's favored steak, but all meats cut directly from the animal: veal, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, etc. (This advantage does not necessarily hold for sausage, luncheon meats, hot dogs, chicken rolls, or other processed meats.) Meats are among the foods that supply complete protein:
they contain all eight of the essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein. And they also supply other nutrients, such as iron and B vitamins, in which many vegetables are deficient. They contain fats we can use for energy, heat insulation, and a variety of metabolic functions. Many of our organs, including our nerves, can make good use of this fat (although unsaturated fats from vegetable or fish sources would be preferable).
However, father is probably not aware that, along with those amino acids, B vitamins, and saturated fats, his family is also taking into the body some unwanted visitors.Chemicals in Your Meat
For instance, along with the roast beef that they are eating tonight, they might be obtaining some type of growth-stimulating hormones, even the banned DES--diethylstilbestrol--the artificial sex hormones that were given to women all over America in the 1950s and 1960s in order to prevent miscarriage. It was later found to be ineffective and to have carcinogenic consequences for the daughters and sons born to women who took it. DES was also fed to beef cattle because it slows down the animals' metabolism, making them fatter quicker. Though it is now banned for such use, illegal residues still appear.
That juicy roast beef would also supply them with unwanted antibiotics. These are administered to the cattle primarily because a large percentage of feedlot animals are fed as much as thirty pounds of grain a day, but they can only transform the food into three or four pounds of muscle and fat. That enormous overfeeding causes painful liver abscesses which in turn affect profits. So the cattle are simply given antibiotics such as oxytetracycline.
When animals are kept crowded together in close confinement, standing knee deep in excrement, fed twenty-four hours a day under bright lights on conveyor belts, they are prone to epidemic diseases such as respiratory ailments, foot rot, and diarrhea. For further protection, they are given additional medication such as streptomycin, another antibiotic.
Nor is that the only tampering. The cattle are also...
--This text refers to the