Myth Number One
Vegans do not get enough protein.
Proteins are composed of amino acids and the human body utilizes 21 different amino acids. The human body can actually create 12 of these amino acids but the other 9 must to come from food. These 9 are called ‘essential amino acids’. There are several different types of proteins and some contain all 9 of the essential amino acids, these is called ‘complete proteins’.
Animal-based foods generally contain complete proteins and plant-based food usually do not. Here is where the myth originates from. People think that since plants do not contain the 9 essential amino acids thus, vegans do not get the protein they need. This is 100% FALSE.
There is no reason whatsoever for amino acids to come from the same protein. Some might contain 6 of the 9 while others contain the remaining 3. By eating both, you will ensure that your body will receives all of the essential amino acids. These combinations are called ‘complimentary proteins’. Some examples are beans with rice, whole grain bread with peanut butter, pita bread with hummus, corn tortilla with beans.
One more fact about protein deficiency. It is extremely rare in modern, Western societies and the only cases of it occur when an individual has an overall nutritional deficiency. In other words, cases of eating disorders or starvation where individuals are basically getting no nutrition.
As Dr. Charles McDougal says, “If you eat, you will get enough protein.”