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protein RDAs for vegans

vegan protein RDA

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#1 mccoy

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 08:22 AM

Dear all,

 

Sorry if the topic overlaps with some parts of previous threads but I couldn't find a specific one. Tried the forum search + google search. 

 

I've written in some previous post about the debated official protein RDA of 0.83 g kg-1 d-1, which has remained unchanged for a while now, 15 years I reckon.

 

Now, aside from generic statements, I was missing something more specific and scientific upon the reccomended protein intake of vegans, those who only eat plant-based sources of protein.

 

I could find only a few references. The official RDA (original studies metanalysis from Rand et al., 2003) does not differentiate protein sources and the studies are usually based on mixed protein sources).

 

  1. Davis-Melina, 2014, 'Becoming Vegan' book (excellent handbook by the way). They reccomend, based on limited literature, +10% on the official RDA, that is about 0.9 g kg-1 d-1. This because apparently the fibrous matrix allows less assimilation of protein than the matrix of animal based products.
  2. Jack Norris website, with just a few references. From such references, Jack Norris suggests a value in the region of 1 to 1.1 g kg-1 d-1 for vegans
  3. American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Dietetic Association (ADA), and Dietitians of Canada 2009 statement for vegetarian athletes is +10% than omivorous ahtletes: 1.3 to 1.9 kg-1 d-1, the upper values of the range related to strength sports.

I've already set my cronometer minimum threshold for protein to 1 g kg-1 d-1, but considering that I'm exercising with weights, I might need more, like 1.1. It makes sense that I'm in the upper percentiles of the statistical distribution, since to mantain my bodyweight I need at least 2400 kcal per day with a mass of 65 kg (not a big dude). 

 

Now, that starts posing problems from the standpoint of adherence. My first choice is fruit & vegetables, so when I should switch to denser food I tend to loose appetite and can only eat modest amounts (the penalty for eating more being stomach burning, excessive bloating and fullness, physical and mental distress). I can adhere to 1 kg-1 d-1 but higher values would demand higher hunger levels. 

 

I see this issue from two different perspectives:

 

  • Hunger is naturally adjusted based on the bodily needs, so my present level of hunger should reflect what I need and I should not try to adjust anything, just following the instinct
  • Hunger is stifled by high fiber and calorically sparse food, so that I cannot hope to gain muscle mass if I do not privilege caloric dense and protein rich vegan food.

I wonder if any of you guys came across the same problem (I know Todd has evaluated that but his diet is not vegan).

 

  • Should I eat proteic food first (legumes, tofu,) and vegetables after, making sure I meet the RDAs for vegans who exercise
  • Should I eat less fruit and vegetables so that the hunger is not so stifled but adopting very micronutrient rich fruit and vegetables
  • Should I add some vegan protein isolates to soymilk so that I reach soon my RDAs and forget about it?

 

Any of the above solutions has its pros and cons.

 

My ratios presently are on the average: 50/40/10 carbs/fats/protein

 

 


"Data speak for themselves" -Reverend Thomas Bayes 1702-1761
P(Ai|E)=(P(E|Ai)P(Ai))/P(E)


#2 AIL

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 11:29 AM

After I've seen Dr. Tel Oren's Lecture about protein I completely stopped worrying about meeting any RDAs for protein.

 

Not that I did before but before I wasn't vegan.

 

I don't actively seek out food high in protein and I don't supplement it either. I just assume that whatever food I eat will more or less automatically fulfill my requirement.

 

Dr. Oren's speech also included about how they came up with that 0.8 g/kg number. They measured the actual amount with the nitrate-balance-method and then simply doubled it to have a safety-threshold.



#3 mccoy

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 02:51 PM

Mmmmm.... I must watch that lecture!

True enough, protein is ubiquitous in plant-based food, but that statement, as you say it, assumes that we eat lots of calories, since a calorie restricted diet may actually bring about protein deficiency. On the long run and of course if calories are really low. Also, amminoacids deficiency is another very serious potential issue.

 

 

 

Dr. Oren's speech also included about how they came up with that 0.8 g/kg number. They measured the actual amount with the nitrate-balance-method and then simply doubled it to have a safety-threshold.

 

That's not exactly like that. The nitrogen (not nitrate) balance method resulted in a zero-intercept (exact nitrogen balance) after conversion of nitrogen to protein of about 0.6 g kg-1 d-1 protein. So they didn't double it.

 

They increased it by about 0.2 units by very simple statistical methods (mean plus standard deviation *1.96) to include 97.5% of the population.  This means that the official RDA is a cautious estimate (the safety threshold you cited) which , if adopted, will probably protect 97.5 of the population from possible protein deficiency.

 

Problem is that it's nearly impossible without analytical methods to ascertain which is the percentile of the population we belong to. We might estimate it by indirect methods, such as muscle mass conservation. Also, my premise in the OP was that I assume I belong to the high percentiles, since I'm apparently a poor food absorber.


"Data speak for themselves" -Reverend Thomas Bayes 1702-1761
P(Ai|E)=(P(E|Ai)P(Ai))/P(E)


#4 mccoy

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 12:51 AM

I'm re-designing my vegan regimen to meet up the higher protein threshold I adopted.

 

Basically it relies on optimizing (in my case lowering) the amount of fruit and vegetables, choosing those fruits&vegs which provide more micronutrients. For example, apples are great for the quercetin and the ursolic acid in the skin but not so much as far as the micronutrient content is concerned. Ditto for many other fruits.

As a whole, fruit does not seem to provide plentiful amounts of micronutrients like veggies, so in a way the fact that most people in this forum are not so nutritionally enthused about it is partly justified (although it does hydrate the body and provides ready energy for workouts).

 

A breakfast with half a red pepper plus one carrot will provide enough vitamin C and carotenes with minimal bulk, which leaves room to an abundant later meal of nuts and soymilk porridge.

 

At night more micronutrient dense veggies, not huge amounts, plus beans or tofu  is going to provide easily the 1.1 g kg-1 d-1 amount and some, with RDA 100%+ total micronutrients .

Lysine in my case is abundant.


"Data speak for themselves" -Reverend Thomas Bayes 1702-1761
P(Ai|E)=(P(E|Ai)P(Ai))/P(E)


#5 Sibiriak

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 11:11 AM

If you want a  30g  +/-  protein blast (per Valter Longo et al.),  with caution and mild trepidation I suggest  a shake with these ingredients:  soy or nut milk,  high quality soy protein isolate (rich in soy isoflavones),  cacao powder,  ceylon cinnamon, dark honey.


Edited by Sibiriak, 08 November 2017 - 11:25 AM.


#6 mccoy

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 08:23 AM

Sibiriak, that shake is making my mouth water, really! 


"Data speak for themselves" -Reverend Thomas Bayes 1702-1761
P(Ai|E)=(P(E|Ai)P(Ai))/P(E)


#7 mccoy

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 05:51 AM

Today I have followed Sibiriak's suggestion, but only in part since I had no vegan proteins ready.

 

I just put in the blender soymilk, dark honey, undutched cocoa powder. I drank 780 ml of it (3/4 of a litre) and it provided 29 grams of protein. The taste is slightly beany, but otherwise short of delicious.

Of course, that's a very bulky smoothie which I used as a proper meal, together with nuts and a few prunes and dates. It was also rich in simple sugars, which many people view as the devil.

 

I'm undecided about vegan protein isolates. Sure they allow to decrease the bulk of such a meal and obtain more proteins. Another benefit is that it constiutes a digestible and hydrating meal. Sometimes I'm pushed to eat more than I'd like to reach the protein and micronutrients target, but then I regret it since I have a lazy stomach.

 

The vegan protein smoothie could be a very viable solution.

 

Also, vegan proteins are great in muesli or porridge and puddings as well, even in vegetable soups. The final result may be beneficial in that, by manipulating the macronutrients ratio, the bulk maybe drastically decreased, so decreasing potential gastric distress.

 

I know that that's not natural, in nature there are not very concentrated source of proteins, pea or soy proteins without their matrix may not be absorbed properly and so on.

 

At the end though, I believe that remains, in my case, a problem of balance between proper digestion and proper provision of nutrients.

Some vegan strength athletes like Kendrik Farris, Patrik Baboumian, are inherently hungry and are able to eat hundreds of grams of protein from mainly natural foods such as beans (although they sure use vegan proteins supplements).

 

I simply cannot eat many legumes or cereals without being gastrically distressed. Even by taking digestive enzymes.

 

I wonder if there are any others like me or the members of this forum have all powerful, super fast digestion and armored stomachs.


Edited by mccoy, 12 November 2017 - 05:55 AM.

"Data speak for themselves" -Reverend Thomas Bayes 1702-1761
P(Ai|E)=(P(E|Ai)P(Ai))/P(E)


#8 mikeccolella

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 04:27 PM

Hi Mccoy as Ive aged my digestion has become somewhat fussy. Have you heard of the fodmap diet? It took me some time to trace my particular issues to these olligosacharides. I can eat legumes but I must limit them to lentils, peas and garbanzos as these are somewhat milder than kidney, red and black beans. And no more than 1/2 cup per meal. Apples, mushrooms, mangos, figs, pears, are some other foods Ive had to go easy on or just give up. Whole grain wheat is also on the list, but oats, quinoi and brown rice are fine.

https://www.monash.e...terology/fodmap

Edited by mikeccolella, 15 November 2017 - 04:29 PM.


#9 mccoy

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 04:59 PM

HI Mike, thanks for the link, I think I just heard about the fodmaps but not in detail. I wonder if that concept applies just to IBS or to gastric digestion as well. I suffer from lazy gastric digestion, apparently the bowels are good to go.


"Data speak for themselves" -Reverend Thomas Bayes 1702-1761
P(Ai|E)=(P(E|Ai)P(Ai))/P(E)


#10 mccoy

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 05:04 PM

In the meanwhile i developed Sibiriak's suggestions and came up with the following proteic pudding recipe which I found pretty digestible, healthy, nourishing and protein-rich.

I counted 42 grams of protein with all essential AAs, which constitues more than half my target.

 

  • 600 soymilk
  • 40 grams rolled oats
  • 20 grams rolled buckwheat
  • 3 tablespooons bitter cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 4 tablespoons dark, unrefined cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pea proteins.

I blend the above, then stir at low fire until it gels up. To me is a whole meal, together with some nuts. It can be served hot or cold.

 

It's not just delicious, it's simply addicting.


"Data speak for themselves" -Reverend Thomas Bayes 1702-1761
P(Ai|E)=(P(E|Ai)P(Ai))/P(E)


#11 KenB

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 08:49 PM

This guy seems OK with high protein

 

 



#12 mikeccolella

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 06:55 PM

[quote name="mccoy" post="24848" timestamp="1510783172"]HI Mike, thanks for the link, I think I just heard about the fodmaps but not in detail. I wonder if that concept applies just to IBS or to gastric digestion as well. I suffer from lazy gastric digestion, apparently the bowels are good to go

My understanding is that it is an issue of the lower part of the small intestine. Here is a brief explanation of what fodmaps do to effect digestion issues. https://www.healthli...ion/fodmaps-101

#13 mccoy

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 05:24 AM

This guy seems OK with high protein

 

 

Dr Baker explains that zero carb works well for him. That's what I listened to then stopped, I can listen to podcasts while commuting or on the threadmill, but videos take too long to watch.

That his carnivorous diet is momentarily working all right I have no reasons to doubt, then there are to evaluate the long terms effects, which are likely to come (albeit not disclosed) on the long run.

 

There are a few people who insist on the zero carb diet, but it constitutes undisputably an extreme, a little like the pure fructarian diet. That these guys do not die off soon is a testament to the evolutionary adaptability of the human metabolic system.

 

If we are dealing with longevity/healthspan, one of the few unarguable long term proofs we have is the blue zones. None of these zones displays a zero carb or even a low carb diet to give evidence of its purported long-term benefits, nor they display the other extreme of pure fructarianism.


Edited by mccoy, 17 November 2017 - 06:57 AM.

"Data speak for themselves" -Reverend Thomas Bayes 1702-1761
P(Ai|E)=(P(E|Ai)P(Ai))/P(E)


#14 mccoy

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 06:54 AM

[quote name="mccoy" post="24848" timestamp="1510783172"]HI Mike, thanks for the link, I think I just heard about the fodmaps but not in detail. I wonder if that concept applies just to IBS or to gastric digestion as well. I suffer from lazy gastric digestion, apparently the bowels are good to go

My understanding is that it is an issue of the lower part of the small intestine. Here is a brief explanation of what fodmaps do to effect digestion issues. https://www.healthli...ion/fodmaps-101

 

Thanks Mike, interesting read, I'm realizing now that there is some interaction between bowels and stomach, so tha matter needs to  be attentively evaluated.


"Data speak for themselves" -Reverend Thomas Bayes 1702-1761
P(Ai|E)=(P(E|Ai)P(Ai))/P(E)


#15 KenB

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 10:50 AM

Hi Mccoy,

 

yeah it's is a long video, but you can get everything from the audio.

 

He says there is a community of people doing well on this type of diet. Maybe it's not as bad as we thought. Probably better than the standard American diet.

 

He's got a website and is trying to start a study of the diet.



#16 Todd Allen

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 01:30 PM

In the meanwhile i developed Sibiriak's suggestions and came up with the following proteic pudding recipe which I found pretty digestible, healthy, nourishing and protein-rich.

I counted 42 grams of protein with all essential AAs, which constitues more than half my target.

 

  • 600 soymilk
  • 40 grams rolled oats
  • 20 grams rolled buckwheat
  • 3 tablespooons bitter cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 4 tablespoons dark, unrefined cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pea proteins.

I blend the above, then stir at low fire until it gels up. To me is a whole meal, together with some nuts. It can be served hot or cold.

 

It's not just delicious, it's simply addicting.

 

The addictive aspect might be the dopamine response to the sugar.  Dr. Robert Lustig's most recent book "The Hacking of the American Mind" covers this in depth.

https://www.amazon.c.../dp/1101982586/



#17 mccoy

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 04:18 PM

 

In the meanwhile i developed Sibiriak's suggestions and came up with the following proteic pudding recipe which I found pretty digestible, healthy, nourishing and protein-rich.

I counted 42 grams of protein with all essential AAs, which constitues more than half my target.

 

  • 600 soymilk
  • 40 grams rolled oats
  • 20 grams rolled buckwheat
  • 3 tablespooons bitter cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 4 tablespoons dark, unrefined cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pea proteins.

I blend the above, then stir at low fire until it gels up. To me is a whole meal, together with some nuts. It can be served hot or cold.

 

It's not just delicious, it's simply addicting.

 

The addictive aspect might be the dopamine response to the sugar.  Dr. Robert Lustig's most recent book "The Hacking of the American Mind" covers this in depth.

https://www.amazon.c.../dp/1101982586/

 

 

Todd, while I agree that sweet flavours may elicit a dopamine response, I must say that I personally like the sweetness insofar it's moderate and paired with natural flavours of phytochemicals. For example, in the recipe I posted, cocoa, oats, buckwheat and the unrefined dark muscovado sugar all contribute to provide a strong, bitterish flavour. That's the most addicting thing in my case. Foods with lots of refined sugars taste revolting to me, making an addiction impossible. Also, the mere thought that a food contains refined sugar is enough to elicit an adverse reaction.

I also discovered that dark muscovado has lots of phytochemicals, that's one factor which apparently tends to prevent the unfavourable reactions usually associated with sugars: hyperglicaemia, fatty liver and so on.

 

Last, I'm surprised by how stoic you guys can be. I find very hard to renounce to natural sugars, especially now that I'm following a vegan regime. Last time I tried that, I lost bodyweight almost precipitously (unwanted outcome in my case).


"Data speak for themselves" -Reverend Thomas Bayes 1702-1761
P(Ai|E)=(P(E|Ai)P(Ai))/P(E)


#18 mccoy

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 04:29 PM

Hi Mccoy,

 

yeah it's is a long video, but you can get everything from the audio.

 

He says there is a community of people doing well on this type of diet. Maybe it's not as bad as we thought. Probably better than the standard American diet.

 

He's got a website and is trying to start a study of the diet.

 

Well, you're making me curious. The long term though is critical as far as an hyperproteic zero-carbs diet goes. No fiber. No phytochemicals. I doubt the long term is going to be favourable, although maybe better than a bad SAD. Chronic inflammation is a frequent outcome because of too much Neu5GC.  

Did Dr. Baker cite any literature studies?


"Data speak for themselves" -Reverend Thomas Bayes 1702-1761
P(Ai|E)=(P(E|Ai)P(Ai))/P(E)


#19 KenB

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 09:32 PM

He doesn't cite anything, just anecdotal reports of improved exercise performance and low inflammation.

 

Hopefully he will run a study. I'd like to see the results.



#20 KenB

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 01:09 AM

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