Friday, August 1, 2014

Eating for Strength and Muscular Development, Part NIne - Norman Zale (1977)

"Meat: A Benign Extravagance" - is an exploration of the difficult environmental and ethical issues that surround the human consumption of animal flesh. The world's meat consumption is rapidly rising, leading to devastating environmental impacts as well as having long term health implications for societies everywhere. Simon Fairlie's book lays out the reasons why we must decrease the amount of meat we eat, both for the planet and for ourselves. At its heart, the book argues, however, that the farming of animals for consumption has become problematic because we have removed ourselves physically and spiritually from the land. Our society needs to reorientate itself back to the land and Simon explains why an agriculture that is most readily able to achieve this is one that includes a measure of livestock farming.

Table of Contents

1) The Impact of Minimum Wage Rates on Body Weight in the USA

2) Does Health Insurance Make You Fat?

3) Food Prices and the Dynamics of Body Weight

4) Outcomes in a Program that Offers Financial Rewards for Weight Loss

5) Economic Contextual Factors and Child Body Mass Index

6) The Relationship Between Perceptions of Neighborhood Characteristics and Obesity among Children

7) Studying the Child Obesity Epidemic with Natural Experiments

8) Food Stamp Program and Consumption Choices

9) Physical Activity: Economic and Policy Factors

10) Effects of Weight on Adolescent Educational Attainment

11) Where Does the Wage Penalty Bite

12) Obesity, Self-Esteem, and Wages

Of First Importance - Protein

"What a physique," you have probably said on viewing an outstanding example of muscularity. All of that man that shows: muscles, skin, hair, nails, eyes and much of what does not show - blood, heart, lungs, intestines, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, brain, and all the rest of him is protein. If it were possible to squeeze all of the water out of him you would have nothing left except protein and a few pounds of vitamins, minerals and fat.

There are many different kinds of proteins and they all must be made by living cells. Plants make their  own protein by combining the element nitrogen from the soil with carbon dioxide from the air and water. The energy they need for the process comes from the sun. Legumes such as beans, peas, soybeans and peanuts use nitrogen directly from the air for producing protein and this is why they are higher in protein content than most other growing plants. The weight trainer cannot use such simple raw material for building proteins; his system is just not designed that way. We must get out proteins from plants and animals. Once eaten, these proteins are broken down into amino acids and then rearranged to form the many different types of protein our bodies need.

Plants are sometimes referred to as inferior to animal proteins because they do not contain all of the amino acids that we need to build on, but we should keep in mind that plants are the basic factories in which proteins are made and that all protein comes to us directly or indirectly from plants, either by eating plant foods such as grains, fruits and vegetables or by eating meat which was converted to protein by plant- and grass-eating animals.

A common problem among those who do not eat enough protein foods is swelling of the legs and other areas of the body. This is because proteins help in the exchange of nutrients between cells and the intercellular fluids and between tissues and blood. When one has too little protein, the fluid balance of the body is upset, so that the tissues hold an abnormal amount of liquid. You have probably seen photos of African or Indian native children whose bellies seem too pushed out - this is the result of not getting enough proteins, their tissues are bloated due to the inability of fluids to move freely in and out of the cells.

The protein in your body is not there as a fixed unchanging substance deposited for a lifetime. It is in a constant state of exchange, that is why you must keep eating a good protein diet after you have built yourself up. If you develop a good physique and then stop eating a nutritious diet, the protein will very rapidly leave your muscles and they will diminish in size. This is a basic characteristic of all living matter and is referred to as the dynamic state of body constituents which is the opposite of a static or fixed state. This constant turnover should be explanation enough as to why your diet must be adequately supplied with protein daily. Even if you no longer need it for muscle growth and are merely training to stay in shape, you require protein just to keep the status quo.

Your body's need for energy to operate is primary to any other function and protein, like sugars and fats, can supply this energy source. If you are lacking in simple sugars that are easily converted to a form of body energy (glycogen) the body will ignore the special functions of protein and break it down to use as an energy fuel. This applies to both protein entering the body and protein within the tissues. Either kind can be oxidized for energy without having a chance to do the work that protein is designed for, such as building muscles. It is a good idea to have fresh fruit or vegetables with a protein meal so that the protein can be spared for muscle building while the carbohydrates in the fruit or vegetables supply the body with an energy source, thus actually conserving the protein for more essential tasks.

Any protein food that you eat is broken down into its individual or component parts, called amino acids. These amino acids are then carried to the liver, where they are distributed to the various tissues that require them. The kinds and amounts of amino acids in a protein determine nutritive or biological value.

Animal foods such as muscle and organ meats, fish, poultry, milk and eggs are similar, though not identical, to the amino acid composition of human tissue. Because these animal proteins can supply all of the amino acids in about the same proportions in which they are needed by the body, they are rated as having a high nutritive value and will build muscle tissue.

The proteins from plant products such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and grains supply important amounts of many amino acids, but they generally do not have all the necessary amino acids in the proper proportions so they are not considered as good as animal products for promoting muscular growth and development. The proteins from some of the legumes, especially soybeans and peas, are almost as good as those from animal sources but they have a drawback. They contain a substance which inhibits one of the protein-splitting enzymes (trypsin) from doing its job. Many men use protein supplements that contain large amounts of soya products and they constantly complain of having stomach gas or a full feeling. This is due to the fact that because the protein eaten, as part of the soya products, or in addition to them, such as when added to milk, is putrefying in the intestines because it cannot be fully digested due to the lack of the enzyme trypsin. If you have this problem, switch to another product because it is a condition that your body can never overcome and you are wasting good protein.

Don't get carried away on just animal products, though. To have a high nutritive value of your protein only requires that a portion of each meal comes from animal proteins. They will complement and reinforce the incomplete amino acid pattern of plant proteins.

Research seems to indicate that you can generally survive, though not necessarily build great strength and muscle size, on a limited protein diet. Scientists studied a tribe of natives in New Guinea who have been eating nothing but yams, a very poor source of protein, for hundreds of years, but nevertheless still manage to carry on their daily activities with the same amount of vigor and health as natives in surrounding areas. After years of study, the scientists came up with a startling conclusion; the natives had developed the ability to withdraw the elements from the air they breathed and these combined with the amino acids in the yams to form the necessary protein to sustain life. We wouldn't suggest that you follow such a restricted diet, not if you are interested in muscles.  

Your body is constantly using materials for maintenance, regardless of the supply. It operates best when the supply of material from food is generous and regular, but it doesn't stop functioning immediately when the food fails to supply what is needed. It takes materials from tissue to meet these needs as long as the supply lasts.

Suppose you are training hard but not eating sufficient food to furnish your body's daily needs for operating and repair. The first thing that the body does is to draw on some of its own muscle protein to supply this daily wear and tear. As a result, the operating and repair needs are met, and your muscles get smaller as the normal waste products of protein metabolism leave the body. This is what is called negative nitrogen balance. This balance is found by subtracting the output from the intake. Protein balance studies are done by measuring the amount of nitrogen a person eats in his foods with the amount he excretes in his urine and feces. When the intake is larger than the output, there is positive balance, indicating that some nitrogen, and protein, are being retained.

When a person follows a high protein diet, he will notice that his urine is a bright canary yellow. This is evidence of nitrogen excretion though a bright color of the urine can also be attributed to ingesting large amounts of B vitamins or some abnormal conditions. Experiment for yourself. If you have a bright color of urine on a regular diet, you are in positive nitrogen balance for your purposes. Positive balance is essential for muscular growth. Only by having a large enough supply of protein to permit storage can the body add to itself.

Negative balance is not desirable and it only happens when too little protein is being eaten to meet the body's needs.

Your protein requirements depend upon how fast your body is growing and how large it is. The faster you are growing, the more protein you need for building. The larger the mass of living tissue, the more protein it must have for maintenance and repair. This is why heavyweights generally eat more than lightweights, they have more tissue to maintain.

No one really knows how much protein we need. At one time, it was recommended that the average person eat one gram of protein for each kilo of bodyweight. That comes out to about 70 grams of protein for a 154 lb man. It is difficult to establish how much protein each person should eat, due to individual variations in the type of food eaten and the ability of the person to break down and assimilate the protein food. We have known many men who consumed 200 or more grams of protein daily while in hard training and most of them seemed to thrive on it, but according to scientific studies carried out in the United States and Europe, our actual daily requirement of protein may be only 20 or 25 grams. This has been proven to be sufficient for all normal and healthy functions of the body. Another 10 or 15 grams more are suggested for adolescents. The recent research recommending the lesser amounts of protein say that previous studies involved only cooked meat, which due to its cooking had the amino acid pattern disrupted, and made it impossible for the test subjects to make full utilization of the protein. Thus protein digestion and assimilation assume a greater importance than high protein consumption alone.

Animal proteins, which we generally eat cooked, then are not as valuable by themselves, as we have always assumed. By combining animal proteins with foods that are generally eaten in the raw state, or can be eaten raw, such as nuts, seeds, whole grains, and raw, green, leafy vegetables, we find that we have a complete amino acid pattern that is hard to get in cooked foods and is also easily assimilated and digested by the body. Eating raw foods we find that all of the enzymes, minerals and vitamins necessary for their use are available as needed. Thus, we must conclude that raw proteins, even so-called 'incomplete proteins', are a necessary part of a good nutritious diet. This is because protein is more efficiently assimilated in the presence of certain minerals including magnesium and potassium which are present in the above-mentioned raw foods. An enzyme works with these minerals and the amino acid Lysine to create other amino acids critical to protein digestion.

Research indicates that Lysine is heat sensitive and is unavailable for use by your body when exposed to temperatures as low as those used in pasteurization of milk (148-150 degrees F). The degree of Lysine available from protein sources is progressively reduced with increase in temperature above this point and with the length of cooking time. When there is a short supply of Lysine, all other amino acids are in short supply. Foods that yield a high percentage of essential amino acids, particularly Lysine, are: raw fresh vegetable juices, raw vegetables, unroasted seeds and nuts, fresh or dried fruit, rarely cooked meats, sea food and poultry, served with raw green leaves.

Many experiments to determine the nutritional value of raw versus cooked protein foods have been conducted through the years. One trendsetting one involved the feeding of four litters of cats just one food and one food alone from the day they were born. One litter had nothing but cooked meat and its mates had only raw meat. The third litter had only heated (pasteurized) milk and its mates only certified raw milk. At the conclusion of the experiments, the cats that were eating only cooked meat or heated milk were stunted in growth and showed signs of disease processes (heart disease, arthritis, cancer) common to civilized man. They were also lethargic and seemed to lack energy. The cats fed only raw meat and milk were frisky as kittens, healthy and seemed to radiate a greater degree of 'intelligence' as indicated by training on certain pieces of exercise wheels.

Eating your foods lightly cooke3d or raw is still not the whole story. The form is also important. Another experiment was made in which whole meat and ground meat (hamburger) was fed to dogs. The meat was identical except for the form, one ground, the other whole chunks. Each group was fed an equal amount. The results of the experiment indicated that the whole meat eating animals were superior to those who were fed ground meat. This ties in with the fact that meat-eating animals as a group have no flat or molar teeth, but only canine teeth fit for tearing. It has been suggested that chewing meat may be unnecessary as it may have a nutritional inhibiting effect.

This effect is easily demonstrable outside the body. If whole meat is allowed to age for days in open air, it has improved flavor and texture. On the other hand, if ground meat is exposed to air, it putrefies overnight. When a man asks, "Can I eat ground meat if it is only the best grade and freshly ground," he misses the point. It is not the quality of the meat which is our concern but rather what happens to it in the grinding process.

If we think of meat as being composed of a vast number of muscle cells, each cell encapsulated in a protective membrane, the picture becomes clear. What happens when these cells are crushed and the cell contests squeezed out as a result of the meat grinding process? Within the meat cells, naturally encapsulated by nature's protective membrane, are nucleic acids, nucleoproteins and protoplasm, which are vital materials necessary for life. When they become exposed to air, putrefaction occurs rapidly.  

When you eat a food that contains protein, enzymes in your digestive system break up that protein food into separate amino acids, which are absorbed from the intestines and carried by the blood to the liver. As soon as they leave the liver and are carried by the blood to different tissues, they are reassembled into the special combinations that make the proteins to replace cell material that has been worn out or to add to tissue which needs to grow. The body has unerring accuracy in assembling amino acids into the substances needed at every location in your body. If any amino acids are left over, they cannot be stored for use at a later time. They are returned to the liver and if not used as an energy source are converted to fat and stored for use at a later time.

Twenty-four different amino acids commonly occur in fresh, raw foods. Some are more important than others and the body can manufacture many of them from the materials supplied by your food.

There are eight amino acids that the body must have but cannot make from any materials. Your food must supply them completely formed and ready for use. These are called the essential amino acids because it is essential to have them for growth and development.

Other amino acids are essential too, but if your food does not provide any or enough of them, your body can make them from the raw materials supplied by the liver. These are called nonessential amino acids in reference to the fact that it is not essential for your food to furnish them ready made.

The proportions in which the essential amino acids are required are as important as the amounts. Apparently your body wants these amino acids to be available from food in about the same proportions each time for use in growth and repair work. The animal foods, as mentioned previously, contain complete protein. Gelatin, which is also an animal protein and which is popular as a supplement among some men because it is relatively inexpensive, is a very poor source of protein because it lacks or is short supply four of the eight essential amino acids.

In building muscle tissue the body uses all of the essential amino acids plus the nonessential ones. And all of these essential amino acids have to be present in your blood stream at the same time. This means that if you eat a meal that does not contain all of the essential amino acids you cannot make up for this lack by eating a food that contains all of the amino acids at a later meal. You require all of the amino acids present at the same time. You cannot hold part of the amino acids in your tissues, storing them for the others to come along. To build muscle size and strength all of the amino acids must be on hand at the same time. If even one essential amino acid is absent or present in too small an amount, this deficiency will limit your utilization of the other amino acids. Dr. Paul Cannon, of the University of Chicago, has stated that, "The synthesizing mechanisms operate on an all-or-none principle and are perfectionistic to the extent that if they cannot build up a complete protein they will not build it at all."

Some men feel that they are getting adequate protein if they have one good protein meal per day, usually the evening meal. Research at the University of Nebraska seems to indicate that the human body utilizes protein more efficiently if it is spread out throughout the day rather than having it only once or twice a day. A group of students were put on a diet in which complete protein was supplied at the noon and evening meals. After three weeks they had their food moved around so that they received complete protein foods at every meal, though they did not receive any more protein for three meals than they had been getting for two meals. Studies indicated that the students made better use of the amino acids when they had complete protein at all three meals.

Get in the habit of eating complete protein foods, raw foods and greens with each meal. This is the only way that you can assure yourself of an adequate intake of food for growth and development. Some men are still of the opinion that they require massive amounts of protein foods . . . 

remember -

it is not quantity, but quality and timing that count.      

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive