Protein: are you getting enough?

Protein: are you getting enough?


Proteins, carbs, and fats …  most people understand what the last two are. Carbs are sugars, and fat is, well, fat. It's protein that’s so important to our diets, but so often misunderstood — by the general public, that is.

Since the 1950s and 1960s, scientists have been measuring how protein affects our performance, how it supports and maintains the body’s structure, and how best to incorporate it into our diets. 

From big steaks to protein shakes, tofu to seitan, protein is more available now than ever before. With so many options, surely we’re getting enough protein? 

In today’s episode, Jonathan speaks with a leading nutritional researcher to find out.

Christopher Gardner is a professor at Stanford University and a member of ZOE’s scientific advisory board. He’s pioneering the movement to redefine how we understand the quality of our protein intake.

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03:02 - Quickfire questions

04:19 - What is protein?

08:07 - Can our bodies make the proteins we need?

08:37 - The mechanism for our bodies creating amino acids.

09:33 - What is an essential amino acid?

10:45 - Crazy study Stanford scientists did to find the Estimated Average Requirement of protein.

15:24 - How much protein should we consume?

18:15  - How much protein do we already consume?

23:02 - Can our bodies store protein?

24:02 - What happens to excess protein in our bodies?

24:51 - Protein Scam Alert!

25:28 - Stanford Study: Does the type of protein we consume affect physical performance?

28:15 - Protein requirements for kids and pregnant women.

31:05 - What is Amino Acid Distribution?

33:03 - Are plants missing certain amino acids?

33:47 - How is AAD like the game of Scrabble?

38:30 - What is the healthiest source of protein?

38:41 - Dr. Gardner’s case for changing the way we define “protein quality” in the US

41:33 - Jonathan’s summary

43:59 - Goodbyes 

44:42 - Outro  

Episode transcripts are available here.

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Studies mentioned in this episode.

Maximizing the intersection of human health and the health of the environment with regard to the amount and type of protein produced and consumed in the United StatesDiet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore LappéPerspective: The Public Health Case for Modernizing the Definition of Protein Quality

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