Sunday, January 23, 2011

Protein: Spinach vs. Meat, and the Spinach wins???

If every food label was showing you what is in the product per 100 kcal, wouldn't that be less confusing than doing it by weight? Here an example. I am looking at a package of chicken sold at the supermarket: Serving size 1/2 a chicken breast, only 142 kcal, loads of protein and not too much fat. Looks healthy! Right? (Even the red meat next to it seems unhealthier as it has more fat).



Now maybe lets get some Spinach along with this. Everyone knows Spinach is healthy, good for you. Serving size is half a cup and there are only 20 kcal in a serving AND Vitamins! Everyone knows those are good for you, but what else really is in Spinach? In our 20 kcal serving it looks like a little touch of everything but not enough of anything to sustain us. Right??? (Same with Asparagus and other Vegetables).




What if we recalculate the whole thing so one does not have to calculate nutrition out every time we are at the supermarket? What if we just decided to label everything in a way were a label would tell you what is in 100 kcal of a product and how much you would need to eat of it to consume those 100 kcal as the "portion" size?

I know I would like this! It would make shopping a faster experience all together. I would grab that 100 kcal pack of Spinach Salad, the 100 kcal Pack of Asparagus and a 100 kcal "portion" of an apple and be out of there, knowing I just bought 300 kcal worth of food that holds plenty of Vitamins and other things that are good for you.

But hold on! Where is the Protein? Don't we all need Protein to feed our Muscles?

Right, nobody can live of some Vitamins, Water and Fiber alone! What else is there in Vegetables right? I can tell you: Good Protein! Good Carbohydrates! Vitamins! Nutrients straight from the Vegetable to your body, unprocessed!
When I tell this to people they do believe me sometimes, but they do not believe the Protein part. Well if we had food that was labeled correctly for us at the Stores we would all know by heart that for example a lean Beef actually has LESS Protein per 100 kcal than for example Spinach! So Spinach, a Vegetable holds more Protein than meat!!! Yup, check it out and please feel free to calculate it yourself. (I threw the original chicken and Asparagus in there as well so you get the whole picture).


So I would propose to just eat loads more Vegetables as they do hold all the good stuff that your body needs in Plenty: 13.5g of protein in Spinach and 13.4g in the lean meat. Thing is: You can eat soooo much more of the first and know that everything in it is good for you. Enjoy!

:0) Frieda Online

13 comments:

  1. You could say spinach is a "low density" food both in terms of protein and calories. It would take 5 cups (10 times the serving size portion)of cooked spinach to equal the amount of protein in half a chicken breast by the labels you show here. I like spinach but that's going to cost you more and will be missing the dietary fat, without which your body can't produce hormones necessary to build muscle. If you plan to spend twice as much on food to get the same amount of protein, by all means do so.

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    1. you sure you want to eat all the 'crap' that comes with meat?

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  2. Thanks for sharing. This makes obvious the necessity of eating loads of vegetables. Spinach, along with other greens, is full of minerals and nutrients, and, unlike meat, it is clean, easy to digest, and is alkalizing to the body. It is well worth the extra few bucks to be healthy, strong, and energized! Also, I don't think the author is proposing that people eat a mono diet of spinach. There are many other nutrients that our bodies need that are found in fruits, other vegetables, nuts, seeds, etc.

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  3. Well yes Frieda, but isn't that the whole point of eating meat ? It's a more compact, more efficient, producer of essential proteins for our bodies. You have to eat 5-6 times as much spinach as meat for the same protein and calories.

    Furthermore, check out your supermarket, I think you'll find a pound of organic spinach is selling at $5-$6, as compared to less than $1 for the equivalent amount of protein in lean meat, even less for eggs.

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  4. If you watch movies such as Food inc you'll realize the high price we pay for cheap food. It doesn't take much thought to realize how much easier it it to grow vegetables such as spinach than it is to grow crops to feed to animals,water and house the animals, and finally slaughter them.

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  6. Mmmm. Fat is healthy. Its an essential macro nutrient. Cholesterol is used in the production of vitamin D and essential hormones. Mmmmm. Whilst spinach is one of the best foodstuffs known to man with loads of vitamin K, Vitamin A lutein and other caratenoids and especially good for your bones it, like meat, is bad for you in large amounts. In fact. If you tried to just survive on either meat or spinach you would die much faster on the spinach diet. The low energy density which is excellent in providing lean nutrition as part of a balanced, sensible, clean diet would mean you have to eat large amounts. And large amounts would kill you quickly. Spinach contains oxalic (diethanoic acid) which gives it its astringent taste (as in chard and rhubarb) not only is oxalic acid a poison which attacks the nervous system and causes gastrointestinal distress it forms powerful chelate bonds wirth iron and other minerals meaning that whilst providing excellent vitamins and antioxidants it actually reduces the bioavailability of iron in the meal (the iron in spinach is poorly assimilated anyway as all plant-based non hema (animal) based complexes are as it is not in the form that your body needs. So. Spinach is a very poor source of iron compared to meat (probably not many people know that) Spinach in the quantities you suggest whilst providing an excellent (if not quite as bioavailable as meat) source of protein as you helpfully say (not many people know that) would cause calcification and gout (as will too much meat) that is if you could eat enough without getting diarrhea. So, grass fed, free range lean beef provides a much more bioavailable source of iron, good protein, glutamine for your immune system (which by the way is removed if eating excessive amounts of spinach) B vitamins and cholesterol which is essential for hormonal health and the production of vitamin D in the subcutaneous skin surface (which is assisted by the lutein of which spinach is one of the most potent sources - synergy - evolution and natures way) Both are excellent nutritious foodstuffs and should be eaten in moderation and as part of a varied diet. Eating too much of either will kill you. To suggest that one is healthier than the other is patently and scientifically untrue. Anatomically, behaviorally, genetically, and evolutionarily speaking humans are omnivores. I dont eat a lot of meat, more fish, but meat is very good for you, I love steak with spinach. There are many reasons to not eat meat and whilst I personally eat meat, morally speaking I agree that it would be better to be vegetarian because we have a choice. I am not a hypocrit it is just that I have decided, on balance, that the health benefits of eating clean, well cared for, unprocessed free range meat, dairy and fish as part of a healthy balanced diet along with sensible amounts of fresh fruit, vegtables and nuts in my opinion outweigh my moral concerns. I fully respect and appreciate peoples right and desire to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. There is no need to make false, misleading and innacurate statements with regard to food nutrition and dietetics to justify your inalienable right as a sentient caring animal that has evolved the amazing power to decide it wants to conciously change from being an omnivore to a herbivore. Be happy. Be healthy.

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    1. meh... eggs, fish and veggies work well together... a little cheese. I do well without needing to kill so many animals.

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  7. Sigh. You would need to eat more than 20 Cups of spinach to get the same amount of protein in 3 oz of chicken breast. You are not taking into account how little calories vegetables have. No, Spinach doesnt win. You are better off having some legumes, nuts or eggs to meet your protein requirements if you are vegetarian and dont want to be too worried about it.

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    1. well of course... you ever met anyone who only ate spinach?

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  8. Facing problems in storing health related food in fridge?than proceed to:Rules For Storing Food In The Refrigerator

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  9. I love this post. Thank you! I can clearly see why Beef is actually healthier than Chicken (a touted health food), good grief look at all that saturated fat you’re pouring into your body, and that’s without the skin. I know that a whole foods, plant based diet is the best diet and I’m sure that a little meat (more as a condiment) is ok for those who choose to include meat in their diet.

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    1. Yeah... problem is today's beef and chicken are not healthy at all... even in small amounts. If you can source totally organic meats (good luck) chances are it is or soon will be gmo. I do not envy Americans their food sources no matter the diet.

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