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Basic nutrition 101: Proteins


Sometimes it can get quite difficult with nutrition advice.
For example, bring up proteins on any gathering, and  you’ll get an assortment of views.
Some says it’s the miracle to weight loss and others, the poison to your kidneys?
So what’s really the truth, well read on to find out!

For those of you who are a little lazy to read, here’s a short and neat video for you instead!

1) Proteins don’t only come from meat!

When you mention “protein” to the mass population, the immediate relation is to animal meats, and for many, that is the perceived truth, that protein can only be obtained from animal meats.

Well, vegans, vegetarians and dietitians unite, and we’re gonna tell you that’s absolutely not the case!


Sources of vegetable proteins are beans, legumes, dairy and its respective products.

So things like cheese, tempeh, tofu, baked beans, are all excellent sources of protein.

You just gotta keep in mind, that these vegetable protein sources also contain carbs, so if you plan to go vegetarian for the day, you may need to cut down on your typical carbs to compensate!

2) You’re probably eating too much meat.

Now, I can quote on how Americans and Australians are eating too much meat based on their respective local studies, but I’m a Chinese from Malaysia, so I’ll speak on behalf on my own country’s context.


Now I probably can’t speak too loudly for the Indian or Malay communities but I certainly can speak with absolute confidence that my race, the Chinese are eating too much meat.

Go out to any Chinese restaurant and just do some simple observation,
every table of 4-5 will have 1 veg (or none), 2-3 meat dishes (mixture of pork/chicken/seafood, heck it’s also deep fat and don’t even get me started on the fat content!)
and maybe 1 tofu dish if you’re feeling luxurious that day.

The thing is, historically speaking, the ability to have meat on a daily basis was considered abnormal and if you could have it, it meant you were successful or rich or most likely royalty. Hence, with the industrial revolution and when jobs were made available to those who would work, our parents’ generation now had the opportunity to have meat on the table and unfortunately, this
over consumption has partially contributed to the increase of non-communicable disease.

3) Choose lean over fatty streaks.

Now I said increase of non-communicable disease, why?

Ask any Malaysian which part of the chicken they’d like to eat, the answer? thigh

Pork tenderloin or pork belly? Belly, deep fried please.

So what’s the deal? How is this contributing to our health problems, now I’m not saying you can’t eat any of these parts of the animal, heck, I love them.

The issue arises when we eat TOO MUCH.

for example pork fat or lard, contains about 30% saturated and about 40% unsaturated fats.
While saturated fats are not the only factor to heart diseases, it can contribute to having risk factors (hyperlipidaemia) that can increase your risk of having heart disease not to mention the excess calories from the fat can certainly lead you to obesity if it exceeds your daily caloric needs.

So if you want to eat meat, try to opt for leaner cuts, less fatty streaks and if you wanna eat those fattier cuts, well time to up your cooking game to make sure that fat is rendered out and that you’re left with the lean meat and all it’s wonderful connective tissue

Wanna learn how to do this? Stay tuned and look out for my video on how to healthily prepare meats!

4) No, eating meat doesn’t equate to you getting cancer or smoking 5 cigarettes a day.

If you have a netflix subscription or are just exposed to social media, you’d probably heard of the documentary “what the health” and an article circulating connective the effects of eating animal being equivalent to smoking 5 cigarettes a day.

Well, I’m here to tell you meat lovers, that you can still eat meat without worrying about those claims.

The documentary was heavily skewed to support veganism and while I’m not against veganism (In fact, on a sustainability topic, I’m all for it), it’s method of criticising the meat industry was done in very unethical and unprofessional manner.


But I will say 1 thing, eating vegetable sources of protein every now and then and replacing meat is definitely a good thing.

Not only is it more sustainable for our earth, it is also healthy for you.

Namely, the added fibre helps to lower your bad cholesterol levels, makes you feel fuller (if you’re trying to lose weight) and by God, it can be damn tasty!

5) Use your palm to measure how much to eat.

So how much protein should you eat?

Now on a general level, if you’re eating animal protein (lean meat please that is not deep fried!!), 1/4 OF YOUR PLATE ON 1 PALM SIZE would be good for main meals.

If you’re eating vegetable sources, ideally, I would recommend treating as both your source of carbs and protein. So with that said, half your plate should be legumes or beans.
(If you have Irritable Bowel Disease, you’d probably can’t go all out of beans and legumes, another topic for another time)

With that said, moderation is still key, as long as you don’t indulge too often and keep it simple right down to your portions, optimal health isn’t very far away 🙂

Stay healthy guys!

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