Published: 01/27/2007 - Updated: 10/17/2018
No more than 40 years ago, the Spanish population consumed more vegetable protein that animal.
Consuming more protein from plants (vegetables) is certainly reasonable from a scientific point of view. It is a habit to take back to retain the reputation they have worldwide being one of the pillars of our Mediterranean diet. These vegetable proteins reached us in the consumption of vegetables and wheat in the form of bread.
Abandonment of vegetable consumption is linked to consuming meat and other animal protein and is a synonymous with social life since vegetables need to be cooked in time which unfortunately is not available in a kind of home today. This increased consumption of protein from meat, eggs, dairy, fish and vegetables, appears to complicate the picture of health today, because our body needs a small amount of protein and a large amount of carbohydrates in the form of starch. Restoring this relationship, more carbohydrates and less protein, which is already reflected in breast milk, being sweeter and less protein in all mammals, it would be a major objective in the coming years to regain the level of health that we lived in our country.
Proteins of vegetable origin
In school age, official health authorities supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that a 40% of total protein should be animal and the rest of plant origin. There are groups of people who do not consume any animal protein and there are no alterations in their health, and that is that plant proteins with a variety of grains (wheat, rice, rye, oats, corn, millet...), vegetables and legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans, ....) are complete and the same quality as those of animal origin, but the great advantage of not having the adverse animal fats.
Animals are living beings who need to travel and have been using a light substance as a reserve, fat, since retains a lot of energy with little weight and yet the plants are always quiet and do not care to be thick rather than fat and carbohydrate in the form of starch water.
Therefore protein of course not only provided us with protein, but have very little fat and give us the benefit of slow carbohydrate absorption.
Our children must be fed primarily with grains: Rice, wheat, maize, millet, oats, rye. The best way to consume is cooked grains, which are comprehensive. Choose organically produced cereals. Such is the importance of this food that we deliver practical cooking lessons to incorporate these important foods of the Mediterranean diet and most forgotten today.
Grains: basis of human food at all times
I would even reduce the percentage of animal protein and increase vegetable protein even though I agree that animal proteins are better quality than the plants but are accompanied by animal fat and this is less value for me. However, plant proteins do not possess those fats and makes them more suitable for consumption. With a varied diet of plant foods (legumes, cereals, nuts) proteins are obtained of the same quality as the complete animal protein.
Hence especially for balanced diets, it is essential combination of cereals and pulses, as both are complementary.
So, known civilizations guided themselves by their intuition and great wisdom, using these combinations in their diets:
- Corn with Beans in American Indians.
- Wheat with Chickpeas (Pakistani national dish)
- Soy and rice in China and Japan
- Lentils and rice in India.
- Wheat with beans, food from our grandparents and great-great-grandparents. A few years ago our country consumed about a kilo of wheat in the form of bread.
Today it is accepted that a combination of these foods from a nutritional point of view is perfect.