Have you ever heard the fable about King Midas? In the story, Midas was a king with all the riches anyone would need, yet when he had the opportunity to be granted anything he wanted, he wished that whatever he touched would become gold. When this started happening, he was ecstatic. He started turning his furniture, doors, rugs and anything else he found in his palace into gold. Then he ran into a problem: he couldn’t eat without the food turning to gold. The blessing he wanted was really a curse. When he saw his daughter, he hugged her without thinking, and then she became a gold statue. He begged for the golden touch to be removed so he could live normally again.

There are things in life that we consider to be good, but if we got them in abundance would be harmful. What if you suddenly won the lottery in a big way? Putting aside that you might not play the lottery, what would it be like? You would suddenly have a lot of money. It would be all over the news. Friends you never remembered having would suddenly appear everywhere. You might quit your job, because you don’t need the money. Maybe you buy a dream house and go on multiple vacations. Your life could completely change, but would it be for the better? Your job kept you going each morning. Before you had to work at making and keeping friendships, and now you don’t even know who your true friends are. All that money could turn out to be a curse.

You might think you would be the exception: you would use that money wisely, and would not change your lifestyle. You would give to charity, you would bank it and only draw a little each month for expenses and keep the rest as a nest egg. Great, but would you really be that disciplined?

Maybe you are not prosperous financially, but you can prosper when it comes to food if you choose wisely. Unlike people centuries ago, you don’t have to work hard to get food — you just go to the grocery store. You don’t have to carry the food far, because you use your car. If that’s not convenient enough, you go out to eat and have your food brought right to you. Now take the point of view of your body: has that easy food become the Midas touch? Is it a blessing or a curse? Sure, it seems great to you, but how is your body reacting to it?

The curse is easy to spot when it comes to sugar. You run on sugar, and your body works to maintain your blood glucose at just the right level. But when you get easy sugar, your body doesn’t have to work for it, and it changes. You gain weight, and not in a good way. If your lifestyle is eating easy sugar, you could be working on diabetes, chronic diseases, and early aging. Like smoking or drug use, you know that sugar isn’t really good for you. But there are other food curses out there that you probably think are blessings…

Meat your enemy
In modern society, we consider protein to be a blessing. At our convenience store we see many options: lots of animal products full of protein. Animal meats abound, We can’t do without our eggs and milk. After all, our bodies are build with protein. We know our bodies require protein like they require sugar; but unlike sugar, we think that getting more protein is good. We even consider it to be a way to reduce our sugar intake and become leaner and stronger. We hype protein as a healthy option.

Let’s look deeper. Yes, you are built with protein. To be more accurate, you are built with amino acids which are combined to make protein in your body. This is an important distinction, because amino acids are multi-purpose building blocks that can be used when needed or retrieved from existing protein in your body. To live, you have both protein synthesis and protein degradation happening constantly in your body. The half-lives of proteins in your cells vary from minutes to several days. During protein degradation, some freed amino acids are burned for fuel or eliminated from the body, so these need to be replaced. Protein is therefore necessary, and you can’t live for long periods without taking in replacement amino acids.

But what happens when we have the protein version of the Midas touch? Animal products are obviously high protein because the animal’s body is also built on protein, so when you eat animal products you are flooded with plenty. They are complete proteins, so they have all the animo acids. Now your body has more than it needs, and it will have to do some work to excrete the excess, and the load falls to the kidneys which may have to work overtime. Your body wins the protein lottery and it is swimming in protein. Blessing becomes curse.

High protein diets are popular for two reasons: weight loss and muscle building. When protein is substituted for high sugar carbs, there is some merit in this, but not because of the increased protein. Reducing sugar is very effective in weight loss, because excess sugar is normally stored as fat quickly, whereas protein is slow to metabolize. But it does provide calories and can increase weight gain due to fat storage. It’s slower than sugar, but it isn’t going to prevent fat accumulation. You’re just causing slower fat accumulation than with sugar.

A strong argument
How about muscle building? When you use muscles, you do cause some muscle breakdown. That’s good, because now the muscle needs to rebuild, and it will rebuild stronger. And it will need some protein to rebuild. Where will that protein come from? Certainly it can come from your diet. But if there isn’t enough dietary protein, your body can still find some. The first type it will look for is protein which is defective, because your body has a priority list as to which proteins to take first. When there is a lower level of the amino acids that are needed to replace protein, your body will look for the proteins to break down it already has that it least needs. This protein turnover is crucial: autophagy, which is a fancy name for breaking down defective proteins, is actually a rejuvenation process. If these defective proteins accumulate in your body, they interfere with normal metabolism, cause immune system response and therefore inflammation when those proteins are detected as malfunctioning. They are poor building blocks of your cells which are best removed. Left alone, defective proteins can trigger autoimmune dysfunction as the immune system attacks tissues where these proteins are lodged, and can trigger disease such as cancer as the immune system is diverted away from killing cancer cells.

Should you eat no protein? That isn’t easy to do, as plants also contain amino acids and you would have to avoid most foods to truly avoid protein. But you can have low protein diets. You can’t just depend on autophagy for protein supply for the long term as you eventually run out of garbage protein, and you need some protein intake. Plants are the key, because they don’t overload you with protein; and still, if you vary your plant diet reasonably to provide the various amino acids, plants can provide plenty of protein to meet your needs. If you don’t cook the foods, you don’t denature the proteins they contain and you gain more benefit from them.

Since your diet will include some protein, the other way to have enough protein is through protein conservation. Your body will turn to protein for energy if necessary, but it is not its first choice if other sources are available. Obviously it uses sugar first. If fat, which is highly energy packed, is available and your body is trained to use it, your body will save the protein and will burn the fat instead, assuming you are eating a low protein diet. Again, plants are the answer for fat intake, because animal fat is generally toxic since the animal has concentrated food chain and environmental toxins in its fat tissue.

If your goals are to get to a healthy weight and gain muscle strength, you can do both best with a low protein diet, especially with exercise. Does that seem strange? Protein doesn’t fix glucose issues or fat accumulation. However, exercise is very effective in dealing with both. Exercise burns up excesses in both sugar and protein: when you exercise, you obviously burn calories and use protein. Excesses that don’t stay around don’t have much time to cause inflammation and other problems. If you are actively using calories as fast as you are taking them in, you won’t gain weight. Exercise does cause more demand for protein. So it should be no surprise that exercise protects you, somewhat, from dietary excesses. This is a non-surprising conclusion of a research study published in eLife, where researchers ran an animal study to discover the interaction between dietary protein and exercise. There were, however, some surprising findings from that study as well…

Although an animal study, the metabolic responses to exercise apply to humans similarly. The study first makes this notation: “We are therefore left with a paradox: while the human and animal data suggesting that increased dietary protein intake is detrimental for metabolic health and increases the risk for numerous age-related diseases is robust, some of the people consuming the highest levels of protein – athletes – are metabolically very healthy.” First note that the research is showing that high protein intake is very detrimental to health. While fairly new on the scene, overwhelming evidence is coming from protein-restriction studies showing just how greatly it affects longevity. This study finds that animals doing significant exercise gained strength, whether on a low or a high protein diet. This is the surprising part: there was little difference in the actual strength of either group. Those on the high protein diet appeared to gain muscle, as measured by mass, yet they did not gain more strength. There was another surprise finding: the exercise did not protect against glycemic (blood sugar) control issues caused by the high protein diets which increased the risk for inflammatory disorders and diabetes. The low protein diet did not raise the blood sugar at all, whereas the high protein diet raised the blood sugar significantly.

The study concludes that low protein diets are particularly vital to the sedentary. Those who are not turning over protein rapidly, because they are not exercising, easily get too much protein. This simply makes sense — if you are sedentary you really need a low protein diet. Oh yes, you also need exercise.

But for those trying to body build, the high protein diet is not helpful in building real strength. It is harmful by causing inflammation, encouraging autoimmune diseases, and shutting off autophagy. A plant diet provides sufficient protein, even for those exercising actively. Simply put: more protein isn’t going to help, but it can do a lot of harm. How much? How about 75%? That’s what a study, published in Cell Metabolism, shows: researchers ran a statistical study of 6,381 adults aged 50 and over. Their study found up to 75% increase in mortality from a high protein diet, a 4-fold increase in cancer death, and a 5-fold increase in diabetes mortality. Are those figures sufficient to steer you away from a high protein diet? And how about the last one, where diabetes mortality multiplies 5 times? That’s not the news you are hearing from most medical professionals who will prescribe more protein to deal with blood sugar issues.

At best, increasing protein in your diet is useless: and at worst, it means you are opening the door to disease and shortening your lifespan. That hardly qualifies as a good deal!

Dr. Nemec’s Review

The worldview of protein need is quite skewed. Let’s look at the facts.

Your body does not need protein, it needs amino acids to be the building blocks of the proteins that comprise your neurotransmitters, your hormones, your immune cells, and most importantly your enzymes that control every cellular function in your body. Without enzymes, you would die very quickly with decreased enzymes, you age prematurely, and are very disease prone.

The most important thing the amino acids are used for is to build enzymes and then neurotransmitters, hormones and certain immune cells. So where do the amino acids come from? They come from proteins that you ingest. Now there are a few issues that come into play.

The first is this: what you ingest is not what you digest and absorb — they are completely different. Most people in the world, because of the stress that they’re under and the standard American diet they eat, have compromised digestive tracts and are not aware of it. The average American assimilates, or takes into the cells of the about 10% of what they eat. People with significant digestive problems absorb less than 5%. Can you start to see where the issue is going to come from?

And when you eat protein it has to be first broken down into the amino acids to be usable, so how do you think your digestive tract works when it’s not absorbing very well? If you absorb 10% of what you eat does that mean you need to eat a lot more to make up the deficiency? You would think so, but it doesn’t work like that at the cellular level. Any excess of protein is detrimental to the cell health. It will either cause premature cell death or mutation into cancer cells.

Another important concept you need to understand regarding proteins is that 18 of the 20 amino acids that run your body are glucogenic. That means they can turn into sugar and burn for fuel.

So what does the body do when it needs more energy? Americans usually get that from carbohydrates or from sugar made from protein because of the excessive protein intake. And if you eat an excess of protein, does it store as protein? It does not: it is broken down into amino acids, and if those amino acids are not used, they are turned into sugar and stored as fat.

What do you think cancer cells needs to thrive? They need sugar and complete animal protein. And when you eat too much protein, the excess is broken down into sugar, so that steak, that big piece of salmon, those eggs — anything that’s not digested and assimilated immediately — is efficiently transformed into sugars, and that is what cancer needs to grow. Both of what it needs are contained in the animal proteins. This is why you have to be very careful with your food choices if you want to live a long life and a high-quality life, a highly functioning life, both physically and mentally.

So what happens to the protein that you can not digest and absorb? It becomes a toxic load for your body. It stresses your kidneys to filter it out and ends up triggering inflammatory processes in your immune system, disease production like cancer, and all forms of inflammatory diseases.

Cooking is the death of you
When protein is cooked, the proteins are denatured — meaning their physical structure has been destroyed — and because of that they’re not usable. Instead, they’re seen as a stressor which sets off an immune reaction to get rid of them. The immune system does this by secreting inflammatory particles to kill and digest the denatured toxic material.

There are certain foods in your diet that you want a large quantity of because of the phytochemicals, the vitamins, the minerals, the enzymes, and the biophotons (energy of life) in the food. These foods are living and raw uncooked plants, especially green leafy vegetables. These have no negative side effects from overconsumption like the animal protein does. If you look to nature, most of the plant-eating animals eat grass or leaves primarily as their diet, and they eat very large quantities with no negative side effects. Food was always meant to be eaten in the natural state and was never meant to be cooked or processed.

Again, look at the animal kingdom, the animals that do eat other animals: they eat them alive, they do not cook them, grill them, or denatured them in any way. That’s how they’re able to handle that food. Their digestive tracts are short, smooth, and highly acidic to quickly breakdown this very hard to digest protein and the animal fat.

Most of these animals have high parasitic infections continually throughout life which take up at a certain amount of immune functioning to keep them under control. So the carnivores get by because of their short, smooth acidic digestive tracts, and because they eat their food alive, which maintains the enzymes in the food.

Which digestive tract do you think you have: a short, smooth acidic one or a long convoluted alkaline buffered one? You have the digestive tract of a plant eater, not an animal eater. Can you eat, digest, and absorb animal protein? You can in small quantities, only because that is not what your digestive tract was designed for.

Let’s summarize the studies:

  1. Low protein diets make you just as strong as high-protein diets.
  2. There was no real difference in the actual strength of either group. Those on the high protein diet appeared to gain muscle mass but they did not gain more strength.
  3. The high protein diet had a very negative side effect — increased blood sugar. This was because the excess of protein was being broken down into its amino acids, which are sugar forming and eventually lead to fat storage.
  4. A higher protein diet increased death rate by 75% including a 4-fold increase in cancer death, and a 5-fold increase in diabetes mortality.
  5. Autophagy is one of the many ways the body recycles proteins. It takes old damaged cellular proteins that would cause either premature aging and death of the cell, or trigger the cell to become mutagenic. It breaks them down into amino acids and reuses them.

So what do you think would be the worst thing to force into a cell besides a chemical or toxin? Excess of protein: this alone would cause premature cell death, premature aging, and a great likelihood for cancer cell formation.

At Revolution New Medicine we’ve been putting patients on a living plant-based diet with adequate protein for the last 40 years.

The results — just to name a few:

  1. Inflammation gone
  2. Arthritis gone
  3. Pain gone
  4. Healing accelerated
  5. Increase strength
  6. Much improved body fat index
  7. Many if not all symptoms clear
  8. Memory restoration, cognitive function, improvement
  9. Emotional balance
  10. Most people feel like they’ve dropped 10 years of age because all age is a buildup of inflammation.

Here are the ways we can help you in your health journey:

  1. Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
  2. Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
  3. Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
  4. Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus.