Protein Kills U

That’s today’s belated Bullshit! theme, in video.

Bullshit #2 from Richard Nikoley on Vimeo.

Here’s the link to the article I was quoting from. Here’s the meal featured in the video. It comes in at 125g of protein. Click for the big version

Big Protein
Big Protein

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. chris on June 1, 2010 at 20:11

    Hi Richard sorry for the off-topic comment but I am stoked to have just picked up a grass-fed split-half from Morris Grassfed Beef (San Juan Bautista). You’re here in San Jose, right? Anyhow, you’ve helped fire me up about grass-fed; thought I’d share.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 2, 2010 at 08:44

      Yep, San Jose. Marin Sun Farms is really good if you haven’t tried.

      • chris on June 2, 2010 at 16:28

        Cool , thanks man. Just finished some of the new hamburger, cooked in coconut oil, plated on a bed of homegrown greens and pepperoncinis. Cheers!

  2. Zach on June 1, 2010 at 22:14

    I take at least five scoops of protein powder every day (I’m a big guy and have trouble getting 250 g protein without some powder), any chance you can let us know which protein powders tested high in possible contaminants? Great vid though, keep up the good work.

    • Primal Toad on June 2, 2010 at 05:49

      You literally take 5 scoops of protein A DAY???? I am all about consuming a lot of protein… I weigh about 135 and try to consume 100-150 grams a day. But, 5 scoops of protein? This seems to be overdoing it. I enjoy 3-5 scoops a week at most.

      There is nothing like quality meat and eggs 🙂

      • Dave C. on June 2, 2010 at 07:22

        Based on his 250 gram mark, I assume he is using the 1g per pound body weight rule. That would make him at a weight of 250 lbs, almost twice as big as you Toad. That may seem like a lot of protein, but then he is apparently a big guy.

    • JP on June 2, 2010 at 06:49

      There is nothing easier than eating a high protein diet. Eat meat a few times daily. I usually eat up to a kilogram of meat everyday… I dont use powders except on rare occasions.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 2, 2010 at 10:30

      Here’s the link to the article which I just put up in the post (as well as the meal photo).

      It gives the brand names of the offending products. I’ve never used any of them.

      • Zach on June 2, 2010 at 20:25

        Thanks! I’m glad to see I’ve never used those products either

        @Primal Toad
        yeah, I take 1 scoop of whey first thing in the morning, 2 scoops of whey sipped before/during/after my weight-lifting workouts, 1 scoop of casein before bed, and i wake up halfway through the night to have another scoop of casein (no i don’t do this on purpose, i just sleep 10 hours/night and can’t go that long without peeing), and sometimes will have additional scoops on days i am not able to get all 9 of my meals in. So i get at least 125 grams of protein from shakes, and at least 125 grams of complete protein from animal products, and then maybe some extra protein from plant sources, though i don’t count incomplete protein towards my daily totals. considering i weigh about 250 lb and am very physically active, i need a bit more protein than most people

  3. Aaron Curl on June 2, 2010 at 03:32

    Funny stuff. I eat meals with 50 and over grams of protein all the time. The Center for Disease Control must be vegans. Hell, vegans probably get more protein than that!

  4. Geoff on June 2, 2010 at 05:52

    Read over at Nora Gedgaudas’ site that eating over 30g of protein per meal shifts digestion of protein into gluconeogenesis, which I guess you don’t want if your low carbing.

    • Stu on June 2, 2010 at 07:10

      Gluconeogenesis is a good thing. Why wouldn’t you want it if you’re low carbing?

      Moderate protein for an active weight training person is about 1g/lb of body weight. That would be 190 g for me. At 30g per feeding, I would need to eat 6 times/day. Whether you spread it out of 6 feeding are eat it all in one, doesn’t matter. Did cavemen eat 6 times a day or did they gorge themselves after a workout (kill)?

      • chris on June 2, 2010 at 16:41

        I believe the argument against gluconeogenesis is that you’re paying more money for the requisite protein. In other words, rather than having the body convert/detour amino acids into daily requisite glucose, why not just provide the minimum needed in the form of a goodly-sized, very Paleo, potato or yam?

  5. Organic Gabe on June 2, 2010 at 07:01

    So basically CDC says over 50 grams of protein will become a disease that will kill you? Priceless.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 2, 2010 at 07:37

      Actually, I missread and didn’t catch it. It was 56g.

  6. Geoff on June 2, 2010 at 15:10

    Hi Stu – thought that if you want to stay close to ketogenic most of time, then gluconeogenosis is not ideal, if its regular. Anyway, gonna investigate this as replying from couple of quick skim reads of other blogs, need to do my research.



    • chris on June 2, 2010 at 16:49

      The body requires glucose. I think the trick is to eat just enough carb so that amino acids aren’t converted via gluconeogenesis.

      High fat, moderate protein, very low (but not zero) carb (in the form of leafy plants, sea food and grass-fed ruminants with a little fruit, nut and tuber thrown in for good measure) would seems to be the diet that all-knowing martians would feed their zoo humans. My $.02

      • Elizabeth @ The Nourished Life on June 2, 2010 at 17:10

        “High fat, moderate protein, very low (but not zero) carb (in the form of leafy plants, sea food and grass-fed ruminants with a little fruit, nut and tuber thrown in for good measure) would seems to be the diet that all-knowing martians would feed their zoo humans. My $.02”

        Yeah, well, maybe if they didn’t want their human subjects to reproduce. Unless your definition of very low-carb is different than mine, I know some women whose menstrual cycle came to a complete halt after long periods of low-carbing. Not trying to make an across-the-board assumption here, just saying that not everyone flourishes on low-carb.

      • chris on June 2, 2010 at 17:33

        I believe it’s around 100 g of carb, depending on activity level of course, in order to stay out of gluconeogenesis. Don’t know about the low carb/no menses connection; especially if the limited carb sources were tubers and berries. Calorie restriction does adversely affect menstruation. Anyhow, I know quite a few low-carb ladies who’ ve never made that complaint…

      • Elizabeth @ The Nourished Life on June 2, 2010 at 17:39

        100g/day isn’t too extreme. I think a lot of people can manage that with few ill effects (though not everyone). When you say very low-carb I think more around 50g/day. I lean more toward 150-200g/day for myself, but not saying that’s right for everyone either. Obviously low-carb doesn’t adversely effect all women in that way, but I’ve heard a few anecdotal accounts. Then again, low-carb might lead to low calorie intake so that might be part of it, too. It’s worth taking into consideration. Either way, I agree all foods should come from quality sources.

      • chris on June 2, 2010 at 17:45

        You are probably correct: I should have said that our imagined, benevolent Martian overloads would feed us high fat, moderate protein, low carb (not “very” low carb). Cheers

      • Stu on June 3, 2010 at 06:08

        Women in child bearing years can probably get by with moderate carbs and probablty benefit from them. Once past childbearing years, both men and women start putting on the middle aged middle. I see no argument that would suggest a very low carb diet isn’t appropriate for this group. (I’m a middle aged man) I also don’t see a distinction between ketosis and gluconeogenesis and don’t understand the danger of burning fat and protein for energy providing you take in enough protein and fat in your diet.

      • Stu on June 3, 2010 at 06:10

        I should also point out that due to my firewall, I can’t see Richard’s video. I’m just responding to the comments.

      • chris on June 3, 2010 at 08:33

        There is no danger. My argument is one of cost. Grass-fed beef is expensive. Wild Pacific salmon is expensive. Yams are not.

        Therefore why waist valuable amino acids to produce the glucose that the body requires when potatoes are only $.59/lb.

        And yes fat is used as fuel/energy via ketosis. Gluconeogenesis is the process of converting protein into glucose (for the few systems that won’t run on ketones). These two processes typically occur at fewer than 50g carbs/per day.

      • chris on June 3, 2010 at 08:34


      • Richard Nikoley on June 3, 2010 at 08:47

        There is one benefit to using protein you haven’t accounted for Chris and that’s its thermogenic effect at higher levels of intake. You can google as I don’t have my references handy, but you can get up to about 25%, ie, 3 cal per gram instead of 4.

        Not what you want to be doing all the time but for a fat loss program it’s pretty effective, and very satiating as well.

      • chris on June 3, 2010 at 08:54

        true dat

  7. Alex on June 2, 2010 at 17:15

    What really sticks out for me in your videos is that you’re looking down at your monitor instead of directly into the camera. If you could train yourself to look into the camera, it would really improve the videos.

  8. 06/03/10 – Squats & Row on June 2, 2010 at 19:11

    […] Consumer Reports – Alert: Protein drinks – Response from Free The Animal […]

  9. nate on June 3, 2010 at 02:34

    I have a sous-vide machine. I want to try the big protein meal. What temp should I use to get those nice blue/ purple rings around the egg yolks?

  10. Richard Nikoley on June 11, 2010 at 08:42

    Then why don’t you go over to Sisson’s blog and call bullshit there? Or are you too pussy for that?

    And anyway, Sisson has looked into McDougall.

    Way to go. Expose your ignorance right off the bat.

  11. Christ on June 11, 2010 at 09:22

    All grain based societies have some things in common.
    1-live near the equator and get plenty of sun
    2-small,lightweight,short…they’re tiny!
    3-traditionally no or minimal GLUTEN
    4-didnt grow up on poptarts and Coke and the smorgasbord of health damaging “foods”
    5-their ancestors are not survivors of the ice age hunters unlike northern Europeans and native Americans
    6-the only limit on meat in the diet is availability
    7-bad teeth
    some people get an idea of what the best diet would be and then suffer from confirmation bias like this dude StarMcDougaller…read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

  12. Julie on June 11, 2010 at 10:06

    You do realize that the human body was also designed to need dietary fat to metabolize fat in the body properly, so that sort of blows the whole McDougall fat-free argument. Enjoy your sugar and chemical fat-replacement addiction.

  13. Lars H on June 11, 2010 at 11:08

    Ha ha…. I used to be a McDougall clone, minus the trolling. Never could get any muscle definition despite lifting like a maniac, and I’d have to take a nap after eating. I’ll never eat “whole wheat couscous” again. Starch is good.. light starch on my dress shirts please.

  14. Melissa on June 11, 2010 at 11:54

    I don’t really get why people think protein can be over done. It’s like saying don’t eat too much spinach the vitamins might kill you.
    The body needs protein and a heck of alot more than they suggest.
    Protein is very important in maintaining health. Our cells health and our bodies youth depends on protein.

    I have relatives who ate mostly grain crackers and cereal all their lives like birds and they had increasingly bad eyesight, developed gluten intolerance, and premature aging.
    Protein is important because with out the proper source and type of it we increase the bodies aging significantly. The cells will begin to break down.
    I had a vegan tell me that we can survive off of hemp protein and potatoes, and it’s just garbage. It’s not a good source at all and everyone i know who eats like this eventually shows the effects although it takes awhile.

    Anyways that’s my two bits! Thanks for the BS Richard

  15. Alex on June 11, 2010 at 12:36

    Starch based diet? Been there, done that… makes me fat and lethargic. As for your cherry picked observational data, try adding in the plant-based diet they eat in India, and the numbers don’t come out smelling quite so sweet. Indian vegetarians have some of the shortest, unhealthiest lives on the entire planet.

  16. LeonRover on June 11, 2010 at 13:35

    Y’ know, StarMcDougaller, pages 360-1 and onwards on GCBC (hardback ed.) have an excellent discussion on lipophilia/lipodystrophy, including pics of same.

    I believe you will find that the theory/hypothesis is about where in body tissue there are INSULIN RECEPTORS, and whether a receptor may be activated by interaction with ONE insulin particle in the blood – normal insulin sensitivity – or whether it needs MULTIPLE HITS, usually an indication of tissue INSULIN RESISTANCE, which may result in HYPERINSULINEMIA.

    Go figure.

  17. lionlady on June 13, 2010 at 04:00

    The low fat movement is completely wrong.

  18. dr. cosa on June 27, 2010 at 09:14

    These endless conversations about how much protein you require vs. how much carbs to stay our of ketosis or to stoke the flames of gluconeogenesis are utterly futile,

    anyone who is diligent in studying the carb content of food realizes the rookie mistake that you are very likely eating much more carbs than you believe. the carb content in some nuts, a host of veggies and certain dressings (ie: balsamic vinegar) never mind fruit and many restaurant sauces thickened with flours, comprise a “carb-creep” of sorts that likely provide more than ample carbs for whatever minimum is imagined for health.

    we need to accept that there is very little to suggest that we require any minimum of sorts from our diet as our bodies are more than able to create whatever glucose we need for vital organs. the misnomer is people who misuse facts like “the brain requires 30 grams of glucose a day so you should eat at least that much”., its simply not true that glucose is required from your diet to support brain function.

    i would be willing to bet that outside of the zero carb die hards that know their carb counts, most people on low carb are eating at least double the grams of carbs they think they are. so the idea of eating more of them on purpose to stay out of some low carb trap is non-nonsensical.

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