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Is a High protein Diet as Bad as Smoking?

Sometimes, really, truly I feel an emotion somewhere between hysterical laughter and crying when I read headlines like ‘A high protein diet is as bad as smoking 20 cigarettes a day’ and then when I see it repeated on the morning BBC News backed up by a presentation that is equally uninspiring alongside ‘let’s find out what frank in London says on Twitter’.. Well… I practice deep surrender… the world is crazy, and that’s OK.

In actuality there are of course many considerations when it comes to diet and balancing your macro nutrients (proteins, Fats and carbs) and I turn to history, physiology, psychology and a reasonable dose of common sense to find the right balance.

Is a high protein diet melting my insides!

Let’s for a moment take a look back in time and see what history can tell us in evolutionary terms about what foods may be good for us and which ones may be causing problems. In the 1930′s, Weston A Price researched and wrote a book called ‘Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. It’s considered a classic and although in today’s standards it does have some rather extreme and non-PC views on various matters the core content of the book is extremely enlightening.
Weston A. Price travelled the globe (as a dentist) studying the teeth of many of the native populations of the world and had the unique opportunity to see what happened to these peoples when they were introduced to westernised foods which included tinned foods, flour, sugar, salt, and commercial dairy. Flour, sugar, salt and dairy were named the four white devils by the Native American Indians, I think this says it all.

His initial studies of all these populations showed that when they were eating the native diets they had evolved to eat were extremely healthy strong people with incredible dental structure and vigour. They had few or none of the diseases that commonly afflict us today most importantly heart disease and cancer. What’s more interesting is the incredible variety of diets that nurtured this incredible robust health. The rainforest pygmy peoples had a diet high in complex carbohydrates with smaller amounts of proteins; The Polynesians had a more mixed diet of sea foods and complex carbs; whilst the Masai and the Eskimos (The Yupik and Inuit) peoples eat almost exclusively protein diets eating organ meats for the vitamins and minerals.

So, why did the Native Americans call these western foods the four white devils? Well, because they destroyed their teeth and destroyed their health. This was the same picture across the board with many of the native peoples who started trading with the west. We gave them the four white devils and they gave us wonderful healthy oils and foods.

This tells us that when we eat foods that are close to our genetic heritage, that are close to nature, that are unrefined and whole, we can experience powerful health and wellness. It also tells us that protein in itself is of course not bad but vital to the repair recovery and growth of our bodies. So why then is it that high proteins diets could get such bad press? Well we must take some to these issues in to account.

  1. Know your metabolic type – Are you a Masai warrior or a rainforest dweller, do you need a high protein diet, a high complex carbohydrate diet or something in the middle? We are all individuals and bio-chemical individuality is a certainty. This means we will tend to have different responses to different ratios of proteins to carbohydrates. Find out which is right for you and eat that way by reading the metabolic typing diet by William Wolcott and Trisha Fahey. It’s a revelation.
  2. Eat organic locally produced foods – It is absolutely critical that we take into account the quality of the foods being eaten. Modern farming processes and degenerating soil quality means that the level of toxicity in food is going up and the quality of food is dropping. Whatever your dietary requirements you need to get the highest quality food that you can find and afford.
  3. Plant proteins for the environment – There simply are not enough high quality organic meat protein to go around. It is also quite hard to get very high quality meats and it is simply not sustainable for us to keep increasing our meat consumption. Eating more proteins from vegetable sources is a great alternative to meat although as a protein type I do find this challenging. Frankly, I need the meat. I do find protein supplements useful to fill the gap.
  4. If you’re eating a high meat protein diet, chew your food properly – You should really chew your food until it’s a liquid then swallow. Yes, it does take a while to eat a steak however there are numerous benefits to doing this.  You can tell when you’re full without over eating, you absorb more of your food and it’s easier on your guts.


So as it turns out we have known for a very long time that eating refined sugar is indeed a serious problem and does appear to be at the nutritional heart of much of the disease in the western world. So why is sugar so bad for us?


  1. Eating refined carbohydrates can lead to rapid weight gain - As the overloaded liver can only store so much energy, the rest goes straight to the fat reserve.
  2. Sugar is all empty calories, no vitamins minerals or anything of any value - This means that many high sugar content foods can be classed as non-foods or foods that take out more vitamins and minerals to digest absorbed and assimilate than they put in.  This is the equivalent of running a bank account in to debt however, in this case, the debt is disease.
  3. Eating too much refined carbohydrate in one go will cause a spike in blood sugar. Your body responds to spikes in blood sugar by releasing insulin to get the blood sugar down and in to cell storage. If we habitually eat a high carb out of balance diet then the body’s cells can become insulin resistant. This can cause a chain of events leading to type two diabetes and obesity. I could go on… however I think we get the picture.


The conclusion to this is really quite logical and simple, find out what your personal nutritional requirements are by reading the metabolic typing diet and tune in to what you need. Eat the highest quality food you can get your hands on and don’t listen to the majority of what is said in the media – no attention seems to be paid to anything sensible! You’re far better of working it out yourself and taking responsibility for your own journey of health and wellness.

In health and happiness

Henry Maitland

4 thoughts on “Is a High protein Diet as Bad as Smoking?”

  • Gill

    Good article, thanks!
    I agree, it's just another media red herring to divert everyone back to supermarket cheap pasta, sausage rolls with horrible oils/'meat' , sugary non-food junk of all types, which they make huge profits from.
    I'm not that convinced about there not being enough good meat for everyone - well, the swathes of gm corn, rape oil, soya certainly isn't helping.
    It's a bit like world peace, I need to start with me, and yes, it does take effort and ££s to get grass fed organic meat, boil up bones for broth to add to smoothies and feed the dog too, but we only have 1 life, so I am into giving it my best care and attention, and sharing with one person at a time if they are interested.
    Home cooking - WHATEVER it is, rather than fast food , Lifestyle - community and being stress free, , and cooking with herbs with EVERY meal is of paramount importance... Mends your DNA. Oh and wild foods when out walking! Happy summer :-)

    • Henry Maitland
      Henry Maitland July 5, 2016 at 10:40 am

      Hi Gill
      Thanks very much for the comment, I agree very much, well said.
      Peace can only ever come from within; it is a state that comes about as a consequence of letting go of all that is not peace. What we are is what we contribute to the world. I’m aiming for love, peace and integrity : )
      Grass fed organic meat... Good!
      Bone broth … Good! Watch this space as I think we have organic bone broth protein on the way soon.
      World peace... Good!
      Home cooking... Good!
      Letting go of the sensation of anxiety realising that it has no cause... Good!
      Herbs and wild foods... Good!
      Walking in the sunshine... Good!
      I salute your approach to health and suggest we all stay away from main stream media. Especially at the moment. I have Brexit fatigue.

  • Janet Ward

    I already eat a high fruit/veg when I can........I seem to need a certain amount of meat (nothing from the cow) goats milk and cheese ; chicken or similar....I am not too dedicated ...the water is filtered supplements if I remember. I have a high stress liver/kidney due to heavy life
    shocks which I try to deal with ........ walking, gardening not listening to the media!!
    I am open to any more help best wishes Janet

    • Henry Maitland
      Henry Maitland July 5, 2016 at 10:27 am

      Hi Janet
      There is always more that can be done, and so greater levels of health and happiness can always be realised. After over 20 years of an ever deepening interest in health I truly see that it is indeed a journey and not a destination, one never arrives as life is so dynamic and the factors influencing our health so diverse. From this I hear that you are eating well, you have a great supply of clean filtered water and that you are taking some supplements. This is all good news and will be helping your body to be healthier, more disease resistant and hopefully with greater energy. I would recommend reading the metabolic tying diet, we sell it hear at Evolution Organics, it’s very good value and straight forward to read. It may well help enhance your understanding of a very simple way to achieve better balance with each meal.

      The context in to which all health is held is the emotions! The body simply reacts to what the brain / mind is saying and the mind responds to emotionally how we feel about all life events. This means that our cellular health, the health of all the bodies’ major systems is a reflection of our emotions.
      Life shocks ( of which I have been though many of ) certainly raise our emotions, if these emotions are misunderstood then they remain, they fester, the mind reflects them and we see the world through them, the body then manifests them. This means one can spend allot of time and money helping the body to compensate for allot of stored up emotion.

      It is a truth of my experience through many years of practice that with great courage one can encourage oneself to fully ‘allow’ the feeling of an emotion. It is a strange paradox that if one fully allows an emotion to be there, simply as a sensation, no judgment, no thinking just simply to be with the feeling with no resistance that we release it. Not usually in one go as there may be too much fear. However very gently, and lovingly, over time we let go of the feeling of the fear and so finally let go of the feeling of the repressed emotion. If we are consciously observing the feeling of an emotion we are not unconsciously thinking about it! As the feeling fades the thinkingness changes.

      One finds greater freedom, energy, health and most importantly contentment and happiness. This, although it may sound unlikely is a truth. I know this as I live it. The way to true health and happiness may be paved through good diet, hydration and body balance however is realised though looking within.
      In health, healing and happiness.

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More About The Author - Henry Maitland

Henry Maitland I've been working in the health and fitness world and have been studying related subjects for over 20 years.I started out studying sports science and human biology in 1994 and went on to qualify and work as a masseur in 1996 than as a personal trainer in 2001.I then went on to qualify as a CHEK practitioner and Holistic Lifestyle Coach in 2002. These are both multi stage qualifications and I spent ten years working my way through the more advanced levels and the epic reading lists that go with them. I still have Chek level 4 to look forward to and in the coming years plan to travel to San Diego and finish the journey.I took a brief break from my studies with the CHEK institute in 2007 to qualify as a St John's certified Neuromuscular Therapist and returned in 2008 and 2009 to complete the level 3 CHEK certifications.4 years ago I started studying with the four winds institute of energy medicine in America which is formed from the ancient shamanic healing techniques of the South American Q'ero Indians. This combined with the works of David; R Hawkins MD brought together for me the most extraordinary revelation as to dynamics of true health and wellness.I continue to read and study on my own path guided by those that I have studied with previously as I continue my research in to the many subjects that form the health equation.I have been running my own business, Core Evolution, for the last 12 years. I spend the majority of my time taking people through advanced holistic rehabilitation programmes and work on all areas of the Evolution Cycle of health (although not at the same time!)I very much hope I can share some of what I have discovered with you through the Evolution Organics blog.In health, chi, and happiness.Henry Maitland C.H.E.K practitioner level 3 St Johns Certified Neuromuscular therapist levels 1-8 C.H.E.K HLC level 3 C.H.E.K certified golf biomechanic ITEC certified Remedial masseur Shamanic healer - The four winds institute

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