All about protein

Dr. Yeargin, Is it good for me?


 Proteins are one of the most abundant components in your body, second only to water! Proteins are composed of amino acids and are essential for our body’s proper function. Our body cannot make some amino acids, so we have to get them from the foods we eat. The amino acids our body cannot make are called essential amino acids. A complete protein is one that contains all the essential amino acids our bodies need to function. But how much do we need, where do we get them, and is too much a bad thing?


The government Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) amount of protein is based on body weight. Multiply .36 gram by your weight in pounds to find out how much protein you should consume in grams per day. For example, a 150lb woman should consume 54 grams of protein a day (.36gram X 150lb). There are many conditions in which extra protein is required. If you are a growing child, a pregnant or lactating woman, participating in strength or endurance training, or living with certain diseases (cancer, AIDS) you may need more protein. Elderly people (65 and older) also may need more protein. In these cases multiply .8 gram by your weight in pounds to find out how much protein you should consume in a day.

Quality Protein:

Animal products such as meat, fish, dairy, and poultry are some examples of complete proteins. Vegetables and plant food such as legumes and grains often do not have all the essential amino acids on their own to make a complete protein. When you pair these foods together though, they can become a complete protein (like rice and beans). If you have a varied diet of grains, fruits, and vegetables you are almost guaranteed to consume all the proper amino acids needed. The quality of a protein is based on the biological value (BV- measurement of the source’s proportion of amino acids and how they are absorbed, and used in the body). Some proteins with the highest BV are whey protein, eggs, milk, fish, and beef.

Protein Problems:

In developing countries protein deficiency is a big problem. In America the average person easily reaches, and most time exceeds, their protein requirements everyday. Excess protein in the body can become a burden for the kidney and liver, which are in charge of getting rid of waste. Most of the proteins in the United States come from animal sources (about 72%). While proteins from vegetables is only at around 8%. When looking into research of high protein diets it is very hard to separate the effects of animal fats from animal proteins. When animal protein is high, so is animal fat consumption. A high intake of animal proteins is linked to many cancers, kidney disease, heart disease, and high blood pressure to name a few.


– Calculate the right amount of daily protein for your age and lifestyle.

– If you are a vegetarian be sure you are getting all the essential amino acids in your diet.

-Choose lean proteins whenever available (stay away from high fat and cholesterol intake that can lead to the problems discussed above).

– Look to egg whites, nuts, fish, beans, grains (like quinoa which is a complete protein), and vegetables as sources for protein.

– Some scientific studies and research has said that older adults (65 and older) benefit from higher protein consumption, while younger adults (31-50) benefit from lower daily protein consumption.


This information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.



Healing Foods


Is it good for me?



Dr. Yeargin, is it good for me?

 Red Wine

 Most people have heard reports in recent years about the positive effects red wine is supposed to have on our health. But what exactly is it good for, and how much is a good thing?

The consumption rate that is most beneficial is one drink for women and a maximum of two drinks for men per day (this is 5 ounces of red wine that contains about 12% alcohol).  Studies show that drinking red wine before or during the evening meal is associated with the strongest reduction in adverse cardiovascular outcomes.

This light to moderate consumption has been shown to be associated with decreased risks for coronary artery disease, total mortality, diabetes mellitus, stroke, and congestive heart failure.

Studies have shown that light red wine consumption decreased overall mortality when compared to absentee or those who departed from this drinking pattern.

Remember, however, that high levels of alcohol consumption are associated with increased cardiovascular risk, reversible hypertension, and increased risk of stroke. As well as being a frequent cause of atrial fibrillation and the third leading cause of premature death in the US (only behind smoking and obesity). Once you take that third drink for the night, you may be doing more harm than good!

Remember that for the full health benefits of red wine, be sure to drink the recommended amount. If you are someone who does not consume alcohol, it may be best not to start. The risks associated with drinking may outweigh the benefits in certain cases.


This information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.



O’Keefe, James H, et al. “Alcohol And Cardiovascular Health: The Dose Makes The Poison…Or The Remedy.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings 89.3 (2014): 382-393.

Gea, Alfredo, et al. “Mediterranean Alcohol-Drinking Pattern And Mortality In The SUN (Seguimiento Universidad De Navarra) Project: A Prospective Cohort Study.” The British Journal Of Nutrition (2014): 1-10.

Pollack, Rena M, and Jill P Crandall. “Resveratrol: Therapeutic Potential For Improving Cardiometabolic Health.” American Journal Of Hypertension (2013)

Lassaletta, Antonio D, et al. “Cardioprotective Effects Of Red Wine And Vodka In A Model Of Endothelial Dysfunction.” The Journal Of Surgical Research 178.2 (2012): 586-592.

Saremi, Adonis, and Rohit Arora. “The Cardiovascular Implications Of Alcohol And Red Wine.” American Journal Of Therapeutics 15.3 (2008): 265-277.

Is it good for me? Diet Soda Edition


Dr. Yeargin, Is it good for me?

Diet soda

                Today the things we eat and drink have become more and more processed in an attempt to give the population a quick, easy, and tasty option. With labels on products that are so complicated you practically have to be a chemist to decipher them, more often than not we are consuming products that hold little, if any, nutritious value. Are these products doing us any serious harm, or are they merely harmless indulgences?

The following are some of the reported effects of drinking diet soda:

Do you think that drinking diet soda will lead to decreased weight? Well a study done at the University of Texas Health Science Center found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater the risk of them becoming overweight. Drinking two or more cans a day lead to an increase in waistlines by 500%. Over ten years, diet drinkers had a 70% greater increase in waist circumference when compared to non-drinkers. The culprit is said to be the artificial sweeteners in the diet drinks that disrupt the regulation of the body’s calorie intake. The body loves sugar, and when artificial flavoring tricks the body into thinking it’s consuming it, it wants more. This can lead to overeating and obesity.

Diet soda is classified as an acid because it has a pH of approximately 3.2 and it is this acidity that dissolves the enamel of teeth. A University of Michigan dental analysis showed that drinkers of three or more sodas a day had worse dental health, including more missing teeth, more fillings, and greater tooth decay.

Diet soda may be causing kidney problems. According to a Harvard Medical School study in which 3,000 women took part in an eleven year study. Researchers found that diet soda was associated with a 2-fold increased risk for kidney decline. The kidney’s function began to decline in women who drank more than two sodas a day. This association is not seen in studies looking at sugar sweetened drinks, so researchers believe it has to do with sweeteners used in diet drinks.

In a study done in 2008 on 10,000 adults, researchers found that even drinking one diet drink a day was linked to a 36% higher risk of metabolic syndrome. The complications of metabolic syndrome include belly fat and cholesterol levels that put you at risk for heart disease. Although the link is not clear, this is a study that shows high correlation of metabolic syndrome and consumption of diet drinks.

According to a study done at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia, alcohol mixed with diet drinks gets you more intoxicated, and faster. When alcohol is mixed with non-sugar mixers it enters the bloodstream quicker. This can damage the body and lead to negative decisions, and not to mention a terrible hangover.

We know that diet sodas contain things that regular sodas do not. If you read the labels you might see the words potassium benzoate or sodium benzoate. These ingredients are mold inhibitors and can cause severe damage to DNA in mitochondria, thought of as the powerhouse of the cell, often by completely inactivating it. The preservatives are also linked to asthma, hives, and other allergic conditions. Some diet drinks have phased out these ingredients in favor of others such as potassium benzoate, which is classified as a mild irritant to eyes, skin, and the mucus membrane by the United Kingdom’s Food Commission. Always check the label to see what you’re really drinking.

Don’t forget about the containers that deliver your soda fix. Beverages sometimes come in cans that may be coated with bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is an endocrine disrupter and is linked to heart disease, obesity, and reproductive problems.

Other early research that is emerging also shows signs that diet drinks are associated with low bone-mineral density in women,  increased risk for depression in consumers, and that aspartame (found in many diet drinks) may lead to headaches in some individuals.

Although these studies may not be able to prove cause and effect for diet soda consumption and health problems, their findings are worth considering. Do the risks really outweigh the possible problems they may be causing? Remember that drinking a diet soda offers no nutritional benefits. It is a drink that may only offer neurologically perceived satisfaction. Remember the saying, “Everything in moderation” when reaching for your next diet soda.

Remember that this information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.


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Park, Sohyun, et al. “Regular-Soda Intake Independent Of Weight Status Is Associated With Asthma Among US High School Students.” Journal Of The Academy Of Nutrition & Dietetics 113.1 (2013): 106-111.

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