Protein– along with carbohydrates and fat– are called the ‘energy nutrients.’ The energy they provide is used by the body to fuel the billions of chemical reactions that sustain life each day. The primary role of protein is to build tissues and other essential compounds, such as hormones. Contrary to popular belief, most Americans– both rich and poor– consume too much protein, rather than not enough. Remarkably small amounts are enough to satisfy the minimal requirements of the average adult– two ounces, or 60 grams. For most people who eat the typical American diet, experts say that cutting down on protein can free up energy, spare your digestive system– especially your liver and kidneys– and will protect your immune system from irritation. The sources of protein that provide your body with the most efficient fuel and the least waste and damage are those that are lowest on the ‘food chain,’ which is the pattern of dependence of higher organisms on lower organisms for energy. The primary source of energy is the sun, which is turned into energy by plants, which are then eaten by plant-eating animals, which are eaten by carnivores. The higher you eat on the food chain, the more fat and toxins you can ingest, and the farther removed from the energy source you are. If you haven’t done so already, you may want to begin replacing animal protein in your diet with soy products, grains, legumes, and non-fat dairy. You’ll get just as much protein and get carbohydrate and fiber along with the protein. You may find you have more energy.