Tag Archives: Seafood

Digesting Animal Protein

Digesting Steak

How Are We Digesting Animal Protein?
Our bodies use enzymes for digesting animal protein. Anytime we ingest food, our body releases digestive enzymes to break the food down or digest the food. Because animal protein (meat) is a more complex food, our body expends a much larger amount of digestive enzymes to digest it.

The process of cooking meat destroys most of the naturally-occurring enzymes that are needed to break down meats complete proteins into amino acids that the body can utilize; the more the meat is cooked, the more naturally-occurring enzymes are destroyed. This is the main reason that a well-done steak is more difficult to digest than a rare steak.

It’s also important to note that as we get older, our bodies naturally start to produce fewer digestive enzymes. Some meats take longer to digest than others; pork takes the longest to digest, followed by beef and lamb. The longer the meat takes to digest, the more digestive enzymes are exhausted.

Protein Digestion Times

How Can We Help Our Bodies in Digesting Animal Protein?
There are several things we can do to make the digestion process of meat easier, especially when it comes to the harder-to-digest meats like pork, beef, and lamb.

There are a few foods and supplements that naturally contain digestive enzymes including fresh, raw pineapple and fresh, raw papaya. By eating these fruits as accompaniment to meat, our bodies are less likely to be depleted of its own digestive enzymes.

Fresh pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, while fresh papaya contains an enzyme called papain; both help the body to break down protein quickly. Sometimes, it may not be possible to eat fresh pineapple or papaya with your meal, especially if you are eating away from home. In this case, there are combination bromelain and papain supplements available. Remember to always check the labels of your supplements for unwanted ingredients such as artificial sweeteners, MSG, and other neurotoxins.

“I’ve been treating eating disorders (ED’s) and obesity for over 25 years and have always had good outcomes.  My rate of success improved dramatically, however, when I discovered the critical role that processed food plays in causing as well as in preventing recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, (a combination of the two) Binge Eating Disorder (BED,) Emotional Eating and Obesity. To this end, I find it of great importance to provide both my patients and readers with relevant nutrition information to aid in their recovery.”

Does someone you love suffer from an eating disorder?

Dr. Renae Norton specializes in the treatment of eating disorders. Located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Call 513-205-6543 to schedule an appointment or fill out our online contact form for someone to call you to discuss your concerns. Tele-therapy sessions available. Individual and family sessions also available.

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Materials contained on this site are made available solely for educational purposes and as part of an effort to raise general awareness of the psychological treatments available to individuals with health issues. These materials are not intended to be, and are not a substitute for, direct professional medical or psychological care based on your individual condition and circumstances.  Dr. J. Renae Norton does not diagnose or treat medical conditions. While this site may contain descriptions of pharmacological, psychiatric and psychological treatments, such descriptions and any related materials should not be used to diagnose or treat a mental health problem without consulting a qualified mental health care provider.  You are advised to consult your medical health provider about your personal questions or concerns.

News You Can Use-Week of May 18th-24th, 2015

“As an Eating Disorder Professional, I know that many of my clients that are in treatment for Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, Binge Eating Disorder or Obesity are overwhelmed by all the information in the news about our health. In hopes of relieving some of the stress this can inflict on both my patients and readers, I’ve highlighted some of the weekly health news that was of particular interest to all of us at The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity. From my eating disorder and obesity treatment center in Cincinnati, here is your weekly news update for the week of May 18th-24th.

NEWS: Bait and Switch—What You Need to Know Before Buying Seafood

It’s a sad fact that we’ve more or less made an entire healthy food group toxic due to man-made pollution. LEARN MORE

NEWS: Mindful Eating, ADHD and Nutrition

The words attention deficit are so strongly associated with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), many people overlook other far-reaching consequences of the disorder. Among them are poor eating habits, eating disorders, and a higher-than-average risk of becoming overweight as a result of having ADHD. For example, a recent study linked ADHD to binge eating(link is external). How these eating issues happen makes a lot of sense when you understand the impact of ADHD on life management as a whole. LEARN MORE

NEWS: To Weigh or Not to Weigh?

I got back from a couple of conferences and a ski trip a little while ago and weighed myself, as I occasionally do, and found I’d lost a few kilos. I was surprised, because my weight has been pretty stable for the past few years, and I hadn’t been aware of eating differently while I was away. It made me reflect on how six or seven years ago a change of this size, whether up or down, would have been as unthinkable as it would have been unbearable, since bodyweight was such a constant preoccupation, treated like a crutch even though I knew it was crippling me: LEARN MORE

NEWS: USDA To Begin Certifying Non-GMO Foods

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is initiating a certification program to label products that have been made without genetically modified ingredients. The Agricultural Marketing Services arm of the USDA (AMS) received a request for help from a global food manufacturer to verify that the soybeans and corn used in its products were non-GMO. The company was interested in labeling the product as non-GMO, because many consumers today are looking to buy these products. LEARN MORE

NEWS: Frozen Meals 2.0

Once upon a time, frozen meals were the equivalent of a nutrition train-wreck. This has changed in the last 2 decades, as food manufacturers identified the opportunity to provide a healthier solution for time-pressed families. The most famous brands of less unhealthy frozen meals are Healthy Choice (ConAgra) and Lean Cuisine (Nestle). LEARN MORE

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of obesity and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED) and the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Pineapple Barbecued Shrimp Skewers



This recipe serves: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes


1/4 cup organic barbecue sauce (MSG Free)

1/2 cup pineapple juice

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro leaves

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into 2-inch chunks

4 metal or bamboo (soaked in water) skewers


1. In a mixing bowl, combine the barbecue sauce, pineapple juice, lime juice and cilantro. Pour half of the pineapple-barbecue sauce mixture into a resealable bag, add the shrimp and marinate for 15 to 30 minutes. (Reserve the remaining sauce mixture for basting and serving.)

2. Preheat the grill to medium-high.

3. Remove the shrimp from the marinade, discarding the leftover marinade. Skewer the shrimp and pineapple onto the skewers. Grill the skewers on both sides until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. While the skewers are cooking, brush them with some of the reserved sauce.

4. Serve the skewers with the extra pineapple-barbecue sauce for dipping.


Serving Size: 1/4 pound of shrimp plus pineapple

Calories 201

Total Fat 2 g

Saturated Fat 0 g

Protein 25 g

Total Carbohydrate 2 g

Dietary Fiber 0 g

Sodium 276 mg

Percent Calories from Fat 9%

Percent Calories from Protein 48%

Percent Calories from Carbohydrate 43%