Myths About Wheatgrass

Proponents claim that wheatgrass is higher in protein than eggs, but numbers can be misleading. Nutrition Diva reveals the truth.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,
June 25, 2013
Episode #241

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Myths About Wheatgrass

I recently got an email from Julie, taking me to task for something I wrote in my episode on juicing. “I look to you for valid information,” she wrote, “but when you said that vegetable juice has no protein, it immediately discredited you as a reliable source. Lots of vegetables contain protein. Wheatgrass is supposed to be even higher in protein than eggs!”

Yikes. It doesn’t take much to discredit you in Julie’s book. Even though her email was kind of harsh, I emailed her back to tell her she was right. Vegetables do contain small amounts of protein, so I was incorrect to say that vegetable juice contains "no protein." I should have said that it contains "very little protein." For example, you'd have to drink about a quart and a half of wheatgrass juice to get the same amount of protein as one serving of chicken. >

Is Wheatgrass High In Protein?

Apparently, Julie was surprised to get an email back from me (and if that’s the kind of email she typically sends to public figures, it’s not surprising that she doesn’t get a lot of responses). In any case, old Julie was willing to give me a second chance. “I confess I’m frustrated by not knowing how to find reliable information,” she wrote. “I was trying to find protein sources and read online that wheatgrass contains 20% percent protein, while eggs only 12%. How do I know what to believe?”

Related Content: How to Find Reliable Sources

Seeing as we were now friends, I responded again and explained to Julie that expressing a nutrient as a percentage can be misleading without necessarily being untrue. Confusion about the difference between percentages and absolute amounts leads to all sorts of nutritional myths and misunderstandings. And, believe me, marketers take full advantage of that fact when trying to spin the advantages of their products! You may or may not be interested in wheatgrass as a source of protein—but it’s as good an example of this phenomenon as any, so let’s take a closer look at the numbers Julie came across.

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