The source of the protein we eat (plant vs. animal) matters to our health because food is a package deal. Plant protein, unlike animal protein, naturally contains healthy nutrients thought to extend our lifespan, significantly reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer, boost our immune system, and prevent/treat rheumatoid arthritis. Plant-based diets may also prevent both age-related weight gain and premature puberty (see also here). Gluten is a healthy source of plant protein for 99% of Americans. Beans, including lentils, are another excellent plant protein source. Even processed meat-free “meats” are better for our health than animal protein (see, for example a comparison between chicken and cholesterol-free plant protein chicken). And the new USDA Guidelines (MyPlate) recognize plant protein, including soy, as healthy alternatives to animal protein.
Topic summary contributed by Elizabeth Stolle.
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Watch videos about plant protein
October 4, 2013
Testing Your Diet with Pee & Purple Cabbage
Plant-based diets tend to be alkaline-forming. This may help protect muscle mass and reduce the risk of gout and kidney stones. The pH of one's urine can be estimated with natural pigments using...
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Treating Parkinson’s Disease With Diet
Plant-based diets in general and certain plant foods in particular may be used to successfully treat Parkinson's disease in part by boosting L-DOPA levels.
February 25, 2013
Protein, Puberty, and Pollutants
The early onset of puberty in girls associated with animal protein consumption may be due to endocrine disrupting chemical pollutants in the meat supply.
December 17, 2012
Nonhuman Molecules Lining Our Arteries
The foreign meat molecule Neu5Gc builds up in human tumors and atherosclerotic plaques and may play an inflammatory role in the progression of both diseases.
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