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 2, 2012
Higher Quality May Mean Higher Risk
The reason animal proteins trigger the release of the cancer-promoting growth hormone IGF-1 more than plant proteins may be because the relative ratios of amino acids in animal proteins more closely..
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The secret to naturally boosting serotonin levels in the brain may include eating foods such as pumpkin seeds with a high tryptophan to total protein ratio. This may help explain why studies show..
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Contrary to popular belief, the consumption of animal foods may actually decrease tryptophan levels in the brain. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, can boost transport across the blood-brain barrier,..
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July 26, 2012
Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death
Death in America is largely a foodborne illness. Focusing on studies published just over the last year in peer-reviewed scientific medical journals, Dr. Greger offers practical advice on how best to..
July 16, 2012
Treating Kidney Failure Through Diet
Not only do plant-based diets appear to prevent kidney function decline, they may also be used to treat kidney failure. Even at the same protein loads, the body is able to better handle phosphorus..