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
August 3, 2012
A Better Way to Boost Serotonin
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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The Wrong Way to Boost Serotonin
Tryptophan is the precursor to the "happiness hormone" serotonin, so why not take tryptophan supplements to improve mood and relieve symptoms of depression?
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...
July 13, 2012
Preventing Kidney Failure Through Diet
Given how vascular our kidneys are, it should comes as no surprise that animal protein, animal fat, and cholesterol are associated with declining kidney function (microalbuminurea—loss of protein...
March 14, 2012
Harvard’s Meat and Mortality Studies
Monday, March 12, 2012, the Harvard Health Professionals Follow-up Study and the Harvard Nurses' Health Study concluded that red meat consumption was associated with living a significantly shorter...
March 7, 2012
February 2, 2012
Plant-Based Atkins Diet
Harvard study found that men and women eating low carb diets live significantly shorter lives, but what about the "eco-Atkins diet," a plant-based low carbohydrate diet?
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