Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Linda

Many vegans and vegetarians are asked how they get enough protein. An analysis of the eating records of a large sample of people following plant-based diets showed that, on average, they got 70% more protein than they needed every day. Beans, including canned beans, are an excellent plant protein source, as are lentils and split peas. Other examples include nuts, seeds, and soy

The type of protein a person eats–primarily plant-based or primarily animal-based—matters to one’s health as food is a package deal: the protein cannot be isolated from other elements in the food. Overall, plant protein may provide healthier nutrients than animal protein. In the 1950’s, researchers found that  coronary heart disease was almost non-existent among Ugandans, who consume their protein almost entirely from plant sources. Plant protein consumption may be linked to lower risk of heart disease, while the intake of animal protein can be associated with increased risk. Plant protein also appears linked to lower cancer risk than animal protein.

Nutritional research studies have found potential associations between a diet high in plant protein and the following beneficial effects:

See also related health topics animal protein, beans, lentils, nuts, plant-based diets, protein, seeds, and soy.

The information on this page has been compiled from Dr. Greger’s research. Sources for each video listed can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab. 

Image Credit: Charles Koh / Unsplash. This image has been modified.

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