Plant Protein Preferable

Plant Protein Preferable
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Since foods are a package deal, Dr. Walter Willet, the Chair of Harvard’s nutrition department, recommends we emphasize plant sources of protein, rather than animal sources.

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The dietary recommendations of countries that rely on their health departments to formulate them, rather than their agriculture departments, more closely parallel the recommendations of academics, such as Walter Willet, the chair of Harvard’s nutrition department, who, in his “Essentials of healthy eating: a guide,” talks about picking the best “protein packages,” recognizing that food is a package deal. And so, one of his top three recommendations is we should emphasize plant sources of protein, rather than animal sources.

See, to the metabolic systems engaged in protein production and repair, it doesn’t matter whether amino acids come from animal or plant protein.

However, protein is not consumed in isolation. Instead, it is packaged with a host of other nutrients—the “baggage” I refer to in previous videos. The quality and amounts of fats, carbohydrates, sodium, and other nutrients in the ‘‘protein package’’ may influence long-term health. For example, results from the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study suggest that eating more protein from beans, nuts, seeds, and the like—while cutting back on refined carbohydrates like white flour—reduces the risk of heart disease.

So, the bottom line? Go with plants. Eating a plant-based diet is healthiest.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Peter Mellor.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Global Crop Diversity Trust via Flickr

 

The dietary recommendations of countries that rely on their health departments to formulate them, rather than their agriculture departments, more closely parallel the recommendations of academics, such as Walter Willet, the chair of Harvard’s nutrition department, who, in his “Essentials of healthy eating: a guide,” talks about picking the best “protein packages,” recognizing that food is a package deal. And so, one of his top three recommendations is we should emphasize plant sources of protein, rather than animal sources.

See, to the metabolic systems engaged in protein production and repair, it doesn’t matter whether amino acids come from animal or plant protein.

However, protein is not consumed in isolation. Instead, it is packaged with a host of other nutrients—the “baggage” I refer to in previous videos. The quality and amounts of fats, carbohydrates, sodium, and other nutrients in the ‘‘protein package’’ may influence long-term health. For example, results from the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study suggest that eating more protein from beans, nuts, seeds, and the like—while cutting back on refined carbohydrates like white flour—reduces the risk of heart disease.

So, the bottom line? Go with plants. Eating a plant-based diet is healthiest.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Peter Mellor.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Global Crop Diversity Trust via Flickr

 

Doctor's Note

Be sure to check out all my other videos on dietary guidelines and heart disease. If you’re worried about the gassiness of beans, check out my blog post Beans and Gas: Clearing the air

For more context, also check out my associated blog posts: Dietary Guideline Graphics: From the Food Pyramid to My Plate, Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate, and PCRM’s Power PlateHow to Enhance Mineral AbsorptionPreventing and Treating Kidney Failure With DietCholesterol Lowering in a Nut Shell98% of American Diets Potassium DeficientDo Eden Beans Have Too Much Iodine? and What Is the Healthiest Meat?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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