- Higher consumption of
red meat and processed red meat increases the risk of cancer, cardiovascular
disease and death
- Swapping animal sources of protein with
other plant sources of protein such as nuts and seeds can reduce the risk death
the intake of plant protein by 3% reduced the risk of death by 10% and
cardiovascular death by 12%
A diet high in
meat, especially red meat could be bad for health
as it increases the risk of chronic diseases and
death. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital along with Harvard Medical
School studied the possibility of death among those who
eat a plant protein diet versus an animal protein diet.
Protein is a
macronutrient essential for building and repairing muscles and bones. Animal
are red meat, processed red
meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. Plant sources of protein include nuts, seeds,
grains, legumes and some vegetables.
‘The risk of death from eating protein is lower when it comes from plants (cereals, nuts and vegetables) than animals (red meat, processed meat and eggs).’
Protein Vs Plant Protein
analyzed the findings of two large studies conducted in the United States. The
studies included 131,342 male and female participants with an average age of
49. The protein sources, calorie breakdown and the daily diet of the
participants were analyzed using validated food frequency questionnaires.
protein intake was 14 percent of animal protein and 4 percent of plant protein.
Once the lifestyle and other dietary risk factors were adjusted, the
researchers found that increasing the animal protein share of calories by 10%
led to a 2% higher risk
and an 8% higher risk of
death from cardiovascular diseases.
But, for every
3% increase in calories from plant protein reduced the risk of death by 10% and
risk of cardiovascular
decreased by 12%.
When the protein
intake was compared among the less healthy participants - people who are obese,
who smoke and drink alcohol- the effects of replacing animal protein with plant
protein were much higher than for healthier participants.
Song, a researcher at Harvard Medical School, said, "Previous dietary studies
have looked at levels of protein compared to carbohydrates, or protein intake
on its own, but, the sources of protein have not been reviewed as closely as in
the new study."
been a limited study on the differences between proteins, but research in this
area can provide the public with important information. Food sources of protein
are not just about the protein itself, but other nutrients in the food,"
Animal Protein with Plant Protein
3% of protein from animal sources with proteins from grains, vegetables, nuts,
and seeds reduced the risk of death regardless of unhealthy lifestyle
Small changes in
the diet by swapping out animal protein was significant, said the researchers.
The risk of death decreased by 34% when processed red meat was replaced, 12%
for replacing red meat and 19% for replacing eggs
Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.
One cup of cooked soybeans
29 grams of protein, lentils (18 grams), chickpeas (15 grams), peas (8 grams),
quinoa (8 grams)
, half a cup of sunflower seeds
(6 grams), and 1 cup cooked broccoli
4 grams of protein.
A study by the
World Health Organization suggested that processed red meat such as bacon, hot dogs, and
corned beef can increase the risk of cancer
. The researchers noted
that all types of red meat affect the risk.
Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services also
acknowledged the risk of chronic diseases and death due to increased
consumption of meat, in particular among men.
The study is
published in the JAMA Internal Medicine.
- Protein in Vegan Diet - (http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.php)