Is plant protein better than animal protein?
Protein is an essential macronutrient for everyone, but not all food sources of protein are created equal. Since your body doesn't store protein, you must get enough of this nutrient from your diet each day. You can get protein from both plants and animals. An issue that many people are concerned about is is the protein found in plants better than animal protein?
1. What is protein?
Protein is found throughout our body, from the muscles, bones, skin, hair and almost every other part or tissue of the body where protein is present. It makes up the enzymes that create many chemical reactions and hemoglobin that transports oxygen in your blood. At least 10,000 different proteins make up your body.
Protein is made up of more than 20 basic building blocks called amino acids. Our bodies cannot make amino acids on their own, we get them in two different ways: from food or by regulating other types.
Nine amino acids including: Histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine are known as essential amino acids, which are provided through food.
2. How much protein do you need?
The National Academy of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, or just over 7 grams per 20 pounds of body weight.
For a person weighing 140 pounds (63.5kg) needs about 50 grams of protein per day. For a 200-pound (90kg) person, about 70 grams of protein is needed per day. The National Academies of Medicine also sets a wide range for acceptable protein intake that is 10% to 35% of a person's total calories per day. In addition, there is relatively little certainty about the ideal amount of protein in the diet or the healthiest goals for calories contributed by protein.
In an analysis performed at Harvard of more than 130,000 men and women followed for 32 years, no association was found between total protein intake and overall mortality or specific causes of death. . However, protein sources are important to your health.
Currently millions of people worldwide, especially young children, are not getting enough protein. The effects of protein deficiency and malnutrition range in severity from impaired growth and loss of muscle mass to reduced immunity, heart and respiratory system failure, and even death.
3. Amino acid profiles vary between plant proteins and animal proteins
After entering the body, proteins will be broken down into amino acids. Protein is used for almost every metabolic process in the body. However, different proteins can vary greatly in the type of amino acids they contain.
While animal proteins tend to contain all the amino acids we need, some plant proteins have fewer amino acids. For example, some important plant-based protein sources are often low in methionine, tryptophan, lycine and isoleucine. Animal proteins are complete in terms of amino acids, but plant proteins are not.
In total, there are about 20 types of amino acids that our body uses to make protein. Amino acids are classified as essential or non-essential. Your body can make non-essential amino acids. However, your body cannot make the essential amino acids, so you need to get them through your diet. For best health, your body needs all the essential amino acids in the right proportions.
Animal protein sources such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy are the same as the proteins found in your body. These are considered complete sources of protein, because they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs.
In contrast, plant protein sources, such as beans, lentils and nuts are considered incomplete amino acids, they lack some of the essential amino acids that we need. Some reports claim that soy protein is complete. However, the two essential amino acids are only found in small amounts in soybeans, so it cannot be compared with animal protein.
Food of animal origin is the highest quality source of protein. Plant-based protein sources lack one or more amino acids, which makes it harder to get all the amino acids your body needs.
4. Some nutrients are more abundant in animal protein sources
Of course, protein is rarely found alone in foods, it is often accompanied by a variety of other nutrients. Animal protein sources tend to have many nutrients that are often lacking in plant foods, including:
Vitamin B12: Mainly found in fish, meat, poultry and dairy products. Many people who avoid foods of animal origin are deficient in this vitamin. Vitamin D: Vitamin D is found in fish, eggs, and milk. Some plants contain it, but the vitamin D found in animal foods is better used by your body. DHA: Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an essential omega-3 fat found in fatty fish. It is important for brain health and is difficult to obtain from plant food sources. Heme-iron: This nutrient is mainly found in meat, especially red meat. Heme-iron is absorbed into the body much better than non-heme iron from plant foods. Zinc: This nutrient is mainly found in animal protein sources such as beef, pork, and lamb. Zinc in foods of animal origin is also easier to absorb and use. Animal protein sources contain many other nutrients such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids DHA, heme-iron and zinc. Of course, there are also many nutrients found in plants and animal foods. Therefore, a balanced diet of both proteins is the best way to get all the nutrients you need.
5. Some meats are good sources of protein but can cause disease
Red meat is a good source of high-quality protein. Several observational studies have linked red meat consumption with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and early death. However, further studies have suggested that this problem is associated with processed red meat, and it is not true of all red meat.
In a large observational study including 448,568 individuals, it was found that processed meat consumption was associated with an increased risk of death, which was not true for unprocessed red meat. Another study of more than 34,000 women made similar findings.
Additionally, a large review of 20 studies found that processed meat is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Again, no association was found for unprocessed red meat. Additional studies have confirmed that consumption of unprocessed red meat is not associated with heart disease.
Even so, one study found that replacing 1 serving of red meat with 1 serving of poultry per day was associated with a 27% reduction in stroke risk. Furthermore, the health risks associated with processed red meat are not associated with fish and other meats, such as turkey and chicken.
Thus, it can be seen that processed red meat is associated with an increased risk of disease. Meanwhile, unprocessed red meat and other lean meats are generally healthy.
6. A plant-based protein-rich diet brings many health benefits
A plant-based protein diet, such as a vegetarian diet, offers many health benefits. Studies show that vegetarians tend to lose weight, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. They also have a lower risk of stroke, cancer, and death from heart disease than non-vegetarians.
Health benefits that a plant-based protein diet gives you include:
Reduces risk of heart disease: One study found that a high-protein diet with about half of it from plants reduced blood pressure , cholesterol levels, and heart disease risk than either a standard diet or a healthy high-carb diet. The EcoAtkins trial showed that a low-carb, high-vegetarian diet lowers cholesterol and blood pressure better than a high-carb, low-fat diet.
Reduces risk of type 2 diabetes: A small study of people with type 2 diabetes found that replacing 2 servings of red meat with legumes 3 days per week improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels. blood.
However, another 6-week study that compared a diet high in plant protein with a diet high in animal protein found no difference in blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure in the two groups. this.
Weight control: A plant-based protein diet can also help you manage your weight better. An observational study that followed 120,000 men and women for more than 20 years found that eating more nuts resulted in better weight control. Additionally, eating one serving of beans, chickpeas, lentils or peas per day can increase feelings of fullness and may lead to better weight loss.
It is important to remember that the observational studies here only reported statistical associations. We have not been able to prove that these benefits are due to the elimination of meat as well as other animal protein sources.
One thing to keep in mind is that vegetarians tend to be more health-conscious than others. Therefore, the health benefits of a vegetarian diet can be attributed to an overall healthy diet and lifestyle, rather than any difference between plant and animal proteins.
7. Animal protein also has health benefits
Animal proteins have also been linked to positive health effects, although often portrayed as unhealthy compared to plant proteins.
The Nurses' Health Study reported that low-fat poultry, fish, and dairy were associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. People who eat fish regularly are also likely to have a reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, and death from heart disease.
A study of more than 40,000 men found that those who regularly ate one or more servings of fish per week had a 15% lower risk of heart disease.
Also, eating eggs has been linked to improved blood cholesterol and weight loss. In a study conducted on women who ate eggs for breakfast, instead of bread, they reported feeling fuller and eating less at the end of the day.
Finally, eating animal protein has been linked to increased lean muscle mass and reduced muscle loss that occurs with age.
For optimal health, evidence supports a diet low in processed meat, high in plant protein, with several sources of animal protein such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy.
Since plant-based sources often have lower quality protein, vegetarians and vegans should eat a variety of foods to ensure they are getting all the amino acids they need. For meat eaters, it's important to strike the right balance between foods of plant and animal origin.
8. Should you choose vegetable protein or animal protein?
Protein is an important part of any diet. The average person needs about 7 grams of protein per day for every 20 pounds of body weight. Since protein is found in so many foods, this goal can be easily achieved by many people. However, not all protein sources are created equal.
Because food contains many nutrients other than protein, it is important to pay attention to what else comes with it. That's why nutritionists recommend choosing healthy protein-rich foods.
Based on this general guide, here are some tips for choosing your diet with the best protein options:
Get plant-based protein when possible: Eat legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains Whole grains and other plant-based sources of protein are a healthy choice for you. If most of your protein comes from plants, make sure you combine different sources so you don't fall short of the "essential" components of protein. The good news is that plant-based sources offer a plethora of options for you to choose from and combine. Plant-based protein sources include: Legumes: Lentils, peas (green, snow, snap, chia, etc.), edamame/soy beans (and soy products: tofu, tempeh, etc.), peanuts. Nuts: Almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds. Whole grains: Kamut, teff, wheat, quinoa, rice, oats, buckwheat. Other plant-based protein sources: While many vegetables and fruits contain some varying amounts of protein, it's usually in smaller amounts than other plant-based foods. Some examples with higher amounts of protein include corn, broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and artichokes. Upgrade your animal protein sources: Considering the protein package is especially important when it comes to foods of animal origin: In general, poultry (chicken, turkey, duck) and a variety of seafood (fish) , crustaceans, molluscs) is your best bet. Eggs can also be a good choice. If you like dairy foods, it's best to do so in moderation. It is recommended to use only 1-2 servings per day; and yogurt combination is probably a better choice than all milk or cheese servings. Red meat: Including unprocessed beef, pork, lamb, veal, and goat meat should be consumed more sparingly. If you like red meat, consider eating it in small amounts or only on special occasions. Processed meats, such as bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats should be avoided. Although these products are often made with red meat, processed meat also includes items such as turkey bacon, chicken sausage, chicken, and cold-sliced ham. For optimal health, evidence supports a diet low in processed meat, high in plant protein, with several sources of animal protein such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy. Since plant-based protein food sources often have lower-quality protein, vegetarians and vegans should eat a variety of foods to make sure they're getting all the amino acids they need. For meat eaters, it's important to get the right balance of both plant and animal foods.
Hope the above information has given you more choices and answers that plant protein is better than animal protein. Wish you always have a scientific diet and improve your work productivity and improve your life.
Để đặt lịch khám tại viện, Quý khách vui lòng bấm số HOTLINE hoặc đặt lịch trực tiếp TẠI ĐÂY. Tải và đặt lịch khám tự động trên ứng dụng MyVinmec để quản lý, theo dõi lịch và đặt hẹn mọi lúc mọi nơi ngay trên ứng dụng.
References: healthline.com, hsph.harvard.edu