Should You Get Your Protein Fix from Plants or Animals? - 24Seven Wellness & Living

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If you are interested in wellbeing then you cannot of failed to notice that we are continually being bombarded these days with products or diets that are high in protein. In fact open up any wellness magazine or website and you will no doubt find some mention somewhere of how to increase your intake of protein. Visit any grocery store and you are going to find that the shelves are filled with an array of high protein products. It would seem that no matter what you want to eat you are invariably going to find a high protein badge on one brand or another. 

So the benefits of eating a diet high in protein is well documented, but are there any downsides?

Well, a new study says yes.

The study I am referring to is titled “Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality”, and it was published by the International Journal of Epidemiology on April 3, 2018.  According to the study’s findings it really boils down to the the type of protein that you consume. It would seem that plant-based protein will give you all of the positive stuff while animal-based protein does completely the opposite. In fact, they warn against consuming animal protein due to the higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

The researchers studied 81,000 individuals and found a 60 percent increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease due to the intake of animal protein in the form of red meat. On the opposite end of the scale, they saw a 40 percent decrease in cardiovascular disease with plant-based protein consumption in the form of nuts and seeds.

They did acknowledge the fact that the high percentage of dietary fats found in red meat was part of the reason that the risk of cardiovascular disease was so high in the animal protein eaters. However, they also acknowledged that further investigations will need to be made into the other components, independent of fat, that are responsible for the cardio-protective benefits of nuts and seeds.

The study goes on to explain that we can no longer simply define the difference as animal and vegetable protein. We now have to fine-tune our understanding of specific amino acid content in both animal and plant proteins as they relate to human blood lipid profiles, blood pressure reading and body composition results.

So it may be a little inconclusive as it stands but still food for thought and yet another reason why a diet high in red meat may not be the best option even if protein is your main focus.