Vegan Protein vs Animal Protein
Fats and carbohydrates can be very controversial. Some people love them and some people hate them. Some doctors think that they’re good for you and other doctors think that they’re bad for you.
One thing health experts generally agree on is that proteins can be very healthy.
However, where you get your protein from matters. A new study out of Japan compared the benefits of animal proteins and plant proteins.
While we typically think of steak and chicken when it comes to proteins, some plants are also significant sources of protein. Falafel, which is made from chickpeas, and tofu, which is made from soybeans, are two great examples of plant proteins.
Vegan Protein & Heart Disease
Researchers followed over 70,000 Japanese volunteers for over 20 years. They found that in general, plant proteins were associated with better health while eating more animal proteins generally had no significant negative or positive effect.
In terms of heart disease, those who ate the most plant protein experienced a 27% reduction in their risk of disease compared to those who hardly ate any protein at all.
Vegan Protein & Life Expectancy
Researchers saw similar benefits with stroke.
These benefits contributed to a significantly longer life for those who ate the most plant protein, as shown by the mortality risk reduction.
Animal proteins, while not necessarily beneficial, were also not harmful either.
Neither plant nor animal proteins had any significant effect on cancer.
Vegan Protein & Cardiovascular Health
As shown in the chart above, the amount of plant protein that you eat matters. Individuals who ate above average amounts of plant protein all saw significant reductions in cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.
As with all similar studies, correlation does not imply causation. Based on the data above, researchers can conclude that those who eat more plant proteins have better health, But, we do not know whether plant protein themselves are causing this trend.
In general, eating more plant protein is probably going to be good for you. Chickpeas, beans, and peas are great sources of protein as well as fiber. Reducing the amount of red meat in your diet may reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.