Protein is growing in popularity as a great addition to our diets to improve health but there are many different kinds available. Whether it’s consumed through eating chicken or drinking milk, or taken by adding a protein powder to a smoothie drink, there are many different ways to incorporate protein into our daily intake.
With this growth in popularity one of the raging debates is whether animal-based or plant-based protein is the best to take and in terms of the health benefits the jury is in – and it comes down firmly on the side of the plants.
Why are plant-based proteins best?
While animal-based sources do contain protein, they also contain fats and other harmful materials so consuming them on a very regular basis is not the best approach for a healthy diet – although in moderation they are a good source for protein.
People have always turned to chicken or other meats for protein for example, when working on a high protein diet or a bodybuilding routine, but it’s all about getting the balance right and looking at what else meat contains in addition to the protein, which might not be that healthy.
More nutrients and fibre
On the other hand, plant-based protein can provide more nutrients, more fibre and a lot of the amino acids we require. While animal meat will provide all of the vitamins and minerals we need, if you have a diverse plant-based diet you will also get the same nutrient spectrum.
In fact, if you compare them pound to pound, there are more nutrients and far less calories in plant-based proteins, and they are also full of fibre which is vital for our digestive system. Animal meat does not contain any fibre.
Less risk of illnesses
Studies have shown that people who eat plant-based diets, rather than meat tend to have less risk of heart disease and certain cancer types, even when you take into account lifestyle and exercise differences.
These studies proved that even allowing for differences in lifestyles, the people relying on plant-based protein sources lived longer lives and were less likely to have heart conditions and problems than those eating lots of meat sources.
Different types of fat
Meat contains far more saturated fats, which are not good for us and can clog our arteries, red meats, steaks and burgers in particular, contain high levels of fat making them a relatively unhealthy source of protein.
Meanwhile plant proteins have far less saturated fat and don’t clog up our arteries or increase our cholesterol which might account for the healthier hearts in the non- meat eaters which the clinical study found. While some plant foods like avocado and nuts have far less saturated fats and rather contain healthy fats which we actually need.
There have been studies linking consumption of very processed red meats with particular kinds of cancer, particularly colorectal cancers, which is yet another reason why seeking to get most of your protein from plant-based sources is a much better idea.
Of course there are many other factors linked to cancer and other illnesses outside of dietary intake, however, these are all good reasons to opt for a focus on plant-based protein rather than relying on our consumption of meat to provide our protein.
While it is commonly known that consuming too much red meat is bad for us, it has also been the norm to turn up our meat consumption when looking to increase our protein intake, particularly among those trying to build muscles.
However, with the wide variety of convenient protein powders, shakes and snacks which can be created using plant-based protein such as hemp, there is no reason why we can’t up our protein intake in a healthy way, without increasing our risk of disease from the fats and other ingredients inherent in meat.
While plant protein is the best source it doesn’t mean everyone has to but red and processed meat out totally from their diets – it’s really about moderation. Instead of relying on daily meat intake for protein, swap it out for a plant-based choice and then enjoy a meat meal every now and then as a treat.
Hemp protein powder is a plant-based protein which contains all of the amino acids we need, which are found in meat and few other plants, which makes it a great choice for anyone looking for a healthy protein choice.
Plant-based proteins are also good for anyone with allergies such as soy or dairy, as these two elements are often included in other common protein powders making them impossible for many people to take. Whereas a hemp protein powder for example, shouldn’t contain any of these items, just pure plant protein – all of the benefits and none of the problems.