Is Plant Protein Better Than Animal Protein?
Among all 7 essential nutrients that your body requires, protein has a special status. Protein is an indispensable nutrient responsible for growth and repair of muscle tissues throughout the body. They are the building blocks that exist all over our bodies from skin, hair, to organs, bones and of course, the muscle tissue. Therefore, cutting out protein from your diet altogether should be out of the question.
The body has 22 amino acids including the semi essential selenocysteine and pyrrolysine amino acids, all of which are proteinogenic. Proteinogenic simply means protein creation. Out of these, 9 amino acids, called the essential amino acids, must come from the diet as the body cannot produce them. A comprehensive protein source includes all 9 of the essential amino acids.
Sources of Protein
Conventionally, the most widely consumed sources of protein have been meat, but lately, plant-based proteins have started becoming increasingly popular. Many people have either switched or considered switching to consuming plant-based proteins to avoid the unwanted negative consequences that meat brings along.
The Dark Side of Meat-Based Proteins
Meat consumption has been linked to certain diseases. Red meat, for example, is high in saturated fats and has been linked to cholesterol and cardiovascular problems. The uric acid build up due to meat consumption can even lead to issues such as gout. The synthetic hormones and chemicals found in chicken are another blot on the meat as a source of protein and essential amino acids.
Why Plant Protein
Plant-based protein is a healthier alternative. Along with the 9 essential amino acids, your body gets the added goodness of the phyto nutrients and the anti oxidants minus all the saturated fat and high levels of cholesterol that come as part of the package with other protein sources. Furthermore, plant-based diets are lighter on your digestive system as they contain plenty of fiber along with protein.
To sum up, plant-based proteins are a healthier source of protein than their meat-based counter parts. The combination of different plant based protein sources such as beans, lentils, quinoa, or buckwheat provide a complete range of amino acids with none of the damaging effects of meat. Therefore, the “beans over bacon” mantra isn’t such a bad thing to adopt.