You need your daily dose of protein but which one animal protein or plant protein?
There is new research that suggests that getting your daily protein from plants instead of animals appears to reduce your overall risk of early death.
Every 3% of a person's daily energy intake coming from plant protein instead of animal protein reduced a person's risk of premature death by 10%, the results showed.
That means it may be healthier to eat tofu in your breakfast rather a boiled egg.
The results are particularly strong when people swap plant protein for eggs (24% lower risk in men and 21% lower risk in women) or red meat (13% lower risk in men, 15% in women).
Replacement of 3% energy from egg protein or red meat protein with plant protein such as whole grains or cereals resulted in a protective association for overall mortality. On the other hand, replacement of 3% energy from egg protein or red meat protein with other foods such as sugar-sweetened beverages may or may not result in a reduction in mortality.
For this study, scientists analyzed dietary data from more than 237,000 men and 179,000 women gathered between 1995 and 2011 as part of a long-term study on eating patterns and health.
During 16 years of follow-up, a pattern emerged where plant protein intake appeared to reduce the risk of early death.
The data provided evidence to support the favorable role for plant-based diets in the prevention of cardiovascular disease mortality, and that modifications in choices of protein sources may influence health outcomes and longevity.
There are many reasons why choosing plant protein over animal protein could help extend your life.
Meat protein tends to come with higher levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and other nutrients that aren't very good for your health.
On the other hand, plant proteins come with loads of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
The researchers also added that there might be something specific about the amino acids formed from the breakdown of animal-based protein that could cause arteries to grow harder or inflammation to occur. Animal protein also could affect the health of people's gut bacteria.
The eggs can be part of a healthy and balanced diet.
The evidence continues to grow to support the importance of consuming more plant foods and fewer animal foods, while also boosting vegetable, whole grain, and fruit intake. We can enjoy our favorite, heavy egg or meat dish but probably not every day, and preferably in balance with lots of plant foods.
Dr. Rakesh Rai. MS, FRCS, MD, CCT, ASTS Fellow.