Nut protein is heart healthy but meat protein is not
Protein is very important for our body as we already know. It’s an essential building block for bones, muscles, cartilages, skin and blood.
But we lose proteins everyday through our digestive system as it repairs and rebuilds our tissues. That’s why we need a good supply of protein every day.
In fact protein is a macro nutrient which means that the body needs large amounts of protein as it is not stored in the body.
The study confirms what researchers have already suspected that including nuts and seeds protect against heart and vascular disease while red meats increase this risk.
Protein is derived from protein-rich foods such as fish, meat, poultry, cheese and milk products, beans, tofu, nuts, and seeds.
However, there is a difference between meat protein and plant protein and their associated relationship with cardiovascular health.
A study conducted by researchers in California and France included data from 81,337 men and women from the Adventist Health Study-2.
Their diet was studied between 2002 and 2007 by using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Dietary patterns based on the participants’ protein consumption were derived by factor analysis.
In these study details of animal protein was jointly investigated with animal fat.
The study found that people who consumed a large amount of meat protein developed a 60 percent increase in cardiovascular disease (CVD) while people who consumed proteins from nuts and seeds experienced a 40 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease.
This study was not based on a generic categorisation of just meat protein and plant protein but chose specific proteins from nuts and seeds with other dietary sources.
No significant associations were found for the ‘Grains’, ‘Processed Foods’ and ‘Legumes, Fruits & Vegetables’ protein factors.
The study confirms what researchers have already suspected that including nuts and seeds in your diet protect against heart and vascular disease while red meats increase this risk.
It also shows that protein has a significant impact on this risk independently which has been overlooked with a major focus being given to dietary fats and their effect on CVD.
The researchers advocate a healthy diet based on low amounts of meat proteins while higher intakes should be from plant protein derived from nuts and seeds.
A handful of nuts and seeds everyday is so good for you and now we know that nuts provide you with heart-healthy protein too. So go nuts!
Source: International Journal of Epidemiology
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