Page Summary: Clips, Quotes & Links to 50+ Science News Reports on How: i) Higher Consumption of Plant Protein is Associated with Lower Rates of Chronic Disease & Longer Lifespan; ii) while Higher Consumption of Animal Protein is Associated with Higher Disease Rates & Shortened Lifespan.
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“The Great Protein Fiasco” is a short presentation by Dr Michael Greger MD – “The field of nutrition got human protein requirements spectacularly wrong…” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NW32vLq340
Excerpts: “Turns out there’s no real evidence of dietary protein deficiency. The actual cause [of kwashiorkor] remains obscure… studies suggest changes in gut flora may be a causal factor. How could the field of nutrition get it so spectacularly wrong?…
Okay, so what is the perfect food for human beings, the food that was fine-tuned just for us over millions of years to have the perfect amount of protein? Human breast milk…
Human breast milk is one of the lowest-protein milks in the mammalian world. In fact, it may have the lowest protein concentration of any animal in the world—less than 1% protein by weight. This is one of the reasons why feeding straight cow’s milk to babies can be so dangerous…
Adults require no more than 0.8 or 0.9 grams of protein per healthy kilogram of body weight per day. So, that’s like your ideal weight in pounds, multiplied by four, and then divided by ten. So, someone whose ideal weight is 100 pounds may require up to 40 grams of protein a day…
People are more likely to suffer from protein excess than protein deficiency. The adverse effects associated with long-term high protein diets may include disorders of bone and calcium balance, disorders of kidney function, increased cancer risk, disorders of the liver, and worsening of coronary artery disease. Therefore, there is currently no reasonable scientific basis to recommend protein consumption above the current recommended daily allowance, due to its potential disease risks.”
The text transcript at https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-great-protein-fiasco/
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High Animal Protein Intake Increases Overall Death Rate by 75% and Cancer Death Rate by 400%?
A 2014 report in Cell Metabolism states: “Respondents aged 50-65 reporting high protein intake had a 75% increase in overall mortality and a 4-fold increase in cancer death risk during the following 18 years. These associations were either abolished or attenuated if the proteins were plant derived. Conversely, high protein intake was associated with reduced cancer and overall mortality in respondents over 65, but a 5-fold increase in diabetes mortality across all ages… These results suggest that low protein intake during middle age followed by moderate to high protein consumption in old adults may optimize healthspan and longevity.”
Reference: “Low protein intake is associated with a major reduction in IGF-1, cancer, and overall mortality in the 65 and younger but not older population”, Cell Metab. 2014 Mar 4;19(3):407-17; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3988204/ and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24606898
A related 2016 report in the journal of the Growth Hormone Research Society: “we examined links between protein intake, disease, and mortality in over 6000 US subjects in the NHANES CDC database. Respondents aged 50-65 reporting a high protein intake displayed an increase in IGF-I levels, a 75% increased risk of overall mortality and a 3-4 fold increased risk of cancer mortality… These studies point to a conserved link between proteins and amino acids, GHR-IGF-1/insulin, Tor-S6k signaling, aging, and diseases.”
Reference: “Growth factors, aging and age-related diseases”, Growth Horm IGF Res. 2016 Jun;28:66-8; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26883276
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Animal Protein Increases Heart Disease Risk, Plant Protein Decreases Risk.
Regards Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) and animal protein the journal of the American Heart Association reports: “These data suggest that high red meat intake increases risk of CHD… in age-adjusted analyses, animal protein was associated with increased risk, and vegetable protein was associated with decreased risk… higher intakes of red meat, red meat excluding processed meat, and high-fat dairy were significantly associated with elevated risk of CHD… 1 serving per day of dairy products was associated with an increased risk… nuts, and beans were associated with decreased risk… 1 serving per day of nuts was associated with a 30%… lower risk of CHD compared with 1 serving per day of red meat… ” The study was of 84,136 women with “2,050,071 person-years of follow-up from 1980 through 2006”.
Reference: “Major dietary protein sources and risk of coronary heart disease in women”, Circulation, 2010 Aug 31;122(9):876-83 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20713902 and http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/122/9/876
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A 2019 report in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concludes: “Higher ratio of animal to plant protein in diet and higher meat intake were associated with increased mortality risk.”
Reference: “Dietary proteins and protein sources and risk of death: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study”, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2019;
A related report “Diet rich in animal protein is associated with a greater risk of early death” is at https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190410095951.htm
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Lifespan & Death Rates: Animal Protein Increases Mortality; Plant Protein Decreases Mortality.
A study published in a journal of the American Medical Association reports: “Replacing animal protein of various origins with plant protein was associated with lower mortality… Of the 131 342 participants… After adjusting for major lifestyle and dietary risk factors, animal protein intake… was associated with higher cardiovascular mortality… Plant protein was associated with lower all-cause mortality… and [lower] cardiovascular mortality…”
Reference: “Association of Animal and Plant Protein Intake With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality”, JAMA Internal Medicine, 2016 Oct 1;176(10):1453-1463; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27479196 and https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2540540
A related short clip of Dr Kim Allan Williams* – recent president of the American College of Cardiology – is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU2kSwJsA4M
With reference to the study he states: “THERE ARE NO SAFE ANIMAL PRODUCTS … The central message is here: that processed red meat is associated with cancer deaths but eggs are actually more associated with it … Cardiovascular disease: nothing is safe – fish, chicken … the worst by far is processed red meat …”
* Dr Williams has served on numerous national medical boards inc American Heart Association (AHA), American Medical Association (AMA), American College of Cardiology (ACC) … more details listed in the description of the youtube video.
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Meat Protein Increases Death Rate from CVD while Plant Protein Reduces it.
In 2018 the International Journal of Epidemiology published a study regards cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. In the words of a summary report: “people who consumed large amounts of meat protein experienced a 60-percent increase in cardiovascular disease (CVD), while people who consumed large amounts of protein from nuts and seeds experienced a 40-percent reduction in CVD.” 
The study covered 81,337 men and women with 2276 CVD deaths during a mean follow-up time of 9.4 years. The specific hazard ratios they found for CVD mortality were:
– 1.61 for the ‘Meat’ protein factor.
– 0.60 for the ‘Nuts & Seeds’ protein factor.
These being “highest vs lowest quintile of factor scores”.
 “Meat protein is unhealthy, but protein from nuts and seeds is heart smart. Study reports major comparison of animal, plant proteins.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180403111106.htm
 “Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: the Adventist Health Study-2 cohort”, International Journal of Epidemiology, 2018 Apr 2; https://academic.oup.com/ije/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/ije/dyy030/4924399
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Dairy Protein and Increased Rates of Prostate Cancer.
From the British Journal of Cancer regards dairy protein and prostate cancer, a study of 143,251 men: “A high intake of dairy protein was associated with an increased risk, with a hazard ratio for the top versus the bottom fifth of intake of 1.22...”; a 22% higher rate of cancer.
Furthermore: “After calibration to allow for measurement error, we estimated that a 35-g day(-1) increase in consumption of dairy protein was associated with an increase in the risk of prostate cancer of 32% … Calcium from dairy products was also positively associated with risk, but not calcium from other foods.”
Reference: “Animal foods, protein, calcium and prostate cancer risk: the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.” Br J Cancer. 2008 May 6;98(9):1574-81; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18382426
See this page for 100+ more reports on higher rates of disease associated with dairy consumption.
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Animal Protein and Increased Rates of Heart Failure.
2018 report “Is Too Much Protein Bad for Men’s Heart Health?” Excerpt: “The researchers found that the men in the group who ate the most protein were 33 percent more likely to be diagnosed with heart failure during the follow-up period, compared with those in the group who ate the least protein.
The findings were true for most sources of protein: Those who ate the most animal protein were 43 percent more likely to be diagnosed with heart failure; and those who ate the most dairy protein were 49 percent more likely to be diagnosed with heart failure, compared with those who ate the least amounts of animal and dairy protein…”
The study: “Intake of Different Dietary Proteins and Risk of Heart Failure in Men”, Circulation: Heart Failure, 2018; 11:e004531;
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Do Vegetarians & Vegans Get Enough Protein?
In this clip “Do Vegetarians Get Enough Protein?” Dr Michael Greger MD refers to a 2013 study of 60,000+ people and states “on average vegetarians and vegans get 70% more protein than they need every day…” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2m4p8s7xskQ&
It refers to a report titled “Nutrient profiles of vegetarian and nonvegetarian dietary patterns” in a 2013 issues of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23988511
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Dr. Neal Barnard MD discusses “Can vegans get enough protein?” in a short clip at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukY5_VFcA08
Dr Barnard’s related article is titled “Do You Suffer from Protein Anxiety?” Some excerpts: “protein is widely available in beans, vegetables, and grains. It is almost impossible not to get all the protein you need, even without eating meat, dairy, or eggs.
Here are the numbers: An average women needs about 46 grams of protein per day; the average man about 56. If a person were to eat nothing but broccoli for a day, a 2,000-calorie diet would provide a whopping 146 grams of protein. Yes, green vegetables are loaded with protein. A person eating only lentils would get even more—2,000 calories’ worth of lentils pack 157 grams. Of course, no one would eat only broccoli or only lentils, and it is much better to combine foods—beans, grains, vegetables and fruits—to get complete nutrition.
The point is that plant-based foods clearly provide abundant protein.
The average American actually consumes too much protein, according to the CDC, with most people getting nearly double the amount they actually need. And more isn’t better. When protein comes from animal products—which are high in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol—diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease often follow…
a varied plant-based diet of whole grains, vegetables, and beans can easily meet your daily protein needs, without the risks of animal products…”
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2015 article in the New York Times by Professor Dean Ornish, titled “The Myth of High-Protein Diets.”
Excerpts: “Research shows that animal protein may significantly increase the risk of premature mortality from all causes, among them cardiovascular disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. Heavy consumption of saturated fat and trans fats may double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
A study published last March found a 75 percent increase in premature deaths from all causes, and a 400 percent increase in deaths from cancer and Type 2 diabetes, among heavy consumers of animal protein under the age of 65 — those who got 20 percent or more of their calories from animal protein.
Low-carb, high-animal-protein diets promote heart disease via mechanisms other than just their effects on cholesterol levels. Arterial blockages may be caused by animal-protein-induced elevations in free fatty acids and insulin levels and decreased production of endothelial progenitor cells (which help keep arteries clean).
Egg yolks and red meat appear to significantly increase the risk of coronary heart disease and cancer due to increased production of trimethylamine N-oxide, or TMAO, a metabolite of meat and egg yolks linked to the clogging of arteries. (Egg whites have neither cholesterol nor TMAO.)
Animal protein increases IGF-1, an insulin-like growth hormone, and chronic inflammation, an underlying factor in many chronic diseases. Also, red meat is high in Neu5Gc, a tumor-forming sugar that is linked to chronic inflammation and an increased risk of cancer.
A plant-based diet may prolong life by blocking the mTOR protein, which is linked to aging. When fat calories were carefully controlled, patients lost 67 percent more body fat than when carbohydrates were controlled.
An optimal diet for preventing disease is a whole-foods, plant-based diet that is naturally low in animal protein, harmful fats and refined carbohydrates. What that means in practice is little or no red meat; mostly vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and soy products in their natural forms; very few simple and refined carbohydrates such as sugar and white flour; and sufficient “good fats” such as… flax oil, seeds and nuts. A healthful diet should be low in “bad fats,” meaning trans fats, saturated fats and hydrogenated fats. Finally, we need more quality and less quantity…”
Dean Ornish is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and the founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute.
Full article at https://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/03/23/opinion/the-myth-of-high-protein-diets.html
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Medical Journal of Australia: “A vegetarian diet can easily meet human dietary protein requirements as long as energy needs are met and a variety of foods are eaten. Vegetarians should obtain protein from a variety of plant sources, including legumes, soy products, grains, nuts and seeds… The consumption of plant proteins rather than animal proteins by vegetarians may contribute to their reduced risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease…”
Reference: “Protein and vegetarian diets” Medical Journal of Australia, 2013 Aug 19;199(4 Suppl):S7-S10; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25369930
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Regards type 2 diabetes (T2D) a study of 40475 people found that “high animal protein and fat was associated with an increased risk of T2D.” The hazard ratio (HR) was 1.37 meaning a 37% higher risk for people with the “top compared with bottom quintile” consumption of animals.
In comparisons a “high score for vegetable protein and fat was not significantly associated with the risk of T2D overall but was inversely associated with T2D in men aged <65 y.” In other words they had a 22% lower rate of T2D, with an HR of 0.78.
The conclusion states: “A score representing a low-carbohydrate diet high in animal protein and fat was positively associated with the risk of T2D in men. Low-carbohydrate diets should obtain protein and fat from foods other than red and processed meat.”
Reference: “Low-carbohydrate diet scores and risk of type 2 diabetes in men”, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2011 Apr;93(4):844-50; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21310828
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Dr Milton Mills MD: “All protein is initially made by plants … any protein you get from an animal is simply recycled plant protein…” as quoted in the film ‘What The Health’. As of 2017-August the clips are at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbPjIoqhAuE and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDXEzsi2hAU
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A study of 29,017 people found: “CHD mortality was associated with red meats (risk ratio = 1.44, 95% CI: 1.06, 1.94) and dairy products (risk ratio = 1.41, 95% CI: 1.07, 1.86) when substituted for servings per 1,000 kcal (4.2 MJ) of carbohydrate foods.”
While vegetable protein was associated with better health: “Among women in the highest intake quintile, CHD mortality decreased by 30% from an isoenergetic substitution of vegetable protein for carbohydrate (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.49, 0.99) and of vegetable for animal protein (95% CI: 0.51, 0.98), following multivariable adjustment. ”
Conclusion: “Long-term adherence to high-protein diets, without discrimination toward protein source, may have potentially adverse health consequences.”
Reference: “Associations of dietary protein with disease and mortality in a prospective study of postmenopausal women”, Am J Epidemiol. 2005 Feb 1;161(3):239-49; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15671256
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2016 report in the New York Times: “New federal dietary guidelines announced on Thursday urge Americans to drastically cut back on sugar… The biggest surprise in the guidelines was the conclusion that teenage boys and men were generally consuming too much protein. As a result, the guidelines recommend that men and boys “reduce their overall intake of protein foods” such as meat, poultry and eggs and add more vegetables to their diets…
the panel also noted that Americans should “eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible” to lower their risk of cardiovascular disease…
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which advocates a vegan diet, announced that they were filing a lawsuit against the government over its decision to drop the 300-milligram cholesterol limit from the guidelines. The group said that members of the dietary guidelines advisory committee had close ties to the egg industry and that they had relied too heavily on industry-funded studies.”
Source: “New Dietary Guidelines Urge Less Sugar for All and Less Protein for Boys and Men”, https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/01/07/new-diet-guidelines-urge-less-sugar-for-all-and-less-meat-for-boys-and-men/
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Animal Protein Associated with Accelerated Aging & Shorter Life Span while Plant Protein Associated with Slower Aging and a Longer Life.
From a 2013 article by Dr Michael Greger MD titled “Caloric Restriction vs. Animal Protein Restriction” excerpts: “The lifespan extension associated with dietary restriction may be due less to a reduction in calories, and more to a reduction in animal protein (particularly the amino acid leucine, which may accelerate aging via the enzyme TOR)…
In fact, just cutting down on leucine may be “nearly as effective” as cutting down on all protein. So, where is leucine found? Predominantly animal foods: eggs, dairy, and meat, including chicken and fish, whereas plant foods have much less: fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans…
This may also help explain the longevity of long-lived populations like the Okinawa Japanese, who have about half our mortality rate. The traditional Okinawan diet was only about 10% protein, and practically no cholesterol, because they ate almost all plants. Only one percent of their diet was fish; meat, eggs, and dairy, less than one percent—the equivalent of one serving of meat a month; one egg every two months. Their longevity surpassed only by vegetarian Adventists in California, “giving them perhaps the highest life expectancy of any formally described population in history.” And now, we may be a little closer to answering the mystery as to why populations eating plant-based diets live the longest.”
The video clip is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwJASNFy9XQ
The article text is at https://nutritionfacts.org/video/caloric-restriction-vs-animal-protein-restriction/
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Dr Greger MD clip “Animal Protein Compared to Cigarette Smoking” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LibAMjVGK4g
Excerpts: “Only about one in 10,000 people make it to be 100 years old. What’s their secret?… So, is it just the luck of the draw whether we got good genes or bad? No, we can turn on and off the expression of these genes, depending on what we eat.
Three years ago, I profiled a remarkable series of experiments about IGF-1—insulin-like growth factor 1—this cancer-promoting growth hormone, released in excess amounts by our liver when we eat animal protein. So, men and women who don’t eat meat, egg whites, or dairy proteins have significantly lower levels circulating within their bodies.
Switching people to a plant-based diet can significantly lower IGF-1 levels within just 11 days, markedly improving the ability of women’s bloodstreams to suppress breast cancer growth, and then kill breast cancer cells off.
Similarly, the blood serum of men on plant-based diets suppresses prostate cancer cell growth about eight times better than before they changed their diet…
This is one way to explain the low rates of cancer among plant-based populations: the drop in animal protein intake leads to a drop in IGF-1, which leads to a drop in cancer growth. An effect so powerful, Dr. Dean Ornish and colleagues appeared to be able to reverse the progression of prostate cancer without chemo, surgery, or radiation—just a plant-based diet, and other healthy lifestyle changes…
What we need is a study that just follows a few thousand people and their protein intakes for 20 years or so, and just see who lives longest, who gets cancer, who doesn’t. But, there’s never been a study like that—until now.
6,000 men and women over age 50 from across the U.S. were followed for 18 years, and those under age 65 with high protein intakes had a 75% increase in overall mortality, and a fourfold increase in the risk of dying from cancer. But not all proteins; these associations were either abolished or attenuated if the proteins were plant-derived. This all makes sense, given the higher IGF-1 levels among those eating lots of animal protein.
The sponsoring university sent out a press release with a memorable opening line: “That chicken wing you’re eating could be as deadly as a cigarette,” explaining that eating a diet rich in animal proteins during middle age makes you four times more likely to die from cancer than someone with a low-protein diet—a mortality risk factor comparable to smoking cigarettes. And when they say low-protein diet, what they actually mean is just getting the recommended amount of protein…
middle-aged people who eat lots of protein from animal sources were found to be more susceptible to early death in general. Crucially, the same did not apply to plant proteins, like beans. And it wasn’t the fat, but the animal protein that appeared to be the culprit…”
Text at https://nutritionfacts.org/video/animal-protein-compared-cigarette-smoking/
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The Vegetarian Seventh Day Adventists in California – The Longest Living People in the World.
Excerpts from a report titled “Ten years of life” in the Archives of Internal Medicine journal: “Adventist vegetarian men and women have expected ages at death of 83.3 and 85.7 years, respectively… To our knowledge, the life expectancies of California Adventist men and women are higher than those of any other well-described natural population…”
The report states: “High physical activity, frequent consumption of nuts, vegetarian status, and medium body mass index each result in an approximate 1.5- to 2.5-years gain in life expectancy… The sum of these independent effects (9.7 years in men and 10.4 years in women)…
Substantial gains in life expectancy would only be worthwhile if they were also accompanied by a longer period of good-quality life… it was previously shown that the vegetarian Adventists took less medication and had fewer overnight hospital stays, surgical procedures, and x-ray examinations during the previous year. Vegetarians also had a reduced prevalence of several chronic diseases that may degrade the quality of life… persons who choose lower-risk health habits postpone disability…”
Reference: “Ten years of life: Is it a matter of choice?”, Archives of Internal Medicine, 2001 Jul 9;161(13):1645-52; the abstract is at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11434797 and full report is at https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/648593
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More reports on how plant-based diets are associated with longer lifespans are at this page as well as below.
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A 2011 article by Dr Michael Greger M.D. is titled “Plant Protein Preferable” it starts with “Since foods are a package deal, Dr. Walter Willet, the Chair of Harvard’s nutrition department, recommends we emphasize plant sources of protein, rather than animal sources… protein is not consumed in isolation. Instead, it is packaged with a host of other nutrients—the “baggage” I refer to in previous videos. The quality and amounts of fats, carbohydrates, sodium, and other nutrients in the “protein package” may influence long-term health. For example, results from the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study suggest that eating more protein from beans, nuts, seeds, and the like—while cutting back on refined carbohydrates like white flour—reduces the risk of heart disease. So, the bottom line? Go with plants. Eating a plant-based diet is healthiest…”
at https://nutritionfacts.org/video/plant-protein-preferable/ and on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daBKgFMnuuk
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High Animal Protein Diets & Increased Rates of Cardiovascular Heart Diseases.
A study published in the British Medical Journal in 2012 concludes: “Low carbohydrate-high protein diets, used on a regular basis and without consideration of the nature of carbohydrates or the source of proteins, are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.”
CVD includes ischaemic heart disease, ischaemic stroke, haemorrhagic stroke, subarachnoid haemorrhage and peripheral arterial disease.
The study was done on “43,396 Swedish women, aged 30-49”. Summary notes about the results state “A one tenth decrease in carbohydrate intake or increase in protein intake or a 2 unit increase in the low carbohydrate-high protein score were all statistically significantly associated with increasing incidence of cardiovascular disease overall…”
Reference: “Low carbohydrate-high protein diet and incidence of cardiovascular diseases in Swedish women: prospective cohort study”; BMJ 2012; 344; at
A related 2012 newspaper article is titled “Breakfast egg ‘can raise heart disease risk‘” Excerpts: “Atkins-style dietary changes as small as replacing a breakfast bread roll with an egg can increase the chance of dying from heart disease, according to a study. Making the seemingly insignificant alteration raises the risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke by five per cent, an international team of researchers found.
Their study followed the health of more than 43,000 middle-aged Swedish women over 15 years. They discovered those who stuck to Atkins-style diets – low in carbohydrates and high in protein (‘LCHP’) – were at a 28 per cent raised risk of having a cardiovascular event over that period.
But even slightly changing the dietary mix in favour of more protein, increased the risk to heart health. The study, published in the British Medical Journal, is the latest to cast doubt on the long term safety of such diets…”
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The Journal of the American Heart Association states: “There is a heightened interest in plant-based diets for cardiovascular disease prevention… To assess the effect of this substitution on established lipid targets for cardiovascular risk reduction, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis…”
They found that plant protein reduces LDL cholesterol, often referred to as “bad cholesterol”. In their words: “Plant protein in substitution for animal protein decreased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 0.16 mmol/L…”
Reference: “Effect of Plant Protein on Blood Lipids: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials”, Journal of the American Heart Association, 2017 Dec 20;6(12); at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29263032
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From a 2015 article by Dr Michael Greger MD titled “Food as Medicine: Preventing & Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet” some excerpts about the dangers of animal protein foods:
“The link between animal protein and IGF-1 may help explain why those eating low-carb diets tend to die sooner, but not just any low-carb diet; specifically, those based on animal sources, whereas vegetable-based low-carb diets are associated with a lower risk of death. But low-carb diets are high in animal fat as well as animal protein, so how do we know it wasn’t the saturated fat and cholesterol that were killing people off, and it had nothing to do with the animal protein?
What we would need is a study that just follows a few thousand people and their protein intake for 20 years or so, and sees who lives longest, who gets cancer, and who doesn’t? But, there’s never been a study like that…until now.
6,000 men and women over age 50, from across the U.S, were followed for 18 years, and those under age 65 with high protein intake had a 75% increase in overall mortality and a fourfold increase in the risk of dying from cancer. But, not all proteins. Specifically, animal proteins. These associations were either abolished or attenuated if the proteins were plant-derived. This all makes sense, given the higher IGF-1 levels in those eating excess protein. Eating animal protein increases IGF-1 levels, which increases cancer risk…
Almost everyone is going to have a cancer cell or pre-cancerous cell in them at some point. The question is: does it progress? That may depend on what we eat. See, most malignant tumors are covered in IGF-1 receptors, but if there’s less IGF-1 around, they may not be able to progress.
And, it wasn’t just more deaths from cancer. Middle-aged people who eat lots of proteins from animal sources were found to be more susceptible to early death in general. Crucially, the same did not apply to plant proteins like beans, and it wasn’t the fat, but the animal protein, that appeared to be the culprit…”
The full article is at https://nutritionfacts.org/video/food-as-medicine/ the video of the presentation is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0IhZ-R1O8g
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From a 2017 report by Dr T Colin Campbell “considering animal protein as the main cause of heart disease” – some excerpts: “Dietary ‘fat’ (e.g., oils, triglycerides, cholesterol) has long been considered a major risk factor for cardiovascular and related diseases…
This continual emphasis on fat as major cause of heart disease has led to claims of health benefits for foods low in fat, like lean cuts of meat, low or non-fat dairy products and cholesterol-free products. There is little or no evidence that such ‘low-fat’ products are healthier…
Dietary fat strongly correlates with breast and other cancers but, similar to heart disease, these correlations occur for total and saturated fats, not for unsaturated fat, thus favoring an association of these cancers with animal-based foods. Also, among these countries, dietary fat and animal protein consumption are highly correlated, thus the observed association of these cancers with dietary fat could just as easily be an association with animal protein…
If, therefore, it is more correct to suggest that heart disease is more a function of animal protein than fat, then we are led to the second question: whether an association of animal protein with heart disease is biologically plausible. There is very little or no empirical evidence on this effect because it was never a question of interest as the evidence on animal protein was largely ignored. Nonetheless, there are ample mechanisms that could account for an animal protein effect…
In examining nutritional effects on the development of cardiovascular diseases, one must recognize the totality or ‘wholeness’ effect, as in a whole food plant-based dietary lifestyle. The comprehensiveness of evidence now available suggests that there is no other protocol—dietary or non-dietary—that offers the same health benefits. Perhaps the best testimonial for this whole food effect is its reversal of coronary heart disease during its advanced stages of development. The most recent of these studies included 196 patients, 177 who complied with the dietary advice. In 2–7 years, only one of the patients who complied suffered an event; in contrast, 62% of the non-compliant patients suffered an event. I am not aware of a single other cardio-therapy protocol that approximates such spectacular results…
the incentive to ignore for so many years the evidence that animal protein is more significant than fat in the development of heart disease may be explained in various ways… Placing the onus on fat as the cause of heart disease offered the opportunity to remove the offending agent from food but still retain the essential essence of the food. However, removing animal protein from these products was not possible without sacrificing the consumption of animal foods as an entire class. Thus, a huge and highly successful market was created for lean cuts of meat and low-fat and non-fat milk products.”
Reference: “A plant-based diet and animal protein: questioning dietary fat and considering animal protein as the main cause of heart disease”, J Geriatr Cardiol. 2017 May; 14(5): 331–337; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5466939/
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Plant Protein Maintains Muscle Mass and Function Better than Animal Protein?
A study on “Skeletal Muscle Mass and Functional Status” (sarcopenia) found that people who consumed the most plant protein had the lowest risk of losing muscle mass and developing related disabilities in older ages.
The study was published in 2017 by the Official Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. The summary notes include: “Among 1262 subjects over the age of 50 years at baseline, we explored the effects of animal and plant proteins in combination with physical activity level on long-term risk of functional decline. In these analyses, active older adults who consumed the most animal protein had a 29% lower risk… of developing one or more functional deficits over 12 years of follow-up. Similarly, active older adults who consumed the most plant protein had a 44% lower risk… of developing one or more functional deficits over time…”
Reference: “Beneficial Effects of Animal and Plant Proteins on Skeletal Muscle Mass and Functional Status”, The FASEB Journal, April 2017, vol. 31 no. 1 Supplement 443.4; at
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Study Reports People Consuming Plant Protein Foods Can Build Muscle Just as Well As By Consuming Animal Proteins.
From a 2017 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who rely on eating plant proteins can gain and maintain muscle (“appendicular lean mass”) just as well as from animal foods. The key statement that reveals that is “there were no associations between protein clusters and any musculoskeletal outcome in adjusted models.”
From the summary notes about the study: “We examined the prospective association of novel dietary protein food clusters… with appendicular lean mass (ALM), quadriceps strength (QS), and bone mineral density (BMD) in 2986 men and women, aged 19–72 y… The following 6 dietary protein food clusters were identified: fast food and full-fat dairy, fish, red meat, chicken, low-fat milk, and legumes. BMD was not different across quartiles of protein intake… but significant positive trends were observed for ALM… Individuals in the lowest quartile of total protein intake (quartile 1) had significantly lower ALM… than did those in the higher quartiles of intake… However, there were no associations between protein clusters and any musculoskeletal outcome in adjusted models.”
Reference: “Dietary protein is associated with musculoskeletal health independently of dietary pattern: the Framingham Third Generation Study”; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28179224
A related article is titled “The Meat Myth is Dead: Plant-Based Protein Builds Muscle Same as Animal Protein, Study Finds” some excerpts “The study, published last week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that the type of protein consumed — be it plant or animal — didn’t matter to muscle mass or strength. Only the amount; those subjects who consumed the least amount of protein had the lowest levels of muscle mass, but type of protein had no impact on muscoskeletal health…
The conclusion was that increased protein intake from any clean source is directly connected to healthier, stronger muscles, an important consideration as we age and begin to lose muscle mass.
Lead study author Kelsey Mangano, PhD, assistant professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, told Health.com, “As long as a person is exceeding the recommended daily allowance for protein, no matter the source in their diet, they can improve their muscle health.”…”
Article is at http://www.organicauthority.com/the-meat-myth-is-dead-plant-based-proteins-build-muscle-same-as-animal-protein-study-finds/
Another related report comments “New research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that both plant-based protein and meat build muscle equally well however because plant-protein comes with less ‘baggage’ in the form of harmful components it’s the more beneficial protein source to use…” at https://www.riseofthevegan.com/blog/plant-protein-best-for-building-muscle
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2018 report: “High-Protein Diet Does Not Increase Muscle Mass or Improve Well-Being in Older Men… according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine…”
The study’s conclusion states: “Protein intake exceeding the RDA did not increase LBM [Lean Body Mass], muscle performance, physical function, or well-being measures or augment anabolic response to testosterone in older men with physical function limitations whose usual protein intakes were within the RDA.
The RDA for protein is sufficient to maintain LBM, and protein intake exceeding the RDA does not promote LBM accretion or augment anabolic response to testosterone.”
Reference: “Effect of protein intake on lean body mass in functionally limited older men: a randomized clinical trial”, JAMA Intern Med. 2018 Apr 1;178(4):530-541; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29532075 and https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2673735
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Weight Gain Associated with Excess Protein Consumption.
From a 2013 report in PLoS One journal: “Compared to diets with no more than 14% of energy from protein, diets with more than 22% of energy from protein were associated with a 23-24% higher risk of becoming overweight or obese in normal weight and overweight subjects at baseline…
Our results show that participants consuming an amount of protein above the protein intake recommended by the American Diabetes Association may experience a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese during adult life.”
It was a study of “373,803 subjects aged 25-70 years… in 10 European countries…”
Reference: “Macronutrient composition of the diet and prospective weight change in participants of the EPIC-PANACEA study”, PLoS One, 2013;8(3):e57300; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23472080
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Animal Protein Consumption Raises Stress Hormones & Lowers Testosterone?
Summary: “What happened to women who were randomized to eat more meat and dairy during pregnancy, and what effect does animal protein consumption have on cortisol and testosterone levels in men?”
Excerpts: ““High-protein diets during pregnancy: healthful or harmful?” A question answered about forty years ago, in the infamous Harlem Trial of 1976… The high-protein group suffered “an excess of very early premature births and associated [infant] deaths,” as well as “significant growth retardation” in the babies that survived. More protein meant more prematurity, more deaths, and more growth retardation.
And, when kids grow up, animal protein intake during pregnancy has been associated with children becoming overweight later in life, and getting high blood pressure…
A single meal high in animal protein can nearly double the level of stress hormone in the blood within a half hour of consumption – much more than a meal closer to the recommended level of protein…
If you take men on a high-protein diet – “meat, fish, poultry, egg white[s]” – and switch them to a high-carb diet of “bread, vegetables, fruit, and [sugary junk,]” their cortisol levels drop about a quarter within ten days. At the same time, their testosterone levels shoot up by about the same amount.
High-protein diets suppress testosterone. That’s why if you take men eating plant-based diets, and have them start eating meat every day, their testosterone levels go down, and actually some estrogens go up.
That’s why bodybuilders can get such low testosterone levels. It’s not the steroids they’re taking. If you look at natural bodybuilders, who don’t use steroids, 75% drop in testosterone levels in the months leading up to a competition. Testosterone levels cut by more than half; enough to drop a guy into an abnormally low range. It’s ironic that they’re eating protein to look manly on the outside, but it makes them less and less manly on the inside. And, from an obesity standpoint, in general, a drop in testosterone levels may increase the risk of gaining weight – gaining body fat…
What does cortisol have to do with weight? Well, there’s actually a disease caused by having too much cortisol, called Cushing’s syndrome… chronic high cortisol levels – can contribute to obesity. And, if they’re pregnant, high-meat, low-carb diets may increase cortisol levels in the mom – which can lead to inappropriate fetal exposure to cortisol, which, in turn, can affect the developing fetus, resetting their whole stress-response thermostat, leading to higher cortisol levels their whole life, which can have serious health consequences that can stick with them their whole lives.
animal protein intake during pregnancy may lead to larger weight gain for her children later in life…”
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Live Longer by Avoiding Animal Protein?
From a 2013 article by Dr Michael Greger MD titled “Methionine Restriction as a Life-Extension Strategy” excerpts: “Plant-based diets may prove to be a useful nutrition strategy in both cancer growth control as well as lifespan extension, because these diets are naturally lower in methionine…
It seems that the less methionine there is in body tissues, the longer different animals tend to live. But, what are the “possible implications for humans?” I’ve talked before about the “free radical theory of aging”—this concept that aging can be thought of as the oxidation of our bodies, just like rust is the oxidation of metal. And, methionine is thought to have a “pro-oxidant effect.”…
There are three ways to lower methionine intake: caloric restriction (they call it dietary restriction here); meaning, like, you cut your intake of food in half—for example, only eating every other day. That would lower your methionine intake. Or, because methionine is found concentrated in certain proteins, you could practice protein restriction across the board—eating a relatively protein-deficient diet. Or, the third option is to eat enough food; eat enough protein—but, just eat plant proteins, because they are relatively low in methionine…
The idea that “low-methionine content of vegan diets may make methionine restriction feasible as a life extension strategy.”
The article is at https://nutritionfacts.org/video/methionine-restriction-as-a-life-extension-strategy/ and the video clip at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HP9h-wxKtg
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Journal of Geriatric Cardiology: “While food marketing and education typically focus on protein from animal sources, all essential amino acids originate with bacterial or plant synthesis and can be obtained from plant sources.
Overall, protein is readily available throughout the plant kingdom. Plant-sourced foods that are particularly rich in protein include legumes, nuts, seeds, soy foods, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables. They tend to have lower levels of essential amino acids as compared to animal-based foods, but this difference may be an advantage…
protein (essential amino acid) restriction, traditionally seen as a limitation of a vegetarian or vegan diet, may confer similar benefits to those seen in dietary restriction experiments in a wide range of organisms, from yeast to primates.
While reduced levels of dietary amino acids, such as methionine and leucine were once seen as limitations for plant-sourced proteins, it is now recognized as potentially beneficial…”
Reference: “Plant-based nutrition for healthcare professionals: implementing diet as a primary modality in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease”, J Geriatr Cardiol. 2017 May; 14(5): 355–368; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5466942/
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From Medical Hypotheses journal: “Recent studies confirm that dietary methionine restriction increases both mean and maximal lifespan in rats and mice, achieving “aging retardant” effects very similar to those of caloric restriction, including a suppression of mitochondrial superoxide generation.
Although voluntary caloric restriction is never likely to gain much popularity as a pro-longevity strategy for humans, it may be more feasible to achieve moderate methionine restriction, in light of the fact that vegan diets tend to be relatively low in this amino acid.
Plant proteins – especially those derived from legumes or nuts – tend to be lower in methionine than animal proteins…
Whole-food vegan diets that moderate bean and soy intake… can be quite low in methionine, while supplying abundant nutrition for health…
Furthermore, low-fat vegan diets, coupled with exercise training, can be expected to promote longevity by decreasing systemic levels of insulin and free IGF-I; the latter effect would be amplified by methionine restriction…”
Reference: “The low-methionine content of vegan diets may make methionine restriction feasible as a life extension strategy”, Med Hypotheses. 2009 Feb;72(2):125-8;
Is our Consumption of Animal Protein UnSustainable, Wasting Resources, Destroying Biodiversity and Ecosystems?
“UK nutritional guidelines recommend 45-55g of protein per day, but the average UK consumption is 64-88g, of which 37% is meat and meat products… “The world is consuming more animal protein than it needs and this is having a devastating effect on wildlife,” said Duncan Williamson, WWF food policy manager. “A staggering 60% of global biodiversity loss is down to the food we eat…” Source article title: “Vast animal-feed crops to satisfy our meat needs are destroying planet”, The Guardian UK newspaper 2017 at https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/05/vast-animal-feed-crops-meat-needs-destroying-planet
For more articles on the large role that animal agriculture plays in the current Sixth Mass Extinction and biodiversity loss that even threatens human existence, visit this page.
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American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “Each American consumes about twice the RDA for protein. Americans on average are eating too much protein and are consuming about 1000 kcal in excess per day per capita… The average fossil energy input for all the animal protein production systems studied… is more than 11 times greater than that for grain protein production… Producing 1 kg of animal protein requires about 100 times more water than producing 1 kg of grain protein… Both the meat-based average American diet and the lacto-ovo-vegetarian (dairy and poultry/eggs) diet… are not sustainable in the long term based on heavy fossil energy requirements…”
Source: “Sustainability of meat-based and plant-based diets and the environment”, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 78, No. 3, 660S-663S, September 2003; http://www.ajcn.org/content/78/3/660S.full
For more articles on the large role that animal agriculture plays in climate change, mass pollution and the wasting of resources, visit this page.
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2017 news article: “Obesity warning for parents after study finds toddlers ‘consume four times too much protein on average. Infants aged one need less than 10g of protein per day, but those who took part in the study were consuming 40g on average. Parents have been warned to watch their children’s intake of meat, cheese and milk after researchers linked protein-rich diets to higher levels of body fat…
protein from animal sources had the greatest effect on levels of body fat, adding it was not just a case of children being given too much milk, with other protein sources such as cheese, yoghurt, meat and fish all adding up.
Around one in five British 10- and 11-year-olds and nearly one in ten four- and five-year-olds are obese, according to figures from the National Child Measurement Programme…”
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Dr Michael Greger MD’s 2017 article “How Milk May Contribute to Childhood Obesity”
is at https://nutritionfacts.org/2017/03/16/how-milk-may-contribute-to-childhood-obesity/
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This site contains pages with hundreds of science reports on the higher rates of disease & death associated with eating red meat, dairy, chicken/poultry, eggs, fish/seafood & of the lower rates associated with eating healthy plant-based diets high in fruits & vegetables & nuts.
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From a 2013 article by Dr Michael Greger MD titled “Prostate Cancer Survival: The A/V Ratio” some excerpts: “Reducing the ratio of animal to plant protein in men’s diets may slow the progression of prostate cancer… It is now eight years since the famous Ornish study was published, suggesting that 12 months on a strictly plant-based diet could reverse the progression of prostate cancer…
This animal-to-plant ratio might be useful for cancer prevention, as well. For example, in the largest study ever performed on diet and bladder cancer, just a 3% increase in the consumption of animal protein was associated with a 15% higher risk of bladder cancer, whereas a 2% increase in plant protein intake was associated with a 23% lower risk. Even little changes in our diets can have significant effects…”
Article at https://nutritionfacts.org/video/prostate-cancer-survival-the-av-ratio/ the video presentation is also at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKcuxQV1-jg
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Dr Aaron Michelfelder MD in American Family Physician 2009 – “Soy: a complete source of protein… Soybeans contain all of the essential amino acids necessary for human nutrition and have been grown and harvested for thousands of years. Populations with diets high in soy protein and low in animal protein have lower risks of prostate and breast cancers than other populations…” – American Family Physician is a peer-reviewed medical journal, article at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19145965/
According to the MedlinePlus website, care of the U.S. National Library of Medicine: “The soybean is high in protein. The quality of protein from soy equals that of protein from animal foods.”
For more articles on the health benefits associated with consuming soy food and milk products see this page.
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2017 clip titled “How Much Protein Do We Need by Garth Davis, M.D. – An acclaimed surgeon specializing in weight loss delivers a paradigm-shifting examination of the diet and health industry’s focus on protein, explaining why it is detrimental to our health and can prevent us from losing weight” at
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“20 High-Protein Vegetables and Plant-Based Foods” is the title of a 2018 article on the Prevention website. The listed foods and amounts of protein are:
1) Edamame = 18 g per 1-cup serving (cooked)
2) Tempeh = 16 g per 3 oz serving
3) Tofu = 8 to 15 g per 3 oz serving
4) Lentils = 9 g per ½-cup serving
5) Black Beans = 7.6 g per ½-cup serving (cooked)
6) Lima Beans = 7.3 g per ½-cup serving (cooked)
7) Peanuts or Peanut Butter = 7 g per ¼-cup serving (or 2 Tbsp peanut butter)
8) Wild Rice = 6.5 g per 1-cup serving (cooked)
9) Chickpeas = 6 g per ½-cup serving
10) Almonds = 6 g per ¼-cup serving
11) Chia Seeds = 6 g per 2 Tbsp
12) Steel-Cut Oatmeal = 5 g in ¼-cup serving (dry)
13) Cashews = 5 g per ¼-cup serving
14) Pumpkin Seeds = 5 g per ¼-cup serving
15) Potatoes = 4 g in 1 medium white potato
16) Spinach = 3 g per ½-cup serving (cooked)
17) Organic Corn = 2.5 g per ½-cup serving
18) Avocado = 2 g per ½ avocado
19) Broccoli = 2 g per ½-cup serving (cooked)
20) Brussels Sprouts = 2 g per ½-cup serving
Full article at: https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/a20514733/high-protein-vegetables-and-plant-based-food/
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Another source – “Foods highest in Protein (based on levels per 100-gram serving)” at http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000078000000000000000-w.html
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A 2015 clip by Dr Michael Greger MD “Which Type of Protein is Better for Our Kidneys?… Anti-inflammatory drugs abolish the hyperfiltration and protein leakage response to meat ingestion, suggesting that animal protein causes kidney stress through an inflammatory mechanism…” presentation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58PBof9oUK8
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A 2017 article titled “Explain Like I’m 5: Why is Plant Protein Better Than Animal Protein?” is at http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/explain-like-im-five-why-is-plant-protein-better-than-animal-protein/
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Regards the Myths About Combining Plant Proteins:
Medical Journal of Australia: “There is no need to consciously combine different plant proteins at each meal as long as a variety of foods are eaten from day to day, because the human body maintains a pool of amino acids which can be used to complement dietary protein…”
Reference: “Protein and vegetarian diets” Medical Journal of Australia, 2013 Aug 19;199(4 Suppl):S7-S10; at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25369930
Dr Michael Greger MD clip “The Protein-Combining Myth” – summary: “The myth that plant proteins are incomplete, necessitating protein combining, was debunked by the scientific nutrition community decades ago” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fhyfa48bK28 article transcript is at https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-protein-combining-myth/
From an article titled “Five Protein Myths” by The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine: “There’s no need to plan meals around complementary proteins. In 2009, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) released a paper stating that eating a variety of plant foods over the course of the day provides all the required amino acids. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees with the AND [statements] and discredits the rumor that humans need to eat certain proteins together to receive adequate nutrition…” Article at http://www.pcrm.org/health/reports/five-protein-myths
Dr John McDougall MD stated in 2002: “A vegetarian diet based on any single one or combination of these unprocessed starches (eg, rice, corn, potatoes, beans), with the addition of vegetables and fruits, supplies all the protein, amino acids, essential fats, minerals, and vitamins (with the exception of vitamin B12) necessary for excellent health. To wrongly suggest that people need to eat animal protein for nutrients will encourage them to add foods that are known to contribute to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and many forms of cancer, to name just a few common problems.”
Reference: “Plant Foods Have a Complete Amino Acid Composition”, Circulation, 2002;105:e197; at http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/105/25/e197.full
From a 2013 article titled “The Myth of Complementary Protein” by registered dietitian Jeff Novick, MS, RD: “The “incomplete protein” myth was inadvertently promoted and popularized in the 1971 book, Diet for a Small Planet, by Frances Moore Lappé. In it, the author stated that plant foods are deficient in some of the essential amino acids, so in order to be a healthy vegetarian, you needed to eat a combination of certain plant foods at the same time in order to get all of the essential amino acids in the right amounts. It was called the theory of “protein complementing.”
Lappé certainly meant no harm, and her mistake was somewhat understandable. She was not a nutritionist, physiologist, or medical doctor; she was a sociologist trying to end world hunger. She realized that converting vegetable protein into animal protein involved a lot of waste, and she calculated that if people ate just the plant protein, many more could be fed. In the tenth anniversary edition of her book (1981), she retracted her statement and basically said that in trying to end one myth—the inevitability of world hunger—she had created a second one, the myth of the need for “protein complementing.”
In this and later editions, she corrects her earlier mistake and clearly states that all plant foods typically consumed as sources of protein contain all the essential amino acids, and that humans are virtually certain of getting enough protein from plant sources if they consume sufficient calories…
To wrongly suggest that people need to eat animal protein for proper nutrition encourages consumption of foods known to contribute to the incidence of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, many forms of cancer, and other common health problems…”
Article at https://www.forksoverknives.com/the-myth-of-complementary-protein/
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2018 article titled “Vegetarian Protein Is Just As ‘Complete’ As Meat, Despite What We’ve Been Taught.”
Excerpt: “why have we been led to believe that animal protein is more complete than vegetarian protein? Misleading studies sparked the popularity of a bogus practice called ‘protein combining’ in the 1970s…
Protein combining has since been discredited by the medical community, but there are still people out there who adhere to this practice…
Dr. Michael Greger explains at his site NutritionFacts.org that all nutrients come from the sun or the soil. Cows, for example, get their nutrients from the sun and from plant-based foods like grass and hay. So if cows eat plants, and plants provide cows with all the nutrients they need, why would we assume steak is a more complete protein than the food that provides the steak with its nutrients? The answer: We shouldn’t.
While it’s true that some plant proteins are relatively low in certain essential amino acids, our bodies know how to make up for it.
“It turns out our body is not stupid,” Greger explains. “It maintains pools of free amino acids that can be used to do all the complementing for us. Not to mention the massive protein recycling program our body has. Some 90 grams of protein is dumped into the digestive tract every day from our own body to get broken back down and reassembled, so our body can mix and match amino acids to whatever proportions we need, whatever we eat.”
Greger told HuffPost that there’s no such thing as incomplete vegetarian protein. The only incomplete protein in the food supply is gelatin [from animals], which lacks tryptophan…
If protein combining isn’t necessary, is it all the same? Do 10 grams of protein from lentils have the same effect on our bodies as 10 grams of protein from steak?
Though they are both considered complete proteins, Greger told HuffPost there are differences. For example, he said, “lentil protein doesn’t raise IGF-1 levels as much as beef protein, which is one reason beef is a probable human carcinogen and legume consumption is associated with lower cancer risk. The lentils would probably also be better for our kidneys as well as longevity.”
How much protein do we really need, anyway?…
According to Greger, it’s not nearly as much as we think.
“As long as we’re eating enough calories of whole plant foods, one shouldn’t have to worry at all,” he said. “We only need 0.8 to 0.9 grams of protein per healthy kilogram of body weight. In other words, one PB&J [peanut butter & jam sandwich] could get you a third of the way there.”
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Regards type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) Nutrients journal reported in 2017: “This meta-analysis shows that total protein and animal protein could increase the risk of T2DM in both males and females, and plant protein decreases the risk of T2DM in females… Red meat and processed meat are risk factors of T2DM… ”
Reference: “Dietary Protein Consumption and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies”, Nutrients, 2017 Sep; 9(9): 982;
American Journal for Clinical Nutrition (1994): “Plant protein foods contribute approximately 65% of the per capita supply of protein on a worldwide basis and approximately 32% in the North American region…” – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8172124/
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From an article title “Debunking The Myths About Vegans & Protein“- excerpt:
“The World Health Organization recommends that we get 5% of our calories from protein, with pregnant women needing slightly more at 6%.
Considering that raw fruits and vegetables average between 5% and 15% protein content, and cooked beans and legumes boast 18% to 30% protein content, even the strictest vegans will easily consume ample protein when eating enough food to meet their daily caloric needs.
The average American gets about 16% of his calories from protein, more than three times the amount recommended by the World Health Organization. Sadly, though, you can have “too much of a good thing” when it comes to protein. Excess protein consumption leads to a number of health problems, some of them very serious in nature…” From article at http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9930/debunking-the-myths-about-vegans-protein.html
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For people who likes smoothies/shakes google “vegan protein powder” and you’ll find a range of products made from pea, rice, hemp seeds, soy and so on.
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Dr. Michael Klaper discusses Vegan Protein Sources, Myths about Deficiency and Common Dietary Pitfalls in this short clip at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GsGxqdlP4U
and at https://doctorklaper.com/videos/vegan-protein-deficiency/
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From an article by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine:
“With the traditional Western diet, the average American consumes about double the protein her or his body needs. Additionally, the main sources of protein consumed tend to be animal products, which are also high in fat and saturated fat. Most individuals are surprised to learn that protein needs are actually much less than what they have been consuming. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein for the average adult is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. To find out your average individual need, simply perform the following calculation: Body weight (in pounds) x 0.36 = recommended protein intake (in grams).
However, even this value has a large margin of safety, and the body’s true need may be lower for most people…
The Problems with High-Protein Diets…
Studies show that the healthiest diet is one that is high in carbohydrate, low in fat, and adequate in protein. Increased intake of whole grains, fruits and vegetables is recommended for weight control and preventing diseases such as cancer and heart disease… Contrary to the information on fad diets currently promoted by some popular books, a diet that is high in protein can actually contribute to disease and other health problems.
Impaired Kidney Function…
The article lists these “Healthful [Plant] Protein Sources (in grams):
Seitan* (4 ounces) 24.0
Tofu, firm (1/2 cup) 19.9
Lentils, boiled (1 cup) 17.9
Tempeh (1/2 cup) 15.7
Black beans, boiled (1 cup) 15.2
Chickpeas, boiled (1 cup) 14.5
Quinoa, cooked (1 cup) 11.0
Peanut butter (2 tablespoons) 8.0
Bulgur, cooked (1 cup) 5.6
Spinach, boiled (1 cup) 5.4
Broccoli (1 cup) 4.6
Whole-wheat bread (one slice) 2.7 …”
The article is at http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vegdiets/how-can-i-get-enough-protein-the-protein-myth
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“11 Complete Protein Sources That Every Vegan Should Know About” article at
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“Vegan crops produce 1900% more protein than raising animals for beef or eggs, study finds” at
A quote from the study: “In this paper, we show that plant-based replacements for each of the major animal categories in the United States (beef, pork, dairy, poultry, and eggs) can produce twofold to 20-fold more nutritionally similar food per unit cropland. Replacing all animal-based items with plant-based replacement diets can add enough food to feed 350 million additional people, more than the expected benefits of eliminating all supply chain food loss.”
Reference: “The opportunity cost of animal based diets exceeds all food losses”, PNAS April 10, 2018 115 (15) 3804-3809; http://www.pnas.org/content/115/15/3804
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MORE TO COME
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This set of articles were compiled for
Pages on this Site:
Quotes from news reports & science journals on how the Western omnivore diet with meat and dairy products accelerates climate-change through: i) increasing our carbon footprint of greenhouse gases; ii) deforesting & destroying wilderness that absorbs carbon and protects biodiversity; iii) creating massive pollution; and iv) wasting resources like grains, water, fuels and agricultural lands.
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Excerpts & links to medical studies, articles & reports on the links between meat consumption and increased incidences of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and early mortality (a shorter lifespan); also to reports on how cancers are increasing in young people.
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Quotes & links to articles in science, medical & health journals that report great benefits vegetarians and vegans generally have including longer lives with less of the chronic degenerative diseases like cancer, cardiovascular heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and obesity as well as lower blood pressure, hypertension and blood cholesterol levels.
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Excerpts & links to articles in news media science journals about the current ‘Sixth Mass Extinction’ known also as the ‘Holocene Extinction’ or ‘Anthropocene Extinction’ as it is largely caused by human activities.
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This page contains quotes & links for studies & articles in science journals, news media & by medical doctors; on the association of drinking milk to higher rates of osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease and other illnesses.
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This page features quotes & links to articles in news media and science journals about the rise of microbes that are resistant to antibiotics; posing a grave threat to all of us; from 50% to 80% of antibiotics are (mis-)used in animal agriculture industries.
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This page features quotes & links to reports that expose how the animal agriculture industries (meat, dairy, poultry) influence government, politics, the education schooling system and news media in order to promote their interests.
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Excerpts from articles about the marine ecosystem collapse that is happening now in oceans, seas & rivers due to over-fishing and the toxic pollution in waterways from land-based animal agriculture meat-farming; worsening climate change; threatening the entire food chain.
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Articles from science journals & news reports that dispute the health claims made regards eating fish; some even find higher rates of heart disease and cancer among seafood consumers.
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A collection of quotes & links for articles by doctors, dietitians & nutrition experts who refute & rebut the negative claims made regards “the soy food debate”
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For Archives of Related Memes see:
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