There’s a lot of animosity between the vegetarians and omnivores of the world. While meat-eaters would argue that animal proteins provide optimal nutrition, meat abstainers argue the opposite: that plant-based diets are just as nutritious - and healthier for the planet - than diets including meat and animal products.
SO WHO'S RIGHT?
While both sides provide valid arguments, there’s no clear winner here, especially in a developed society. While animal proteins provide all nine amino acids essential for human growth and development, vegetarian diets are perhaps healthier than ever before.
While those abstaining from meat in undeveloped countries are at heightened risk for nutritional deficiencies, that isn’t necessarily the case for vegetarians or vegans living in western society. At the same time, animal proteins provide all the essential amino acids, tend to have more biologically available iron and provide more protein per ounce than plant-based protein sources. They also tend to have a lower carbohydrate content (unless you’re using Blessed Protein, which contains only 4g carbs per scoop), which can be important for individuals with pre-diabetes, insulin resistance, liver problems, or obesity.
At the end of the day, both plant and animal proteins have a lot to offer, and there is no reason why you can’t reap the benefits of consuming both! If you’re not ready to dive right into the plant-based lifestyle, or you simply want to decrease the negative impact of your eating habits on your health and the environment, there is no reason why you can’t incorporate both animal and plant-based protein sources into your diet.
- Improved weight management
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Improved blood sugar profile
- Improved gut health
- Decreased digestive discomfort
- Improved immune function
- Increased energy levels as a result of higher carbohydrate intake
- Decreased risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, the list goes on
- Improved satiety: often you can eat a lot more plant-based food for fewer calories, plus it provides both protein and fiber, both associated with improved satiety (or feelings of fullness).
- Decreased saturated fat consumption’
- Increased fiber consumption
- Increased consumption of a wide variety of micronutrients
- Beans and legumes (lentils, chickpeas, edamame, etc)
- Blessed Protein
- Lean chicken
- Lean beef
- White fish
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese