Plant-based Protein Versus Animal: Which Should I Eat?

Protein is important for building strong bones and muscles, having a strong immune system, and enzyme/hormone regulation.  We’d like for you to think about how you get the protein you eat.  Plant-based protein sources are popping up in all the grocery aisles, from boxed noodles to frozen burger patties.  Are they better than animal-protein sources, like steak and chicken?  A great starting point for this answer is to think about the overall nutrition of the food and how it affects your body.  Animal-based proteins frequently have high levels of cholesterol and saturated fats that plant-based proteins do not.  Plant-based diets are showing reduced risk of diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and certain cancers.  Some believe plant-based proteins cannot provide all of the amino acids to make them nutritionally “complete.”  You can get close to the same nutritional content of “complete” proteins in plants by combining grains and a legume.  As far as digestibility, not much evidence is being found that plant-based proteins are less digestible with the commercial cooking and processing that is done to them today.  If you are looking to lessen the environmental impact of your choices, you could do this by eating at least some of your proteins from plants.  Some suggestions for plant proteins are:   tofu, tempeh, garbanzos/chickpeas, beans, and edamame.  This article from Discover Magazine will provide more in-depth understanding of all these points and Paragon Orthopedics Center always encourages you to be educated about your health.