Tag Archives: animal protein

Nutrition and Plant-Based Milk Substitutes – Tufts

It’s beginning to feel like the plants are taking over. Meatless burgers at fast food restaurants. What’s next? Plant-based beverages, of course. Tufts does a good job of explaining how it is not a totally one-for-one substitution.

Enjoy plant-based beverages; but be aware most are not equivalent to milk.

The market for plant-based alternatives to dairy products continues to grow, as lactose intolerance, dairy allergy, veganism, environmental concerns, and other factors lead Americans to look for alternatives to dairy. So where do these beverages fit into a healthy dietary pattern?

How They are Made: To understand the nutrient profiles of plant-based beverages, one first needs to know how they are made. The raw materials (nuts, grains, legumes, or seeds) are soaked in water and ground (or ground and then soaked). The resulting slurry is strained to remove solids, and then any flavorings, sweeteners, and desired nutrients can be added. Thickening agents (such as locust bean gum, carrageenan, or xanthan gum), and stabilizers to keep the mixtures from separating, are often required. The products undergo heat treatment that kills any microorganisms, and they are packaged for market.

This process results in a beverage with a nutrient profile significantly different from the original plant food. Continue reading

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“Plant-Based” and Unhealthy? – Tufts

Plant-based dietary patterns are becoming highly recommended, but not all “plant-based” foods are healthy, according to experts at Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter.

brown fish fillet on white ceramic plate

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Experts agree plants should make up a large part of a healthy dietary pattern. Humans eat plant roots (carrots and radishes), stems (asparagus and celery), leaves (leafy greens), seeds (including whole grains), flowers (broccoli, cauliflower, artichoke), and the seed-bearing “fruits” of plants (including fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts). All are packed with important health-promoting nutrients, and countless studies have found associations between consuming diets higher in unprocessed plant foods and lower risk for a wide range of disorders such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. But recommendations to eat a “plant-based” diet can be misleading. “I really dislike the term plant-based to describe a preferred or healthy diet,” says Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, dean of Tufts’ Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and editor-in-chief of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter. “Not all animal-based foods are bad, and most of the worst things in the food supply are technically plant-based.” A vegetarian diet built on pizza, macaroni-and-cheese, and baked goods may be “plant-based,” but it’s far from a healthy dietary pattern. Continue reading

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Red Meat Linked to Heart Disease – Indiana University

I have found that over the nearly seven years of writing this blog, I am eating less and less red meat. Currently I am down to about once or twice a month. I think I feel better and lighter as a result. I have substituted plant, fish, nut and seed protein in place of red meat.

A new study from the Indiana University (IU) School of Public Health-Bloomington has bolstered the link between red meat consumption and heart disease by finding a strong association between heme iron, found only in meat, and potentially deadly coronary heart disease (CHD), the University said.
cookout

The study found that heme iron consumption increased the risk for coronary heart disease by 57 percent, while no association was found between nonheme iron, which is in plant and other non-meat sources, and coronary heart disease. Continue reading

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Is There a Risk to High Protein Diets?

When this blog started it was very much a weight loss commentary. That was six years ago. I hope by now the concept has expanded to the point where – healthy eating is healthy aging. In other words we are able to maintain our weight be eating intelligently and working out regularly. There are no fad diets here. No low carb, high carb, low protein, no fat, etc. Eat balanced meals and exercise and you will be fine.

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For those reasons, I was struck by a piece inthe Wall Street Journal in the Personal Journal section entitled The Risk of High-Protein Diets.

By my reckoning the risk of any of diets like this is that they work over the short run, but don’t provide lasting health gains, they often result in damages to the body of the person depriving himself of sufficient amounts of a vital nutrient and lastly, the person just quits doing the diet and gains back the pounds.

As a senior citizen interested in living longer, I want to know about subjects like “Optimal protein intake for older adults” which was the name a panel cited in the Journal piece.

“In the human study, those consuming high levels of plant-based protein had a threefold increase in cancer mortality but no higher rate of overall mortality. Consumers of animal protein had big increases in both. That suggests, as other research has shown, that there may be benefits from minimizing consumption of animal-based protein. “These results indicate that respondents ages 50 to 65 consuming moderate to high levels of animal protein display a major increase in the risks for overall and cancer mortality,” the researchers concluded.

“For subjects 66 and older, the opposite proved true: Higher protein consumption was associated with greater survival. Gerontologists say this makes sense, because the ability to absorb protein appears to diminish in the aging body, requiring perhaps greater consumption.

“Even then, though, the takeaway is somewhat complicated. Americans tend to consume the bulk of their protein at dinner, and the body isn’t always able to process an entire day’s worth in one sitting, said Dr. Volpi, who wasn’t involved in either study. “It appears you can better use the protein you need if you distribute it across three meals, especially if you are a senior,” she said.”

My takeaway from this as a senior is that I want to consume more plant protein than animal and spread my consumption over three meals rather than rely on a big dinner. I understand that because I am over 65, I have to consume slightly more protein because my aging body doesn’t digest it as well.

Tony

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Filed under aging, protein, Weight, weight control, weight loss