Advertisement

How does animal protein differ from plant protein?

Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

In the U.S., it is estimated that approximately 72 percent of protein in the diet is from animal products - specifically, 49 percent from meat, fish, and poultry; 18 percent from dairy products; and four percent from eggs. In contrast, plant foods account for only 28 percent of the protein intake. Of this, grains provide 18 percent, fruits and vegetables provide eight percent, and legumes provide another three percent.

It is often difficult to separate the effects of animal protein from the effects of animal fats because they are highly correlated. When animal protein intake is high, animal fat intake is also high. This makes it difficult for researchers to determine the effects of a high-protein diet based on population studies, as the source of protein cannot be identified. Despite this obstacle, evidence suggests that reliance on animal proteins is linked to the development of several chronic degenerative diseases. For example, there is evidence that the body handles animal proteins differently from plant proteins. This is supported by population studies and animal studies comparing vegetarians to omnivores. The evidence indicates that it is not simply a matter of protein quantity that is important, but that the source of the protein is equally important.

Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

More About this Book

Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

From the bestselling authors of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, the most comprehensive and practical guide available to the nutritional benefits and medicinal properties of virtually everything...

Continue Learning about Genetic Disorders and Birth Defects

Stemming the Tide of Stem Cell Scams
Stemming the Tide of Stem Cell Scams
In April 2019, the Federal Trade Commission returned almost $515,000 to consumers who bought deceptively marketed “Amniotic Stem Cell Therapy” between...
Read More
If I have EPI, how can I give my body more fuel?
Jumo HealthJumo Health
If you have exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) you can give your body more fuel by eating more ...
More Answers
How does cystic fibrosis (CF) affect the pancreas?
Jumo HealthJumo Health
With cystic fibrosis (CF), the pancreas is unable to perform its usual role in helping food digestio...
More Answers
Should I Consider Prenatal Testing for Genetic Disorders?
Should I Consider Prenatal Testing for Genetic Disorders?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.