Want More Protein? Give Plant-Based a Try.

Over the past 5 years, plant-based products including protein powder, milk substitutes, and even meat alternatives have been on the rise in consumer markets around the world. This uptick is largely due to the volume of individuals who are taking a new approach to their health, dropping animal-based products in favor of more sustainable protein sources. As the demand for plant-based protein is only expected to grow, it begs the question: is plant-based protein better? That depends on your goals and existing health.

How Much Protein Do Plants Really Have?

When you think of protein, what foods come to mind? For a lot of people, the answer is meat: chicken, fish, eggs, and of course, beef. Even in wellness communities, there can be a misconception that the only way to get a substantial amount of protein in your diet is by relying on forms of protein found in animal sources. We are here to bust that myth. 

Plants contain a surprising amount of protein. Exactly how much? Just like with animal products, that depends on the source. Quinoa, a well-loved, gluten-free ancient grain, contains 8 grams of protein per serving with only 222 calories. As a complete protein (a protein that contains all 9 essential amino acids) it also has increased bioavailability, meaning your body can readily digest and utilize these proteins for muscle synthesis. 

In addition to a healthy source of protein, many plant-based sources are also considered superfoods, foods that are categorized as exceptionally nutrient-dense. One such food is lentils, which have 18 grams of protein per cup and contain essential minerals and vitamins like iron, magnesium, and folic acid. 

Plant-Based Diets and Their Effects on Wellness

Plant-based protein has also been linked to many health and physical benefits. According to a 2022 Stanford Medicine study, completed on 22 sets of twins (44 people), a vegan diet can improve overall health. 

By the end of the two-month-long study, the participants who maintained a plant-based diet had significantly improved their cardiovascular health by lowering their LDL-C (95.5 for vegans compared to 116.1 for omnivores, where 99 and lower is the optimal level), fasting insulin (20% decrease), and body weight (average of 4.2 lbs more). 

For those concerned about their cardiovascular health and diabetes, what you put in your body, just as much as physical fitness, is important to watch. Swapping out animal proteins which can be higher in saturated fats, for plant-based protein can help by limiting fat consumption while increasing dietary fiber intake. 

Environmental Benefits of Plant-Based Protein

When it comes to the foods we eat, the impacts reach wider than our individual stomachs. Everything we do has an impact on the wellness of the planet too. And food production is one of the biggest stressors to that ecosystem. How can we help? One way is to start eating more plants and fewer animals. 

Per gram of protein, we use 100x more land to produce animal-based protein (like beef) than plant-based (like tofu or peas). Currently, around 80% of all agricultural land is used to produce meat or dairy. Imagine how much more food we could produce if even half of this land was converted to more sustainable protein crops like brown rice, soy, and beans. 

These easy alternatives can help reduce pollution, conserve land and water, and minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Even substituting one meat-filled meal a week for a plant-based alternative can have profound impacts on the earth (and your budget). 

The economic advantages of a plant-based diet have been studied in numerous countries. The results: plant-based consumers tend to save more on groceries than omnivores. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, vegans spend 16% less than meat eaters, saving approximately $500 a year. While the sticker price on whole grains and vegetables might seem expensive, in the end, they tend to last longer and are cheaper than many meat and dairy products.

Conclusion: Plant-Based Protein is the Real Deal

So, is plant-based protein better? In the sustainability, wellness, and affordability categories, the answer is a resounding yes! However, each person’s dietary preferences are personal. What works for some may not be the right choice for you. 

When it comes to plant-based vs animal-based protein in your diet, you be the judge. Try out plant-based products and see if you can feel the difference in swapping out your regular products for plant-based alternatives. Start small with protein powder, milk, or hamburger patties. You may be surprised by the results! 

Looking for ways to boost your wellness routine and start feeling better than ever? Visit 10X Health’s website to learn about our specially designed genetic and blood tests, dietary supplements, and wellness innovations. Big or small, we are here to help you 10X your goals!

instagram facebook x tiktok linkedin youtube threads