As the trend to consume a plant-based diet rises, so does speculation. You may have heard that “plant-based foods do not provide enough protein” or perhaps “only animal-based proteins build muscle”. These are some common misconceptions regarding plant-based foods and supplements, when the reality is actually quite the opposite.
What is plant-based protein?
Plant-based protein is quite self-explanatory: it is produced by sources other than animals. Proteins consist of 20 amino acids, 11 of which the body is able to produce itself. The remaining nine amino acids need to be obtained through diet. There are many plant-based foods that are rich in these proteins, and several that contain all nine.
What’s the difference?
There are a multitude of health benefits that plant-based proteins provide exclusively. Here’s just a few…
- Weight loss: plant-based proteins are typically lower in calories than animal-based proteins
- Digestion: they are also high in fibre, which animal protein lacks, making them easy for the body to digest
- Bonus vitamins and minerals: plants are packed with antioxidants and nutrients, giving plant-based proteins an extra boost in goodness
Plus, the manufacturing process is a lot friendlier to the environment as it demands less land, water and other resources.
Harmful effects of animal proteins
Aside from plant-based proteins providing these benefits, there is evidence that shows consuming too much meat can have harmful side effects and is linked to serious diseases such as cancer and obesity. Properties commonly found in meat such as high levels of saturated fat and Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) increase the potential of heart disease and stroke. Additionally, processed meats contain nitrates and sugar that have been added for flavour, causing them to be labelled by the World Health Organization as cancer-causing substances.
Sources of plant-based protein
Unsure of where to find sources of plant-based protein? It’s a lot simpler than you might think. Common foods such as almond butter, chia seeds, quinoa, lentils and black beans are all high in protein and easy to incorporate into your diet. If these don’t work for you or you need an extra boost, our product RELOAD is a rich source of protein that supports recovery and performance. Purchase a tub online or at participating gyms.