Plant or Animal Protein: Which is Best?
So, what’s better, plant or animal protein? There are certainly pros and cons to both, but the consensus is that while animal protein is complete, we should really be focusing on getting our protein from plants as often as we can.
- Plant Protein provides secondary benefits: Unlike animal protein, plant-based protein sources like beans, nuts, seeds, and dark leafy greens come with the added benefit of fiber and anti-inflammatory health benefits. It’s ok to get protein from animal sources as well, so long as quality is kept in mind. Animal proteins should be organic and grass-fed when possible.
When including animal protein in your diet, avoid inflammatory choices like processed bacon, sausage, and cold cuts, and balance your animal protein intake with lots of plant-based foods.
- Strike a balance between both: So, while there is no one straight answer when it comes to which one is better, it’s really all about balance and quality. With a large focus on getting lots of plants in your diet, with high-quality animal proteins to complement your protein intake, you will be setting yourself up for success in the protein department.
A great example of a well-balanced protein-rich meal would be a kale salad with two cups of chopped kale, one three-ounce salmon filet, a handful of walnuts, a tablespoon of hemp seeds, and a drizzle of raw apple cider vinegar. This is the perfect balance between various protein sources, both complete, and incomplete.
Protein is essential for health. We need to make sure we are getting enough to support cell repair, muscle growth, hormone health, and immune function. The good news is that it’s easy to make sure we are getting that 0.8 g/kg of body weight per day. The key is to focus on high-quality protein sources. Focus on getting lots of your protein from plants, balanced with quality animal-based protein, should you choose to consume meat.
It’s all about balance, and a well-balanced diet is not only key to optimal protein balance, but it’s essential for optimal health as well.