They provide fiber, potassium and calcium to the diet. Although nuts are a healthy protein, you can't just substitute nuts for meat, ounce for ounce. A new study has found that the protein in nuts and seeds is better for the heart than the protein in meat. Animal proteins, such as meat, eggs and milk, are complete proteins, meaning that they provide all the essential amino acids our bodies need.
Animal products provide the highest quality sources of protein. The study, published online today by the International Journal of Epidemiology, revealed that people who consumed large amounts of meat protein experienced a 60 percent increase in cardiovascular disease (CVD), while people who consumed large amounts of protein from nuts and seeds experienced a 40 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease. Most people who eat a varied diet don't have to worry about eating too little protein or combining them to form complete proteins. The type of protein found in meat is called complete protein because it contains all 9 essential amino acids.
While previous studies have examined the differences between animal and plant proteins, this study was not limited to two categories, but chose to specify proteins from meat and proteins from nuts and seeds, along with other important dietary sources. Eating soy protein instead of animal protein has been found to reduce bad cholesterol and triglycerides, which are linked to heart disease. A study by researchers from California and France found that meat protein is associated with a strong increase in the risk of heart disease, while protein from nuts and seeds is beneficial to the human heart. Therefore, we should always limit high-fat meats and choose lean meats or vegetarian sources of protein to meet our protein needs.