Welcome Green Monsters! We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet.
Download food monster: the biggest, baddest, yummiest vegan food app!
single

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR Newsletter

Health Monster

Explain Like I’m 5: Why is Plant Protein Better Than Animal Protein?

LIKE OGP ON FACEBOOK :

You know what we like? Concise, accurate information about nutrition. True, the topic is fascinating, and important enough that we could pour over each and every bit of literature written about macro and micro nutrients like an English major pours over Austin, Dickens and Yeats, but sometimes we want the bullet points. Let’s face it, some people read the novel and some people read the Cliffs Notes.

This information isn’t a one size fits all, for example pregnant women, people with certain medical conditions and athletes have different nutritional needs than the general population. For everybody else though, here are the absolute basics of why you don’t need animal protein to meet your needs.

 

1. Humans need .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

This is not difficult to do, as the average American consumes anywhere between 70 to 120 grams per person. To put this into perspective, 70 grams of protein would be the appropriate amount for a 200 pound person, while 120 grams would be appropriate for someone weighing 330 pounds. The average American man and woman weigh 196 pounds and 156 pounds, respectively. Basically, everyone is getting more than enough.

ELI 5: Why is Plant Protein Better Than Animal Protein?Clean Eating Veggie Girl

2. Protein deficiency in America is, basically, unheard of.

Malnutrition as a result of inadequate protein happens, almost without exception, in developing countries alone. With approximately 16 million (or 5 percent) of the U.S. population known to be vegetarian, and half of those eating entirely plant-based, protein needs are obviously being met just fine.

ELI 5: Why is Plant Protein Better Than Animal Protein?Someecards

3. Pretty much all plant foods have protein. 

Here’s the facts. We need to eat foods that supply us with the nine essential amino acids that our bodies can’t make on their own. Some plant-based foods have all of them (quinoa, buckwheat, soy, chia and hempseed) while others have a mix of some and not others. As long as foods like legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits and vegetables are consumed daily, you’re getting everything you need and more.

ELI 5: Why is Plant Protein Better Than Animal Protein?Someecards

4. Animal protein comes with fancy “gifts with purchase” like saturated fat, cholesterol, added hormones and antibiotics.

Diets that rely heavily on animal protein are typically also much higher in compounds that contribute to cardiovascular disease, such as saturated fat and cholesterol. Even lean sources are still filled with additional hormones and antibiotics, as well as bacteria, parasites and carcinogens.

ELI 5: Why is Plant Protein Better Than Animal Protein?Someecards

5. Plant proteins offer a “Buy one, get these free” special with antioxidants, fiber, minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals.

Using quinoa as an example, 100 grams provides 14 grams of protein along with 25 percent of the RDA for both iron and vitamin B6 and almost 50 percent of the RDA for magnesium. It also packs 563 mg of potassium. The same measure of beef comes in at 26 grams of protein, and only 14 percent iron, 20 percent B6, a paltry 5 percent magnesium and 318 mg of potassium. It’s also double the fat at 15 grams with 90 mg of cholesterol, while quinoa has just 6 grams of fat and zero cholesterol.

ELI 5: Why is Plant Protein Better Than Animal Protein?Someecards

Lead Image Credit: Someecards

Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below!​

Browse through some recent posts below:

Need Protein? Here are 9 Amino Acids Found Abundantly in Plants

9 Essential Amino Acids Found Abundantly in Plants

10 Lesser-Known Alkaline Foods to Help With Inflammation

salad

10 Tips on Eating Plant-Strong for Athletic Performance

shutterstock_551289988

Tips for Cleaning Up Your Processed Food Diet

veg_0

Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

439 comments on “Explain Like I’m 5: Why is Plant Protein Better Than Animal Protein?”

Click to add comment
charlie
2 Months Ago

for all those claiming that meat is necessary for our diet, the bulk of animal products come from beasts that eat plants, not meat. cows and chickens are not meat eaters, neither is deer and lamb. so if all this amazing benefit comes from animals that eat plants, it makes sense to remove the middle man and just eat plants. wheat grass juice is fantastic, kale has amazing amounts of nutrients and so do kiwi plants.....


Reply
Mance Lotter
5 Months Ago

Paleo diet of mostly animal protein, healthy fats, lots of veggies, some fruit and my doctor is blown away at how healthy my heart is. My cholesterol is what she would expect from a vegan long-distance runner...and I do ZERO cardio...ZERO. Sorry, but for me to get the protein I need to build lean muscle, plant protein would be a disaster. I\'d have to eat mounds of food, supplement with BCAAs and consume tons of powder. Chicken, fish, eggs (with the yolks...always with the yolks), and some red meat and I\'m healthy and strong.

Just eat high-quality, grass-fed, free range meats and you don\'t have to eat tons of legumes with their lectin, phytate and fat content (blocking much of the nutrients in the legume anyway!)

If you need to increase protein intake, go the high-quality animal route, but eliminate foods that cause inflammation and you\'ll be just fine!


Reply
Eva
03 Mar 2017

These 5 athletes, including Germany\'s Strongest Man, beg to differ. You do not need meat for your protein. You are healthy now, but the continued consumption of high amounts of animal protein make you more susceptible to serious health conditions as you age.

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/5-plant-based-athletes-that-blow-the-protein-myth-out-of-the-water/

Stevey
15 Mar 2017

There\'s been tons of athletes who have been on vegan diets. They always go back to eating meat from what I\'ve seen.

Danusia Skyj
7 Months Ago

Hahaha love this Ibis Sara


Reply
Danusia Skyj
7 Months Ago

Hahaha love this Ibis Sara


Reply
Monica Turner
7 Months Ago

Amanda Kay


Reply
Amanda Kay
03 Oct 2016

Go eat a pond reed

Erin Smith-Kelly
7 Months Ago

Ummm for me ... Everything in moderation!!


Reply
Joni Lewis Locascio
7 Months Ago

Erin Smith-Kelly answer to your question


Reply
Joni Lewis Locascio
7 Months Ago

Erin Smith-Kelly answer to your question


Reply
Tracy Palmer
7 Months Ago

Interesting


Reply
Tracy Palmer
7 Months Ago

Interesting


Reply


Subscribe to our Newsletter




Follow us on


Do Not Show This Again

×

Submit to OneGreenPlanet


Terms & Conditions ×