Plant-Based, High Protein Diet May Lower Risk of Heart Disease

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A new study finds that eating a high protein diet reduces the risk of death from all causes when compared with one with lower levels.
High protein diets that are plant-based are also associated with reduced risk of heart disease.
Higher protein levels overall were beneficial to people’s diets.
The findings confirmed that high total protein intake is associated with lower risk of all-cause death when compared with people eating low protein diets.
High protein diets are associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, according to researchTrusted Source published in the BMJ.
Researchers not only found that a high protein diet is associated with reduced risk of death from all causes, but that it’s plant-based protein that’s specifically associated with reduced risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
“These findings have important public health implications as intake of plant protein can be increased relatively easily by replacing animal protein and could have a large effect on longevity,” the researchers said in a statement.
Dozens of studies, over 30 years of follow-up
Researchers at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and Harvard Medical School reviewed the results of 32 studies reporting risk estimates for all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer death in adults 19 years or older.
They assessed all of the studies for bias, which could have influenced their findings.
Researchers then used mathematical models to compare the effects of the highest categories of protein intake with the lowest, and this information was analyzed to evaluate the relationship between protein intake and death.
During a follow-up period of up to 32 years, there were more than 16,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease and more than 22,000 deaths from cancer among the 715,128 participants.
A small increase in plant protein provides big benefits
The findings confirmed that high total protein intake is associated with lower risk of all-cause death when compared with people eating low- protein diets.
Surprisingly, they also determined that there was no significant association between eating animal protein and risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
But neither was there any benefit.
However, the participants who ate an additional 3 percent of food containing plant proteins per day experienced a 5 percent lower risk for death from any cause.
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