Washington: There's another reason to go vegetarian this season, with a study confirming on Monday that meat protein is associated with a sharp increased risk of heart disease, while protein from nuts and seeds is beneficial for the human heart.
Nut Protein Good For Cardio Health: Study
Published online by the International Journal of Epidemiology, the study found that people who consumed large amounts of meat protein experienced a 60 per cent increase in cardiovascular disease (CVD), while people who consumed large amounts of protein from nuts and seeds, experienced a 40 per cent reduction in CVD.
The joint project of researchers from Loma Linda University School of Public Health in California and AgroParisTech and the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in Paris included data from more than 81,000 participants, the Science Daily reported. Titled "Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: The Adventist Health Study-2 cohort," the project is one of the few times detailed sources of animal protein have been examined jointly with animal fat in a major investigation, it added.
According to Gary Fraser, MB ChB, PhD from Loma Linda University, who was the co-principal investigator of the project, "While dietary fats are part of the story in affecting risk of cardiovascular disease, proteins may also have important and largely overlooked independent effects on risk." He said nutritionists have traditionally looked toward what he termed "bad fats" in meats and "helpful fats" in nuts and seeds as causal agents. However, these new findings suggest more.
"This new evidence suggests that the full picture probably also involves the biological effects of proteins in these foods," he added.
Dr Fraser said the team's research differed in another significant way from previous investigations. While prior studies have examined differences between animal and plant proteins, this study did not stop at just two categories, but chose to specify meat protein and proteins from nuts and seeds, along with other major dietary sources.
"This research is suggesting there is more heterogeneity than just the binary categorization of plant protein or animal protein," he added.
Apart from Dr Fraser, François Mariotti, PhD from AgroParisTech and the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, also served as co-principal investigator. UNI