Study Shows Nut Proteins Are Beneficial, But Meat Protein Harms the Heart

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The risk of heart disease is increased by eating meat protein, but the proteins we get from seeds and nuts are beneficial to our hearts, said a study conducted by Californian and French researchers.

The study was published this week by the International Journal of Epidemiology, and it’s titled: “Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: The Adventist Health Study-2 cohort.” The research was done by researchers from Loma Linda University School of Public Health (California), AgroParisTech and the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (Paris, France).

Meat Protein Equals 60% Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

According to the study, people that eat a lot of meat protein have a 60% increased risk of cardiovascular disease. People that consume more protein from nuts and seeds have a 40% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

The study contained data from more than 81,000 participants. Gary Fraser, one of the researchers in the study stated that proteins must be considered part of the risk of cardiovascular disease:

“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 also said that he and his colleagues have suspected for a while that heart and vascular diseases are related to large consumption of red meat, while proteins from seeds and nuts protect the heart from that risk.

“This new evidence suggests that the full picture probably also involves the biological effects of proteins in these foods,” said Fraser.

More Questions Arise

Concluding the study, Fraser said that after reaching the results, more questions have appeared: which amino acids in meat proteins are the ones that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease? And do these ‘bad’ proteins affect cardiac risk factors that are associated with the disease, like blood pressure, overweight and blood lipids?

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Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.


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