Plant vs animal protein: New study shows what to eat for longevity

Plant vs animal protein: New study shows what to eat for longevity

A new study spanning 32 years, with just over 130,000 participants has examined the association between animal protein and plant-based protein consumption with the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.

The study

Published this month, it is one of the longest studies comparing plant protein sources, to animal protein sources. It found that the higher consumption of animal protein sources (eggs, dairy, poultry, fish and red meat) the higher rate of cardiovascular disease and mortality – in comparison to lower rates of cardiovascular disease and mortality with a plant-derived protein diet (legumes, nuts, beans, bread, cereal and pasta).


A group of 131,342 participants from 1980 until 2012 completed questionnaires about their lifestyle and dietary intake – with follow up rates of 95 percent. A total of 36,115 deaths were recorded with 8,851 due to cardiovascular disease, 13,159 from cancer, and 14,105 from other causes.

The findings

The study concluded that:

“High animal protein intake was positively associated with mortality and high plant protein intake was inversely associated with mortality. Replacing animal with plant protein was associated with lower mortality.”

Therefore, the study found that choosing plant protein sources instead of animal protein would greatly reduce cardiovascular deaths and furthermore, the researchers also found that switching from eggs to plant proteins was associated with a 17 percent drop in cancer deaths.


What now?

This long term study provides proof that animal protein food sources cause an increase in cardiovascular disease and mortality. We are surrounded with diet and lifestyle choices each day that it is hard to know what to follow. Whether it is vegetarianism, veganism, paleo or raw food – finding a balance and what works for you is key.


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