People who get the majority of their protein from plant sources live longer, according to a study from Harvard Medical School. Dietary intakes from 131,342 people in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study were compared to mortality risk. Results showed that diets high in animal protein were associated with a higher mortality risk, especially death from heart disease. In contrast, plant protein was linked to a lower risk for dying. These associations were most pronounced in people who had at least one unhealthy lifestyle factor, such as smoking, heavy alcohol intake, and/or being overweight or sedentary. Replacing animal protein, especially from processed meats, with plant protein lowered mortality risk.
Elizabeth Somer, M.A.,R.D.
Song M, Fung T, Hu F, et al: Association of animal and plant protein intake with all-cause and cause-specific mortality. JAMA Internal Medicine 2016; August 1st.