Over the last decade, numerous conversations have been about alternatives to most of our protein sources, and for many reasons. Proteins are 22 amino acid macronutrients that are integral to forming the structural components of the body’s cells. This means that there are proteins in the hair, muscles, and even internal organs. The protein foods we consume should include at least 9 of the essentials. So what exactly are the dietary qualities that make one protein source better –or worse- than the other?
|Animal-Based Proteins||Plant-Based Proteins|
|They are complete proteins.||Do not contain all nine essential amino acids|
|100% of the proteins are digestible||Only roughly 80% of the proteins are digestible|
|90% of the proteins are absorbed||Only 60-70% of the proteins are absorbed.|
|High in Cholesterol||Has little to no cholesterol|
|Low dietary fiber and antioxidants||High fiber and high antioxidants|
|Linked to severe health deficits over time||Linked to no severe diseases with prolonged consumption|
According to the name, animal-based proteins are proteins sourced from animals such as meat, milk, cheese, fish, and eggs.
Plant-based proteins are sourced from numerous plant sources such as whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, vegetables, and even tubers like potatoes. Products from these sources may include milk or the plants themselves.
Plant-Based VS Animal-Based
Animal-Based proteins are usually known as the complete proteins because most of them contain all 9 essential amino acids that the body needs but can manufacture by itself. Vegans and vegetarians should mix their foods to ensure that it has all amino acids. However, animal proteins are usually low in fiber and high in saturated fat and cholesterol. The high fiber content of plant-based proteins makes them fully digestible and can help keep the body’s calories at a minimal level. Animal proteins have also been linked to numerous diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart problems, stroke, and cancer.