Swapping animal proteins for vegetables reduces risk of disease

If you are the person who, at the buffet, walks straight through salads and vegetables, and goes straight to meats, it may be important to reconsider the balance of the dish, according to a study published in 2018 in the scientific journal JAMA in free translation).

Researchers point out that it is important to vary the protein source and make room for vegetables as well, since that meat-based diet – even the grilled chicken – can increase the risk of diseases such as diabetes , strokes and heart disease.

The bad news is not recent. In 2013, a study published in the scientific journal Nature Medicine indicated that the consumption of red meat may be associated with heart disease.

The consumption of the animal product causes the body to raise the levels of TMAO in the blood, a compound that is related to cholesterol metabolism. But alone he is not the villain of the story.

It was also noticed that people who consumed meat had different intestinal bacteria from those who did not. And it would be these bacteria that produced excessive TMAO during the digestion of meat that are responsible for the slower removal of cholesterol from the body.

More cholesterol circulating in the bloodstream results in greater risks to the health of the heart, due to the possibility of it accumulating in the arteries and blocking the blood flow.

Read more: Atherosclerosis: what it is, symptoms, treatment and consequences

So the way is to abandon the meat rotation and invest in the vegetarian restaurant?

Not so much. The solution may be much less radical, and according to the JAMA article: instead of abandoning meat completely, reducing about 3% of consumption is already sufficient .

And if there is an exchange for fruits and vegetables, the risk of dying from heart disease reduces by 19%.

Basing your diet on fruits, vegetables, grains and whole seeds helps to inhibit the formation and action of toxins during the digestion of meat. Therefore, it reduces the risks of diabetes, high blood pressure , damage to the heart and deaths in general.

Remembering that stop eating animal protein, but include that industrialized snack or stuffed cookie does not bring many benefits to the body. The best thing, then, is to insert the food in a balanced way.

Each meat a sentence

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released updates on food and the relationship with cancer . Another bad news for meat fans.

Red ones – like beef or pork – are part of the group of foods “probably carcinogenic to humans” and processed ones – like sausages and ham – are “carcinogenic to humans”.

This does not mean that you need to abandon the grilled steak or change the chicken filling in the snack – because although there are researchers (and supporters of the animal cause) that point out the relationship between meat and cancers, the link is still complex and delicate.

With regard to red meat, there is an association of factors. People predisposed or with facilitating behaviors (such as smoking , obesity and family history) who consume meat are more affected by cancer than those who adhere to plant diets.

If animal protein is possibly cancer-causing, the story changes slightly in processed foods: along with the high content of sodium and fat, there is a much closer relationship to cancer.

According to the WHO, those who consume 50 grams of processed meat every day are 19% more likely to suffer from colorectal cancer.

Reinforcing the benefits of small food exchanges, a study also published in JAMA, 2016, points out that just 15g of any animal protein – it can be a slice of bologna or a piece of cheese – for a vegetable to reduce it by 34% the risks of sudden death.

Therefore, the general indication is that consumption should be reduced.

At that point, the data from the 2017 survey published in JAMA enter again. A little bit more vegetables, a little less animal protein and it is already possible to keep the risk of disease lower, because one thing is a consensus: vegetables are good for you.

With fewer calories, fewer carbohydrates , several vitamins , fibers and some substances related to reducing the risk of cancer – such as carotene, isoflavone and allicin – vegetables and legumes strengthen the body.

Read more: Why eat vegetables?

In addition, the researchers indicate only a better balance. Those who do not intend to join the veg team can continue to consume, as vegetables help to protect the body from the toxins generated by the digestion of meat.

Can you supply proteins with vegetables?

Vegetarians, vegans or food enthusiasts with less animal products probably already know, but it is worth reinforcing: proteins are in a large part of food.

Of course, quantities vary and are generally higher in meat, milk and eggs – which are part of the group of animal proteins. But it is possible to vary the dish, increase the diversity of foods and thus achieve good levels of vegetable protein intake.

To understand the account, you need to know that proteins are made up of small molecules of amino acids. Since there are some that our bodies cannot produce – called essential amino acids – they must come from food.

They are Leucine, Valine, Isoleucine, Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, Lysine, Tryptophan, Methionine and Histidine (which is considered partially essential, as the body produces very little and therefore it must be in the diet too).

Animal products, especially meat, are considered good sources of protein because they contain high concentrations of the nutrient. More than that, animal protein contains high amounts of each of the essential amino acids.

Unlike legumes, vegetables and vegetables, which contain proteins, but with variations in the concentration of each amino acid. Some have very little and, alone, do not meet the needs of the organism.

Based on this, stories have emerged over the years that only animal proteins would be complete – that is, with all the necessary amino acids.

Although there are complete vegetables as well, such as soy and quinoa , it may seem bad in terms of protein to exchange that steak for a portion of vegetables, but the secret lies in the combination and variety of the diet.

For example, a lunch with cabbage and lentils is ideal for combining amino acids and making protein intake complete – making it possible and healthy to spend a few more minutes in the fruit and vegetable sector.

The debates about food and the effects on the organism are constant. On the one hand, we have attractive habits and products that are not always healthy, on the other, we have health care and research trying to find better ways to keep health and well-being up to date.

Amid the information, consumers who must find balance and moderation in a diet capable of supplying nutrients and satisfying the palate.