Animal and vegetable proteins: what are the benefits and risks?

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Animal and vegetable proteins: what are the benefits and risks?
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In an article published on the site Onmeda, Doctor Romain Boutonné answers medical questions about animal and vegetable proteins.  Are some more carcinogenic than others?  Can some cause diabetes? Are vegetarian or vegan diets dangerous for our health? 

Red meat is « probably carcinogenic for humans »

In 2015 a team of researchers from the ICRC (International Cancer Research Centre) classed red meat in the category of a “probable carcinogenic for humans” in their study published in the medical journal The Lancet Oncology.

Processed meat (cured meat, salted meat, fermented meat, smoked meat etc.) has been classed in the first category as a “proven carcinogenic with sufficient indication”  regarding colorectal cancers.  Processed meat is considered on the same level of tobacco and alcohol if excessively consumed on a daily basis (more than 50 g per day).

Eating meat, obesity and type 2 diabetes

Eating foods that are too rich in animal protein could lead to obesity, cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetics.  According to studies, increasing the amount of vegetable protein you eat could lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes or could allow diabetic patients to regulate theie blood sugar levels.

A hundred years ago, 80 % of the protein consumed came from vegetables.  Today it is the opposite with almost 80% of the protein we eat coming from animals.  These figures were release in a OMS and FAQ (Food and Agriculture Organization) report in 2002. Eight amnio acids found in animal proteins are also found in vegetable protein.

What types of foods are rich in protein?

In 2015 The French Vegetarian Association revealed the 13 food products the most rich in protein are vegetables.  This includes soya, lentils, split peas, fenugreeks etc.  However, some of these foods only provide a large amount of one of the essential amino acids.

What are risks of following a vegan diet?

During a vegan diet all milk products are excluded which can lead to a calcium deficiency that causes osteoporosis.  Some vegetable products are rich in calcium like almonds, coconut milk, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, chick peas, kidney beans and mineral water.  Others are richer in iron like lentils, soya four, wheatgerm etc.

However a deficiency in essential amnio acids can trigger skin problems and difficulties in healing or even immunity problems.

Doctor Romain Boutonné advises varying your sources of protein as much as possible.


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