Plant-based Proteins are Excellent Choices

by Jion Sommer, Nutritionist, Reiki Master & Meditation Teacher, Owner, Living Proof Naturally

“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.” —Buddha

Did you know that plant-based proteins have zero cholesterol and are low in fat? They also are also high in fiber, rich in phytonutrients and have diversified minerals.

Animal-based proteins are high in cholesterol and have no fiber; zero. They also are high in fat, lack phytonutrients and have simple mineral content.

According to some studies, nuts are one of the healthiest protein choices you can make for your heart. Options include walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans and peanuts. Legumes such as beans, peas and lentils are other options — containing no cholesterol and significantly less fat than meat.

What are some of the nutrient differences between plant-based and animal-based foods?

Here is a comparison of a 500-calorie, blended-mixture of plant foods (equal parts tomatoes, spinach, lima beans, peas and potatoes) with a 500-calorie, blended-mixture of animal products (equal parts beef, pork, chicken and whole dairy milk).

  • Cholesterol: Plant-based is zero, animal-based is 137 mg
  • Fat: Plant-based is 4 grams, animal-based is 36 grams
  • Protein: Plant-based is 33 grams, animal-based is 34 grams
  • Dietary fiber: Plant-based is 31 grams, animal-based is zero
  • Iron: Plant-based is 20 mg, animal-based is 2 mg
  • Calcium: Plant-based is 545 mg, animal-based is 252 mg

Note: The exact food listings in the database were: ground beef, 80% lean meat/20% fat, raw; pork/fresh, ground/raw; chicken, broilers or fryers, meat and skin, raw; milk, dry, whole; spinach, raw; tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, year-round average; lima beans, large, mature seeds, raw; peas, green, raw; potatoes, russet, flesh and skin, raw.

Some excellent plant-based proteins

  • Nuts and seeds: walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans and peanuts
  • Legumes: beans, peas and lentils
  • Broccoli, spinach and other greens
  • Nut butters such as peanut butter, almond or cashew butter
  • Nutritional yeast (aka “nooch”) or as I like to call it “Hippie Dust,” not only has protein but also a wide array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It also gives a “cheesy” flavor.

Try some new recipes that use a plant-based protein a few nights a week and see how you feel.

May all Beings Benefit