PLANT BASED PROTEINS & THEIR ADVANTAGES

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FT Shashank Joshi And FT Shanaya Talati

What is plant-based meat?

Plant-based meats are products designed toimitate animal meat. While earlier products like tofu and seitan were meant toreplace animal meat, newer products mimic its taste, texture, smell, andappearance. Ingredients commonly found in plant-based food include legumes,soybeans or lentils, quinoa, vegetable proteins like peas, coconut oil, andvital wheat gluten, better known as seitan.

Plant-Based Meat Has Roots in the 1970s.Americans looking to cut back on meat are following a movement forged by a groundbreakingbook, 'Diet for a Small Planet. In 1943, Kellogg made his first soy-based meatanalog, called Soy Proteose, which contained 32% soy. In fact, The ImpossibleWhopper from Burger King is lower in calories, fat and cholesterol than yourtraditional Whopper. On the other hand, many plant-based meat replacements,like the Impossible Whopper, are higher in sodium than their meatycounterparts, and excess sodium is its own health concern.

Plant-based meat emits 30%–90% lessgreenhouse gas than conventional meat (kg-CO2-eq/kgmeat). Worldwide, animalagriculture contributes more to climate change than exhaust emissions from theentire transportation sector.

Plant protein is simply a meaningful foodsource of protein which is from plants. This group can include pulses, Soyatofu, soya, tempeh, seitan, nuts, seeds, certain grains and even peas. Pulsesare a large group of plants, which include chickpeas, lentils, beans (such asblack, kidney and adzuki beans) and split peas.

Plant proteins, mostly globulins, have beenobtained chiefly from the protein-rich seeds of cereals and legumes. Smallamounts of albumins are found in seeds. The best-known globulins, insoluble inwater, can be extracted from seeds by treatment with 2 to 10 percent solutionsof sodium chloride.

Why choose them? Is it worth the hype?

In recent years, the benefits of aplant-based diet have been widely publicized. Lowering heart disease, fightingacne, maintaining weight. These are all claims linked to making the switch. Andwith all this hype, it’s inevitable that many people are asking the question:when can I start?!

But as with any dietary choice, it’simportant to separate fact from fiction. Or at least fact from unproven claim.For instance, “going plant-based can cure cancer” is yet to be proven on ascientific level. There’s also continued debate over what diet our ancestorsevolved to thrive on.

Since most of these foods are low incalories, and other whole foods (such as beans) provide protein, theplant-based approach can help reduce calorie consumption whilst still providingadequate nutrition. Reduced calories can mean weight loss, improved digestionand lowered blood pressure and cholesterol.

Types of plant-based proteins

• Soy-based: tempeh, tofu, edamame,Impossible Burger, soy milk, soy crumbles (textured vegetable protein)

• Bean- or legume-based: lentils, beans andrice, chickpeas, black beans, bean burgers, eggless eggs

• Pea protein-based: Pea protein, pea milk

• Grain-based: seitan, Ezekiel bread, wholewheat flour, spelt, teff

• Nut- and seed-based: almonds, cashews,Brazil nuts, pistachios, chia seeds, flax seeds, quinoa

• Veggie-based: potatoes, sweet potatoes,spinach, broccoli, asparagus

• Other: mycoprotein, spirulina

• Sprouted Whole Grain Bread, Quinoa, HempSeeds, Peanut Butter Powder, Oats, Nutritional Yeast, Broccoli, Lentils….

While all beans pack a ton of plantprotein, lentils top the list with about 18 grams of protein per cup…

Are they healthy?

Plant-based protein provides plenty ofnutrients, fiber, and antioxidants that can improve your overall health.

The benefits of plant-based diet mayinclude: Protection against heart disease. Plant-based diets are lower insaturated fats, iron, and hormones. Aids in increased intake of dietary fiberin our diets.

Protection against certain types of cancersdue to the phytonutrient compounds that enrich the protein content consumed.Plant-based protein sources are more unsaturated, which lowers LDL cholesterol— an established risk factor for heart disease.

Also, plant sources contain no cholesterol.Other factors are likely to contribute to the lower risk, but this is a keyfactor.

How much protein do people need?

The National Academy of Medicine recommendsthat adults get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of bodyweight per day, or just over 7 grams for every 20 pounds of body weight.

• For a 140-pound person, that means about50 grams of protein each day.

• For a 200-pound person, that means about70 grams of protein each day.

The National Academy of Medicine also setsa wide range for acceptable protein intake— anywhere from 10% to 35% ofcalories each day. Beyond that, there’s relatively little solid information onthe ideal amount of protein in the diet or the healthiest target for caloriescontributed by protein.

In an analysis conducted at Harvard amongmore than 130,000 men and women who were followed for up to 32 years, thepercentage of calories from total protein intake was not related to overallmortality or to specific causes of death. However, the source of protein wasimportant.

Sources of plant-based proteins

Almond Butter (8g per serving)

Amaranth (9g per cup)

Black Beans (15g per cup)

Buckwheat (6 per cup)

Chia Seeds (4.5g per ounce)

Chickpeas (14.5g per cup)

Green Peas (9g per serving)

Hemp Seeds (9g per serving)

Pros and Cons of plant-based proteins –Pros of plant based proteins

1.     Plant protein powder is morenutrient dense than dairy protein powder. Many plant-based protein powderscontain antioxidants, vitamins, nutrients, and omega-3 fatty acids.

2.     Plant proteins are naturallyhigh in fiber.

3.     Have a dairy allergy orintolerance? Plant protein is perfect for you. Even if you’re not allergic todairy, you might enjoy plant-based protein powder because it generally digestsmore easily than dairy. Many people struggle to digest milk proteins likecasein and whey.

4.     Plant protein powders are anideal supplement for vegetarians and vegans who may not get enough proteinthrough the whole foods they consume.

5.     Consumption of animal proteinscan be toxic to human bodies with all the added antibodies and hormones thatare absorbed by human body when meat gets in it. However, consuming proteinsfrom plant based sources can help reduce the content of harmful bacteria suchas Salmonella in our bodies and it helps you stay healthy and free ofinfections.

6.     Plant based proteins along withyour protein levels, can boost up your antioxidant levels as well. Antioxidantscan help you fight off the free radicals that cause aging. Healthy, glowing andsupple skin is proportional to your plant foods intake.

Cons of Plant based Proteins

Plant proteins are often incompleteproteins, and therefore should be consumed in combination in order to serve asa complete protein

Some plant-based proteins are high incarbohydrates—not ideal for anyone following a low-carb diet.

Plant protein powders are typically moreexpensive than whey protein. Plant-based protein powders can be gritty intexture and difficult to mix smooth.

Vegetarians are more likely to lack onvitamin B12 as vitamin B12 is effectively sourced mostly from meat and dairyproducts. Vitamin B12 deficiency in return is linked to a lot of other healthcomplications such as anemia, paralysis, neurological disorders etc.

Plant proteins are not readily absorbed bythe human body in comparison to animal-based proteins. So, you will really needto increase your intake of plant proteins to make up for their less absorptionin body. Also, plant proteins tend to hinder the absorption of several mineralsfrom your digestive tract.

 

 

Environmental impact of plant-basedproteins and meats

Plant-based meat uses 47 percent–99 percentless land than conventional meat (??^2-yrland/kg-meat).

Plant-based meat emits 30%–90% lessgreenhouse gas than conventional meat (kg-??????_2-eq/kg-meat).

Plant-based meat uses 72%–99% less waterthan conventional meat (l-water/kg-meat).

Plant-based meat causes 51%–91% lessaquatic nutrient pollution than conventional meat (g- ??????_4^33-eq/kg-meat).

Plant-based meat requires no antibiotics,thus making it a pathway to sustainable & healthier food supply chains.

What is driving the growth of thePlant-based protein industry?

Health & wellness: 75% of protein usersperceive pea protein as nutritious. The self-accountable consumer is seekingplant protein to meet their nutrition and wellness needs.

Rise in allergies: over half of proteinusers report dairy free as the most important nutritional factor whenpurchasing protein products

Food safety: over half of protein userswants natural ingredients in their protein products, reflecting the growingconsumer demand for recognizable and simpler ingredients.

Ethics and sustainability: 62% of proteinusers cite sustainability as an important factor when purchasing a proteinproduct.

Due to growing resistance to Animal crueltyand other sustainability issues, Plant Based Proteins (PBP’s) are beingpromoted worldwide

There are wide challenges and claims byboth sides to be healthy Animal Based Proteins (ABPs) claims that Land requiredfor PBP’s are more than required for ABP. There were chances and incidences ofmeat contamination as well as adulterations.

Gained importance during pandemic thoughtto be the safer choice Growing demand for Meat will need further more animalsand hence PBP’s came as alternative to capture demand gap

Conclusion -To sum up, for people who are non-vegetarian, it is advised not to consume anexcess of any single type of animal products. One should try and go forplant-based products for complete nutrition. Red meat should be consumed inlimited quantities, even though it is rich in protein, there is still a highrisk of cardiovascular diseases. Fish, dairy products, chicken should beconsumed for a proper protein intake. For vegetarians, a good mix ofplant-based products like green vegetables, seeds, grains, quinoa, soya, riceetc. should be consumed for an overall development of the body. Irrespective ofwhether you are a vegetarian or non-vegetarian, Industry experts suggestconsumer to have a balanced diet, which suffices the requirements of all theessential nutrients for a healthy body.