The Case for Plant-Based Protein

Cutting back on meat consumption in favor of increasing your intake of plant-based proteins has been shown to offer health benefits. These (mainly) plant-based dishes are packed with protein and good for your heart.

Iron, fiber, and inexpensive protein are in pulses. Legumes include beans, peas, lentils. Servings lower cholesterol and count toward 5-a-day. Find canned pulses without sugar or salt. They mix into soups, stews, and sauces.

Soya beans, unlike other pulses, are a complete protein with animal protein quality, low in fat, and high in fiber and iron. Eat 25g of soy protein daily instead of beef to decrease cholesterol. This equals a glass of soy milk, a pot of yoghurt, or 80g of tofu.


Quinoa is a seed of a green vegetable like chard and spinach that is cooked and eaten like a grain. Protein is beneficial, but kind is more important than quantity. Unlike grains, quinoa has all animal protein amino acids. It easily replaces rice and pasta. 


Nuts are high in protein and fiber per handful. These foods are heavy in calories, yet most of the fat is heart-healthy unsaturated fats. But only a few daily (30g). 

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Seeds provide the same healthful protein and unsaturated fats as nuts. They're great as a quick snack on their own or mixed into salads and spaghetti.

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White bread, rice, and pasta don't compare to wholegrain equivalents when it comes to protein, fiber, and iron content. You can get as much protein from a serving of brown rice and beans as you would from a serving of meat.

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Soy and Quorn are complete proteins. This meat-like fungus is edible. Normal saturated fat is low. Its fiber level exceeds baked beans, wholemeal bread, and brown rice. Check labels before substituting it with mince or fillets since salt levels vary.

Milk, yoghurt, and cheese provide protein and calcium for strong bones. Choose lower-fat dairy to cut saturated fat without sacrificing protein or calcium.

Myth: eggs are heart-bad. Eggs contain cholesterol, but saturated fat raises blood cholesterol. Eggs are B12 and vitamin D-rich and low in saturated fat. Eggs can be eaten in any quantity, but if you have familial hypercholesterolemia, see your doctor or dietician.

Protein from white fish is low-fat. Sardines, mackerel, and salmon are heavy in fat yet contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamins A and D are found in oily fish. Eat two fish meals a week, one oily.

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