Have protein, carbohydrates, and fat each hired a PR firm? You’d think so, with all the overzealous (and often misguided) campaigns about the role of each nutrient in your diet. While people still argue about the ideal quantity to consume, here’s what matters more: quality. As you know, there’s a massive difference between the carbohydrates you get from carrots and the ones you get from doughnuts. One recent population study underscored that all protein sources are not created equal, either — not by a long shot. Researchers found that eating a lot of beef and pork, both unprocessed and processed, was linked with a higher risk of early death in people who already had at least one health risk factor, like obesity, physical inactivity, or a history of smoking. Those with identical risk factors, but who ate a diet high in plant protein, had a lower risk of death. So we’re big fans of plant sources of protein, like beans and lentils! Along with protein, they’re chock-full of fiber and an array of phytonutrients, and they’re also versatile vehicles for flavor, as evidenced by our Black Bean Dinner Salad with Pico de Gallo Vinaigrette
, Green Curry Tofu
, and Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms
. If you’re on board with Meatless Mondays, try upping the ante with Wellness Wednesdays and Friendly Fridays. Your health will benefit, and we’re willing to bet your taste buds will too.
Source: Association of Animal and Plant Protein Intake With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality