A new study published in JAMA Internal MedicinePicture of rice, beans and grains arranges in vertical stripes on July 13, 2020, looked to examine potential associations between dietary protein choice and long-term overall mortality and cause-specific mortality in the United States population by analyzing data from the US National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study (1995 – 2011). The study analyzed a population of 416,104 men and women, aged 50 – 71 years old at baseline, from six states and two metropolitan areas over a sixteen-year period. Their findings included:

  • Higher plant protein intake was associated with a reduced risk of overall mortality as well as cardiovascular disease and stroke.
  • Replacement of 3% energy from plant for animal protein sources was associated with a 10% decreased overall mortality.
  • Replacement of egg and red meat for plant protein demonstrated the most prominent protective associations for overall mortality.

And their conclusion?

“In conclusion, this large cohort investigation showed small but significant associations between higher intake of plant protein and lower overall and CVD mortality, with prominent inverse associations observed for replacement of egg protein and red meat protein with plant protein, particularly for plant protein derived from bread, cereal, and pasta. Findings from this and previous studies provide evidence that dietary modifications in choice of protein sources may promote health and longevity.“

For more on protein and plants, stay tuned for our upcoming blog post – Transforming Your Health with a Plant-Powered Plate: Macronutrients. Coming soon!

Huang J, Liao LM, Weinstein SJ, Sinha R, Graubard BI, Albanes D. Association Between Plant and Animal Protein Intake and Overall and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Intern Med. Published online July 13, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.2790

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