Postmenopausal women who consumed more plant-based protein have a lower risk of premature death, cardiovascular disease, and dementia-related death, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers compared types of protein intake with mortality for more than 100,000 post-menopausal women from the Women’s Health Initiative. Those who consumed the most plant-based protein from nuts, legumes, and other plant-based foods were less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, dementia, and all causes when compared to those who consumed the least amount of plant-based protein. Consuming eggs, dairy products, and red meat was associated with a higher risk of death from heart disease, cancer, and dementia. Results also showed swapping animal protein with plant-based protein sources lowered mortality risk. Saturated fat, cholesterol, and heterocyclic amines found in animal products may contribute to disease development associated with mortality. The authors suggest that dietary guidelines recommend healthier types of protein sources for long-term health.
Sun Y, Liu B, Snetselaar LG, et al. Association of major dietary protein sources with all-cause and cause-specific mortality: Prospective cohort study. J Am Heart Assoc. 2021 Feb 24;e015553. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.119.015553