Question of the Month: Thinking Beyond Chicken and Beef

by Matthew Kadey, MS, RD on Jan 17, 2018

Food for Thought

It’s good news that more people have an appetite for alternative proteins, as there’s power in plants. A study in The Journal of Nutrition associated higher intakes of plant protein with a more nutritionally adequate diet. What’s more, a Finnish study found that men whose diet favored plant protein had a 35% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who ate more animal protein, according to a 2017 study in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Many plants supply a nutritional resumé that meats can’t match. In a progressive piece of dietary advice, Belgium’s new food pyramid places vegetables and plant proteins like tofu, nuts and legumes on top, with animal-based foods such as beef, eggs and dairy perched below. Items like processed meats (e.g., bacon), soda and fried foods appear in an outside circle, with advice to “eat as little [of them] as possible.” Finally, we’re seeing dietary guidelines from policymakers who haven’t been heavily swayed by meat- and other food-lobby groups. It’s a strong indication of how healthy and environmentally sound eating is increasingly being defined as “More plants, less meat.”

So, with a rising trend toward promoting and consuming plant protein, are you trying to include more in your diet? What are your favorite go-to plant proteins? Do you believe they can help or hurt muscle-building efforts?

Send your responses to Sandy Todd Webster at .

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About the Author

Matthew Kadey,  MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD IDEA Author/Presenter

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award-winning journalist, Canada-based dietitian, freelance nutrition writer and recipe developer. He has written for dozens of magazines including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Vegetarian Times and Fitness.