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 [email protected] .

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

Leave a Comment

When you buy something using the retail links in our content, we may earn a small commission. IDEA Health and Fitness Association does not accept money for editorial reviews. Read more about our Terms & Conditions and our Privacy Policy.