(Cover) – EN Fitness & Wellbeing – Protein from nuts and seeds are very beneficial for human heart health, researchers claim.

Academics from the Loma Linda University School of Public Health in California, AgroParisTech and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research have investigated the impacts of consuming animal and plant proteins.

Accordingly, they have discovered that meat protein is associated with a sharp increased risk of heart disease while protein from nuts and seeds is very beneficial for the heart.

For the study, the researchers studied data from more than 81,000 participants and found that “people who consumed large amounts of meat protein experienced a 60 per cent increase in cardiovascular disease (CVD), while people who consumed large amounts of protein from nuts and seeds experienced a 40 per cent reduction in CVD”.

While prior investigations have examined differences between animal and plant proteins, this study did not stop at just two categories, but chose to specify meat protein and proteins from nuts and seeds along with other major dietary sources.

“While dietary fats are part of the story in affecting risk of cardiovascular disease, proteins may also have important and largely overlooked independent effects on risk,” said Dr. Gary Fraser in a statement, adding that nutritionists have traditionally looked toward what he termed “bad fats” in meats and “helpful fats” in nuts and seeds as causal agents. “However, this new evidence suggests that the full picture probably also involves the biological effects of proteins in these foods.”

Dr. Fraser went on to explain that he and his colleagues have long suspected that including nuts and seeds in the diet protects against heart and vascular disease, while red meats increase risk.

Full study results have been published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

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