plant proteins in diet

Benefits of including plant proteins in diet

Veganism is becoming popular by the day, many people including several celebrities are taking up the vegan lifestyle. People become vegans for various reasons it could be for ethical or health or environmental reasons.

In the next decade or so the demand for products based on plant proteins will only go up with people looking for more options for these products in super market aisles. Here are some factors that may be the reason why there is an increase in demand for plant protein-based products

  • Plant-based diets may contribute towards health benefits
  • Growing concern about consuming increasing amount of saturated fats which come along with animal protein containing foods
  • To get protein from more sources as awareness about the importance of protein as a nutrient increases
  • Consciousness about environmental sustainability
  • Ethical reasons

Health benefits of plant-based diet

More than animal versus plant foods argument it would be better to say that our diet should have foods from a variety of sources. Plant based foods contribute towards health not only because of the protein but also due to other bioactive components/phytonutrients and fiber which are responsible for some of the health benefits.

Some of the animal foods along with good quality protein also are sources of considerable amount of saturated fats. And these fats in the long run are not good for cardiovascular health. Saturated fat content in plant foods is not much and hence better for people with risk of heart issues when incorporated regularly in the diet. Research also shows that including plant protein foods could be beneficial to diabetic people and also they exhibit renal protective effects. It can be said that for long healthy life it is important to have plant based foods in our diet regularly.

There is a lot of work going on which shows that plant proteins and plant based foods are beneficial when it comes to health. For example, it has been seen that soya protein decreases circulating LDL-cholesterol levels and it probably helps to modestly lower blood pressure. By replacing sources of protein that are usually in Western diets with soya foods may result in a positive change in the fatty acid content of the diet. Animal proteins are in general higher in quality compared to plant proteins but plant based proteins also provide a lot of health supporting bioactive components and there are ways to make them complete protein.

Environmental sustainability

It is common knowledge that animal foods are rich sources of good quality protein. No wonder there is a lot of demand for animal proteins in the market. This increased need for animal proteins may have an undesirable effect on environment because of increased requirement for natural resources such as water and land.

The results of a study showed that isolated soya protein (ISP) leaves a very low carbon footprint compared to animal-based proteins. The carbon foot print expressed as kg CO2 equivalents per kg protein (kg CO2e/kg pro) was about 14 kg CO2e for 1 kg whey and 24 kg CO2e for casein. The same when measured for ISP it was 2.4 kg CO2e/kg protein. For chicken and pork protein also the carbon footprint left was higher.

In another research work undertaken it was concluded that to make 1 kg of kidney beans protein the land needed was eighteen times less, water used was ten times less, fuel consumed nine times less, fertilizer used was twelve times less and ten times less pesticide was applied when compared to producing 1 kg of beef protein.

There should be less carbon foot print left worldwide, incorporating plant-based protein foods in the diet regularly will contribute towards this objective.

It should not be a question of animal protein vs plant protein as both have their advantages. There is a perception that having animal protein in the diet daily or let us say more often is a sign of wealth and prestige in some societies. This outlook should be changed. With population increasing and natural resources such as land and water being limited, it is imperative that we think of sustainability and start incorporating plant-based foods more often in our diet.

Our diet should be balanced and the nutrients should come from a variety of sources so that we can reap the advantages of all food nature has endowed us with.

VegPro products are plant-based protein products and they have a good amount of protein and other nutrients from soyabean and can be added to diet for the nutritional, health and environmental benefits they can offer.


  1. Hertzler, S. R., Lieblein-Boff, J. C., Weiler, M. and Allgeier, C. (2020) Plant Proteins: Assessing Their Nutritional Quality and Effects on Health and Physical Function, Nutrients. Vol.12(12).
  2. Messina, M. (2016) Soy and Health Update: Evaluation of the Clinical and Epidemiologic Literature, Nutrients. Vol. 8(12).

  1. Henchion, M., Hayes, M., Mullen, A. M., Fenelon, M. and Tiwari, B. (2017) Future Protein Supply and Demand: Strategies and Factors Influencing a Sustainable Equilibrium, Foods (Basel, Switzerland).Vol.6(7).

  1. Braun, M., Muñoz, I., Schmidt, J. H. and Thrane, M. (2016) Sustainability of soy protein from life cycle assessment, The FASEB Journal. Vol. 30.

  1. Sabaté, J.,Sranacharoenpong, K., Harwatt, H., Wien, M. and Soret, S. (2014) The Environmental Cost of Protein Food Choices – CORRIGENDUM, Public health nutrition.

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