Proteins are one of the most important nutrients for the human body, and they are needed in large quantities. It is included in the synthesis of each of its cells and uses it in building and repairing tissues, consisting of building units called amino acids, which are arranged in a chain between them, and the types of proteins differ from each other according to the number of amino acids that make them and their sequence, and they are divided into two parts: basic amino acids that the body cannot Their manufacture is obtained from food, non-essential amino acids that the body can manufacture using essential acids, and amino acids are found in animal sources such as meat, eggs, fish and milk, and in plant sources such as wheat germ and quinoa, so what is the difference between these two sources? Is vegetable protein substitute for animal?
The difference between plant and animal protein
Before answering the question of whether vegetable protein is an alternative to animal, it is necessary to address the main difference in the composition of each of them, which lies in their content of essential amino acids, as the sources of animal protein are called complete proteins. Because it contains all the essential amino acids, these sources are:
- Eggs of all kinds.
- Milk, cheese and other derivatives.
- Red meat.
- Poultry meat.
Some plant sources of protein are complete protein such as quinoa and buckwheat, and in contrast, plant protein sources are called incomplete proteins. Because it lacks one or more of the essential amino acids, it is therefore recommended for those who depend entirely on plant protein sources for their food to be careful to eat many of them throughout the day and combine more than one source in one meal, and the most important of these sources are:
- Some types of fruits, such as avocados.
- the rice.
Does Plant protein substitute for animals?
The answer to the question of whether plant protein replaces animal needs to present some nutritional facts related to each of them, which are as follows:
Animal protein sources contain a number of nutrients that are difficult to find in plant protein sources, namely:
- Vitamin B12: It is found in meat, poultry, fish, and milk and dairy products.
- Vitamin D: found in fatty fish, eggs, milk, and derivatives.
- Omega-3: Found in fatty fish.
- Heme-iron: found in red meat, is more efficiently absorbed by the body than non-heme iron found in plant protein sources.
- Zinc: in beef and lamb.
Plant sources of protein contain antioxidants in greater quantities than sources of animal protein, and they also contain fiber that keeps the digestive system healthy.
Relying on vegetable protein sources reduces the amounts of cholesterol and saturated fats in the diet. This helps maintain body weight within healthy levels, reduces cholesterol levels in the blood, and protects against high blood pressure, as sources of animal protein, especially meat, milk, and its derivatives contain cholesterol and fats. Saturated in large amounts, the excessive consumption of which is linked to heart disease.
Total dependence on plant protein sources hinders the digestive system from digesting protein and absorbing some nutrients, especially calcium, zinc, iron, and magnesium. Because they contain some chemical compounds that are produced by plants as a defense against their eaters, such as Lectins and Phytic Acid.
As for the answer to the question whether plant protein is indispensable for animal protein, it is: Yes, it can do so, but on condition that diversity in sources of plant protein is taken care of to ensure that all essential amino acids are obtained, but it is advised to focus on achieving diversity and balance in protein sources instead of concentrating on one source; To benefit from it as much as possible and to ensure access to other nutrients, and it is recommended to consult a nutritionist in the event of a desire to completely or partially dispense with sources of animal protein, to accurately inquire about the body’s needs of protein, its sources and the reasons for this dispensation.