Middle-aged women should eat more plant-based protein to boost long-term health

Health benefits to middle-aged women of plant protein

Health is closely linked to happiness. Eat well to be happier….

I noticed a little snippet of news in this morning’s newspaper about a healthy diet for women and it concerns plant protein. This interests me because if people eat more plant protein, they eat less animal protein which helps to protect animals and arguably the entire planet because if humans eat less livestock, it would help the planet by curbing global warming.

This is a nice connection between middle-aged women’s health and saving the planet. It should please people.

So, what’s it about? Researchers at the Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Centre on Ageing at Tufts University in Massachusetts conducted a study of 48,000 female participants. They found that middle-aged women should eat more plant-based protein to boost long-term health. They concluded that if middle-aged women ate more plant protein they had less heart disease, cancer, diabetes and less cognitive decline and mental ill-health compared to those who ate animal protein.

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The research is published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It was published on January 17, 2024. It is a brand-new piece of published research which may interest and probably should interest middle-aged women.

My mind actually turns to domestic cats and the ongoing discussion about cat food which is plant-based. Cat food in which the protein is plant protein rather than animal protein and how that might benefit our domestic cats. There is a commercially prepared product on the market currently which uses plant protein. I bought some and gave it to my cat. He didn’t like it! That’s not saying is not good for cats. I’m just saying that he didn’t like the way it smelt or presumably tasted but that’s another topic.

The lead author of the study that I’ve mentioned, Andres Ardisson Korat, said that, “Consuming protein in midlife was linked to promoting good health in older adults at. We also found that the source of protein matters. Getting the majority of your protein from plant sources at midlife, plus a small amount of animal protein seems to be conductive to good health and good survival to older ages.”

The researchers examined thousands of surveys collected every four years from 1984 to 2016. They compared the diets of women who didn’t develop 11 types of chronic disease and those who didn’t lose a lot of physical function and/or mental health with the diets of those who did. And they discovered that women who ate more plant-based protein were 46% more likely to be healthy in later years. In 1984 plant protein was obtained from bread, vegetables, fruits, pizza, cereal, mash potatoes, baked items, nuts, beans, peanut butter and pasta according to an article on the Tufts Now website.

“Those who consumed greater amounts of animal protein tended to have more chronic disease and didn’t manage to obtain the improved physical function that we normally associate with eating protein,” said Ardisson Korat.

The researchers believe that the advantage of plant protein might derive from components in plant-based food rather than the protein itself.

RELATED: Are plant proteins as good as animal proteins for cats?

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