Vegetable protein is a significant source of protein that comes from plants. This group can include legumes, tofu, soybeans, nuts, seeds, certain grains and even peas. Legumes are a large group of plants, including chickpeas, lentils, beans and split peas. The most exemplary source of plant-based protein is soybeans.
“There are several myths about the use of soy-based proteins such as feminization in the male sex or increased risk of cancer, including its restriction of consumption in children due to the risk of feminization. Both myths are due to the rich content of soy in isoflavonoids. Regarding the feminization aspect, it has been analyzed that, in contrast to the results of some rodent studies, the findings of a meta-analysis show that neither isoflavone supplements nor isoflavonoid-rich soy affect total or free testosterone levels. Similarly, there is no evidence that isoflavone exposure affects circulating estrogen levels in men” (Oxford English Dictionary. 2021).
Vegetable proteins are very nutritious, not only as good sources of protein, but also because they provide other nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and minerals. Our fiber intake tends to be too low, however, by incorporating certain plant proteins into your diet, such as legumes, peas and nuts, you can easily increase your fiber intake.
What is a flexitarian diet?
“Flexitarianism” is a new term that has appeared in the scientific academy, particularly in nutrition, it refers to people who consume animal protein, but 1 or days a week consume vegetable protein to improve their health, as its term indicates, it is flexible (Oxford English Dictionary. 2021).
A healthier diet: In terms of health, it has been shown that patients who consume diets based on red and processed meats in the long term increase their risk of overall mortality, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer such as colon cancer.
“Taking into account that in Ecuador the main cause of death between 2001 and 2019 is of cardiovascular origin, with about 40,000 deaths, it is undoubtedly that a diet that decreases the main cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, obesity, dyslipidemia and hypertension could be beneficial for the population”(Association of analysis and research, (2020). In addition, in Ecuador it was recorded only in 2018 that the incidence of cancer is 157 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, placing cancer likewise in one of the leading causes of death in Ecuador, it is important to mention that the main cancers affecting Ecuadorians are those of digestive and prostate origin, in which the decrease in consumption of animal protein has shown a significant benefit, therefore this suggests possible benefits of the flexitarian diet in the decrease in the incidence of the main causes of death in Ecuador.
Benefits of a flexitarian diet:
Many studies show that people who decrease their consumption of animal protein have a 50 percent lower risk of dying from cancer. Colon cancer has been directly associated with meat consumption.
Prevention of heart disease
A decrease in vegetable protein intake also prevents heart disease. Meat is the main source of saturated fat and source of cholesterol in the diet, meat does not contain fiber, which would help to reduce
The control of hypertension
It was found that simply two weeks of a diet low in animal protein is enough to reduce blood pressure.
Prevention of diabetes
Observational studies show that the frequency of type 2 diabetes is 1.6 to 2 times lower on a plant-based diet. Clinical studies showed that vegetarian diets lead to greater weight loss and a greater reduction in fasting blood glucose.