Protein variety and heart health are linked, study results

wwe all got into the habit of eating the same three things over and over (… and over). When life gets hectic, falling back on simple dishes that satisfy your taste buds is the natural thing to do. But if you’re cooking the same pair of proteins on a regular basis, a new study published in the journal Hypertension suggests that it might be time to introduce some new varieties to breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

The study collected existing data from more than 12,000 participants who took part in a minimum of two rounds of the China Health and Nutrition Survey. The researchers sought to explore the relationship between hypertension, or hypertension, and the variety and amount of protein from eight major food sources consumed by the participants. (Study participants had a mean age of 41 years.)

Researchers measured protein intake by looking at three consecutive days of consumption, evaluating each round based on the number of protein varieties consumed (including legumes, fish, eggs, whole grains, refined grains, processed and unprocessed red meat, and poultry).

The results? “Of the” just the right amount “protein consumers, those who ate the greatest variety of proteins had the lowest blood pressure,” explains John Higgins, MD, sports cardiologist at McGovern Medical School at UT Health. Science Center of Houston. Specifically, those who ate the least and most protein were at the greatest risk of developing high blood pressure, while those who ate the largest variety of proteins were 66% less likely to develop hypertension. between rounds of the survey.

“The message for heart health is that consuming a balanced diet with protein from multiple sources, rather than focusing on a single source of dietary protein, can help prevent the development of high blood pressure.” – Xianhui Qin, MD, author of the study

While the survey results seem complicated – and, hey, they were – the result is simple: “The message for heart health is to consume a balanced diet with protein from various sources, rather than focusing on one source. of dietary protein, may help prevent the development of high blood pressure, “said Xianhui Qin, MD, the study’s author in a news release. In other words: mix! Spin the protein wheel of fortune and try something new.

If you’re not sure where to start to increase your protein level, Dr. Higgins recommends monitoring your intake on a daily basis. “The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than about 5.5 ounces of protein per day, about one or two servings, from healthy sources such as plants, seafood, low-fat or non-fat dairy products. fats and some lean meats and poultry, “he said he says. “The best proteins are lean ones including beans, soy or tofu, fish, skinless chicken, very lean meat and low-fat dairy products. Avoid proteins that say” hydrogenated “on the label or contain high levels of trans fat or saturated fat. “

Of course, there is always room in your meal plan for even less nutritious proteins – try to incorporate these lean sources when you can, and ask your doctor if you have any questions about which eating habits are right for your particular health status. and family history.

A delicious way to eat more varied proteins? This delicious quiche recipe:

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