What are the Differences Between Animal Protein and Plant Protein?

Protein is important. But should you choose animal or plant protein?

Differences between Animal Protein and Plant Protein

Proteins are an essential component of our body. We consume proteins in our daily life. Our body needs proteins to build, maintain, and repair the structure.

Every part of our body contains proteins but does not store it like other macronutrients. Therefore, our body needs protein. Two of the major sources of proteins are animals and plants.

There are few animals, and plant protein differences and their benefits vary as well. Let’s talk about them how they differently benefit our body and difference between them.

What are the benefits of eating proteins?

The primary benefit of proteins is repairing and building of muscle tissues. In the production of enzymes, hormones, and different chemicals, proteins play an important role. Protein is considered as the main building block of our body’s structure. 

As it is said earlier, proteins are the main building block of our body’s structure and an essential nutrient for our body. Let’s see why it is important.

1. Needed in growth and maintenance

Our body requires proteins for growth and maintenance of the body’s tissues. Protein also aids in building muscles. This is why protein supplements are popular (spoiler: don’t for them).

Besides intense workouts for muscle building, our body’s protein needs go up when we’re ill or suffering from tissue damage. The level of requirement changes according to the wellness of our body. 

2. Support muscle contraction & movement

Protein is important for the body’s structure. Proteins from the muscle filaments. During the contraction of muscles, these filaments overlapped each other. These filaments contain myosin, which comes from proteins.

3. Support the immune system

Proteins forms antibodies that fight against infections. Any kind of harmful bacteria or virus is treated as invaders. And these antibodies created by proteins eliminate them from the body.

Once our body has developed antibodies against a virus, a memory is created in our cells. In case the virus comes back, the cells would know what to do. Proteins help to create immunity against the diseases.

4. Provide energy & initiate biochemical reactions in our body

Proteins supply energy to our body. They contain calories per gram, which is equivalent to carbs. In the long, fasting state, proteins are very helpful.

Thousands of chemical reactions are the resultants of enzymes, which are proteins. Enzymes are essential for bodily functions, including digestion and blood clotting.

What happens when we eat protein?

When we eat protein, the first thing that our body does is break down the protein. It is broken down into all the amino acids it was assembled from. 

The process starts right from our mouth, and then the proteins go into the stomach. In the stomach, it further breaks down with the help of gastric juices.

From the stomach, it moves to the small intestine where specialized enzymes further break it down. Here, the break down continues until all singular amino acids are formed.

Why is the source of protein important?

There are two sources of proteins, which are plant proteins and animal proteins. Most of the time, nutritionists and doctors recommend meat because it is a complete protein. 

Plant proteins (including red meat alternatives) lack in few amino acids; that’s why animal protein is recommended.

There are few animals and plant protein differences, so it’s important to consider the source of protein.

However, the source of protein is important, but instead of stressing over the source of protein, it is important to stress over the consumption of enough proteins. 

What is animal protein?

Animal proteins are proteins we get from animal products like meat, eggs, dairy products, fish, and poultry. Animal proteins are complete proteins because they contain all the essential amino acids.

What is plant protein?

Plant proteins are sourced from plants. One way to improve plant protein in your meal is to eat more plant-based diets. The amino acid profile varies between animal and plant proteins.

Some sources of plant proteins are chia seeds, hemp seeds, tofu, nutritional yeast, and quinoa. Plant proteins have lesser amino acids than animal proteins.

What are the differences between plant protein and animal protein?

Let’s talk about a few major animals and plant protein differences.

1. Plant protein has more fiber and vitamins than animal protein

One main difference is that plant protein is abundant in vitamins, fiber, and minerals, while animal proteins have a lesser quantity of certain vitamins and fiber. 

2. Plant protein have less incomplete amino acid profiles than animal protein

Also, plant proteins are incomplete proteins, whereas animal proteins are complete proteins. This is because there is a difference between their amino acid profiles. 

All the 20 essential amino acids our bodies need to function are present in animal proteins. Fish, meat, and dairy have plenty of them. A comparative study of animal & plant proteins shows that plant protein lacks in few essential amino acids.  

3. Plant protein has lesser cholesterol than animal protein

With plant proteins, you get lesser cholesterol and fat; however, red meat that is an animal protein can increase your cholesterol level. 

4. Plants protein is absorbed more slowly than animal protein

Our body absorbs animal proteins quickly because they’re similar to the proteins in our bodies. However, our bodies absorb plant proteins a lot more slowly. 

5. Plant protein does not have Omega 3 fat

Essential Omega 3 fat is only present in fish, which is an animal protein.