Plant protein-based diets are becoming increasingly popular around the world, and there are lots of good reasons why. Research links diets that are largely plant-based to several health benefits, including a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and premature death. While more research is needed, a 2019 review in Translational Psychiatry suggests that plant-based diets may also improve cognitive health.
While plant proteins play an important role in health and physical function, how do they compare to the nutrient density of animal proteins?
In this 30-minute podcast, from Abbott Nutrition Health Institute, Steven Hertzler, PhD, RD, LD, and Courtney Allgeier, MS, RD, LD, discuss their article published in the December 2020 issue of Nutrients, titled “Plant Proteins: Assessing Their Nutritional Quality & Effects on Health & Physical Function,” where they consider the merits, risks and safety issues of increasing plant protein intake.
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Eyeing an Intermittent Fasting Plan? Here's What to Consider Before Trying One
Refraining from eating for long periods, more commonly known as fasting, is a time-honored practice. Religious fasts such as Ramadan and Yom Kippur have been observed for centuries. More recently, some people have been turning to an intermittent fasting plan to manage their weight, blood sugar and other aspects of their health. But what is intermittent fasting? And is it safe for everyone?
Low-Carb and Keto Diets: Which One Is Right for You?
The ketogenic diet, better known as the keto diet, is a popular style of eating that restricts carbohydrates — but it's by no means your average low-carb diet. While low-carb and keto diets overlap in a few key ways, from their potential health benefits to the foods they discourage, they vary significantly. We spoke with Pamela Nisevich Bede, a registered dietitian for ZonePerfect and medical manager for Abbott's scientific and medical affairs team, about low-carb and keto diets. Here are the insights she shared, as well as some tips to consider if you're looking to try either of these diets. What Is a Low-Carb Diet? Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are known as macronutrients — they provide calories for the body and are needed in larger amounts than micronutrients, which are primarily vitamins and minerals. Many eating plans, including keto and low-carb, involve emphasizing or restricting certain macronutrients. "Technically, any eating style recommending less than 45% of calories from carbs can be considered low carb," Nisevich Bede began, "but many research studies home in on approximately 10% to 25% of calories coming from carbs." A low-carb eating plan replaces the calories you'd normally get from carbs with protein-rich foods and certain fats. While the exact distribution of calories varies from plan to plan and person to person, an example of a low-carb macronutrient breakdown might include 10% to 25% of calories from carbs, 40% to 50% from protein, and 30% to 40% from fats. The emphasis on protein provides you with energy and supports appetite control and muscle health. "Some of the protein in the diet may be used to make glucose for energy," she explained. "If you're on a lower-calorie plan, watch out for signs of fatigue or muscle soreness." How Is the Keto Diet Different From Other Low-Carb Diets? While Nisevich Bede noted that people tend to use the terms interchangeably, the keto diet is very different than traditional low-carb diets in terms of its macronutrient breakdown. It requires you to get 5% to 10% of your calories from carbs, 15% to 30% from protein, and at least 70% to 80% from fat — that's nearly twice as much fat and half as many carbs as what typical low-carb diets recommend. "A ketogenic diet highly restricts carbohydrate intake, and it's purposely high in fat," she explained, "while a low-carb diet focuses on moderate protein and moderate fat." The keto diet outlined here is for the general consumer and is not therapeutic, she continued, with the ultimate goal being to promote ketosis — a natural metabolic process in which the body burns fat for fuel. Ketosis begins once the body's glycogen stores are depleted. How to Decide Which Eating Style Is Right for You