Get the Protein, Hold the Meat

Julia Bainbridge
Food Editor
March 5, 2014

A study published yesterday in the scientific journal “Cell Metabolism” links overconsumption of meat and cheese with bad health.


This “news” can be filed under Things That Have Been Super Obvious for Decades. The specifics of the study’s findings are as follows: People between 50 and 65 years old whose diets are high in animal protein are 74% more likely to pass on early than those who either consume less animal protein or who get their protein from plant-based sources. (Why does it cut off at 65? Because seniors have trouble getting sufficient protein, so they’re urged to up their consumption. Go nuts, guys!)

It’s a reminder we could all use, no matter our age, to diversify the sources of our protein intake. “The evidence is overwhelming and incredibly consistent that people who eat plant-based products have a reduced risk of death,” Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, told ABC News. You can eat meat and cheese, just in moderation. For all those other meals, here are some suggestions:

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

This could be a snack or a salad topping—and honestly, we’d mash them on toast, too.

Quinoa and Asparagus Salad with Mimosa Vinaigrette

Quinoa, the wonder grain, is packed with protein. Also: asparagus! Spring is coming!

Watercress and Pepita Salad

Throw pepitas on a salad for texture or grab a handful for the road.

Bulgur Pilaf with Almonds and Dried Cranberries

Almonds are another great option.

Tofu Kebabs with Cilantro Sauce

It’s time to make tofu a consistent part of your diet. And it’s no sweat! The soybean product takes on the flavor of whatever you serve with it.

Green Peanut Butter Smoothie

Peanut butter is high in protein, and yes, there’s some in this breakfast smoothie!

Brazilian Black Beans

See? There’s a little bit of cheese on there! Go for dried beans so you can control the sodium levels.

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